Breastfeeding your baby is such a rewarding thing to do for your baby. Just watching your little one suckle at the breast and gain weight like it’s going out of fashion is just incredible. For some mums it can be hard to maintain your milk supply for various reasons. A lot of mums tend to give up breastfeeding due to not making enough milk which is such a shame.
Our bodies are naturally programmed to supply enough milk for our babies through the supply and demand process. The more a baby feeds the more milk you produce, for some it can be that easy.
However for some mums there may be various factors that can hinder your milk supply due to no fault of your own. So what are the reasons?
Your hormone levels are so vitally important in maintaining your milk supply, so when your supply diminishes it should be a sign that something isn’t quite right. There are a few things that might be happening, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Hyperandrogenism (excess male hormones), and low thyroid hormone. So it’s worth getting your blood work done to check that everything is ok.
Breastfeeding can be exhausting and overwhelming. This can lead to someone else feeding baby whilst you have a much needed sleep. The problem comes when you don’t express your breast and can leave your body thinking that it doesn’t need to produce as much. So be careful to not skip feeds, and if you do just jump on the pump and stimulate your supply.
If your baby isn’t latched effectively at the breast it can effect the milk transfer when breastfeeding. If you are not sure then make an appointment with a lactation consultant so they can check your latch. Sometimes it is just a small change that you need to make to correct your latch and you will notice a difference in your supply quite quickly.
The dreaded tongue/lip tie can lead to problems maintaining your milk supply. Babies with tongue/lip ties find it difficult and sometimes impossible to maintain a good latch, thus not stimulating your milk supply enough to maintain a good milk supply. If you are unsure whether your baby has a tongue/lip tie then see a specialist as it can be a quick fix to get treatment.
Life can be so busy with a newborn that sometimes you may skip meals and not drink enough water. The trouble is your body is working so hard to keep up that you will notice how hard it is to maintain your milk supply. So make time and get organised the day before to make sure your eating and drinking enough.
Maintaining your milk supply can be a struggle but with testing and examinations you can change the situation very quickly. Don’t feel like you have to give up breastfeeding due to a lack of supply, investigate why this is happening. There is so much help available these days so make sure that you get help.
Adequate sleep is important in maintaining your milk supply. Try to rest when your baby sleeps. It's ok to switch your phone off and take an afternoon nap, whilst your baby sleeps.
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