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How Much Milk?

One of the most common worries for breastfeeding mothers is that they cannot measure the amount of breastmilk the baby gets from the breast in each feed. It may take a little while before you feel confident your baby is getting what they need.

There are some signs you can see in your baby to reassure you they are getting enough;

  • Wet and dirty nappies.
  • Normal skin colour.
  • Your baby will be alert when they are awake and wake by themselves asking for food.
  • The will fall asleep on the breast when they have finished feeding and fall off (Sometimes you can see milk dripping from the corner of their mouth).

Watch this video below for more information;

  • You may be worried that you are not producing enough milk and there are ways that you can boost your milk supply if this is the case.

    • Ask your midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding specialist to watch your baby feeding. They can offer guidance and support to help your baby get the correct attachment.
    • Feed your baby as often as they want and for as long as they want.
    • Expressing some breast milk after feeds once breastfeeding is established will help build up your supply.
    • Offer both breasts at each feed and alternate which breast you start with.
    • Keep your baby close to you and hold them skin to skin. This will help you spot signs your baby is ready to feed early on, before they start crying.
  • The more your baby feeds, the more breast milk you'll produce. However, if you're worried that your baby isn't getting enough milk, talk to your midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist as soon as possible.

    Things that can affect your milk supply include:

    • Poor attachment and positioning.
    • Not feeding your baby often enough.
    • Drinking alcohol and smoking while breastfeeding – these can both interfere with your milk production.
    • Having to spend time away from your baby after the birth – for example, because they were premature:
    • Illness in you or your baby.
    • Giving your baby bottles of formula or a dummy before breastfeeding is well established.
    • Using nipple shields – although this may be the only way to feed your baby with damaged nipples and is preferable to stopping feeding.
    • Anxiety, stress or depression.
    • Your baby having a tongue tie that restricts the movement of their tongue.

     

Who Can Help?

It’s great to meet up with other breastfeeding mums to build your confidence and share experiences. If you are struggling with breastfeeding take a look at our page about Positioning and Attachment.

Your Midwife or Health Visitor may have given you details of local support available. If you have any other questions or concerns you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. We have weekly infant feeding assessment clinics across the county and trained staff who are available to help at home when needed.

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can also contact your local Midwifery team.

 

            

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