The top 5 pitfalls of breastfeeding and how to avoid them
Pitfall 4: Trying To Force A Schedule
As convenient as it would be to plan out a day's worth of feedings, a newborn doesn't wear a watch. She doesn't care if it's been 15 minutes or four hours since her last meal; when her tiny tummy begins to rumble, she wants to eat. And you need to let her--if you don't, you put her at risk for poor weight gain, and you risk seeing your own milk production decline.
All babies are different. Some are long, luxurious nursers who can go for hours between meals; others suck fast and furiously and want a snack every 45 minutes. Just because yours wants to nurse virtually around the clock doesn't mean that she's starving. Still, if you're concerned that your baby's not getting enough milk, check her output.
"You can judge how well your baby is eating by counting diapers," Haldeman says. With a newborn, you want to see at least three yellow, seedy stools and six to eight wet diapers in 24 hours. Initial weight loss is to be expected, but your baby should have returned to her birth weight within two weeks post-delivery. After that, she should gain between 1/2 and 1 ounce a day until about 4 months of age. If not, or if you suspect that she's not getting enough milk, see your pediatrician.