New mothers often face breastfeeding problems and low milk supply is one of them. This can be easily resolved by consulting a lactating expert.
Dr. Pankaj Vohra, Pediatrician at Max healthcare, New Delhi, says “You can be sure that your baby is getting enough milk after 3-4 days of breastfeeding if he has regular bowel movements and is wetting the diapers at least 7-8 times during the day.” In case, he is not, then it is a clear indication that he is not getting enough milk and you could be having some breastfeeding problems. Low milk supply may be due to several reasons such as:
- Nipple confusion: Milk usually flows faster from a bottle compared to the breast. In case you are feeding your baby with a bottle, it could lead to breastfeeding problems. Low milk supply from your breasts may result due to the baby preference for bottle feed instead of breastfeeding. Do not introduce the bottle very early. Supplements: Milk is produced and supplied to your breasts as your baby nurses. The amount of milk sucked by your baby informs the body of how much milk is needed. In case you give your baby formula milk, juice or water, this signals your body to produce less milk. The more you breastfeed your baby, more the production of milk in your body.
- Pacifiers: Pacifiers can cause nipple confusion just as in case of bottle. Babies often suckle on the pacifier and may not cry when hungry. As a result you may not feed your baby as often as needed and this can significantly reduce the milk production in your body. Use pacifier only when needed. Do not make it a habit.
- Scheduled feedings: Scheduled feeding interfere with supplementing process resulting in low milk supply. Breast milk is digested faster than formula milk. “Feed your baby frequently, at least every 1 1/2 - 3 hours. It is more important that you breastfeed often, rather than feeding for a longer span of time. . The more your baby breastfeeds, the more milk your body will be stimulated to produce.” suggests Dr. Vohra.
- Length of nursing: Breastfeeding problems occur because lactating mothers often get confused regarding when to stop feeding.. Eventually, low milk supply may be caused when you stop feeding your baby before he stops himself. This can interfere with supplementing as more milk may not be produced if there is already some milk in your breasts.
- Feeding the baby on one breast, per feeding: Though this is ok if you have adequate milk supply and your baby is gaining weight as well. In case you are trying to increase milk supply, ensure that your baby finishes feeding on the first side and then feed on the second one.
Lactating mothers must eat a well-balanced diet to boost milk production. Some breastfeeding problems may require health supplements or medication to increase milk supply. Consult an expert to ensure continued breast feeding as breast milk is crucial for brain development, growth and healthy immune system of infants.
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