Are you worried about your breast milk supply? Is your milk supply low?
First, make absolutely sure your breast milk supply is low before taking measures to increase it. Many new moms think newborns and infants nurse frequently because they’re so hungry. This must mean mama’s milk supply is low. Not true!
Most babies nurse frequently for nourishment, comfort, and because they have tiny stomachs and breast milk is digested quickly. However, if baby isn’t wetting as many diapers as she should be and/or she’s not gaining weight check with your pediatrician and lactation consultant.
If it turns out your milk supply is low, know that there are many factors which could be affecting your supply. Also, every woman is different. Anything from imbalances in your hormone levels to certain medications could be the cause.
To help you narrow it down, here are 6 things to look out for…
Breast Milk Supply Possible Issues
1. Birth Control
For many mothers, taking hormonal birth controls have no effect on their milk supplies, but for others, this can cause supply to dwindle. This can happen with pills, patches, or injections.
“This is more likely to happen if you start using these contraceptives before your baby is four months old, but it can happen later as well.” // Today’s Parent
If you think this may be the cause of your low supply, talk to your doctor about getting off your current birth control and trying other measures.
2. Certain Herbs & Spices
Who knew something simple from your kitchen could cause a low milk supply? It typically takes large quantities of herbs and spices to have this effect so it is unlikely, but it’s still a possibility. Essential oils can interfere, too. Read more about this on number 4 via Parents.com Here
Motherhood can be exhausting. You are adjusting yourself to less sleep and taking care of a new human being. The stress and tiredness can actually deplete your milk supply. It is important to make sure that you are taking care of your body. You need enough food and water to nourish yourself AND make breast milk. Make sure you get enough rest and nutrition to sustain you and baby.
Due to its dehydrating effect, large amounts of caffeine may have a negative effect on your milk production. It could also make you more stressed and irritable. Since a bit is passed through to baby, it could make her more grumpy or fussy as well as disrupt her sleep. Don’t forget, chocolate contains caffeine, too!
5. Supplementation with Formula
If you are supplementing with formula and breastfeeding less often, your milk supply may decrease with the lower demand. This can be tempting to do, but it creates a vicious cycle of less and less milk production.
“If less milk is removed, the breasts assume that less milk is needed, so the capacity is set at a lower point.” // Today’sParent
6. Latching Issues
The problem could be with your little one. If your baby is not latching properly and thus not getting enough milk, supply may decrease. Seek the help of a lactation specialist if you suspect latch problems.
How to increase your breast milk supply
Want to know what The Best Formula to Supplement a Breastfed Baby? Please read our article.