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How Much Milk Does Baby Need? - Guest Post by Sara Chana Silverstein, IBCLC, RH
For Breastfeeding Awareness Month this year, we were lucky enough to work with Sara Chana Silverstein, a breastfeeding expert and lactation consultant. She is also a Master Herbalist RH (AHG), Classical Homeopath, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), TV personality, lecturer, author, wife and mother of seven children.
Here Sara Chana answers one of the most frequently asked questions by nursing moms; 'Is my baby getting enough at each feeding?'
Moms always ask me,'Do breastfeeding babies ingest the same amount of breast milk at each feed?' The answer is no! When a baby is breastfeed, that baby will take in a different amount of breast milk at each feed. In a twenty-four hour period, a baby needs to take in a certain amount of total ounces and a certain amount of total calories in order to thrive, but that baby will take in a different amount of milk at each individual feed, depending on the infant’s hunger and mood. (Just like us adults!). When an infant is bottle fed, the caregiver will pour the exact amount of formula into a bottle at each feed and expect the baby to drink the entire poured amount. Even if the child turns his head a way, the caregiver will do her best to try to 'force' the child to eat the amount in the bottle. With breastfeeding, the breast does not show 'ounces'; the normal, healthy baby is supposed to be allowed to take in what he wants and needs. (Assuming that the baby is not the product of a premature birth or has a suckling disorder–to name the most common difficulties.) So, for example, a six week old baby might take in 2.4 ounces at one feed, 3 ounces at the next feed and only 1.8 ounces during the following feed. As a general rule, the thing to remember is, 'what goes in, must come out'. Looking at diapers is the way nursing mothers are supposed to gage how the breastfeeding is going. As long as the baby is producing six to eight diapers in a twenty-four hour period, and is happy, the breastfeeding mother can stop worrying about 'how much the baby is getting'.
For more information about Sara Chana Silverstein, or to learn about her super-helpful breastfeeding app, visit her site, Sarachana.com.