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Is My Child Getting Enough Breast Milk

Is my child getting enough breast milk?

When you're getting used to breastfeeding it's hard to tell how much your child has been drinking. It's natural then to wonder about whether they're getting enough breast milk but don't worry – children have a habit of letting you know when they're still hungry and we've explained some of the usual signs to look for here. 

Signs that your child is well fed

Generally, if your child is feeding well, they will let go of your breast once they're full. However, they may pause for a while during breastfeeding so give them time to decide whether they've had enough. 

Here are some signs that your child is well fed:

• They appear content after most feeds.

• They gain weight after the first two weeks.

• Your breasts and nipples don't feel too sore.

• Your breasts are emptied and softer after feeding.

• Your child is a healthy colour with firm skin that bounces back when pinched.

• After the first few days they should have around six wet nappies a day.

• After a few days they should be having at least two bowel movements a day which are yellow or dark and begin to lighten in colour after the fifth day. 

Signs that your child may need more breast milk

If your child isn't getting enough breast milk you may notice:

• Your child is tired and unsettled all the time and fusses after feeding. They don't seem happy and contented.

• They make clicking sounds when feeding like smacking lips or you can't hear them swallowing. This could mean they are not latched on properly, so take a look at our tips on breastfeeding.

• Their skin colour becomes more yellow.

• Your child's skin is still wrinkled after the first week.

If you are worried about whether your child is getting enough breast milk, try feeding them more regularly. It's also worth holding them close to you; if they want a drink they'll move towards your breasts. 

Still hungry after a feed?

Sometimes mums find that their child is still hungry even with more regular feeds. If this happens you should speak to your health care professional.

If your child is approaching 6 months, it might be that they're ready to start weaning. Refer to your health care professional for advice on weaning.