One of my most common topics I am asked about is milk supply so I thought I’d share some of the usual links and info I share often.
I feel that the best way to get milk supply off to a good start is to start with what “normal” should look like. When I was pregnant with my first child, I read a lot of pregnancy books. I later wished I had read a few breastfeeding and baby books ahead of time as well! I always tell friends now who have a lot of pregnancy books on their list about what I wish I had done.
The best way to know how things are going is to inform yourself on what “typical” newborn things look like. How often does a newborn nurse? Most likely 12-16 times in those first few days (over 24 hours each day). How many diapers do you want to see? Do you have to feel “engorged” or not? And so on…
Here are some good links for milk supply, especially for when things are looking low. The first way to know is to look at diapers… in = out … or pretty close to it!
The best diaper diary I’ve seen is found here on the site from Barbara Wilson-Clay and Kay Hoover https://www.breastfeedingmaterials.com/about
One of the most common reasons (and easily fixable one) for supply decreasing in healthy mom/baby dyads is simply things like not knowing how to tell if baby is hungry, delaying feeding or early supplementing when it isn’t needed.
** See the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol for Supplementing
http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Protocols/Protocol%203%20English%20Supplementation.pdf (you can find this in several languages on their website)
There are more simple concerns and there are much more complicated concerns.
Some common reasons for supply issues MAY be more simple to fix may be: needing to seek help for baby not latching well (barring any anatomical issues), using swaddling too often, baby sleeping too much, letting baby “cry-it-out” rather than feeding at night, trying to hold baby off feedings for a clock schedule, over supplementing after a nursing session or in place of breastfeeding or pumping, using a pacifier when baby is hungry, using different scales and being misled into supplementing, and mom not having the time to put into breastfeeding or pumping.
These can lead to truer supply issues or can lead to longer term challenges without proper information or support.
Then there are the more complicated issues for moms and babies. Sometimes it is the mom, sometimes it is the infant and sometimes it can even be a combination of challenges. If you are having to supplement, I hope you get a chance to read my blog on bottle feeding https://a2zlactation.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/bottle-feeding-the-breastfed-baby/
There can be many reasons for mother to find herself with milk supply obstacles. Some complications may include things like uncontrolled diabetes, PCOS, insufficient glandular tissue, retained placenta, hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, breast surgery, hormonal birth control use, and other health challenges.
Some common infant related issues may include tongue and lip tie, low or high muscle tone, birth trauma, cleft palate or cleft lip, sensory processing challenges, premature birth, and more.
This is not an exhaustive list, and it is in no particular order, but here are some of my current favorite links:
La Leche League International Milk Supply Information
Low Milk Supply
Motherhood International Chronic Supply
Insulin and the role of supply
Not Everyone Can Breastfeed IGT
Best for Babes – Too many mothers with milk supply problems get formula, not breastfeeding help
Best for Babes – Yes, You CAN Breastfeed Successfully No Matter How Much Milk You Make
Leaky Boob – Tongue tie/lip tie
Breastfeeding Basics – Increasing Your Milk Supply
Stanford University School of Medicine – Maximizing Milk Production with Hands On Pumping
Second 9 Months – Twins, Getting Milk Supply Off to a Good Start
Work & Pump – Supply Boosters
If you have gotten this far, you may also like my post on Wanting to Breastfeed…
And a bit of my story on my own experience with low supply for my 3rd baby.