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Expert Advice

5 week old: Is bub getting enough milk?

Your five-week-old may start feeding more frequently. The signs you have enough milk and what else to expect this week...

By Fiona Wright

Milk supply, growing stronger and help from dad

Milk supply
Your five-week-old may start feeding more frequently as they are go through a growth spurt. Your milk supply is designed to provide milk whenever your baby needs it – you don't need to wait for it to build up before feeding again.
Many women worry about their ability to supply enough breastmilk for their baby. Since you can't see how much she's consuming, it is natural to wonder.
The following are good signs your baby is getting the right amount of milk:
• She is attaching correctly to the breast, suckling strongly and swallowing.
• She is feeding eight or more times in a 24-hour period.
• She is producing at least six to eight heavy wet cloth or five disposable nappies in 24 hours.
• Your breasts feel much softer after your baby has fed.
• She settles after most feeds.
• Most feeds are finished within an hour or starting.
• Your baby is gaining weight and developing appropriately for her age.
Your five-week old is growing stronger each week. (Image: Getty Images)
Growing stronger
Your five-week-old is growing noticeably stronger every week. During tummy time, she may now be able to hold her head up in a 45-degree angle or when you're holding bub to your chest she might lift her head to look up at you.
Take it easy, as while their strength is improving each day, your little one still doesn't have the strength to hold her head in that position so continue to support her neck.
This week, try place a rattle or small toy in your baby's hand. If she can hold onto, celebrate this "clutching skill" as a development milestone!
Help from dad
The joy of a new baby goes hand-in-hand with tremendous upheaval in almost every aspect of your life. It's important your partner is on-hand to support you.
Here are some of the ways partners can lighten the load for new mums:
• Let your partner know how much you appreciate her.
• Encourage her to have rests.
• Take over the day-to-day running of the home.
• If it's possible and she wants it, organise extra help for when you're not around.
• Make sure your partner is comfortable and has all she needs at breastfeeding times.
• Limit visitors and the length of their stay in the first weeks.
• Don't ignore your feelings – experts have discovered that men also suffer from postnatal depression, and it happens more often than you might think. If you feel down, talk to your GP, or contact Beyondblue or MensLine Australia.

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