Thursday, July 28, 2011

Breastfeeding -Part 4- Your Milk Supply

2 Things That Will Help Your Supply:

1. Understand Boobonomics: 
The law of nursing is similar to that of economics, it's all about supply & demand. If you remember one thing about your milk supply, please remember that. When you put a baby to your nipple [even if they just play around or pacify] they are triggering your amazing body, sending a "hey let's make more milk for this kid" message. Your body literally relies on you to tell it how much and how often to make milk. So...if you let that baby sleep---give it a pacifier [too much]---keep supplementing with a bottle---please don't blame your told it to only make so much milk.

One of the largest complaints I hear from moms trying to nurse, or those that stopped is "I didn't have enough milk" or "I dried up". Followed by comments about how fussy their baby was, or how when they pumped it was only a few ounces came out, etc. Before I launch into my recommendations let me be clear...I am not a Dr., or even a certified lactation consultant, so please by all means do not trust my advice alone. Especially if your baby is loosing weight or not gaining weight. I do think my advice can help, but since we're talking about keeping a person alive here---let's not do any experiments, mmmkay? is a professional and she has a wonderful post on supply

2. Take Care Of Yourself
Personally, I think this is the #1 reason why moms have to stop. Your supply is very sensitive, make no mistake about that. If you're overly tired or stressed out or very ill, it will effect your supply. Do whatever possible to get some sleep,  calm down and get healthy. Ask for help! Every time I nurse [those first few weeks and months] I sit down with a glass of water & a small healthy snack [cheese stick, piece of fruit, granola bar, nuts]. Your body needs two things to make milk: water & calories! If you're low on either, so will your supply. 

Did you know a [exclusively] nursing mom needs
more calories than she did during pregnancy?

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times...this is not the time to diet! I mean, do what you want, but if your goal is really to nurse AND you're having trouble with your supply---cut back your intensive exercising and start averaging more calories until you notice your baby is gaining weight and happy with your supply. Now, if you're a genetic anomaly and you can starve yourself, run a million miles a day and your baby is healthily growing---more power to you. But, in general, I find a lot of moms are torn between getting their pre-pregnancy body back and putting their kid's health first.

Ask Yourself:
Am I drinking enough water?
Am I eating enough food?
Am I sleeping enough?
Am I stressed out?
Am I dieting when I shouldn't be?
Am I burning too many calories exercising too hard?


And remember, nursing isn't everything, so please never feel judgment from this post if you choose to stop, or never start. Totally your business and not anyone else's.



  1. i really wish i would have read this a few months back. i was blaming my body for not making enough milk, but shortly after i stopped breastfeeding i realized i had just been in denial because i wasn't taking care of myself. the way that i needed to.

    thanks for posting this. i hope it can help someone who is struggling with breastfeeding.

  2. Yes, lots of water and calories! I'd add to nurse on one side and completely empty the breast before switching (most of the time, you won't need to switch until the next feeding). That way your baby will get the richer hind-milk and it will help increase your milk supply. Also, just because your breasts don't feel full doesn't mean that baby isn't getting what he/she needs. Watch to see if baby is swallowing and watch for weight gain, not necessarily what you "feel." With my third I remember being incredibly worried before the 2 week check up that my lil' guy wasn't eating enough, but as soon as they put him on the scale, I realized what a chunker he was! Worried for nothing. Thanks Candra for all your great posts, this almost makes me want another one, shh, don't tell my husband ;) lol

  3. I won't tell him Amy! Don't worry---ME TOO!

    Thank you both for reading and commenting and sharing your awesome insight!



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