I get google alerts for many things each day, all related to breastfeeding of course, and came across an article on how to increase your breastmilk suppley. I almost didn’t follow the link because it was on the Fox News site. They were the ones who recently had a story about inappropriate, cruel, and unhealthy ways to make your baby sleep more. But, know your enemy, I always say!
I went and was pleasantly surprised. The author starts out by saying most people have a fine milk supply. Less than 5% of our population has this issue. That being said, many mothers think they have a low milk supply because of all of the false information about how human babies feed, the lack of breastfeeding education for health care providers, lack of community support, and formula companies planting seeds of doubt where ever they can.
The first suggestion, nurse, nurse, nurse is a great one. IF you have a baby who can transfer breastmilk well. If your baby is nursing all the time, still seems hungry and not gaining weight well, this might not be the best way to spend your time. Nurse for sure but watch for deep chin drops, listen for swallows. If the baby is snoozing at the breast, this is lovely but not getting breastmilk into the baby or necessarily increasing your milk supply.
The is where suggestion two comes in. If the baby has nursed and still seems frantic, pumping your breasts afterward and offering this to the baby might be an appropriate suggestion.
Notice I say, “might be”. This is where professional help can useful. I have mothers come to me all the time that tell me they have tried everything to increase their supply. Not true! The internet is a great place but filled with a lot of miss-information as well. By doing a private consultation, an IBCLC can fully assess the situation, help you pin point areas to focus on, and get your a comprehensive plan to move forward in a positive way.
So if you think you have a low milk supply, get help. Maybe you do, but maybe you don’t. Either way, you don’t have to do this alone.