At some point in breastfeeding , a question will arise: is my milk weak? Even the most experienced ones sometimes question this fact, but the first thing that mothers should know is that, there is no weak breast milk, each woman produces the milk that is necessary for her baby and in the right amount.
There are some factors that can raise the question of whether there is weak breast milk. Some of them include:
Wrong grip on breastfeeding – In the wrong grip the baby puts only the nipple in the mouth, because of this, he cannot suck too much milk. What happens afterwards can make the mother think that there is weak breast milk, because the baby needs to breastfeed all the time, he gets irritated because he can’t suck the milk he needs.
Breast milk is lighter – Another factor that can make a mother suspicious of milk is when the baby wants to breastfeed in a short period of time. But the explanation for this is that: the digestion of breast milk is faster than that of cow’s milk – those with infant formula. That is why the feedings are constant.
Crying Frequently – it is true that babies are not born talking, so in the first months crying is the only way for him to communicate . The baby wants to breastfeed all the time because everything is new to him and not because there is weak breast milk. He gets tired, stops, sleeps and, as he did not suck all he could, asks again crying.
How to Know if Breast Milk is Supporting the Baby?
To make sure that there is no weak breast milk and that the amount being breastfed is ideal for the baby, note a few points:
The color of the baby’s stool during the first week of life tells you if he is getting enough colostrum (which is the first breast milk).
- During the first 2 days, the baby’s stools are dark, greenish, black and slimy, called meconium . Breastfeed the baby every time he asks for help the baby eliminate meconium.
- On the third day, when the baby receives more colostrum, the feces become lighter in greenish brown color.
- For the 4th and 5th day, as the production of breast milk increases, the feces turn yellow. The stool of a baby who only feeds breast milk is yellow and can be granulated, pasty or soft.
Number and quantity of stools
Usually, the baby evacuates 1 or 2 times during the first 2 days.
- After the first 2 or 3 days and up to 4 weeks, the baby should poop at least 2 times a day. If he evacuates at least 2 times a day, each should be the size of two tablespoons. Many babies poop after each feeding.
- After the first 4 weeks of the baby’s life, the intestinal pattern can be changed in 1 bowel movement every 1 to 10 days. If the baby’s abdomen is soft, he is happy, adequate breastfeeding generates between 6 and 8 full diapers every 24 hours, this reduction in frequency is normal.
If the baby is receiving enough breast milk, the urine should be light yellow and odorless . Cut the plastic on the back of a disposable diaper to check the color of the urine. This will help you to make sure that your baby is getting enough breast milk. The urine should not be dark yellow in color. Sometimes babies have pink patches in their urine during the first few days.
Amount of urine and number of wet diapers
During the first 6 days, you should generate as many wet diapers as you have days to live. The diaper should become heavier each day when loaded with urine, especially after the third day and as breast milk production increases. At the end of the first week of life, the baby should generate between 6 and 8 wet diapers in 24 hours.
Baby height and weight
The pediatrician should carefully monitor the baby’s weight and height to make sure that there is no weak breast milk and that it is growing well. This weight is checked five days after leaving the hospital and later in monthly appointments.
Baby sleep patterns
During the first month of life, the baby must wake up to eat between 8 and 12 times in 24 hours, or at intervals between 1 and 3 hours. It is normal to have a continuous 5-hour sleep period within a 24-hour period.
Breast milk is digested more easily and quickly than the formula for infants, which is why your baby may be hungry beforehand. The baby is fed for 15 to 25 minutes. As it grows, the number of feedings will gradually decrease between 6 and 8 in 24 hours.
What to do to increase breast milk?
If you still think that there is weak or little breast milk, there are some actions that can increase the volume of milk for your baby, they are:
- Breastfeed on demand , regardless of the amount of time the baby will be in the breast
- Massage the breasts under the shower, the hot water stimulates the production of milk
- Drink plenty of water, teas and natural juices (citruses are not recommended for the first few days)
- Remove the milk between feeds, the constant emptying of the breasts makes the brain send information to increase milk production
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Get as much sleep as possible
- Do not stress yourself. Anxiety and stress decrease milk production
If that doesn’t work, it’s interesting to talk to your doctor about medications that increase milk production.
Watching your baby is the best way to know that your milk is good and sufficient for him. Even if the breasts do not fill as they did in the first days, or because he cries frequently. If you sleep well, this calm, gaining weight, then there is nothing to worry about.
See also: Why is breast milk so important?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.