How can I be sure that I have enough milk and that my milk is good enough

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Many women think they do not have enough milk. This is almost never true. Even mothers who do not have enough to eat can generally make enough milk for their babies.

The amount of milk your breasts make (your milk supply) depends on how much the baby suckles. The more the baby suckles, the more milk you will make. If you skip a feeding and give a bottle instead of breast milk, your body will make less milk.

Some days it may seem like the baby is always wanting to breastfeed. If you feed your baby whenever it is hungry, your milk supply will increase. In a few days the baby will probably seem satisfied again. Night feeding helps to build up a mother’s milk supply. Try not to believe anyone—even a health worker—who says that you do not have enough milk.

Breasts do not have to feel full to make milk. The more babies a woman has breastfed, the less full her breasts will feel. Small breasts can make as much milk as large breasts.

A baby is getting enough milk if:

  • it is growing well, and seems happy and healthy.
  • it wets 6 or more times and dirties the diaper (nappy) about 1 to 3 times in a day and night. You can usually tell this after the baby is 5 days old, when the baby will start to pass urine and stool more regularly. A baby older than 2 weeks may not pass stool every day. If the baby is feeding well, wetting, and seems content, the stool will come.

Because breast milk looks different from other milks, some women fear that it is not good milk. But breast milk gives babies everything they need.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en010809