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Breastfeeding is going well when…..

  • at the beginning of a feed, your baby sucks rapidly to get your milk to flow. As your milk starts to flow, the baby will use longer, slower sucks with regular pauses and you may hear your baby swallow the milk.
  • towards the end of the feed on the first breast your baby’s sucking pattern gets slower with occasional swallows. Your baby lets go of the breast when he/she has had enough from that side. Always offer your baby the other breast, though he/she may not always want it. You could use the time between changing breasts to change his nappy if appropriate.
  • Your baby will be weighed around day 3. Most babies lose weight in the first week of life and this is normal.
  • If your baby has lost more than 8-10% of his/her birth weight your midwife will give you extra support to continue breastfeeding.
  • Look at your baby’s nappies. What you see in the nappy will change over the first week and is a good sign that your baby is getting enough milk.
Baby’s age *Wet nappies Dirty nappies
Day 1 & 2 **pink/orange staining may be seen black sticky ‘tar-like’ poo (meconium)
Day 3 & 4 3 or more wet nappies lighter runnier poo which will be changing colour to green/ brown / yellow (changing stool)
Day 5 onwards at least 6 wet nappies in 24hrs bright yellow runny poo – at least 2 a day, & at least as big as a £2 coin

* If you are using disposable nappies it can be hard to tell when they are wet as they are very absorbent. Try pouring 2-4 tablespoons full of water onto a clean nappy and feel the difference in the weight. This gives you an idea of what to look for.

**You will often see pink orange stains in your baby’s wet nappies in the first 48 hrs. If you continue to see them after 48 hrs please speak to your midwife.

This is one of the breastfeeding leaflets you are given in the Jessop Wing in Sheffield, Breastfeeding is going well leaflet

If you have any concerns about feeding – please contact your Midwife, Health Visitor or Breastfeeding Peer Support Worker.

Follow this link to an article by the National Childbirth Trust http://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/whats-your-babys-nappy