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Am I a low supply mummy?

low milk supply

Am I a low supply mummy?

Are you concerned about your milk supply? It’s a common question that many new mothers grapple with. Often, there’s a worry that you’re not producing enough milk for your baby. This concern is one of the primary reasons some mothers consider stopping breastfeeding. However, there’s reassuring news: Almost all women have the capacity to produce ample milk for their baby.

Before you worry further, let’s debunk some myths and provide you with clear indicators to help you understand whether your milk supply is sufficient.

As a new mother, it’s natural to wonder if you are producing enough milk for your baby. There are several common indicators that mothers often worry about, but it’s important to know that these aren’t always reliable signs of low milk supply. Let’s address these myths and focus on what truly matters.

Common Myths About Milk Supply:

  1. Baby Taking a Full Bottle After Nursing: Babies may take more from a bottle due to its ease of feeding, not necessarily because they’re still hungry.
  2. Not Leaking Milk or Missing the Letdown Feeling: Many women don’t experience leaking or a strong letdown sensation and still produce enough milk.
  3. Feeling of Fullness or Emptiness in Breasts: This is often related to your body’s adaptation to breastfeeding and doesn’t accurately reflect your milk production.
  4. Frequency/Length of Feedings: Babies feed at different rates and intervals; this can vary widely and is not a reliable indicator of milk supply.
  5. Amount of Milk Pumped: Pump output is not always an accurate measure of how much milk you are producing.

Accurate Indicators of Adequate Milk Supply:

  1. Regular Bowel Movements: If your baby is pooping regularly. (3-6 poopy diaper), it’s a good sign they’re digesting enough milk.
  2. Consistent Urination: Multiple wet diapers a day (around 6 or more) indicate adequate hydration from milk.
  3. Contentment and Sleep Patterns: A baby who is feeding well usually appears satisfied, sleeps well, and is generally not fussy.
  4. Steady Weight Gain: Regular weight checks with your pediatrician can reassure you that your baby is growing as expected.

1. Baby’s Bowel Movements:

  • Newborn Stage: Expect at least 3-6 daily diapers with large, seedy, mustard-colored poops in 24 hours. This is a good sign your baby is getting enough milk.
  • After 2-3 Months: The frequency may decrease to one poop a day or even one every other day. This is still normal and indicates adequate milk intake.

2. Baby’s Urination:

  • Wet Diapers: Look for 6-8  diapers per day (good indication is when the indicator on the diaper changes from yellow to blue). For a sense of what to expect, a wet diaper should feel like it has about three tablespoons of water in it.
  • Color: Urine should be light yellow in color, which is a good hydration indicator.

3. Baby’s Behavior Post-Feeding:

  • Contentment: A content and ready-to-nap baby post-feeding is a good sign. It’s similar to how you feel after a satisfying meal.
  • Crying and Fussing: If your baby frequently cries or fusses after nursing, it could indicate hunger or a lower milk supply. However, remember that fussing can also be due to other reasons like colic,tummy ache, baby not feeling well etc.
  • General Activity: An active, alert, and generally healthy baby usually means everything is fine.

4. Baby’s Weight Gain:

  • Steady Increase: A consistent weight gain of around 120g to 200g per week is a clear indicator of good milk supply and adequate feeding.

What causes low supply?

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Breastfeeding is a dynamic relationship between a mother and her baby, largely governed by the principles of supply and demand. However, sometimes this delicate balance can be disrupted, leading to issues with milk supply. Understanding the potential causes of these disruptions can help you identify and address any supply concerns you might be facing.

Factors That Can Affect Milk Supply:

