How do I prevent my breastfeeding newborn from becoming underfed?
There are numerous ways to prevent a newborn from becoming underfed. After delivery, mothers should try to minimize the stress on the baby by keeping the baby skin-to-skin and breastfeeding during the first hour as soon as the baby is ready. Mothers can support the baby’s breastfeeding efforts by breastfeeding whenever they see hunger signs and waking the baby every three hours if the baby is feeding fewer than 7 times in 24 hours. Mothers should make sure they are not at risk of a low milk supply or the milk coming in late. They should watch the baby for signs of low milk intake. If the baby has lost too much weight or consistently shows signs of not getting enough milk, a health-care provider should thoroughly check the baby’s health and feeding.
There are a number of approaches to preventing the underfeeding of a newborn. This is especially important if the baby is at risk of being underfed.
All babies should be monitored to make sure they are getting enough milk and have not lost too much weight. If you see signs that your baby is not getting enough milk, please consult your health-care providers right away and consider treatment.
To minimize the baby’s stress:
- Keep the baby skin-to-skin.
- Breastfeed as soon as the baby is ready during the first hour after delivery.
- The first bath for 24 hours and until the baby is feeding well.
- Injections and eye drops until the baby has breastfed well.
To help the baby breastfeed:
- Breastfeed whenever you see hunger signs.
- Wake the baby to feed every 3 hours if the baby is feeding fewer than 7 times in 24 hours.
- The baby can have one 5-hour sleep every 24 hours but wake the baby if the sleep is longer than this.
- Ensure that the baby is:
- Do not use pacifiers.
- Avoid swaddling, as this can make the baby sleepier.
Not every mother will have a full milk supply. It may not develop or the mother’s milk may come in late. Mothers should make sure they are not at risk of this.
Newborn babies who have lost too much weight or consistently show signs of not getting enough milk need a health-care provider to thoroughly check their feeding patterns and make sure the baby is not sick.