This is a sequence of four babies, running down the scale from
Really Good Drinker 1/4
Quite Good Drinker 2/4
On and Off drinker 3/4
Nibbling, Not Drinking 4/4
How Much Milk Baby Is Getting is a fraught question for many mothers. Especially when well meaning family members, used to pouring vast amounts of formula down their own baby's throats say... "but how much milk is she getting?" Many a new mother has panicked at that question, and reached for the bottle.
If you are stressed and wondering, take a moment to run through the 4 babies here, and examine their breastfeeding technique.
Do note that this is not a latch issue! All these babies are latched well - but their skill levels on breastfeeding are different.
Baby 1 is an excellent breastfeeder. Look at the jaw and cheek muscles go! Huge amounts of milk are being extracted from this mother's breasts. Excellent muscle tone is being built by those jaw muscles, and the mouth is being filled with milk fast and furious. This baby will not need to feed for more than a few minutes, before falling off in a Milk Induced Coma! There is an excellent match here between the baby's internal mouth shape, and the mother's breast, and a lot of milk is being extracted quickly.
In the second clip, a good swallowing motion (active jaw and muscles) is clearly shown by the baby, and nice pauses where milk is flowing into the mouth. This baby is getting a great deal of milk from the mother. It's not quite the express pump of baby 1, but baby 2 is clearly getting a lot of milk!
Baby 3 is a bit off and on. Some good drinking, but with a rest and relax in between bouts of drinking. This baby will take longer to get full up than either baby 1 or baby 2.
Baby 4 is not getting that much milk, as he's only nibbling on the breast. There is some transfer at the end, when you see the jaw move and then the 'pause' as the mouth fills up with milk. Baby 4 may spend a long time at the breast to fill up. There may also be fussing and arching of the back, as baby gets fed up with not much milk.
It's important for any new mother to recognise that babies do the breastfeeding - hence all these different levels of skills, and that babies get better the more they practise. Jaw muscles build up, mouth shape adapts and grows, and baby gets better at it. So don't panic if your baby is more Baby 4 than Baby 1!