One thing that new mothers often worry about is, is the baby getting enough breast milk? “Do I need to breastfeed her again (even though I just finished breastfeeding)?” or “Is my milk enough for him?” Don’t worry about it, Mother. When the baby feels not full, there are signs, really, and that you can learn. This is a sign that your baby is not full of milk!
Signs of a baby lacking breast milk
Of course, it is difficult to know how much milk your baby is drinking from your breast. However, there are some signs that can guide you to find out. The following are signs that your baby is not full of breast milk:
1. The diaper is dry
One of the signs, according to the Institute of Health Visiting Zoe Ralph, is as follows: National Health Service (NHS), is a dry diaper. “Babies will usually tell you, a wet and dirty diaper is one indication,” says Zoe.
2. Babies Don’t Swallow
During breastfeeding, the mother does not see and hear the suckling of the breast and the baby swallows the milk in occasional pauses while sucking. In fact, Zoe emphasized, one of the good signs that a baby is not deprived of milk is, “… you hear the baby swallow.”
Then it should be when the baby suckles, the mother will see it with fast, long, rhythmic sucks. When sucking, the baby’s cheeks look round, not sunken.
3. Still Fussy
Generally, babies who are satisfied breastfeeding or feel full will feel relaxed and sleepy after breastfeeding. However, your baby continues to fuss and his lips look dry (not moist), a sign that he is still very thirsty or hungry.
4. Breasts Stay Tight
Supposedly if the baby is feeding properly, the mother’s breasts will feel softer or softer, a sign that the baby has ‘drained’. However, if your breasts are still tight, the nipples look flat, like pinched, or white/pale, a sign that the baby’s mouth is not attached properly to the areola.
5. Difficult to Gain Weight
Launching from the page HealthlineHowever, some babies will lose weight after birth. However, if he doesn’t return to his birth weight within 2 weeks, you need to consult a doctor to make sure whether he is receiving enough breast milk or not?
6. No Let Down Reflex
Let down reflex is a reflex that helps milk come out more smoothly. If this reflex does not work properly, it can be ascertained that the baby is not getting enough milk.
7. Baby’s Urine is Dark Colored
Babies are not full of drinking milk or not getting enough breast milk can also be seen from the color of their urine. The color of baby’s urine tends to be dark and the smell is quite strong.
8. Dry Baby’s Mouth
Babies who are not getting enough milk can also be seen from their dry mouth or lips.
9. Dry Baby Eyes
Baby’s dry eyes are a sign if he is dehydrated due to lack of intake and fluids. The characteristic is if the baby cries but does not shed tears.
10. It hurts the attachment process
Mothers can also feel the baby’s lack of breast milk, namely during the breastfeeding process. Therefore, make sure that you have done the right attachment when breastfeeding your little one to avoid pain and swollen breasts.
Related article: Cluster Feeding Is a Condition for Babies to Breastfeed Often, Recognize the Signs and Causes
Hungry Baby Signs
Before a baby can speak, he will show signs of hunger or fullness by using sound or movement. And crying is often the most common sign of hunger.
However, in newborns, usually they very rarely show a state of hunger by crying. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), generally newborns show signs of hunger or signs that the baby is not full of drinking milk by doing this:
- Placing a hand on his mouth, or as if his hand slapped his mouth.
- Turn your head toward your breasts when you hug.
- Puckering or licking her lips
- The baby clenched his fists.
In Older Babies
While in older babies, they will do this when they are hungry:
- Attempts to reach or point to food.
- Opens his mouth when offered a spoon or food.
- Get excited when you see food.
- Use hand gestures or make sounds to let you know he’s still hungry.
Related article: My baby is hungry or full? Recognize the following signs!
Signs that your baby has had enough milk
Signs that the baby is getting enough milk every day is very easy to know, Mother. In addition to paying attention to the signs of a baby’s lack of breast milk described above, you can check it in the following ways:
- Babies continue to gain weight throughout the first 2 weeks of life – but it’s also normal for babies to lose some of their birth weight during this time.
- The child appears healthy at all times, and is alert when awakened from sleep.
