What to do when your period slows your milk supply
Many women believe that they won’t have their period while they are breastfeeding, but this belief is often not true. While some women may not experience the start of their normal period until months after their child is weaned, other women may begin their period within a few weeks or months after giving birth, while other women may spot off and on while breastfeeding or have irregular periods. Whether or not you get your period while you are breastfeeding is going to depend on many things and it is possible that with each pregnancy your period may start at a different time.
How Your Period Affects Your Breast Milk
Some women worry that having their period while breastfeeding will somehow make their breast milk unhealthy for their baby to drink. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your breast milk is still perfectly healthy for your child and there is no reason why you can’t continue breastfeeding during your period, although your breasts may feel a little tender.
However, your period may have some minor effects on your breast milk. In some cases, your breast milk may taste a little different to your infant during your period so they may become fussy or not drink as much as normal. In other cases, the supply of your breast milk may diminish slightly due to hormonal changes in your body. As long as your baby is continuing to eat enough and gain weight there is nothing to worry about. However, if you are worried that your infant is not getting enough to eat either because they refuse to feed due to the taste of your milk or because you have less milk, then consult a medical professional.
Things You Can do to Keep Your Supply of Milk Abundant During Your Period
If your breast milk supply does slow or dwindle there are some natural things you can do to help stimulate your body into making more milk. Here are some things you can try to help increase production during this time.
- Increase Feedings- One of the first things you could try is increasing the number of times you breastfeed a day and the length of time you spend breastfeeding each session. If your breast milk supply has decreased, your baby will probably welcome an extra feeding or two. In the alternative, your infant may also want to feed longer at each feeding to feel full. By increasing your feedings to meet your baby’s hunger, you will be also encouraging your body to produce more milk.
- Stimulate Your Breast Between Feedings- Stimulating your breasts between feedings by either using a breast pump or by hand stimulation can also help increase your production of breast milk. Power Pumping helps too.
- Herbal Breastfeeding Tea- You can also drink some herbal breastfeeding tea to help gently increase your breast milk production.
- Lactation Snacks such as Lactation Cookies or Muffins –help gently increase your breast milk production.
While starting a period while your breastfeeding your infant may involve tender breasts and a small amount of discomfort, it is a natural occurrence and for most women won’t interfere with the enjoyment of feeding their baby from their own body.