16 December 2010

The Things No One Told Me #2 - Milk supply

One of the key concerns of most breastfeeding mothers, is having enough milk to satisfy their baby's appetite. There are plenty of old wives tales about things to avoid in order to preserve your milk. I remember my grandfather (definately not an expert in breastfeeding) telling me that I had to make sure I didn't eat too much salt and definately not to lift my arms above my head as both things would result in the loss of my breastmilk. Needless to say, neither activities resulted in the loss of my milk.

When I went to the Doctor with Layla to have her two month immunisations, he mentioned to me that in the coming week or so I should expect to notice changes in my breasts and not to worry. He was right! From 8 weeks, your breasts may no longer feel hard and full when you're ready to feed. The reason is that feeding becomes easier and more efficient. Your breasts become softer and the 'fuller' feelings become less. These changes are normal and are not indications that your breast milk production is becoming less but rather that your breastfeeding has now been well established. Many women panic when these changes occur and think that they are losing their milk or that their supply is insufficient to sustain breastfeeding. I'm sure I must have read about these changes somewhere before Layla was born but I had forgotten. Thank goodness my Doctor had reminded me otherwise I too would have panicked. Should you have any concerns about your breastfeeding make sure you seek assistance from you Community Health Nurse, Lactation Consultant, Doctor or Breastfeeding Counsellor from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

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