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Is my baby getting enough breast milk?

Because they can't see exactly how much milk a baby is drinking when breastfeeding, some mums worry if their growing baby is getting enough.

In the first few days your baby will drink very little, their tummy is only the size of a cherry!

Around day 3-4 your breasts will fill with even more milk in response to your baby's feeding patterns and growing tummy. Watch out for your baby's cues telling you they're hungry, start feeding and keep going for as long as they want - this is how your body knows how much milk to make.

Watch our videos on partner support while you breastfeed and breastfeeding positions to find out more. 

How much and how often?

All mums and babies are unique so it's impossible to give an exact 'right' amount, but as long as you feed when your baby tells you they are hungry and feed for as long as they want you can be pretty sure they're getting enough.

You can often tell how well your baby is feeding from their nappies - have a look at our page on Signs your baby is not getting enough milk to see what your baby's nappies should look like at this stage, or use our feeding checklist for some reassurance.

Can I 'spoil' my baby by breastfeeding too much?

It's important to know that you're not 'spoiling' your baby by feeding in this way - you're making them feel loved, safe and secure. You can find out more about creating a strong bond with your baby in UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative's leaflet "Building a happy baby".

Signs your baby is hungry (also known as feeding cues)

As you get to know your baby, you’ll learn to tell that they’re hungry. Here are the signs that your baby wants you to feed them:

Is breast milk enough?

Many mums worry about their babies being hungry, but most of the time they have nothing to worry about. Some mums try to introduce formula feeding or solids early on, sometimes hoping that it will encourage their baby to sleep for longer periods. However, breast milk is all babies need for the first 6 months of their lives, and research shows that babies fed this way are healthier.

Speak to your health visitor if you think your baby is hungry, but most babies don't need solids until they reach 6 months old. Even then, they'll still need the goodness of breast milk, so do keep breastfeeding if you can or give expressing a go. You can find out more about introducing solid food here.

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Last updated: 20 May, 2019