How Much Do New Babies Need to Eat?
I remember sitting in the hospital room after my first baby was born and wondering if she was hungry.
I had no milk and wouldn’t for another three to four days and while she would latch nicely, I had no idea if she was getting enough food.
Lots of moms have told me they have this same concern. I have a friend who asked the nurse to give her daughter formula because she was worried her daughter wasn’t getting enough sustenance.
One of the most essential ways moms show our children love is making sure they are well-fed. It’s a basic human instinct, which is why breastfeeding can sometimes feel hard and confusing. How can you make sure that your baby is getting what they need?
What New Babies Need to Eat
When a baby is just born, their stomach is the size of a cherry. That means that their first 24 hours, all they need is 7ml or just over a teaspoon of milk.
For the first 72 hours, they need just a few more teaspoons than that, averaging somewhere around 6-8 teaspoons.
Think of how little milk that is! Of course your boobs haven’t filled yet. Your baby would have no need for that much milk yet and nowhere to put it.
You will know your baby is doing ok by monitoring their diapers – they need to have four to six wet diapers a day. The hospital will also monitor their weight and let you know if they are losing too much from their initial birth weight.
When Your Milk Comes In
Your hormones will change after childbirth, telling your body that it’s time to start producing milk. For a first-time mom, it can take four to five days for milk to come in. For a more experienced mom, it may only take two days.
Milk coming in can sometimes lead to engorgement (it sure did for me). This is extremely painful and uncomfortable. But don’t fear! Hot showers and heating pads make a huge difference, and the uncomfortable feeling will go away within a few days at most. Know that it’s not forever.
One of my best tips is…don’t pump when you are feeling engorged! That will just make your body think it needs to produce more milk than your baby actually needs which could lead to longer periods of engorgement.
Knowing When Baby Needs to Eat
Have faith that your baby will be able to self-regulate how much milk they need. Unless your doctor is concerned about weight gain, your baby will know when they are hungry and how much they need to eat to feel full.
A lot of new moms worry they aren’t producing enough milk, but as long as your baby’s weight is holding steady and going up, then you have to trust in your baby to know how much they need.
At Insurance Covered Breast Pumps, we know that the pumping life is mom life. And we want you to be successful!