Motherhood comes with a lot of brand new pressures and concerns, with new mums often worrying about whether or not their babies are consuming enough milk. While it’s easy for formula-feeding mums to measure and keep track of how much their baby is eating, breastfeeding mums really have no idea.
That little seed of doubt is often encouraged to grow larger and larger when other individuals deliver undermining comments (intentionally or not) about your feeding, such as, “Your baby feeds too often, I don’t think she’s getting enough milk!”, or “Your breasts are small, there’s no way you can feed a baby” or perhaps the most common of all, “Your baby is way too skinny! She’s not eating enough”.
Let’s preface this with an important point: some mums do have low milk supply issues for biological reasons. But for many mums, having a “low supply” is a solvable issue.
Don’t Trust the Pump
Breastfeeding mums often worry that their baby isn’t receiving enough milk because they aren’t able to pump a substantial amount themselves. But it’s important for mums to remember that our bodies are smart and that a pump doesn’t replicate the suckling of a newborn baby. Apart from the action performed by both being completely different, some believe that holding or smelling the baby also increases milk production and flow.
All Babies Feed Differently
Some babies may feed only 4 times a day. Others may make a new mum wonder if she can ever get up off the couch. Just to complicate matters, how your bub feeds one week can differ to the next depending on your baby’s health, if they are undergoing a growth spurt, or a number of other issues.
Not All Breasts Leak
Be thankful if yours don’t! Many mums need to line their nursing bras with pads and liners due to leakage, but not every mum will experience leaking – and they can and do still produce enough milk for her baby.
Keep in mind that your nursing bra should be lose and preferably not have an underwire to allow for the free flow of milk to baby, and wear non-restrictive clothing. This doesn’t mean settling for your partner’s old t-shirt, however. At Peachymama we have a number of chic clothing options that allow mums to show off those voluptuous new mum curves while still keeping your body comfortable while feeding, at the market or on the job.
Look at your Latch
If you do believe that you are having a supply issue, start off by checking your latch. In most situations your baby may be underfed simply because he or she isn’t getting the right latch. A good latch is important for two reasons:
A solid latch ensures a good delivery of milk from the breast to baby.
Good latches stimulate the nipple which encourages an increase in milk production.
Whatever you do, don’t allow the opinions of others deter you from what you believe is best for you baby. Your doctor or midwife will be able to help you with any latching issues, or for immediate attention, contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association at 1800 mum 2 mum.