Wondering if your baby is getting enough nourishment? According to the experts, the best way to find out is by checking her diapers.
Once your baby is three or four days old, you should look for at least six very wet diapers and at least two substantial yellow bowel movements in 24 hours. (After four to six weeks, bowel movements may be less frequent.)
Remember, frequent nursing is normal for young babies. If you’re concerned about your milk supply, first check that your baby is latching properly. Then make sure you’re letting the baby nurse for as long and as often as he wants. If you’re still worried, or if your baby isn’t gaining weight, talk to a breastfeeding counselor or lactation consultant.
Sucking on a bottle (or pacifier) requires a very different technique from nursing at the breast, and some babies find it confusing to switch from one to the other. They may then develop problems with latching on properly, or even refuse the breast. If you would like to give your baby an occasional bottle, it’s better to wait until he is at least six weeks old and nursing well.
If you do run into any difficulties, there are some excellent sources of help available. You may be able to get assistance from a La Leche League leader, certified lactation consultant, public health nurse, midwife, breastfeeding clinic (often located in a hospital) or your family doctor.
To find a local La Leche League leader or group, call 1-800-665-4324 or visit the website: www.groups.lllc.ca.