Breastfeeding

How to Track the Success of Breastfeeding?

November 30 , 2017
Dr. Fatin Tamim
Fatin Tamim is a wife and mother of three children, who spent life hard-working, studying, and participating in raising community health&nbs...More

The desire to breastfeed is instinctive as the baby seeking to be breastfed; however, breastfeeding itself is not instinctive, it only needs patience and resilience. The good thing is, there are a lot of ways that can aid you in maintaining a sufficient breastfeeding routine, and there are a various signs that can help you in track the success of your breastfeeding journey, such as:

  1. Baby’s Weight:

Weight gain:

  • Weight loss 5% - 7% of birth weight
  • Return to birth weight by 10th day
  • Increase 150 – 200 gm per week

Wet diapers:

  • One wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…).
  • Once mother’s milk comes in, expect 5 - 6+ wet diapers every 24 hours.
  • To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper and check using a piece of tissue in a disposable diaper.

Dirty diaper:

  • One dirty diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…).
  • After day 4, stools at least 3-4 yellow stools daily.
  • Some babies stool after each feed or even more often–this is normal too.
  • Stool of a breastfed baby is loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy.
  1. Number of How often should the baby breastfeed?

Frequent breastfeeding is recommended to establish a good milk supply (8 – 12+ times per 24 hours). Breastfeed should be at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting and hands in mouth) as crying is the last sign of hunger. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively and then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy; so baby should be waked to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing. Once baby has established a good weight gain pattern, mother can stop waking baby and nurse on baby’s cues alone.

  1. Maintain sufficient milk supply
  • Breastfeeding on demand, frequent breastfeeding with longer duration of feeds will boost your supply
  • Normal food and fluids intake that satisfy your hunger and thirst.
  • Cluster feedings? Follow baby demand
  • Growth spurts? Stimulate your body to produce more milk that satisfies the baby's increased needs.

But, what if we need to give something?

  • First choice: mother’s own expressed milk.
  • Second choice: banked or properly screened donor breastmilk.
  • Third choice: mother’s breastmilk given with 5% glucose or water (to increase volume or decrease viscosity of the colostrum).
  • Fourth choice: 5% glucose.
  • Fifth choice: formula.

One Last Tip Breastfeeding is expected to be a time of joy, if it isn’t, it means you have an issue. Do not hesitate to ask for help, we are always there to support you up to success.