Congratulations on your brand new bub!!
Everything is going well, however, there is one thing that is stressing you out, and that is the amount of breast milk you are producing. You are not alone! It is one of the most common reasons mothers start weaning completely or introduce mix feeding.
The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of your baby’s life and while continuing breastfeeding, gradually bringing in other foods until the age of 2 years old.
The hardest is during the first few weeks after birth when you and your baby are just getting to know each other. The Australian Breastfeeding Association states feeding your baby whenever they need it will help them get the milk they need to grow and develop, and also signal to your body how much milk it needs to make to satisfy his appetite. Please remember that the amount of milk is just between you and your baby; it will be different to your sister’s, friends’, neighbours’ supplies. Comparing will only make you feel more stressed, especially if those close to you are producing more milk than you.
How do you know if the baby is getting enough milk?
There are many signs a baby shows to let you know if they are getting enough milk. If your baby is showing these signs then they are most likely getting enough milk. However, if you are worried, best to talk to your midwife, lactation consultant or doctor.
1. At least 6-8 wet cloth nappies or 5 very wet disposable nappies within 24 hours
2. Good skin colour and muscle tone
3. Your baby is alert and reasonably content and does not want to feed constantly
4. Weight gain, growth in both length and head circumference
If you have noticed that you are not producing enough milk, here are some tips to increase your supply:
1. First and most importantly, if you do not have a medical reason for low supply (hormonal, inadequate breast tissue – IGT, illness etc.) and your baby can effectively and efficiently remove your milk, you WILL make more milk!
2. Feed on demand – every 2-3 hours and offer the breast in between your baby’s usual breastfeeds
3. If your baby does not settle after a feed, wait 20-30 minutes before offering a top-up breastfeed
4. Let your baby finish the first breast before moving to the second breast
5. Try pumping right after breastfeeding or in between feeds
6. Avoid all artificial nipples including dummies and bottles. Some babies have a hard time switching between the human nipple and artificial nipple.
7. Make sure your baby is latching properly
If you notice fatigue during feeding, inability to latch or a clicking sound during feeding there could be an underlying factor affecting your baby’s ability to feed, and that could be a possible lip or tongue tie.
If you still feel like you are not providing your baby with the right amount, talk to your midwife, lactation consultant or doctor.
Remember, every baby is different, even between siblings, so try to keep positive, persevere and trust your instincts!
For more information on breastfeeding, please do not hesitate to contact KIDS. Alternatively, complete the form below, and one of our friendly team members will contact you.