And the Milk Keeps on Coming (Hopefully)


June 03, 2017

 

If you do not have an adequate supply of milk, you cannot feed your baby. It is that simple. While some mothers do have problems, most do not. It is actually not very difficult to maintain sufficient and continuous levels of milk in your breasts. You can ensure it to a greater extent by adopting certain practices, adapting to others and even avoiding certain items or situations.

  1. Always remember the number one rule for keeping the breast milk flowing - regular and frequent feedings
    The more often you allow your baby to suck, the more milk is produced and released. Note that it is the frequency rather than the duration of a feeding that will increase the amount of your breast milk. If there are times when you appear to have too much breast milk, do not cut down on the feedings. What you should do is express the milk. Place it in bottles or freeze it.
  2. Avoid stress
    If you are stressed it may reduce the amount of milk you can produce. You may also pass it on to your baby. A stressed baby may fuss too much, be upset and not latch properly.
  3. Always be comfortable when you breastfeed
    If you are at ease and you and the baby are relaxed both physically and mentally, you both will have little difficulty in remaining nursing longer. If you cannot sit still because the position or environment is discomfiting, the breastfeeding experience will not be long enough to encourage milk production.
  4. Do not hurry
    Take your time when you feed your baby. Make sure you do not have to rush. If you can sit and enjoy nursing, then the baby will latch longer and more frequently. This, again, results in continued milk production.
  5. When you are sitting, drop your shoulders, breath in then out and relax as you place your baby to your breast
    Keep your shoulders and arms loose during feeding. Throughout the session breathe slowly and regularly.
  6. If you wish to ensure milk production, make sure your baby is latching onto your breast properly
    He or she must encompass the nipple, with the lower jaw enclosing the areola.
  7. You may help yourself and the flow of milk through visualization
    Mentally focus on the milk flowing into your breast.
  8. Drink
    It may help if you have a glass of juice or water nearby to sip on while you breastfeed.
  9. Remove all distractions so you can focus on the task of breastfeeding your child
    Not only does this help you bond with your child and create a breastfeeding team, it will help you devote the right type of time and attention to the feeding. Inform everybody to leave you alone until afterward. Do remember to turn off the phone. Leave all your technological gadgets behind. Avoid, turn off or remove any item or object that will distract you from breastfeeding.
  10. It may help the production of milk if you avoid certain foods or drinks
    In general, do not consume anything that you are sensitive to. If it causes a reaction within your body, it will affect milk promotion.
  11. Do not use certain medications if you are breastfeeding
    Some do impair milk production. Laxatives and diuretics are 2 common types of non-prescription drugs that can affect your milk flow. The Pill and several antibiotics are prescription drugs who also interfere with milk production. Penicillin remains safe for use, but not if a precondition to allergy exists. Acetaminophen is acceptable but aspirin is not recommended. If you have a cough or cold, avoid antihistamines. Not only can they make your baby fussy and sleepy, they can inhibit milk production. Always talk to your medical professional before you ingest or continue to take a specific drug or medication while you are breastfeeding.
  12. You may also want to try some harmless herbal or natural ingredients to encourage milk production
    One such recommended substance is fenugreek. It is harmless. You can drink it in tea form or purchase it as a capsule in many health food stores. Blessed thistle is another herb with purported milk enhancing qualities. You can find it in capsule form, as well. Be sure you are not allergic to these substances. Also be aware that they, like any other herb, or natural or manufactured substance can cause side-effects.
  13. Lastly, you can consider a pharmaceutical product to help you produce enough milk or, at least, to stimulate milk production at the beginning
    Check with your doctor before you try any of the medications recommended for this purpose. A common drug for this purpose has been domperidone. Although it has not been specifically designed or intended for augmenting breast milk production, the American Academy of Pediatrics has approved of its usage in this particular instance. Do not forget, however, that side-effects have been recorded in the use of this and other milk-inducing drugs.

 

If you have any questions about your milk production you can always act your doctor. Alternatively, you can figure the amounts out by using a breast pump. Use an electric milk pump to remove the milk instead of nursing. Pump each breast individually or one breast twice. The total pumping time should be between 20 to 25 minutes. The exception is a double breast pumping kit. Time would, therefore, be around half - 12 to 15 minutes. Feed this milk to your infant.

After 2 hours, pump again. Measure the amount collected then multiply it by 12. This provides you with an estimate of your daily production rate. Compare it to the expected rate for your baby’s age and weight. Charts are available from your doctor and in several books on the subject of breastfeeding.

Remember there are many different factors involved in your ongoing production of breast milk for your baby. You are not doing this alone. There are both external and interior factors that impact upon your ability to keep the milk flowing. Be sure you consider all possibilities to ensure the supply of breast milk continues to feed your baby and help him or her thrive.