Here are some of the basics when breastfeeding is just getting started, those things that almost all new mothers have questions about:
How do I make enough milk?
Milk production is not based on how much water you drink, how much protein you eat, whether or not you are pumping in addition to nursing (in normal situations), on what you eat or drink, or on whether you are using essential oils, herbs, lactation cookies, or lactation drinks. It will be based on the frequency and effectiveness of milk taken from the breast by your baby. The foundation for a terrific milk supply is actually laid down in the first seven days after baby’s birth. Limiting or delaying breastfeeding will limit your supply next week, next month, and further down the road with this baby. Nurse your baby as often as he or she requests to nurse.
How much should my baby take in that first week?
Remember, the size of the full-term baby’s stomach at birth is the size of a small cherry or a shooter marble. By day three, it will grow to the size of a walnut or ping pong ball, by day seven, to the size of an apricot, and day 30, to the size of the baby’s fist or a large chicken egg. Your stomach is the size of your fist, or a softball. How much does each of these hold?
- Day One: 3 to 5 milliliters per feeding, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful
- Day Three: 22 to 27 milliliters or 0.75 to 1 ounce
- Day Seven: 45 to 60 milliliters or 1.5 to 2 ounces
- One Month: 80 to 150 milliliters or 2.5 to 5 ounces
What about a diaper count?
What goes in must come out, says the old adage. Breastfed babies have very frequent stools in the early weeks. Remember that breast milk is very easy for your little one to digest, and he or she will be pooping out whatever he or she doesn’t need for immediate growth. Here’s what you should expect to see:
- Day one to day two: Black, sticky, odorless meconium
- Day two to three: Green, less sticky, and still odorless transitional
- Day three to four: Yellow, seedy, runny breast milkstools with a rather sweet, yeasty odor.
- Day one: 1 wet, 1 stool (or more!)
- Day two: 2 wet, 2 stools (or more!)
- Day three: 3 wet, 3 stools (or more!)
- Day four, when a copious milk supply begins: six or more wet and four or more stools.
By Kathy Parkes