Can I use before-feed and after-feed weights to see how much milk my premature baby takes from the breast?
Premature babies often breastfeed ineffectively and don’t show hunger signs. Before-feed and after-feed weights can be useful for these babies. They can show whether the baby is learning to breastfeed or whether the baby takes in more milk with a nipple shield. They allow mothers to see what breastfeeding behaviours result in higher milk intake. Premature babies usually take in small amounts, so it is important to pay attention to details when weighing. The baby should be calm and ideally not wrapped in a blanket. Nothing should hang over the edge of the scale and no clothing or diapers should be added or removed between weighings. If a baby is very poor at breastfeeding or is breastfeeding effectively and growing well without milk supplements, there is no point using before-feed and after-feed weights.