Milk-supply is the concern of every breastfeeding mother. Having a low or over production can be equally challenging. If this is your case, do not worry, there are simple steps to regulate your milk supply in a safe way. To have a better understanding, let’s have a look into the anatomy-physiology part.
During our life our breast undergo certain changes, this process is called Lactogenesis and there are 3 stages:
- Lactogenesis I, happen since conception to puberty.
- Lactogenesis II, happens during pregnancy. This is the time where most women notice a breast-growth and in some cases do not, but instead, they feel certain fullness. During this time our breasts prepare for its most important role “milk production”.
- Lactogenesis III happens between day 3-5 post-delivery. Truly guided by hormonal changes at the initial stage, the milk production will remain for as long as your baby will need breastmilk. Lactogenesis III works under “THE DEMAND”, this means the more often you empty your breast, the faster your breast will produce milk.
Now, due to different circumstances most mothers face the challenge to produce enough-milk and/or over-production this is something that must be supervised. Low-milk production can be observed by poor weight gain on your baby and over production can be observed as recurrent engorgement. This is not a strict rule because as I said before “The breast is never empty” and if your baby is unable to empty your breast then you may became engorge. It is important to pay attention to this situation and an early consult with a Lactation consultant may prevent many complications, including visits to the ER.
It is important to see if you baby is capable to transfer milk, to empty your breast. If your baby is unable to do so, then you should be either hand-expressing your breast or use a pump. These are temporary measures that can be done until correction of the main problem. It is important to allow your baby to do the job.
The 1st line of treatment to a low or over milk supply is an appropriate feeding schedule.
The 2nd line of treatment are the galactagogues or milk stimulants, pay attention to your diet and try to increase by 1⁄2 on your diet if you have a low-milk supply or decrease by 1⁄2 if you have an over-milk supply. Then assess the changes within 3-5d.
ATTENTION: Doing this without the help of a professional is NOT ADVICE. Book an appointment with your local IBCLC.
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