What is the range of “normal” when it comes to breastfeeding?
Do boys and girls drink the same?
Boys do drink more than girls. Boy infants drink on average 78ml more than girl infants
831ml – Average daily amount
755ml – Average daily amount
Breastfed infants are indeed getting enough milk. As infants get older, they take fewer, shorter, larger feeds but their 24 hour (daily) intake will remain the same.
478 – 1356ml
is the range of daily milk intake of exclusively breastfed infants who are growing according to the WHO charts.
Between 3 and 6 months infants grow more slowly and have a relatively lower metabolic rate, so they don’t need more milk.
Breast massage optimises milk flow
If the breast becomes very tense and the baby simply cannot latch on, massaging the breast and then expressing milk by hand, or carefully with a breastpump, may bring relief.
Breast massage helps prevent engorgement and possible mastitis, as well as improving the milk flow.
Tips to tell whether your baby is getting enough breast milk:
- Starting four days after the birth, your baby gains at least 120 to 210 grams a week.
- Once milk production has stabilised after ‘coming in’, you should use five or six nappies per 24 hours.
- During the first few months, your baby has at least two to fi ve bowel movements every 24 hours. After about six weeks some babies may have fewer, but more intensive, bowel movements.
- On average, your baby drinks from your breast six to ten times every 24 hours and swallows audibly.
- Your baby is attentive, looks healthy, has taut skin and grows in length and head circumference
Optimising milk removal
Reaching an adequate milk production is a journey that requires mothers to initiate, build and maintain their lactation. A mother’s milk supply will increase during the first month of this journey.
The following information is relevant if a breast pump is being used after milk has “come in” (initiation), to build and maintain lactation.
Rl Kent,J.C. et al. J Hum Lact 19, 179-186 (2003). Kent,J.C. et al. Pediatrics 117, e387-e395 (2006). Kent,J.C. et al. Breastfeed Med 3, 11-19 (2008). Meier,P.P. et al. Breastfeed Med 3, 141-150 (2008). Mitoulas,L. et al. J Hum Lact 18, 353-360 (2002). Mizuno,K. et al. Pediatr Res 59, 728-731 (2006). Newton,M. et al. J Pediatr 33, 698-704 (1948). Prime,D.K. et al. Breastfeed Med 6, 183 (2011). Prime,D.K. et al. Breastfeed Med 7, 442-447 (2012).