Updated: Jun 27, 2021
Breastfeeding management misconceptions often keep new moms from starting or continuing to breastfeed. One misconception is that “baby should sleep for several hours after each feeding”. This misconception can be dangerous. Babies who are calorie deprived sleep for long periods of time after each feeding and may not have the energy to do much of anything else. Long, repeated naps after each feeding should not be confused with “milk comas” or baby falling asleep at the breast.
A normal cycle for a new baby includes periods of being actively awake, sleeping, and eating. It is normal for a baby to fall asleep at the breast. If your baby is a newborn, you can gently stroke their cheek or lift their arm to wake them to continue feeding. Older babies find comfort in being nursed to sleep. Remember, our babies nurse for many nonnutritive reasons.
Do: Keep a log of baby's output and nursing times in the first week or 2 of life
Do NOT: give baby water - water affects baby's caloric intake because baby feels full
Let’s discuss better options to tell if baby is satisfied or getting enough milk:
1: Wet and dirty diaper output: In the first few days of life, the amount of wet diapers a baby has should match the baby’s age; i.e. 1 day old = 1 wet diaper. When baby reaches about 10 days of life, baby should have 10-12 wet diapers a day. Urine should be clear to pale yellow and without a strong odor
2. Baby’s body language after a feeding – Look for baby’s relaxed hands, healthy skin tone/color, engagements and sustained eye contact
3. Baby’s weight gain – baby should gain approximately 4oz to 8oz per week for first 3 months of life
By the end of the first week of life, a baby's weight should stabilize and birth weight should be regained by 10-14 days of life. In the event you are concerned with your baby’s milk intake, reach out to a Lactation Professional.