One of the most common questions or concerns I see with new breastfeeding moms is “is my baby getting enough milk?” There are only a few things to look for to answer this question! Let’s talk about them and how to address them.
I would like to preface this with this: I am not a professional (yet.) I am currently taking the steps to become a certified breastfeeding counselor and lactation consultant down the road. I have breastfed for a total of 4+ years (as I write this, still going strong with my 1 year old twins!)
How do I know if I have enough breastmilk for my baby?
Your body knows what it’s doing. Only a very small percentage of mothers actually do not create enough milk for their babies. This is a very common misconception and a lot of new mothers think that fussy babies mean they aren’t getting enough milk. The truth is, babies are fussy because they are brand new and they do not know how just live life! They can be overtired, overstimulated, need a change of scenery. If your baby is having sufficient wet diapers and is gaining weight appropriately, you are perfect. It is important to get these baselines from your pediatrician and lactation consultant.
Can you run out of milk for your baby?
No. Your body is making milk all the time, especially when baby is eating. Your breasts are never really “empty.” This is another common misconception regarding breastfeeding. Again, your body knows what it’s doing.
The bottom line here – if your baby is having sufficient wet diapers and is gaining weight appropriately, you are enough! Again, these are things you should have assessed by a lactation consultant and/or pediatrician before throwing in the towel. A lactation consultant can do a weighted feed to see how much baby is taking in per session. Pumping is not indicative of supply either!