There are many factors that influence how many ounces a baby takes at the breast in a single; baby’s age and weight, how often they’re feeding, when the baby last fed and time of day, and the breast storage capacity of the mom. Many lactation consultants will do a pre and post feeding weight to see how much milk baby transfers at the breast in one feeding. This number is a snap shot in time that is a piece of the puzzle of how baby is feeding.
Feeding is a cumulative action. Some babies are snackers. They take smaller, more frequent feedings and may feed often over night. Some babies are bingers. They take larger, less frequent feedings and may sleep in longer stretches. And most fall some where in the middle. This is feeding. Sometimes baby wants a snack. Some times they want a drink. Some times they want a boob buffet. They move through waves of feeding like hummingbirds to feeding like baby sharks.
One single weighted feeding is just that. A single feeding. It’s helpful information that once we gather lots of data points can help us determine if what your baby is doing at the breast is normal for your baby or if it is something we should support. How your baby eats will be individual to your baby.
In general, if you have a pain free latch where your nipple goes in and out of baby’s mouth the same shape, where you hear baby swallowing, baby is making lots of wet and routine poops and gaining weight across time, keep going. If you’re concerned about how your baby is feeding, working with an IBCLC lactation consultant can be very reassuring.