Worried about your milk supply? You aren't making enough milk you say? Knowing about your baby's stomach size may help alleviate some of the concerns behind having to trust your own body in order to nourish your child. So, behold some insight on the size estimates for a newborn's stomach. This may just be some of the relief you are looking for.
A newborn baby that is exclusively breastfeeding requires to be fed often, but not necessarily do they need to eat much. So if volume is your concern don't fret. Little newborn tummies can't and shouldn't hold a huge amount of milk. Their stomach's start off really small, like a marble or a cherry, and take in just the perfect amount of colostrum. Colostrum is that amazing highly nutrient dense food that your baby needs in the first few days. Your body has been making colostrum during pregnancy and in the beginning days and will be the best nourishment for your new child before eventually you will be making mature milk in about two weeks after giving birth.
As babies digest breast milk it won't be too long after where you may find yourself feeding again. Newborns may feed over 8-12 times within a 24 hour period, around every 1-3 hours. As the newborn reaches closer to a month in age they should be able to go about 2-3 hours on 3-4 ounces of mama's liquid gold. Their little tummies do grow quickly and babies get better at breastfeeding where the feedings can become less frequent and shorter, so embrace the early moments where your baby's "demands" are there and you are on your way to establishing a long, healthy breastfeeding relationship.
The more you feed the better chances you have of establishing a good milk supply and this allows baby to control when they eat and how much they eat. Your body knows it needs to make more milk and frequent feedings will allow your body to do what it needs to do to keep the rhythm that you create.
You can't breastfeed too much but you can breastfeed too little, so listen to your little one's cues. Also recommended is to contact a board certified lactation consultant ( IBCLC ) to see where you can make changes if necessary. This may be extra important if you decide to supplement because if you are nursing less due to supplementation, you will affect your breast milk supply.
So feed when you need mamas and give that baby all the feedings he/she wants. Your body will do what it needs to do to keep up with breastfeeding on demand.
The first three weeks may feel like the hardest and it's a commitment, but hang in there and you will find that it will get easier. Look into support groups and resource centers in your area for that extra boost of help, and it may save your breastfeeding relationship with you child if it gets to that point.
You are enough and you are doing great!
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