If you’re worried about low milk supply, you aren’t alone – recent studies show that the number one reason women say they give up breastfeeding is because they don’t think they have enough milk. Pinky McKay, IBCLC lactation expert, shares her top tips to help you increase your milk supply without a whole lot of stress.
Watch your baby, not the clock
Breast milk production is based on supply and demand: the more milk your baby drinks, the more milk your breasts will be signalled to make. Babies regulate the volume and composition of your milk by their sucking and by how often they feed. As your baby sucks at your breast, he stimulates milk production.
Breastfeeding has been going well: your baby is thriving and happy. But now you are returning to work and feel sad at the prospect of weaning your baby.
Take heart, returning to paid work doesn’t mean you have to stop breastfeeding. Your baby can enjoy the health, immunity and nutritional benefits and you will still have that unique connection through the one thing that only you can do for your baby - snuggling him close as he drinks your milk.
Getting used to your newborn is such an intense time as you recover from your birth experience physically and emotionally and there is a lot of trial and error as you work out what is best for you and your baby. The thing is, it’s ok to take a few short cuts and, as a mum of five, there probably aren’t many I haven’t tried – some were helpful, some not so much. Here are my top hacks to make things easier for you and your new baby.
Here at Boobie Foods, we talk a lot about IBCLCs – International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. In fact, Boobie Foods founder, Pinky McKay is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected IBCLCs.
An IBCLC is an allied health professional with specialist education in lactation, infant feeding, infant development and nutrition. But what exactly does an IBCLC do, and how do you know if you need to see one?
What does an IBCLC do?
An IBCLC offers non -judgemental reassurance, support and information to help you reach your personal breastfeeding goals. If you want to set yourself up for a positive breastfeeding experience, especially if you have had challenges with a previous breastfeeding experience (yes, IBCLCs do antenatal consults too); are struggling with nipple or breast pain; have a premature or unwell baby or a baby with a special medical condition; multiples – twins, triplets; want to breastfeed after breast surge
For a new mum, the holiday season can be overwhelming and exhausting. It can also impact your milk supply and may mean that your baby, sensing your own stress, becomes increasingly unsettled. Then, as relatives ask, ‘are you sure you have enough milk?’ your self-doubt increases and you reach for the bottle. This is often described as ‘holiday weaning’.
But please take heart, we have top tips for you to beat holiday ‘boobie traps’ so you keep your boobs full and your baby at the breast.
It’s your baby’s first Christmas. It’s exciting but also a bit overwhelming too as you try to plan the big day with family and friends.
Hopefully, if you have a newborn, you haven’t put your hand up to host the day, but this means you will be a guest at somebody else’s house and this can present other sorts of stress. Check out our survival plan.
Learning to breastfeed so it becomes natural and easy can take a few weeks or longer, just like learning a dance with an inexperienced partner who also needs to learn the steps (coordinating sucking, swallowing and breathing). Soon, breastfeeding is mostly a sweet interlude in your days and nights, as you snuggle together and drink in that sweet baby breath and stroke his fine skin as he fills up on your mama milk. But, at the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer, even when breastfeeding is going pretty smoothly, there are a few things that suck, big time ....
It’s stinking hot. You are sweaty so is your baby. He keeps grizzling and signalling that he wants more ‘boobie’ . He’s obviously thirsty so you wonder, should I give him a drink of water?
Not only do you not need to offer your baby water in hot weather but it can be unsafe: giving water to newborns can affect your milk supply and your baby’s weight gains and for all babies under six months, giving water can dilute the sodium in the baby’s bloodstream to the point where a potentially life threatening condition known as “oral water intoxication” develops, and this can lead to symptoms like low body temperature, bloating, and seizures.
Breastfeeding will be more relaxed and comfortable for you and your baby if you get a good latch right from the start. A good latch can head off breastfeeding problems before they happen: it will enable your baby to get more milk and to drain your breasts effectively and this will signal your breasts to make more milk, increasing your supply. And, although you can expect a wee bit of discomfort as you begin breastfeeding, rather like trying out a new pair of shoes, having a good latch at the breast will avoid damaged nipples and painful feeds.
Signs of an effective latch include feeling comfortable, without pain, ‘pinching’ or a ‘biting’ sensation; your baby’s mouth will cover some or all of your areola, depending on the size of your areola (the dark part surrounding your nipple), with most or all of the underside and some of the top of the areola in your baby’s mouth; your baby’s lips will be flanged outwards, like ‘fish lips’ and baby’s tongue will be cupped under you
There’s nothing quite like four hours of broken sleep and cracked nipples to get you “in the mood”, right?
Mama, it’s completely normal for your sex drive to take a nosedive after you’ve had a baby.
Spending your days (and nights) snuggling, comforting and breastfeeding your new baby can leave you feeling completely touched out – not to mention the significant biological and hormonal changes going on inside your body right now.
Here are 5 interesting facts about breastfeeding and sex that you might now know:
1:Breastfeeding hormones can affect your sex drive
Apart from feeling dead tired and touched out, there are also some biological reasons why your libido has go
You have most likely heard very good reasons to breastfeed: boosting baby’s immune system; providing breast milk that changes to meet your baby’s needs; a lovely way to bond and allowing instant comfort for an unsettled baby.
Another important reason to consider breastfeeding is evidence that it can reduce your own and – if you have a baby daughter – her risk of breast cancer too.
One of the most common reasons for breastfeeding problems is unhelpful advice. We have asked real mums, ‘what was the worst breastfeeding advice you have been told? ‘
Here is what they said – and why this is bad advice: