How to help a mother with perceived low milk supply
With breastfeeding being a new skill to learn, along with the responsibility of nourishing a new baby, it’s easy to understand why mothers might doubt whether or not they are supplying enough milk.
There are a number of ways to help mothers that have these concerns:
- Plenty of skin-to-skin time with their baby, or regular babywearing to keep baby close – this helps baby feel secure and stimulates the mother’s milk-making hormones
- Encouraging demand feeding instead of watching the clock
- Creating a relaxing breastfeeding environment to reduce cortisol/stress levels
- Pumping in between feeds to help boost supply
- Getting support to correct latch and milk transfer issues
- Discussing with a lactation consultant if galactagogues could help increase supply
Prenatal education and troubleshooting around breastfeeding can be so helpful in preparing a mother in advance of any issues that may arise after birth and into the postnatal period. Here they can gain an understanding of factors that might affect breastfeeding, including the type of delivery they experience (caesarean section or vaginal birth), delayed labour, being separated from baby immediately after the birth, analgesia and IV fluids. They will learn about the importance of baby being put to the breast within the first hour of birth, and about a baby’s natural instinct to “crawl” to find their mother’s nipple and begin feeding on their own when placed on her chest immediately after birth.
Reaching out to breastfeeding professionals early is so important for mums to identify any issues and gain support, reassurance and confidence for their breastfeeding journey. This will in turn increase their chances of a successful breastfeeding journey, without it being prematurely cut short – allowing mothers to enjoy precious bonding with their babies while providing them with all the nutrition they need to set them up for life.
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