Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging and wonderful parts of motherhood. It’s a great way to bond with your baby but it can take a toll on the mother physically and emotionally. I worked full time when I had my first son and my milk was barely enough to get him through the day at daycare.
Some women are very lucky and have no issues with their milk supply, but others, like myself have, struggle to make enough for their baby’s to thrive.
Why is my milk supply dropping?
There’s a lot of reasons why your milk supply could be dropping. Some of them include:
- Stress: Adding a new baby is extremely stressful. Your hormones are constantly changing and stress adds to those fluctuating hormones.
- Lack of Sleep: When you aren’t sleeping enough your body isn’t able to properly recover and rest. It takes a lot of energy to make all that milk!
If your baby is struggling with sleep try offering a newborn pacifier. One of the downsides of an infant pacifier is that it keeps falling out! The Ingy Band is a pacifier wristband that velcros around baby’s wrist. They are able to self-sooth from as early as four months old! This pacifier bracelet is here to help you and your baby get the rest you need so your milk supply can thrive!
- Sickness: When you’re sick you may not be getting the appropriate amount of food and liquids to keep up with the need of your baby. Be sure to try to stay hydrated as much as you can if you catch any bugs!
- Going back to work: Your breasts are probably getting less stimulation which means your supply can quickly drop.
- Introducing Solids: Once your baby starts eating solids they aren’t as hungry for milk. Make sure to nurse prior to your meal times to maintain your supply!
None of these reasons mean you are doing anything wrong! Here at Ingy Bingy Baby, we are here to support you and your goals. If you need to supplement with formula or switch completely to formula then you should absolutely do that!
However, if you want to work on increasing your supply to meet your exclusive breastfeeding goals here are a few tips!
How do I increase my supply?
- Meet with a lactation consultant: Meeting with a lactation consultant can help you find out if your baby has a poor latch. They can also help you come up with a concrete plan for boosting your supply!
- Nurse on demand: If your baby is acting hungry offer them your breast even if it hasn’t been 2-3 hours since their last feeding. The more your baby is sucking the more it will signal to your body to make more.
- Pump: Pumping in between feedings and more frequently when you are way from your baby will help boost your supply.
- Skin to Skin: Holding your baby skin to skin can help with your let down!
- Lactation Cookies or Drinks: The truth is these MIGHT help. They will help give you more nutrients and they might boost your supply, but if your milk supply is critically low the only thing that is truly going to help is more stimulation. Breastfeeding works like supply and demand. The more your body is being signaled to make milk (suckling, nursing, pumping) the more milk it will make!