- The baby releases his mouth from the mother’s breast, closes his mouth, turns his head away from the breast, and his hands are relaxed.
- In the first week of life, babies poop soft yellow the size of a coin every day.
- From day 5 onwards, the diaper is wet and you should change it more often, at least 6 times every 24 hours. Previously, during the first 48 hours of his life, you might only change his diaper 2-3 times.
If you have trouble knowing what the texture or shape of a wet diaper on your newborn is, take a clean disposable diaper and pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of water. Such is the picture of a wet diaper in a newborn.
Signs of a Baby Enough Breastfeeding Judging from the Feces
As for the feces of newborns, this is the description provided by the Children Health Questland Government:
- Day 1: At least 1 wet diaper; sticky dark green stools.
- Day 2: At least 2 wet diapers; Soft blackish green stools.
- Day 3: At least 3 wet diapers; greenish brown stools.
- Day 4: At least 4 wet diapers; pale/clear urine; greenish-brown or yellowish-brown stools.
- Day 5 onwards: At least 5 or more wet diapers; pale/clear urine; 3 or more in a day and is mustard yellow or liquid in color.
Signs of Proper Baby Latching
- Your baby has a wide mouth and a mouth full of breasts.
- Your baby’s chin is touching your breast, his lower lip is rolled down (you can’t always see this) and his nose is not pressed against your breast.
- You won’t feel any pain in your breast or nipple while your baby is feeding, although the first few sucks may be firm.
- You may notice more dark skin around the nipple (areola) above your baby’s upper lip than under her lower lip.
Related article: Baby Trouble Sleeping and Sucking All Night? Here are the Tips
Ways to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Increasing the supply or production of breast milk is actually not difficult. The key is to breastfeed regularly. The more often the baby feeds directly from the breast, the more the breast will produce milk.
In addition to the methods above, try some of the following easy and simple methods:
- Ask your midwife, health professional or breastfeeding consultant/specialist to give you education about this, such as: How to position your breast or baby while breastfeeding, and what the proper attachment of the baby’s mouth to the breast looks like. Also ask them to supervise you while breastfeeding your little one, so they can judge whether what you are doing is right or not.
- As much as possible avoid bottle feeding (expressed breast milk or formula) for the first 6 months of life. Wait until the baby is completely established in breastfeeding.
- Feed your baby as often or as much as they want.
- Expressing milk after feeding will greatly help increase the supply of milk in your breasts.
- Give both breasts (alternating) each time your baby feeds – not just one.
- Hold the baby close to you, and hug the baby from skin to skin (skin to skin). This is one way you can recognize the signs your baby is ready to feed early before the baby starts crying (when he is hungry/thirst).
Things That Affect Breast Milk Supply
From the explanation above, it can be concluded what affects the supply or production of breast milk. Among others are:
- Poor attachment or placement of the baby’s mouth to the mother’s breast.
- Mother does not feed the baby often enough.
- Mothers still consume drinks that contain alcohol, or even are still attached to smoking habits during the breastfeeding phase of the baby. Both of these have a high risk of interfering with your milk production.
- Previously performed breast surgery, especially on the nipple. Spending time away from the baby shortly after birth, for example due to premature birth or the mother experiencing a serious illness that makes it impossible to immediately care for the baby.
- Breastfeed your baby with a bottle or formula when the baby’s ability to breastfeed (directly) is established.
- Mother uses nipple shield. Usually used in mothers with damaged nipples with the aim that the baby can continue to consume breast milk directly from the breast. Although the risk of reduced milk production but this is better than stopping breastfeeding.
- Mother takes a type of dopamine, ergotamine and pyridoxine.
- Mother experiences anxiety, stress or depression.
- Baby experiencing tongue tie which restricts the movement of his tongue and makes it difficult for him to suck the breast and swallow.
How, Mother, it is not difficult, right, to know the signs of a baby not full of breast milk. Mother simply recognizes it by looking at the little one’s gestures or body language. Consult your pediatrician if there is anything that makes you worry about your baby’s milk needs. “They can offer advice on making sure the baby is in the right position or whether they are making the right latch on your breast,” concludes Zoe.
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