1. How often does my baby have to eat?
A newborn baby should nurse at least 10-12 times a day. It is important to watch your baby for feeding cues rather than watching the clock. Early hunger cues include eye movement during sleep (also called REM sleep), rooting (turning baby’s head towards mother), bringing hands to mouth, and opening the mouth. It is best to respond to baby’s early hunger cues rather than waiting for them to cry, which is a late hunger cue.
2. How do I know if my baby getting enough milk?
The best way to determine if your baby is getting enough milk is to watch his/her diapers. On Day 2 of life, baby should have at least 2 wet diapers and 2 bowel movements (will be tarry and black in color). On Day 3 of life, baby should have at least 3 wet diapers and 3 bowel movements (that are now soft greenish to yellow). Then on Day 4 of life, baby should have at least 4 wet diapers and 4 bowel movements (that are soft yellow). On Day 5 of life, baby should have at least 5 wet diapers and 5 bowel movements (that are soft, seedy, and yellow).
Babies typically lose some weight during their first 3-5 days of life, then start to slowly gain weight. Your pediatrician will monitor weight gain and overall health, so it is very important to go to those early visits with your pediatrician.
3. How do I increase my milk supply?
Although it is important to eat a nutrient rich diet and drink water for overall well-being during the postpartum period, this will not increase your milk production. The best way to increase your milk supply is to frequently empty your breasts by nursing, hand expression, or pumping. Your body gives the signal to make more milk when the milk ducts are empty. Additionally, frequent skin-to-skin contact is helpful in increasing your breastmilk production.
4. What can I do about engorgement?
Engorgement is a painful experience several woman have during the early postpartum days. Although it is tempting to relieve engorgement by pumping, that will likely make the problem worse. You can relieve the pain by submerging the breasts in warm water (using a basin or taking a bath) or by using hot/cold compresses. Over time, engorgement will ease as you settle into a feeding rhythm with your baby.
5. Should breastfeeding hurt?
NO! Pain while breastfeeding is a common experience, but it is not normal. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Experiencing pain while nursing early on is likely due to a poor latch. If you are experiencing pain while nursing, it is best to seek out a lactation consultant in Fargo.
We know how challenging breastfeeding can seem, but with the right support and knowledge your breastfeeding journey can be a great one for mom and baby!
Beyond Boundaries Therapy Services is proud to provide feeding support starting at birth with our skilled SLP/CLC feeding therapist. We believe feeding your baby is a personal choice and one that should be respected. Both bottle feeding and breastfeeding come with their own complications. We are here to help. If you have questions, please contact our clinic at 701-356-0062 or email Lactation@beyondboundaries.us.
About the Author
Jessica Stecher received her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2014 and joined the Beyond Boundaries team in 2014. She is qualified to work with individuals of all ages across any speech-language and feeding delay or disorder. In addition, Jess has a passion for infant and pediatric feeding disorders and understands the importance of how mealtimes shape family relationships. Jess is our Certified Lactation Counselor. Her professional interests include but are not limited to: infant and childhood feeding concerns, swallowing disorders (dysphagia), early childhood language disorders/delays, and Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Advance Specialized Training:
- Certified Lactation Counselor
- S.O.S Feeding Protocol
- Sensory-Motor Feeding Training
- Pediatric/Adult Feeding and Swallowing Training
- Nurtured Heart Approach
- Dynamic Temporal Tactile Cuing (DTTC)
- Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment (ReST)