One of the biggest concerns of every new mother is keeping her baby well fed. When a baby is bottle fed, the mother has a visible indicator of exactly how many ounces the infant has consumed. However, a breastfeeding mother has no such tool. But, this is no cause for concern because there are excellent clues provided by the baby itself that can reassure the mother her baby is receiving ample nutrition. The first indicator is in the diaper, literally. A well fed breast baby will require frequent diaper changes and will produce regular bowel movements, which by the way, don't have the offensive odor that occurs with formula feeding. Every couple of hours the diaper should become wet and heavy, and bowel movements can vary, but will generally occur at least a couple of times a day. Additionally, the baby will have soft, supple skin, with a pleasant tone and will exhibit growth at a surprising rate. Newborns often grow out of their clothing so fast that they may only get to wear an outfit once or twice before it no longer fits.
Babies exhibit a distinct behavior when they are hungry. In addition to crying, they'll nuzzle against their mother's breast and begin rooting for their nourishment. Breast babies will often place one or both of their hands on their mother's breast and knead gently while they are feeding. They watch their mother's face intently and the distance is perfect for gazing into each other's eyes. This is a special time for bonding and establishing a sense of trust.
Breastfed babies, like their bottle-fed counterparts, know when their tummy is full and will refuse to nurse any longer once they're satisfied. In fact, this is one of the beautiful aspects of breastfeeding. With bottle feeding, babies are sometimes encouraged to finish their entire bottle, even after they don't want anymore. Many doctors discourage this practice since it can be a precursor to obesity later in life. Since there is no way to measure how much breast milk the baby has drank, the baby itself is the only gauge of it's own appetite, which is far more healthy than forced feedings. New mothers learn how to assess the needs of their baby and can usually discern whether the baby is pulling away because it needs to burp, or if the baby is really full. Breast-fed babies are very good at letting their mother know when they need to burp. The baby will generally begin to squirm slightly, pause from suckling, and perhaps let go and pant a little as the gas from nursing rises in their stomach. At this point, the mother can gently sit the baby upright; cup the baby's chin in her hand and while supporting the back, gently stroke or pat the back and the baby will burp. If the baby is still hungry at this point the mother can continue nursing. Rest assured, your baby will not willingly go hungry, so the best thing for any mom is to relax and enjoy this special fleeting time with her infant.
About the author: Melijojo is a new writer for bedding-n-pillows.com. She specializes in baby bedding articles.