Sunday, July 12, 2009

Milk Supply

I remember really wanting to nurse my babies and hoping that I would produce enough milk to feed them and enjoy the nursing experience. I am sure every mother wonders if she is going to have enough milk to be able to nurse her babies.

Every mom is going to be different on how much milk she produces and how hardy and creamy to how runny and watery the milk looks. The amount the mother has depends from day to day and even from morning to night. But most mothers are capable of producing a good milk supply for their baby.

For the first two to three day, sometimes longer, your baby will eat from the colostrum. It looks watery and thin, but is healthy enough for your baby for those first few days. Claire Martin, author of the book "The Nursing Mothers problem solver", says that if the baby it acting hungry after feedings, then the baby may not be latched on correctly. The babies are not able to feel full from the colostrum if they aren't sucking right. If the baby is not latched on correctly or is a lazy sucker than your milk will not produce a full supply of milk.

To know if your baby is getting enough the first few weeks of life, make sure that the baby has 6 to 8 soaked diapers in a 24 hour period and the stool is a mustard-color with a sweet odor. Also, if the baby has latched on correctly from the beginning and has a good suck, then your baby is getting enough milk.

Claire Martin also says that, "Almost always, your milk production adjusts to the baby's demands." If you need to increase your milk supply than feed the baby more often. Your body will produce what your baby needs. If your baby wants to nurse more often and is acting hungry sooner, that could mean they are going through a growth spurt.

Some moms might expect their breasts to look full the whole time they are nursing, but that is not true. The older your baby gets the more your breasts shrink and adjust to their right size. Even during nursing time or let downs, the breasts won't feel as full as before. Don't worry about your milk supply because you still have enough.

Somethings that do affect your breast milk are birth control pills and decongestants. You can use these suggestions to improve your supply of milk:
*Drink more fluids, more water. Avoid caffeinated drinks which are dehydrating.
*Get alot of Rest. Nap with the baby if you can and ask for help from others with the chores or cooking.
*Allow the baby to nurse more often, especially during milestones such as, growth spurts or teething.
*Try the herbal supplements Fenugreek, blessed thistle tea, mother's milk tea.

If you feel that you are not producing enough milk then seek some help and don't put it off. If you let it go to long then you probably won't ever produce enough and even loose it all together. I have personally never had to deal with a low supply of milk, but have friends that have and gave up way to soon. So I hope that if nursing is something that you really want to do or try to do, then give it a chance and don't give up to soon.

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