Breastfeeding can be a challenging sport at any given point, escpecially for new Mama’s.
I remember talking to my other Mama friends and they had 60,70, and even 130 ounces of breastmilk stored in the freezer by 3 months post baby.
I started PANICKING because I only had TWO bottles of breastmilk in the fridge and NONE frozen!
“Oh my gosh, what if my little girl isn’t getting enough?!”
“I should have that much in my freezer, right?!”
“Why am I not producing enough milk?!”
And of course, the worst thought by every Mama, “What am I doing WRONG?!”
First, don’t ever think that Mama!!
Second, if you’re experiencing a low milk supply, don’t panic just yet!
There are MANY possible reasons for low milk supply and there are multiple ways to prevent a low milk supply or correct the situation.
(This post probably containers affiliate links, so if you want to read our boring full disclaimer policy, you can read all of it HERE.)
So, let’s start with figuring out if YOUR BREASTS ARE PROVIDING ENOUGH MILK?
There are plenty ways to figure out if your body is producing enough milk for your baby, many of them by examining your little one.
One big indication is the look of satisfaction on your babies face when he or she is done breastfeeding, also known as “milk drunk”! You’re baby should become relaxed, opening up their hands and their body almost going limp becoming at ease.
Next on the list, is that your little one should be gaining weight. Babies normally lose a few ounces right after birth, although they should be regaining the weight plus a little more, a week or two down the line.
Also, keep tabs on how often your baby is urinating, making sure the urine is light yellow or clear. Newborns should be peeing 8 to 10 times a day!
Now, for your portion of it all, your breasts should FEEL full. They should feel heavy.
This personally only happened for the first few months after having my little one.
After month 3 or 4, the size of my breasts nearly went back to normal (and I basically look like a 14 year old boy if that gives you ANY indication how little mine were!).
Nonetheless, my little girl is STILL nursing at 16 months.
REASONS FOR LOW MILK SUPPLY
Lack of Nutrition
As a Mama, we tend to put ourselves after others, especially our children. Make sure you are eating enough, usually 200-300 EXTRA calories per day, than your normal diet to suffice for the extra that you are giving out.
Oh yeah, enjoy that PB & J Mama!
Here are some of the Best Foods to eat to help increase lactation!
Newborns can have a difficult time latching at the beginning.
Reasons your baby may not have a sufficient suckle:
- Poor tongue function
- Baby is small or small jaw
- Unusual Nipples
- Nipple Piercings
So, if your baby is having a hard time latching on for any given reason, your body may not be getting the signals needed to produce milk.
This one can be hard if you are a working Mama, because newborns normally need to feed between 8 and 12 times a day.
The more frequent the feedings, the more the body is stimulated to produce milk.
Make sure to feed off of both breasts during every feeding to keep stimulated.
Very similar to the point above, the more stimulated your breasts are, the more signals sent to your body to produce milk.
Have a pumping schedule set up to pump every couple of hours. Be sure to pump frequently if you work long hours, if your baby sleeps for long hours (good for you Mama!), or if you are away from your baby for an extended amount of time.
Also, try to pump for 10-20 minutes after your baby is done feeding as well, to help signal your body to produce for a longer amount of time.
If you are not able to reach a pump, hand expressing your milk may be what is needed to keep the stimulation.
Remember, if breastmilk is not expressed, milk production will shut down.
Stress plays such a role on our bodies, many of times being more than we even realize.
It can be stressful as a new Mama! Adjusting to the new schedule, limited sleep, thinking we have to do it all!
Take a moment to yourself and relax, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
Here are some Things Every Stressed Mama Should Do!
Medications & Birth Control
If you are on an estrogen-based medicine or birth control, ask your doctor if this could be one of the possible reasons for low milk supply.
Some medications and birth controls can have been linked to direct affect on milk supply. Estrogen-based contraceptives including the pill, implants and intrauterine devices may limit milk supply.
Always consult your physician before starting or ending a medication or birth control/contraceptive.
There may be more than I list here, so please make sure to consult your physician on any illneses you may have before you go further with self-diagnosing!
Some health conditions such as thyroid problems, anemia, diabetes, or problems with a prior breast augmentation have been linked to limiting milk supply.
Also known as Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT). IGT or hypoplastic breasts is basically a lack of glandular tissue which the breasts will only produce a small amount of milk or unfortunately, no milk at all.
Hypoplastic breasts do not grow or change normally through a pregnancy preparing for the baby, nor do they change when the milk supply is suppose to come in after the birth of the baby.
Normal milk supply comes in within 3 days of the babies birth, although if your breasts show no fullness and are still soft, contact a lactation consultant as soon as possible.
The lactation consultant can assess your condition, the latching of the baby and help you with tips to increasing milk production.
There are many different reasons for low milk supply. Although, that does not mean it will be forever and there may be something very simple that you can you can take action by changing a few routines, incorporating healthy diets, talking to consultants, and relieving stress.
Remember mama, whether you breastfeed for 2 months, 12 months or decide to go with formula, as long as your baby is happy and healthy, that is all that matters!!
You Got This Mama!
15 Things A Stressed Mama Needs To Do For Herself