Whether you’re a new mother or an experienced one, breastfeeding can be tricky, especially in the early days. You’re constantly worried about doing the right things and making sure that your baby is fed.
Well, here are 5 signs that your baby is actually in great health, and that there’s nothing to worry about.
Your baby is constantly feeding
Newborn babies need to be fed a lot, and you can expect your baby to cry for food 8 to 12 times in 24 hours. It’s also a good sign that he’s actively sucking for at least 10 minutes during each session.
It’s also a great sign if your baby is always soiling his diapers. It means he’s getting enough milk and it’s passing through his body properly. As a new mother, the constant feeding and diaper changing can feel like a lot. But it’s all a signal that your baby is healthy.
Your nipple stays in place during sucking
Another great sign that your baby is feeding well is that your nipple stays put in his mouth, instead of sliding off. This means he’s latching properly.
While sucking, you can probably also feel a rhythm in the way your baby sucks and swallows. You can feel it in your breasts, and see tiny movements in his jaw. You will also feel a pause or mild “k” sound when he swallows milk, and then the sucking continues.
Some mothers feel sore immediately after breastfeeding. If you do, don’t worry because it’s normal and should subside within a minute. If you continue to feel sore, you may have a blocked duct and should contact your doctor.
Your baby is gaining weight on schedule
General guidelines from Mayo Clinic (1) for weight gain in infants suggest that you can expect your baby’s birth weight to double within 5 months. On average, babies will also gain between 5 and 7 ounces every week until 6 months.
Between 6 and 12 months your baby will gain between 3 and 5 ounces every week. By 12 months, most babies weigh 3 times their birth weight.
If your baby’s weight gain follows this schedule or is at least close to it, it’s a great sign that he’s getting enough breastmilk.
Your breasts are leaking
Leaky breasts are very common with mothers and it’s your body reacting to your new baby. Sometimes, seeing or hearing your baby can trigger milk let-down and wet your blouse in the process. Some mothers also experience breast leaks without their baby present.
Even though it’s normal, you can take a few steps to avoid some embarrassing moments. Keeping nursing pads in your diaper bag is a great way to start. Also, consider wearing dark clothes with patterns because they are more effective at hiding stains.
You’re eating more
Because you’re eating for two, it’s common to see an increase in appetite. What’s interesting is that breastfeeding helps you get rid of extra calories so, in a way, you can eat more without gaining the weight you’d expect to gain.
Even if you don’t see an increase in your appetite it’s still a great idea to eat a lot of healthy and nutritious food, and drink lots of water.
The bottom line
There are a lot of new things to learn as a new mother and it’s impossible to put everything into a single blog post. That’s why I often share my experience, and answer questions, on my Facebook group. Like and follow it to learn even more about your new and exciting journey of motherhood.