SafeMotherhood
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FEEDING YOUR BABY

Weight gain/growth

Although weight loss is normal and expected for the first three or four days after birth, your baby's weight will return in the next two weeks. Thereafter most babies will gain in a regularly upward path, at varying rates.

You might be particularly concerned about your baby's weight if you're breastfeeding and aren't confident in your milk supply, or if health professionals are slow to reassure you.

One mother who breastfed felt reassured by the weighing of her baby: "The thing about breastfeeding is that I could never see how much was actually going in. Bottle-feeding mothers would swan around saying: 'He's had a whole six ounces this feed and he still wanted more,' and I'd never know. All I could say was: 'Well, he's fed for 30 minutes, but I think half that time he was actually asleep.' So we liked the security of him being weighed and it was such a thrill to see him clock up a steady half-a-pound a week at the clinic. I felt like I was right to carry on breastfeeding."

Weight gain shows that your baby is well and getting enough nourishment, but a baby can fail to gain weight one week and be fine too. This symptom needs to be seen alongside other factors such as frequency of feeds and feeding ability.

Ways to build up your milk supply

• Put your feet up in the afternoon.
• Accept offers of help with housework.
• Include extra 'not asked for' feeding sessions.
• Eat as much as you need in order to satisfy your hunger.
• Drink to quench your thirst. However, drinking more than you want can actually decrease your milk supply.
• Get help from your breastfeeding counsellor. (NCT Breastfeeding line: 0870 4448708)

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