Can I tell if my baby is getting enough breast milk by his wet diaper output?

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Answered by: Devan , An Expert in the Baby's Hunger Signs Category
There are a few warning signs that every new mother should know about when they begin breastfeeding. When a baby acts hungry it can be deceiving to whether you are getting enough milk. Rest assured, most mommies are doing just fine! This can just be a sign of a growth spurt, sometimes babies can feed every 45 minutes. Two things that are important to look for are; wet diaper output, and weight gain. Now, if you just arrived back from the hospital, it is normal for a baby to lose weight after being born. The child loses all of the water he or she retained inside of the womb. Your doctor will tell you if your child is losing too much weight at your baby’s next check-up. Wet diaper output is crucial to watch out for, this is what is going to tell you if your child is dehydrated. Usually, newborns have a general output of 4-8 wet or dirty diapers per day. If your child is within that limit or more, just keep plugging away mama! If your baby is not having wet diapers, it is time to call the pediatrician. In the meantime, you can pump after feedings, and top your baby off with the milk you express. If this seems to help, the doctor should still be informed, but most likely your baby needed an extra ounce or two and you should keep pumping after feedings until there are no more problems. If needed, your pediatrician will have you supplement with formula. If you would like to exclusively breastfeed, then there are some steps that you can take towards that goal. Every time you give your child formula, pump for 15-20 minutes after you feed your baby by breast. Always feed your baby by breast first, then formula feed. Eventually your supply will catch up, and you probably will not need that formula afterwards. A bottle with a similar nipple structure is suggested for formula feedings if you want to pursue breastfeeding later on. Pacifiers should be avoided, as the infant would use your breast instead. This will stimulate more milk production. Remember that the more your child is on the breast, the more milk you will make. The body works in a responsive manner, and if you do not breastfeed enough your production will slow. Your body will think that it does not need to provide any more breast milk. Never give your child water if they are experiencing low diaper output. Please give them your milk or formula, water is toxic to babies under six months. Also, do not rush feeding your child cereal and baby food. That will slow your milk production as well. Children should be fed solids anywhere between 6-12 months of age. Technically, babies do not need solid food until they are 12 months or if the doctor advises to do so. Please watch out for these warning signs! Also, do not worry so much, as long as your baby is gaining weight and having a healthy diaper output you are doing just fine! Breastfeed on mama, this time in your life is the most beautiful experience in the world!

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