Preventing underfeeding of newborn babies

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.  

A) Preventing underfeeding of a breastfed newborn

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 weightIf you see signs that your baby is not getting enough milk, please consult your health-care providers right away and consider treatment

B) Prevent underfeeding by not stressing the baby

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.
  • Delay:
    • The first bath for 24 hours and until the baby is feeding well.
    • Injections and eye drops until the baby has breastfed well.

C) Support the baby’s breastfeeding efforts

To help the baby breastfeed:

D) Ensure that the breasts are working normally

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.

E) Ensure that the baby is not sick

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