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  • Writer's pictureKirstie Broughton

How can I tell if breastfeeding is going well?

It can be a tough journey, especially at the start, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are some signs and tips to look for to see if breastfeeding is going well or if you could do with some support. A really high number of people struggle at first but please don’t give up hope. There’s lots of support out there, once you’ve got over any initial set backs, you should be able to sit back and enjoy the amazing experience of breastfeeding your baby. This is one of the best choices you can make for them at such a young age and how ever long your breastfeeding journey lasts, you should be proud of yourself! Quite often with a little time and support people start to breastfeed with ease and the chances are you could be one of these people!

It’s going well if:

Your baby comes to the breast regularly, between 8-12 times in 24 hours is about average

Your baby drinks actively at the breast with some pauses and comes off the breast sleepy or sated, the “milk drunk” look

Your baby has normal skin colour

Your baby is generally content whilst feeding

At 5 days old your baby has at least 5-6 heavy wet nappies and 2 or more stools in 24 hours that are, or are turning, korma yellow

Breastfeeding is comfortable. Your posture is sustainable and your breasts and nipples don’t hurt for more than a few seconds when your baby first latches on

When your baby is 3-4 days old and beyond, you should be able to hear your baby swallow frequently during the feed

Your baby is growing, needing the next size up in clothes and is more or less following a curve in the red book

Your newborn wakes regularly to feed

Get professional help if:

Your baby is sleepy and has had less than 6 feeds in 24 hours

Your baby consistently feeds for longer than 60 minutes at each feed

You are finding it difficult to latch your baby on

Your baby falls asleep on the breast and/or never finishes the feed himself

Your baby appears jaundiced (yellow colour to skin)

Your baby comes on and off the breast frequently during the feed or refuses to breastfeed

Your baby is not having the wet and dirty nappies expected

You have pain in your breasts or nipples which doesn’t disappear after the baby’s first sucks (10-15 seconds at the beginning of a feed). Your nipple comes out of the babies mouth looking pinched or flattened on one side.

You have pain in your breasts or nipples in between feeds

You cannot tell if your baby is swallowing any milk when your baby is 3-4 days old

You think your baby needs a dummy

You feel you need to give your baby top ups with artificial milk

I hope this has helped and if not I’d love to hear from you. In fact when it’s up and running again please feel free to pop along to my local breastfeeding support group, to chat about all things baby and feeding related.

It’s a free support service and you’re welcome to nip in for 10 minutes or stay for the whole session. We’re a very non-judgemental bunch, there’s no silly questions, you can share, chat with breastfeeding peer supporters and other mums in a similar position and receive the support you need. If you’re lucky we might throw in a cup of tea and a biscuit!

I support at the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, details below…

Tuesdays 10am – 12pm (I’m personally there every other Tuesday but other supporters will be there on the opposite weeks)

Chelmsford Central Family Hub Chelmsford Library Market Road Chelmsford Essex CM1 1QH

Their phone number is 0300 247 0014 or please do get in touch with me if you’d like to know more about my support.

Currently closed due to Covid-19 but there is a virtual group until we are up and running again, please contact me for details.




Happy breastfeeding xxx

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