Web exclusive! Jesse Zilberstein, lactation educator from The Pump Station in Los Angeles, California, demonstrates how to tell whether your baby is getting enough milk.
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Female Speaker: One of the biggest questions that we get from expected parents or new parents is how do I tell my baby is getting enough to eat. Because we are breast feeding we are not bottle feeding our babies we don't see that little indicator line on the bottle telling us how many ounces have gone into our baby and so we can get a little nervous how do I know if he is getting enough. There are five things that I would like to tell the parents that I work with to look for in order to feel confident and comfortable that their baby is getting enough to eat. The first is wet dippers; how many times does your baby pee? There is a simple rule of thumb that we can use to know how many wet dippers we would like to see. On day one we would like to see one wet dipper, one day two, two wet dippers, one day three, three wet dippers, on day four, four, on day five, five, and on day six, six to eight wet dippers and we would like to see those six to eight dippers from there on out. The second thing I tell parents to look for along with wet dippers is poopy diapers, we would like to see around three poopy diapers in a 24 hour period. The first stools the baby will produce in the first days postpartum is something called Meconium. It's very think tar like black substance and as that meconium moves its way out of your baby's system usually by day two or three we see a transitional green stool that eventually turns into a yellow seedy mustard that looks very much like a Dijon or Grey Poupon kind of mustard. It can be quite liquidy as well and we would like to see 3 of those a day. So we have got wet dippers and poopy dippers. The next thing is weight gain. It is normal for all new born babies to loose weight after birth. We expect them to loose weight we don't want them to loose over 7 to 10% of their birth weight, but weight loss is normal. At around day 3 to 5 which corresponds with the time a mother's milk starts to increase in volume and mature, we see baby's weight lost stop and plateau and then we see babies start to slowly gain. They gain around one ounce per day and we look for that one ounce per day of weight gain for the next months of a baby's life. So we have got wet dippers, poopy dippers and weight gain. The fourth thing I tell parents to look for is breast changes. Your breast feels fuller or heavier usually between day three and five mothers go through some sort of engorgement period and this is good news even if it might be uncomfortable, also do you feel your breast soften after a feed that's a good indicator that baby is actually getting milk from the breast. The fifth thing that I tell parents to look for in order to feel more confident that their baby is getting enough to eat is sucks and swallows. There are two kinds of sucking that we see in a baby non-nutritive sucking and nutritive sucking. Non-nutritive or flatter sucking some people like to call it is important, but it's not necessarily an indicator that babies are swallowing and transferring milk. Non-nutritive sucking looks and sounds like this, whereas nutritive swallowing, transferring of milk into a baby's body looks and sounds like this. If we see and hear these gallops and swallows at the breast it's a great indicator that baby is moving milk from the breast into their tummy.