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How much milk is enough?

(7 Posts)
Corky Mon 14-Oct-02 22:44:57

We have a 4 day old baby girl and because she has a tendency to stay clamped but not always suck, how do we know whether she has had enough milk? Time on breast is not really helpful here as she's not always sucking aggressivley.

zebra Mon 14-Oct-02 23:12:27

Ok, I'm no expert & only telling you what I've heard... but Your baby sounds pretty perfect.

The best signs are wet nappies and the poop changing from meconium to yellow-curdy. You want to see yellow poop by the end of the first week. You want to see a return to birthweight or better, by the time the baby is 2 weeks old.

At 4 days old the milk is still really thick.. partly colostrum, still. And *very* fatty (I know because I've expressed it off at that point...). As for not always sucking aggressively, that's because the baby is waiting for a little more milk to be made and then she can have it.

When breasts seem to fill up after a sleep or in the hours since a feed, that's often the most watery milk. But when the breasts feel empty and baby just hangs about, that's because the milk the breasts make when they feel almost empty is actually the most fatty milk. In other words, by not aggressively sucking, the baby is just waiting around for a little more fatty milk to be made.

Do everything you can to make your life easier at this point, and get as much rest as you can. Learning to feed lying down is a real lifesaver, for instance.

Clarinet60 Mon 14-Oct-02 23:32:52

That's really informative, Zebra. I wish I'd had you when ds2 did this, as a newborn.
Corky, it sorts, in the end. Just keep feeding.
Mears?

Joe1 Tue 15-Oct-02 10:40:33

Babies also have a fat reserve between their shoulders to help them get through the first few days. My midwife told me it can also take up to 4 weeks for a breastfed baby to get back to their birth weight.

SoupDragon Tue 15-Oct-02 10:52:13

Um... the breast doesn't actually make 2 different sorts of breastmilk. Hind milk and fore milk are just different bits of the same milk (think of an old fashioned bottle of milk where the cream is at the top). Being watery, the foremilk part gets through easily but the fattier, high calorie bit, (the hindmilk) is more difficult to get out as it's thicker. This is why you have to ensure your baby stays on long enough to get to it.

I do agree with Zebra that the change in nappies is a good sign. DS1 had very few wet nappies and pon sludge poos for too long as he wasn't feeding properly - he dropped 20% of his (considerable) birthweight. We got the feeding sorted and he switched to the mustardy poos that run up the back of the sleepsuits!

Corky Tue 15-Oct-02 16:56:15

thanks for the replies all - We have not seen the yellow poos yet but it is only day 5. We do think she is sucking enough on the breasts now, and she has plenty of unrine, but the poos are Pond sludgy - this is the worrying bit i suppose.

Copper Fri 18-Oct-02 14:03:08

What's her name , Corky? Is she lovely?

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