  1. Supplementing with Formula or Other Liquids: Breastfeeding works on a supply-and-demand basis. Supplementing with formula, juice, or water can reduce the demand signal to your body, leading to decreased milk production.
  2. Bottle Preference: Babies may find it easier to get milk from a bottle due to the different sucking mechanism required. This can lead to a preference for the bottle over the breast, affecting the baby’s ability to nurse effectively and impacting milk supply. Try pace bottle feeding to reduce the risk of bottle preference.
  3. Use of Pacifiers: While pacifiers can be soothing, they can also affect your baby’s latch and reduce the time spent breastfeeding, potentially leading to a drop in milk supply.
  4. Nipple Shields: While helpful in some situations, nipple shields can sometimes reduce nipple stimulation or interfere with milk transfer, impacting the supply-demand cycle.
  5. Returning to Work: The separation from the baby and the stress of re-entering the workforce can challenge a mother’s ability to maintain milk supply. Planning and strategies for pumping at work can help.
  6. Scheduled Feedings: Sticking to a strict feeding schedule can disrupt the natural supply and demand cycle, potentially leading to decreased milk supply.
  7. Sleepy Baby: In the first few weeks, some babies may be too sleepy to nurse frequently or effectively, necessitating more proactive feeding to establish milk supply.
  8. Cutting Short Nursing Sessions: Ending feedings before the baby naturally stops can disrupt milk production. The latter part of a feeding is rich in fat, which is important for the baby’s weight gain and satiety.
  9. Offering Only One Breast Per Feeding: While this can be fine once milk supply is established, offering both breasts can be beneficial if you’re working to increase supply.
  10. Baby’s Health or Anatomical Issues: Conditions like jaundice, tongue-tie, etc., can hinder effective milk removal, impacting supply.
  11. Maternal Health and Factors: Various factors like uncontrolled anemia, hypothyroidism, previous breast surgeries, hormonal imbalances (e.g., PCOS), certain medications, and smoking can affect milk supply.

Breastfeeding success often hinges on understanding and optimizing your milk supply.
Remember the golden rule: the more your baby drinks, the more you produce.

Here’s how you can encourage a healthy milk supply:

1. Correct Latching and Positioning:

  • A good latch ensures efficient, pain-free milk transfer from breast to baby. If you’re experiencing pain or your baby isn’t swallowing well, the issue might be with the latch or position.
  • Consult a IBCLC for help with latching. They can provide personalized guidance and support.

2. Hands-On Techniques:

  • Before nursing, apply warmth to your breasts, shoulders, and upper back to encourage milk letdown and flow.
  • Breast massage and compressions can also stimulate milk production.

3. Demand Feeding:

  • Consider demand feeding, where you nurse your baby whenever they show signs of hunger, regardless of frequency or duration.
  • Skin-to-skin contact during these sessions sends a signal to your body to produce more milk.

4. Using a Quality Breast Pump:

  • Pumping after feedings, or as often as possible, helps to “empty” your breasts, signaling your body to increase milk production. Remember, breasts are never truly empty as they constantly produce milk.

5. Hydration and Relaxation:

  • Stay hydrated by keeping water nearby during breastfeeding sessions.
  • Drinking lactation tea can also help you relax and potentially boost milk supply.

6. Power Pumping:

  • Mimicking cluster feeding through power pumping sessions can encourage your body to produce more milk.

7. Rest and Stress Management:

  • Adequate rest is crucial. If possible, have your partner or support person care for your baby while you take a break or nap.
  • Minimize stress, as it can negatively impact milk production.

8. Galactagogues:

  • Your doctor might recommend medications like metoclopramide or domperidone to increase prolactin levels and milk supply.
    1. Rolled Oats: High in fiber and iron, oats are often recommended for nursing mothers. Iron deficiency has been linked to decreased milk supply, making oats an excellent dietary choice.
    2. Brewer’s Yeast: A nutritional powerhouse, brewer’s yeast is rich in B-vitamins, protein, and essential minerals like selenium and chromium. These nutrients are not only vital for overall health but are also believed to aid in milk production.
    3. Flaxseed: Flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for a baby’s brain development. They also contain phytoestrogens that might help in boosting milk supply.

SLB Bakes: Enhancing Your Milk Supply Through Galactagogues
In the realm of breastfeeding, diet plays a pivotal role in milk production. This is where SLB Bakes comes into the picture, offering a delicious and practical solution for mothers looking to naturally boost their milk supply.

What are Galactagogues? Galactagogues are foods, herbs, or medications that are believed to help increase breast milk production. They have been used traditionally in various cultures and are gaining popularity among new mothers for their potential lactation benefits.

SLB Bakes’ Special Ingredients: Our range of SLB Bakes products incorporates key galactagogue ingredients known for their potential to enhance milk supply. These include:

We understand that variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to food. Our SLB Bakes series offers a range of options to cater to different tastes and preferences. From hearty cookies to fluffy muffins and versatile pancake mixes, each product is designed to be both nutritious and delicious.

When Supplementing is Necessary: If you’ve tried these strategies and still struggle to meet your baby’s needs ( and this should always be advised by a Dr), supplementing might be necessary. Remember to always offer the breast first to maintain your supply. Even small amounts of breast milk can provide significant health benefits.

Remember: You are not a failure if you need to supplement. Breastfeeding is about more than just nutrition; it’s about the bond you share with your baby. Supplementing is just another way to nurture and care for your little one.

Embrace the journey, and know that every step you take is about providing the best care for your baby.