Why Weigh and Feed?

The most common task done during a lactation consult is weighing the baby. Often the baby is weighed before and after feeding. This practice is called many things: pre and post feed weights, PC/AC weights ( pre-consumption, after consumption), or weighted feeding. The purpose of this weighing is to determine how much milk the baby is transferring for that feed.

Human milk has roughly the same weight per volume as water: 1 gram per milliliter. We use this 1:1 ratio to get a pretty good idea of how well the baby is drinking at the breast. A baby who gains about 2oz after a feed too in about 2oz of milk from the breast.

The sensitivity of the scale used if a factor in determining the accuracy of the weighted feed. In this episode, Danielle meets up with Katherine Morrison IBCLC, CLC of Atlanta Lactation and Christie Coursey IBCLC of Breastfeed Atlanta to discuss scales, weighs, and how to decide on volumes to supplement based on weighted feeds.

Key takeaways from the video:

  • every baby should be fed to satiety at every feed
  • scales can give good data that needs to be examined along side data like diaper count and growth patterns
  • stool frequency and volume are important indicators of intake when scales are not available

Enjoy the video! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and comment to let us know what videos you’d like to see!

 

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Top Tips for Top Milk Supply

By far, the most common concern about breastfeeding is adequate milk supply. Here are the top evidence based recommendations for ensuring your short term and long term production.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1. Bring your baby to the breast as soon as possible after birth. Babies are born alert and ready to feed. Babies nursed in the first 2 hours after birth are more likely to be exclusively breastfed.

2. Feed often and on cue. Crying is a late sign of hunger. In the first weeks, babies nurse all the time. This establishes long term milk supply and helps the stomach grow. Expect your baby to nurse at least 12 times in 24 hours, often more. All health organizations recommend “on demand” infant feeding. No health organizations recommend scheduled feeds.

3. Hold your baby. Skin to skin contact is proven to facilitate better breastfeeding. You can’t “spoil” a baby. Holding your baby has other health benefits for non-breastfeeding families as well. Babies in close contact with an adult care provider are better able to regulate breathing, metabolism, heart rate, and temperature.

4. Sleep near your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies room-in with an adult care giver for the first 6 months of life as a protective measure against SIDS. Room sharing also facilitates easier night feeding. It’s normal for babies to nurse at night well beyond 6 months of age.

5. Do not introduce formula, water, juice, or other solids unless medically indicated before 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding provides everything a full term healthy baby needs. Giving a formula supplement “just in case” can cause milk supply to drop. Combination feeding of breast and formula leads to decreased milk supply as well.

6. Ignore the clock. Allow your baby to nurse as long as he or she wants. Some babies will finish a feed in 7-10 minutes while others may take 40 or more. Just like adults sometimes want a full meal and other times just a snack, babies feel the same way. Put your baby to the breast and nurse until the baby comes off naturally. Offer the other breast. Your baby may or may not want both breasts per feed. Always follow the baby’s cue.

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