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How do I know that my baby is getting enough milk?

A recent breastfeeding survey found as many as half of UK women give up breastfeeding because they believe they have insufficient milk supply. Nearly all women are physically able to produce enough milk for their babies. If the baby is latching on well and is being offered the breast in a responsive manner, they should almost always receive sufficient milk.

It is important to know the signs that your baby is feeding well. These are:

  • To have 8-12 nursing sessions per day. It is normal for babies to ‘cluster’ feed at some part of the day - usually during the evenings. This frequent feeding is important to maintain milk production.
  • Your baby should be healthy and gaining weight after the first 2 weeks.
  • In the first 48 hours, your baby is likely to have only 2 or 3 wet nappies. Wet nappies should then start to become more frequent, with at least 6 every 24 hours from day 5 onwards.
  • At the beginning, your baby will pass a black tar-like stool (poo) called meconium. By day 3, this should be changing to a lighter, runnier, greenish stool that is easier to clean up. From day 4 and for the first few weeks, your baby should pass at least 2 yellow stools every day. These stools should be at least the size of a £2 coin. Remember, it’s normal for breastfed babies to pass loose stools.
  • Your breasts and nipples should not be sore. If they are, do ask for help.
  • Your baby will be content and satisfied after most feeds and will come off the breast on their own
  • If you are concerned about any of these points, speak to your midwife or health visitor 
Please see attachment Checklist: Tips for successful breastfeeding
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