After your baby is born, your breasts will normally feels fuller and firmer. This feeling is called primary engorgement, which happens due to the sudden rise in prolactin level, a hormone responsible in regulating the secretion of milk in the breast after childbirth.
The congestion subsides in one or two days, and once the newborn starts suckling, your body’s hormones continue to signal for more milk secretion.
This will last until the body learns to regulate milk production in the breast which will be enough for each feeding. During this period, the thought of producing inadequate milk supply for the newborn is a common concern among mothers.
To assess if a baby is getting enough milk, a criteria is provided below.
- During the first week of life, wetting six to eight diapers within 24 hours or excreting not more than ten percent of the infant’s birth weight is an acceptable criterion.
- After the first week of life, weight gain and voiding six to eight times in a day is considered normal.
- For formula-fed infants, an alternative criterion may be used. That is, if the baby looks happy or satisfied, voids adequately in a normal frequency and is gaining weight, then he/she is getting the needed amount of food.
If the above criteria are not met, this may indicate a suppression of milk production in the breast. This may be due to following reasons.