Most mothers produce enough milk for their babies. Your milk supply is considered low when there is not enough breast milk being produced to meet your baby's growth needs. Many mothers worry about their milk supply, especially in the early stages of breastfeeding.
Whether you're a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — may have. Your milk supply is determined by the stimulation that your baby provides while nursing.
Dealing with a low breast milk supply? Herbs, spices, and allergy meds are just a few of the things that can affect breast milk production. If you're a breastfeeding new mom, you've probably already discovered that nursing can be confusing and occasionally difficult.
By Teresa Pitman Jul 27, Photo: iStockphoto. Ducts do grow during each pregnancy and breastfeeding stimulates the growth of more ducts and tissue, so this may be less of a problem with a second or third baby. There are certainly steps you can take to maximize your milk production these might include pumping and taking a prescription medication—talk to your doctor and a breastfeeding expert but you may also need to supplement with formula.
You may not realize it, but many things can interfere with how your body makes breast milk. If you're breastfeeding and concerned about your milk production slowing down, take a look at these issues that can cause a decreasing breast milk supply. Health issues, diet, lifestyle choices, and medications can affect your breast milk supply.
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This is completely normal, with many moms experiencing a change in their breast milk supply around this time. Though every breast milk feeding journey is unique, decreased breast milk supply frequently happens around the six-month postnatal mark due to a combination of three major factors. Knowing what to expect ahead of time and how you can best prepare for these challenges can help you seamlessly continue feeding your little one breast milk for as long as you choose.
Various factors can cause a low milk supply during breast-feeding, such as waiting too long to start breast-feeding, not breast-feeding often enough, supplementing breastfeeding, an ineffective latch and use of certain medications. Sometimes previous breast surgery affects milk production. Although many women worry about low milk supply, insufficient breast milk production is rare. In fact, most women make one-third more breast milk than their babies typically drink.
Milk supply normally varies somewhat throughout the day and over weeks and months. Mothers who pump more milk per session may have an oversupply of milk, or may respond better than average to the pump, or may have been able to increase pump output with practice. Many mothers think that they should be able to pump ounces per pumping session, but even 4 ounces is a rather large pumping output for a mom who is breastfeeding full-time.
Some babies—particularly those older than six months—do gradually lose interest in breastfeeding as they adapt to the bottle. Frequently this loss of interest is tied to a lower milk supply. To correct it, make a point of breastfeeding your baby frequently and always on demand—to comfort or soothe as well as nourish him.