It makes sense that you might get overly preoccupied with numbers when you’re waiting for your baby to arrive. All through your pregnancy, everything has been on a schedule, and there has been a defined set of rules to follow based on what the numbers look like.
But what I’ve seen in my practice is that this fixation on numbers can actually be detrimental in the early postpartum period.
An obsession with numbers can be particularly harmful if you’re breastfeeding. We unfortunately don’t have a way to measure exactly how much milk you’re giving your baby from your breast at each feed, and that can be really annoying for some parents! It starts to seem a lot easier to use formula or a pumped bottle of breastmilk because you can tell exactly how much the baby is getting.
Some people like to judge how much milk they’re giving the baby based on how much they can pump in a certain amount of time, but the baby gets a different amount when they suck vs when you pump! So pumping isn’t an accurate way to measure how much milk you’re producing.
It’s much more difficult, but very important, to learn to trust your own body and baby. Check to make sure that your baby peeing and pooping an appropriate amount based on your doctor’s recommendation. If they’re peeing and pooping – your baby is getting fed. It’s completely normal for the baby to eat, have a full belly, and still want more food 30 minutes later!
I totally understand the desire to just *know* what is going in to your baby. But remember that babies have been fed for thousands of years without this information! It can be hard to trust ourselves during this rapidly changing, crazy time that is the early postpartum period, but if you do, you’ll find that you (and baby) feel much better.
If you are interested in more support in staying sane while breastfeeding, consider reaching out for postpartum doula support. I’m available via text and phone to help you troubleshoot breastfeeding issues, answer questions, listen, and be an expert resource to help you feel confident and at ease. Reach out for more details.