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How Much Milk Does a Newborn Get From Nursing?

by Candice Coleman

Nursing your little one can be a bonding experience for new mothers and babies, but it can also lead to stress and concern. Mothers may worry about milk supply and if a newborn is getting enough to eat from nursing. Your newborn will usually drink more during nursing as the months pass.

Influences on Milk

The amount of milk a newborn gets from nursing can vary according to a mother's supply, according to Dr. William Sears. Mothers who nurse frequently, pump between feedings, use both breasts to nurse and nurse exclusively usually have a greater supply of milk. Practicing these behaviors over a period of weeks or months can increase a mother's milk supply. Reducing how often you nurse or switching to formula will cause a drop in breast milk supply.

Newborn Needs

During your newborn's first month, she may drink between 21 and 24 ounces of breast milk a day, according to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Those ounces may be spread across 8 to 12 nursing sessions a day, according to KidsHealth.org. Your newborn may also have a growth spurt one to two weeks after birth, and she may nurse more frequently during that time.

Healthy Nursing Signs

If you are concerned about the amount of milk your baby gets from nursing, his behavior and diapers could be indicators, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Well-fed babies should wet about six diapers and soil at least three diapers a day. Weight gains after the first week and a baby who appears sated after nursing are also signs that your little one is getting enough to eat. If he turns away from the breast during nursing or falls asleep, it is also likely your little one has had enough, according to KidsHealth.org.

Additional Information

If you are concerned about your supply, you can talk to your baby's pediatrician or ask for a referral to a professional lactation consultant, according to Dr. William Sears. These workers can give you tips on how to improve your milk supply. A doctor can also examine you and your baby for any other problems that could affect your milk production or a baby's ability to latch-on during nursing.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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