Breast milk does a whole lot more than just keep Baby’s tummy full. Discover its amazing health benefits below, and ways to help your body produce it.
To put it simply, breast milk is made on a supply and demand basis. Your body naturally creates enough milk to satiate your baby’s appetite. However, if your baby doesn’t feed much and your breasts remain full your body will take it as a sign to slow down milk production. This can happen from time to time for various reasons for example if your baby is unwell.
Can breasts be too small for breast feeding?
Breast feeding has nothing to do with cup size. In fact, the size of your breasts has no bearing on how much milk your breasts can store. Breast storage capacity varies from mum to mum. It’s nothing to worry about, if you have a small capacity your baby will naturally nurse more often.
What can I do to increase my supply?
It’s all too easy to neglect yourself and skip meals when looking after a new baby. But to increase your milk supply it’s vital that you eat well to provide your body with the fuel it needs to produce milk. Drink plenty of fluids and make a concerted effort to eat regular nutritionally balanced meals.
If a family member or friend offers to help out with the housework let them! Your body will find it easier to relax and produce milk if you’re not stressing over household chores.
Schedule extra expressing sessions
Regular breastfeeding will naturally trigger your body to produce more milk. If you want to increase your supply even more, schedule an extra expressing session every day to coax your body into producing more milk. Remember, the greater the demand, the more milk you will produce.
How do I know if I am producing enough milk?
If you’re breastfeeding there’s no real way of knowing how much milk your baby is taking. But as long as they are steadily gaining weight and are alert, happy and healthy you can rest assured you are doing a fine job.
There are still times when you’ll question whether you’re really producing enough milk:
Your baby is always hungry
If it feels like your baby is nursing all the time it’s natural to wonder if you’re producing enough milk. But keep in mind this may not have anything to do with your milk supply. Your baby may just prefer to drink little and often. Newborns also have tiny stomachs not much bigger than the size of a pea, so it’s not surprising they need to feed so often.
Your baby is going through a growth spurt
You may find your baby will drink more than usual during a growth spurt. Remember that your baby’s feeding requirements will change as they grow. Continue to feed on demand and you’ll naturally meet their requirements.
Your baby is suddenly fussy
Off days are normal – even for babies. Some days they might just be feeling a bit cranky or moody. This might effect their feeding habits short term.
Every mother has doubts about her milk supply at some stage during her breastfeeding career. There’s no need to suffer in silence. If you’re worried or need reassurance contact a lactation consultant for advice and support.
Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.
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