As a new mom, getting to grips with breastfeeding can be quite stressful. One of the most common worries for most new mothers: am I producing enough milk for my little one?
The truth is that when you’re breastfeeding, you can't really tell how much milk you’re producing, let alone how much your baby is swallowing.
Did you know that your breasts begin preparing for breastfeeding as early as three months of pregnancy? Your breasts enlarge and develop the glandular tissue needed to produce milk. You might even be able to nurse before the end of the second trimester, thanks to the miracle of the human body!
Prolactin boosts milk production shortly after your baby is delivered. At the same time, oxytocin triggers the contraction of small muscle cells in your breasts that push the milk out.
Breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand cycle, so while your baby nurses, your prolactin levels rise and you create more milk in response to the baby's increasing demand for breastmilk.
The tell-tale signs that your baby isn’t getting enough milk are a drop in their output, that is their poo and wee. If you’re changing fewer nappies each day, your baby is not getting enough milk.
You also need to watch for weight gain or loss. Remember, most newborns naturally lose weight within their first weeks of life. Many will gain weight gradually, and while each baby has their own growth rate, if your baby is not plumping up at all, it may be because of low milk supply.
If you're worried, know that low milk supply is a common concern among new mothers who are pumping and nursing. To get the help you need, or before taking a breastfeeding supplement, speak with your doctor or a lactation professional.
This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.