When you become a mother, you might be concerned if the milk you are producing is enough for your baby. Most times, your newborn is feeding adequately, but there may be certain conditions when the milk supply must be managed.
Your baby may not have latched on correctly. This will interfere with the milk supply. Nipple confusion can also affect the baby’s ability to suck properly.
Hormonal conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), untreated hypothyroidism, if you have undergone breast reduction surgery, sore nipples, etc can all cause breastfeeding problems.
You may be trying to control a slow weight gain or health issue.
Sometimes there may be irregular or unbalanced milk production between breasts.
If you have introduced formula early on, then this too can interfere with normal milk production.
If you have been using breast pumps for a long time, then you may need to increase supply regularly in order to maintain breastfeeding. Sometimes using breastfeeding accessories like breast shields can hold up stimulation of your breasts.
Increasing Milk Supply
You can increase your milk supply easily, but remember, if your supply is in fact, perfectly all right, then attempts to increase it can result in feeding difficulties for your baby.
Offer your breast frequently: Breastfeed not just whenever the baby needs to but also whenever he wants to. Give your nursing schedule the boot – feed upon waking and feed the baby to sleep. Wait until the baby detaches to change sides. The more milk is removed from your breasts, the more your breasts will produce. And remember to drink loads of water.
Pumping: Pumping is found to have produced the best results. Use a quality electric double pump and pump after breastfeeding to empty the breast. Continue to pump for around 15 more minutes. This is how you tell your body that it needs to supply more milk. You are bound to notice a significant increase in about a week’s time.
Supplements: You can take supplements like galactagogues that are known to increase milk supply. Some herbal preparations like fenugreek capsules or fennel seeds are also thought to help the process. But the success of these varies from mother to mother. You can consult your doctor for prescription medications.
Consult a lactation expert: Get the help of a lactation consultant to correct any health issues and allow for successful breastfeeding.
No one can help a breastfeeding problem like your child can. Spend plenty of time just cuddling your little one. A smile from your baby can help you recover from the emotional strain of a milk supply problem.