Breastfeeding may sound like the most natural reflex in the world, but it’s a little more complicated than it appears. Your body’s process of creating milk involves a lot more than your baby and breasts.
From gradually mastering the not-quite-simple art of latching to making certain there is enough of supply- breastfeeding involves a multitude of variables that you’re required to overcome before this new chapter in your life becomes easy for you.
If you’re a new mommy who’s been sensing a fall in her milk supply, then don’t be alarmed. You may just be unconsciously making any one of the following simple mistakes. So, let’s get started, shall we?
1. Not nursing/ pumping frequently
If it’s been a while since you last pumped out milk or breastfed your child, then your breasts will begin to seem fuller. As the milk accumulates in your breast, so does a special whey protein by the names of FIL or ‘feedback inhibitor of lactation’. When FIL levels increase in your breast, it signals to your body that you’re overproducing milk and hence cuts down your supplies before you’re even aware of it. Hence don’t wait to feed your child until your breasts give, what you perceive to be, the green flag. That ‘full’ sensation, in the case of some women, fades over time. Hence stop waiting to pump or feed til those breasts feel full.
2. Haven’t mastered the latch just yet
Struggling to get your baby to latch? Don’t feel disappointed; it’s a more prevalent dilemma for new mommies than you would think. Sometimes failing to master a latch can leave a mother feeling bitter, which negatively impacts her nursing experience and can lead to a decreased milk supply. The perfect latch is pivotal in your breastfeeding journey not only to prevent any pain but also to maintain your milk supplies.
3. Skipping the night shift
You’ve spent the entire day managing your little bundle of joy, so now you’re worn to the bone and all you desire is to sleep. Most mothers in this situation hand the little tyke over to their daddies, as it’s only fair, they take the night shift since you’ve been toiling all day. However, if you miss out on feeding the little one at night then this subsequently sends your body signals that you’re overproducing milk thereby leading to a cutback on your milk supplies. The only logical solution to this dilemma is to ensure that you use a breast pump to pump out the same volume of milk your baby happens to consume during the course of the night. Let daddy handle the rest! This way not only does your baby get fed but you also get your much-needed rest. Win-win situation, ladies!
4. Letting the little one sleep too long
Newborns have a tendency to sleep during the course of the day, and since this is so adorable, can anybody blame new mommies for simply being caught up in watching their angel sleep? However, suppress the temptation mommy, for this may very well drastically impact your milk supplies. Ensure that you punctiliously wake up the little one every three hours in order to maintain your supply and keep your baby healthy and happy!
5. A poor diet
Your diet can have more impact upon your milk production than you would think. Though handling a newborn can take up all your time and energies causing you to sacrifice sleep and resort to skipping meals or simply not eating right; it is vital that you stick to a healthy diet and routine if you want to maintain your supply.
Being a new parent is tough and rather complicated so don’t feel bad if you mess up – it’s rather inevitable. Every day you’ll be learning something new, we hope you did today as well. Best of luck!