Low Milk Supply or Low Milk Output – Are You Sure It’s Low?
Is your milk supply really low?
First of all, it’s important to understand the difference between milk supply and milk output. Milk supply refers to the amount of milk in your breasts, whereas milk output is a measure of the amount of milk you are able to express either using manual expression (your hands) or using a breast pump. These are two very different things. Often times, mothers get worried when they are unable to pump more than 1 or 2 ounces during a pumping session. This leads them to believe that their milk supply is low, which is absolutely not true. Milk output can vary, especially when you’re just starting out. On average, mothers who are nursing full-time are only able to pump about 1/2 to 2 ounces total from both breasts in one pumping session. Anything more than 2 ounces is considered to be an oversupply of milk. After a time and plenty of practice, some mothers are able to pump between 4 – 8 ounces during a pumping session, however, keep in mind that some women respond better than average to breast pumps, and 4 ounces is an unusually large amount of milk output. Having to pump several times during the day just to get one feeding ready does not mean you have a low milk supply, it means you are normal. The most efficient way to express breast milk is by nursing. The amount of milk expressed with a breast pump just can’t compare to what a nursing baby can express, therefore you cannot measure the amount of milk your baby is getting by how much milk output you have.
How can you tell is Baby is getting enough milk?
There is no way to measure how much a nursing baby is actually getting during a feeding. And yes, this does cause serious anxiety for first time Mom’s, even 4th time Mom’s. But you’ve got to trust your instincts, and you’ve got to trust your body. A women’s body is designed for breastfeeding. We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time, before formula, before breast pumps, before society turned it into something shameful (sorry, that’s a whole other article). The important thing to remember is, the only person that can tell you whether or not your milk supply is truly low is your baby. Is Baby gaining weight? Is Baby pooping and peeing regularly? These types of questions always helped me relax when I started to get nervous about my milk supply. On average, once your baby has gained back the initial weight lost after birth, he/she should be gaining about 5 to 10 ounces a week in the first month, 5 to 8 ounces a week in the 2nd and 3rd month, and 2.5 to 4.5 ounces a week in months 3 through 6. Another good way to measure your milk supply is by keeping track of all the wet and stinky diapers. During those first few days you may only see about one or two wet diapers a day, but once your milk supply comes in your baby should have anywhere between 5 and 8 wet diapers a day, depending on whether or not you’re using cloth diapers or disposable diapers. Disposable diapers can usually hold more than cloth diapers, so make sure you take that into account. As for stools, you keluaran sgp should see at least 3 stools a day in the first month, after that the bowel movements become less frequent.
So, relax Mom, you’re doing a wonderful job, don’t let anyone tell you any different. Listen to your body, listen to your instincts, and most of all, listen to your baby.
How can you increase your milk supply and milk output?
If you are still concerned that your milk supply may be low, there are a few things that you can do.
· Increase nursing frequency. The more you nurse the better. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Also, try to include high protein snacks throughout the day to help boost your energy level.
· Get yourself a quality breast pump, if you don’t already have one. Double Breast Pumps are recommended when trying to increase a low milk supply. Try pumping after every feeding session for at least 15 minutes, and then continue pumping for an additional 2 to 3 minutes after the last drops of milk have been expressed.
· Try Fenugreek or other herbs to help increase your milk supply.
· Seek professional help. Sometimes just talking to a Lactation Specialist puts your mind at ease, and helps you relax, which is a key ingredient to a healthy breastfeeding relationship.