Feeling sure that the baby is well fed is the greatest concern of all moms, especially in the first weeks with the little one at home and when they are exclusively breastfed. In addition, other collateral concerns arise, such as knowing if there is a recommended time to leave the baby on each breast, if it has already taken all the milk from one breast and it is time to place it on the other, among others. In this post we want to address all of them and, especially, the big question: How to know if the child has emptied the breast.
To begin with, we must be clear that the breast is not a storehouse of milk. The milk in it is produced as the baby sticks to it, so at first glance we cannot know if the breast has already emptied, since we are not facing something transparent and with measure, such as the bottle, to see how much the baby has taken.
There is also no set time when a chest empties. Remember that each process is different, both in milk production and consumption, in addition to the fact that a hungry baby will devour his milk faster, while others take their food more calmly, especially the smallest ones, so, a first advice , is not to despair.
At the beginning of the feeding, the milk is more liquid, contains more water and lactose, and in the end it is thicker, greasy and nutritious, so it is not convenient to be in a hurry and less to remove the breast from the baby to move on to the other quickly . In this case, on the one hand, we could be limiting his caloric intake and, second, the baby would be satiated at the moment, but in a short time he will ask you to breastfeed him again because he only drank the thinnest milk, so always the chest must be on demand, without clock or schedules.
It is also important to know that even with a full feed, the chest is not completely empty, Since it is in constant production, some drops will always come out and it does not mean that your baby did not feed properly. It is also not true that a large breast takes longer to empty than a small breast, the difference in size lies in the amount of fat that makes it up, not in its milk-producing glands.
The most important gauge is the baby's attitude. He will spontaneously release the breast when feeling satisfied or feeling that when he sucks, no milk comes out; If you have been sucking on one breast for a while and begin to feel uncomfortable or to protest hunger, surely your demand is not being satisfied and it is time to switch to the other breast.
Little by little and with love and patience, you will recognize these behaviors of your baby. In parallel, you will also observe that your chest is more flaccid than at the beginning of the feeding, when it was denser, especially in the first months. But do not worry, the fact that you feel sagging does not mean that you have run out of milk, the milk will always be there to meet the demands of your baby.
An important fact is that offer both breasts in each take (as far as possible), always starting with the last one that your baby took in the previous feeding, since that could have been a little fuller and it is convenient to unload it. In this way, risks of obstructions or mastitis that can generate discomfort later in the breastfeeding process will be avoided.
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