Breastfeeding: How do you know you are Producing Enough Milk?
How do you know you are Producing Enough Milk?
We chat to Juli’s Cookie Co number one Lactation Consultant and Expert Catherine Pestl about a common stress among breastfeeding mothers: milk production. Listen to our interview with our fave lactation consultant Catherine Pestl IBCLC on our founder's podcast Culinary Chronicles here or read on below.
A new mother’s breastfeeding journey has the potential to be stress free and beautiful. However, it's common for new mothers to have concerns about whether they are producing enough milk to meet their baby's needs. These concerns can sometimes lead to stress and anxiety. In this article, we will explore the signs that indicate you are producing enough milk, along with tips to boost your breastfeeding confidence.
One of the most reassuring signs that you are producing enough milk is your baby's feeding patterns. In the first few weeks, newborns often feed frequently, sometimes every 1-3 hours. This frequent nursing stimulates milk production and helps establish a strong milk supply. So, if your baby is latching on and nursing regularly, it's a positive indicator that you are producing enough milk.
Another crucial aspect to consider is your baby's weight gain. In the early days, it's normal for babies to lose a small amount of weight. However, by the end of the first week, they should start regaining weight steadily. Regular check-ups with your pediatrician can help ensure your baby is on the right track. A healthy weight gain is a good sign that your milk supply is adequate.
Pay attention to your baby's diaper output. If your baby has enough wet diapers (typically 6-8 wet diapers a day) and passes stools regularly (usually at least 3-4 soft stools a day during the first few weeks), it's an indication that your milk supply is meeting their hydration and nutritional needs
A content and alert baby is generally a well-fed baby. After a feeding session, your baby should appear satisfied and relaxed. They may fall asleep or display a calm demeanor. Crying is normal for babies, but if your baby is crying excessively after feeding, it could be due to other issues, such as gas or discomfort.
Another way to gauge your milk supply is by monitoring your breasts. After a feeding, your breasts should feel softer and lighter than before the feeding. This sensation indicates that your baby has effectively drained the milk from your breasts.
Remember that your body is designed to nourish your baby, and it's usually a self-regulating process. As long as you're providing the opportunity for your baby to nurse on demand and you're taking care of your own nutrition and hydration, your body is likely producing enough milk.
Tips to Boost Breastfeeding Confidence
If you still have concerns about your milk supply, here are some tips to help boost your confidence:
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to ensure you are well-hydrated, which is essential for milk production.
- Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can support your milk supply.
- Rest and Relax: Stress can affect milk production, so prioritize rest and relaxation. Ask for help from friends and family when needed.
- Seek Support: Joining a breastfeeding support group or consulting with a lactation consultant can provide valuable guidance and reassurance.
Understanding whether you are producing enough milk for your baby can be a source of anxiety for many new mothers. However, by monitoring your baby's feeding patterns, weight gain, diaper output, and your own body's cues, you can gain confidence in your breastfeeding journey. Remember that breastfeeding is a learning process for both you and your baby, and seeking support when needed can make the experience more enjoyable and successful. Trust your body's ability to provide the nourishment your baby needs, and you'll likely find that you are making enough milk to sustain your little one's growth and development.
Listen to our interview with our fave lactation consultant Catherine Pestl IBCLC on our founder's podcast Culinary Chronicles here.
Support your breastfeeding journey by enjoying the Best Lactation Cookies (we're biased but we think they're fab!) to support your breastfeeding journey with three flavors to choose from: Regular, Plant Based / Vegan and Gluten free (coming soon!).
Podcast Culinary Chronicles Episode 010. Sanguedolce , L. Lactation Consultant Love and Nourishment Tips with Catherine McEvilly Pestl. Retrieved from https://share.descript.com/view/invfdJ0wF3J.