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Thread: How much milk is my infant betting?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,512

    Default How much milk is my infant betting?

    Hell All,

    How can I estimate the amount of milk my infant is receiving at each feeding?

    She is 7 pounds and 9 ounces, 3-weeks-old and just started feeding directly from my breast (Yea!). I had been pumping and feeding her the expressed milk and formula. I am worried that she is not getting as much milk as before because I cannot see or measure it. She was born a few weeks early and lost weight for the first 2 weeks so we have been measuring everything going in and coming out (Yes, I am a first time mom). Her numbers of dirty diapers are the same - approximately 13 urinations and 8 defecations. For the past week she had been consuming about 90mL – 120mL (3-4 ounces) at each feeding (every 3 hours).

    Any advice or help you can provide would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    994

    Default Re: How much milk is my infant betting?

    hi there. welcome to the forum and congratulations on your baby!

    i don't think there's a way to exactly measure the amount of milk that your baby is getting directly from your breast. baby (when correctly latched on) is much more effective at getting milk than a pump is. as long as you are feeding her on demand and she has a lot of wet diapers (which she is), i think you're doing fine! also, you should let baby "finish" the first breast and then offer the other breast during each nursing session. baby may nurse off the other side or she may not, but it is good practice to offer the other breast. by finishing the first breast, you are ensuring that see gets the hindmilk.

    hope this helps! post back if you have more questions!
    Last edited by Aleina's_Mom; October 24th, 2006 at 10:44 PM.
    Mommy to...
    Aleina... born on Mother's Day, May 14, 2006...7lbs 4oz, 21.6 inches
    Lauryn Elle...January 26, 2008...7lbs 15oz, 20 inches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: How much milk is my infant getting?

    Hi Mary,

    Congratulations to you and your daughter for succeeding in nursing from the breast! It sounds like you have been working hard to get to this point. Good for you!

    While as the last poster said there isn't a way to directly measure how many ounces your daughter is getting at a feeding, you're definitely on the right path by keeping track of how many wet and soiled diapers she has. Generally, 6-8 really wet cloth or 5-6 disposable diapers a day indicates baby is getting enough milk. For the first 6 weeks of life, about 2-5 bowel movements a day would be typical. Is your daughter growing in length? Does she seem active and alert?

    Nursing every 2-3 hours is very normal, so it was good you mentioned that. It sounds like your daughter is within normal on that.

    I or others might be able to give a little more information if you would like to share her birth weight and her lowest weight. As you know the weight gain is another clue to whether she's getting enough. I'm also curious if you have determined why she was unable to drink from the breast at first or if you're still struggling there (though it sounds like she may have figured it out with your persistent help!).

    Good luck, Mary!
    Sue

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: How much milk is my infant betting?

    Thank you both for the information. My daughter Samantha was born 2 ½ weeks early on Sept 28th at 6 pounds 4 ounces, 18 inches long. Right after birth, I nursed her and she latched on perfectly. After she was checked out, cleaned and returned to me I nursed her a second time and again she latched perfectly! I thought I was one of the lucky few that had a self-latching (and it was pin free too). After the first two feedings, she was a sleepy baby and would suck a few times and fall asleep. The nurses worked with me but said she just needed more sleep because she was early. When my husband held her, she would root as if she wanted to nurse. As soon s he handed her to me she would fall asleep. Since she was not nursing well the hospital nurses helped my husband and I feed her with a cup. I kept trying to nurse her every single time we fed her (bit emotionally draining not to succeed for so long).

    At her 2-week check up, she was down to 5 pounds 10 ounces. The nurse worked with us to feed her and said we need to start using a bottle to get food in her. I was devastated at first because I was worried bout Nipple Confusion but I knew the important thing was her health – she needed to eat. We started her on a bottle (Breast Flow brand) at 2 weeks and I continued to attempt to nurse unsuccessfully. At 3 weeks, we went back to the doc for recheck and she was 7 pounds and 4 ounces! I was so happy that she had gained over a pound in a week. Ate 3 weeks and 1 day, she began to breast-feed again! All of my stress and fear of using a bottle has now gone out the window and I m glad we used it to get her weight up. She still falls asleep a little while feeding but wakes back up pretty easily with tickling, burping, etc. She has been nursing now for 4 days and I am so happy! It is a bit painful and I am sore but I will not give up. She does not open her mouth wide enough for a perfect latch but she is getting milk.

    Samantha is currently 3 weeks and 6 days and weighs 8 pounds and 1 ounce. I think she is still 18 inches but I cannot get her to stretch out when sleep for measuring and she will not it until when awake. She is very active and alert, although she likes to stare off into space from time to time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: How much milk is my infant betting?

    Great! So Samantha lost 10% of her birthweight, but now it sounds like with the last two weight checks she is gaining really well. That's wonderful. The first rule is to feed the baby, and you did that. There are lots of ways to get milk into the baby, but I'm glad you were able to get her nursing from the breast. About 4-8 ounces of gain a week (or more) is acceptable in the early weeks and Samantha is gaining even more. Excellent.

    I can empathasize. My first daughter was also slightly early and a little small and some well-meaning nurses tried to get us going, as well. I didn't know then what I know now and we also did the cup and so on. The good news is my daughter went on to breastfeed like a champ after the early weeks of challenges, and it sounds like Samantha will, as well.

    I had to laugh. It is hard to measure their length, isn't it!

    Sue

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