How do I know if my baby is getting enough breastmilk?

If your baby shows the following signs then it is likely that you do have enough milk.

  • At least 6 to 8 very wet cloth nappies or at least 5 very wet disposable nappies in 24 hours. The urine should be odourless and clear/very pale in colour. A very young baby will usually have 3 or more soft or runny bowel movements each day for several weeks. An older baby is likely to have fewer bowel movements than this. Strong, dark urine or formed bowel motions suggest that the baby needs more breastmilk and you should seek medical advice.

  • Good skin colour and muscle tone. Does she look like she fits her skin? If you gently ‘pinch’ her skin, it should spring back into place.

  • Your baby is alert and reasonably contented and does not want to feed constantly. It is however normal for babies to have times when they feed more frequently

  • Some weight gain and growth in length and head circumference.


How to increase your milk supply?

Demand = Supply (The more you feed the more milk you will have)
Tips to increase your supply

  • Check position and attachment. A baby who is well attached and positioned is more able to drain the breast well.

  • Breastfeed more often (Offer the breast 2-3hourly during the day)

  • Let your baby finish the first breast before switching to the second breast. Some babies may take up to 20 minutes or longer to drain a breast and obtain all the calorie-rich milk. Let your baby decide the length of the breastfeeding.

  • If your baby is awake you can offer little ‘snack’ feeds without waiting for the baby to cry

  • You can try offering the breast to soothe your baby for a few days, instead of other comforting strategies (eg a dummy).

  • You may find that your baby has fussy periods throughout the day when he wants to breastfeed more frequently (Generally in the afternoon/ evenings)

  • Most new babies need 8–12 or more feeds in 24 hours. To increase your supply, you will need to fit in more feeds than is usual for YOUR BABY. Feeds do not need to be very long, just more often. In every 24 hours some feeds maybe only 5–10 minutes long, others maybe 30 minutes or longer, particularly when baby feeds to sleep slowly and contentedly.

  • Relax and enjoy feed times. Try to remove distractions (turn your phone off, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door), then settle with baby into a comfortable chair. Breathe deeply, relaxing each part of your body.

  • Allow the baby to decide the length of a feed.

  • After feeding express the breasts using an electric pump. Double pump until the milk flow slows or stops, then a single pump with breast compression.