I'm not sure that there would be many of us who never questioned or doubted our supply of breast milk somewhere along our breastfeeding journey. For me it was obvious in the start that I had a great supply, with a forceful let down that would let rip even if I heard what I thought was a baby crying - seriously though - sometimes it was just the cat meowing... But as my supply regulated and boobs were no longer the fabulous looking engorged beasts they had once become, it did cross my mind as to whether I was still producing enough for my little guy.
From the onset I fed on demand, allowed 'comfort feeding' and breast fed him to sleep. It worked, he was happy I was happy and it kept up my supply quite nicely. That didn't last forever of course - he grew out of the forever on the boob, wanting to feed till he he was milk drunk, and had better things to see and do! During the 14 months I breastfed him for, we went through the 'dis-tractable stage', the refusal stage - the one side refusal stage, the I can't sit still so I'm going to cartwheel on your boob stage - growth spurts - developmental leaps and of course back to the steady, happy to feed stages in between!
During all these stages or phases it was important to remain patient, follow bub's lead to avoid frustration - they will eat when hungry! Just be aware this may be in the middle of the night! To maintain supply and keep yourself comfortable be sure to express what your baby would normally feed but isn't during these times. This is particularly important if you have worked hard to build that supply in the first place! Remember - breast milk is produced on the basis of demand. If it doesn't leave your body, your body won't continue to make the unused amount - or have room to refill it!
Low supply is a real factor that affects many mums for different reasons; insufficient glandular tissue, poor latch, tongue/lip tie/high palate, hormonal or endocrine problems, previous breast surgery, using hormonal birth control, taking certain medications or herbs, not feeding around the clock, scheduled feedings and/or using a pacifier (which can sometimes mask babies hunger leading to missed cues), birth medications, jaundice, dehydration, sleep deprivation and stress - just to name a few! Breastfeeding is 90% dedication & 10% milk production!
Below is a link to our PDF download with a few tips that I personally found useful if I was feeling a little 'empty' - these have been tried and found useful by other mums too!. I hope there are a few wee gems in there for you.
If you want to find some more support and other mums to bounce ideas, advice, laughs and questions around with - come join us in Milkbar Mum Chat on Facebook, together, we've got this!
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