They are eating enough, we promise!
In the first month of your baby's life, breastfeeding can be tricky and may take some time for both you and your baby to get used to. Often times, because of this difficulty, many moms doubt their abilities and fear that their baby is not getting enough to eat.
More often than not, they absolutely are getting enough! But in case you wanted to double-check or wanted to see what a great job you are doing-- we have a couple of ways to track what your baby is eating.
Weights can be a good indicator of long term feeding struggles. Watching yourbaby's growth charts over the long term is a good way to see that they are on track.
Please note that breastfed babies may lose a bit of weight within the first week after birth. This is normal as long as the weight reduction it is no more than 5-7% of their birth weight.
Breastfed babies tend to gain weight faster than formula-fed babies within the first couple of months postpartum. However, this weight gain is slower (in comparison to formula-fed babies) in later months. These weight fluctuations are also normal and do not point to inadequate breastmilk supply.
Day to day, you can also watch your baby's wet and dirty diapers as an indicator if they are feeding well.
The amount of diapers a baby goes through can be daunting, but it can also be an indicator of proper milk transfer and nourishment. Here is the amount of diapers your baby should be soiling for each stage after birth.
Your baby should have their first urination within the first 8-24 hours of life. They will have 2-6 wet diapers per day for the first 2 days and can be up to 20 times per day after those 2 days. This is because an infant's kidneys during this time are unable to concentrate urine and therefore excrete a lot of fluids.
After the first week of life, your baby will be putting out 200-300ml every 24 hours. Some infants may have red or pink stains in the urine, which may be attributed to uric acid crystals, however, they should still be checked out for possible blood in the urine and hydration status.
Since stool coloring and texture are relatively related to the maturation of both the infant gut and breastmilk composition, the progression is easier to follow than urine.
First, your baby will have what is called meconium (black tarry stools) within the first 24 hours. This stool is mostly made out of secretions from the intestine, mucosal cells, and other bodily fluids that your baby is excreting.
After 2-3 days, your baby's stools will transition through a few stages. This is also when more mature milk begins. They will turn to a more greenish-black color and transition to a greenish-brown, then more of a yellow color. The texture does vary more from watery to thick---this is not a concern as it is normal, however, they will have less of an odor and will be less 'sticky' than the previous meconium.
Eventually, once solid foods are introduced, stools will become more brown and solid as added fiber and solids are incorporated.
Breastfed babies will pass stools up to four times a day, but can vary. Formula-fed babies are less frequent and can be as little as twice a day or even every couple of days.
Did you learn something new from this blog post?
Is this something you are currently struggling with or have struggled with in the past?
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Thanks for reading and as always...
Your health today is a LIFETIME of health for you AND your baby.
Until next time!
Coaches Cassie and Mikayla
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