MILK SUPPLY - I can or could not produce enough milk.
I’m sure if you have talked to any moms about breastfeeding you have come in contact with plenty who said they just did not have enough milk.
Mom I am here to tell you that you CAN and WILL produce enough milk if you learn how. Many moms do not know enough about breastfeeding before they start. They have only heard stories of failure from other moms. Most of those mom’s were not educated about breastfeeding either before trying. Here we have uneducated moms telling other uneducated moms about breastfeeding. They just have their stories. Not any kind of knowledge to pass along. This creates a cycle of moms believing they do not produce enough milk. Does this make sense? Education is so important.
This is why I really push moms to LEARN about breastfeeding before they try to breastfeed. I know that if I try to do something without knowing anything about it, it would end in frustration and failure. Breastfeeding is an art and a learned skill.
The REAL FACTS about milk supply. (There will be more than one post on this)
Breastfeeding will work for you if you let it! Your body is amazing and will produce what the baby needs. As soon as the baby is born it is important that the baby feeds ASAP at the breast. Skin to Skin is the best way to start. This is also called Kangaroo Care. Make sure the baby is not given any formula, water, or even pacifiers. All of these can interfere with breastfeeding. Every day I hear story after story that mom has to supplement with formula at the beginning because the baby is not getting enough of breastmilk. I want to scream STOP!!!! DO NOT GIVE YOUR BABY FORMULA! That is what causes your milk supply to not be enough. Didn't I say our bodies are amazing and CAN do exactly what it needs to do if you let it. Giving formula is not allowing your body to do the work. The process may seem slow at the beginning, but soon enough you will learn what to do.
It is important to make sure the baby is latched on correctly. If you feel any pain the reason is usually because the baby is not latched on right. BREASTFEEDING SHOULD NOT BE PAINFUL. (that is for another post) Have a lactation consultant check your latch to make sure it is right. If it is not this will also affect your milk supply. It is a learning game so remember to be PATIENT. There is a huge difference in sucking a bottle and sucking at the breast. They are 2 different skills and both skills are learned.
*Baby's nose and moth need to be in front of your nipple
*Turn your baby's tummy so it touches your tummy
*When your baby opens wide bring him to your nipple and hug him onto your breast.
*When your baby is latched on correctly, you will see that his mouth is open wide around the darker area, not on your nipple. The baby takes on much of the areola as well as the nipple.
*You will feel gently pressure or tug when the baby sucks and you will also here your baby swallowing.
**The following information is from Stanford University of Medicine website**
Getting Started -- Position and Latch
When a baby uses a bottle, he uses his cheeks to create suction to remove the milk. (Try sucking on your thumb and notice how your lips become pursed and your cheeks cave in.) However, when a baby breastfeeds, his cheeks are relaxed and his mouth is wide open while his tongue and lower jaw massage the milk from the breast. (Try sucking on your forearm and notice how your jaw moves and your cheeks relax.)
As the baby nurses, a muscular wave starts at the tip of the baby’s tongue and moves backward. This rhythmical rolling action of the tongue and jaw massages the breast, squeezing the milk that lies in tiny pools beneath the areola into the nipple.
To be effective, the baby needs to take more than the nipple into his mouth. He needs to get far enough onto the breast so that his lower jaw and tongue can massage the pools of milk that lie in the lower part of the areola. If he is on well, less of the areola will be visible below the lower lip than above his top lip.
Poor Latch -- lips are <90° angle, lower lip is just below nipple.
Good latch -- lips are >120° angle, lower lip covers more areola.
If the baby sucks on the nipple only, he will suck on the nipple like a pacifier without drawing out milk. Sucking on the breast as on a bottle does not really work because the pools of milk are not being massaged into the nipple. Also, when the baby sucks on the nipple only, it may be painful for the mother because the tongue and jaw, instead of massaging the breast, are rubbing the nipple and making it sore. (photo of typical nipple trauma from poor latch). Remember that pain is really a sign that something is wrong. Nature would not design a system where it hurts to feed a baby.
THE FIRST FEW DAYS AFTER BIRTH: TWO REASONS TO NURSE RIGHT AWAY
There are two reasons to give a baby lots of practice during these first three days. The first reason is that it will be easier for him to learn how to latch on when the breasts are soft; secondly, because the breasts need to be stimulated by his nursing to produce enough milk for later.
The system nature has designed for learning breastfeeding makes a lot of sense. A baby is born with extra protective stores of water and nutrition, so that he will only need the small amount of colostrum (early milk) that his mother has available for him during the first few days. Since her milk production is not fully established, a mother’s breasts are still soft and the baby can easily learn to latch on correctly. A typical baby will need a little hands-on help at first.
PLEASE follow this website for the rest of the information on how to hold your breast and get the baby to latch on. It is very very very helpful to know this.
TO BE CONTINUED...