*Fluffy Bunnies - posted on 09/04/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )
Our first myth of the week is a big one: supply issues. I think many moms worry at one point or another if they're making enough milk for their babies. I've heard many LC's and lactavists say one thing that helped me relax which was: your body made and grew that perfect little baby. Why would your body quit when it came time to feed him/her?
There are women who truly cannot breastfeed or have supply issues due to breast surgeries, medications, etc. ****Edited to add**** Low supply is not a myth, but the following reasons for thinking you have low supply are myths. Please read the information at the bottom and the links provided to determine if you do have low supply and what you can do to fix it.
Breastfeeding Myth: I have low supply because...
-I can't pump any milk or more than a few oz
Pumping takes practice. It's important to remember that your baby is much better at getting the milk out than a pump. So baby will always get more milk out than you're able to pump. The average pumping output is 1/2-1 oz. for *both* breasts. Moms who are able to pump more may have oversupply (or too much milk), may respond better to pumps or have mastered pumping. See http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/pumpi... for more information and tips on pumping.
-My breasts no longer feel full
Many moms worry when they no longer have full, engorged breasts. This is actually a good thing. It means your body is adjusting and starting to make just what your baby needs and you don't have all that extra milk that you had when your milk first came in. See link at the bottom**.
-My baby is fussy at the breast or after nursing
Many babies go through fussy periods especially in the evening. Most of the time their fussiness has nothing to do with hunger. See http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fus...
Another reason baby could be fussy at the breast is impatience. Crying is the last sign of hunger and sometimes baby is so frustrated the he/she may become impatient and fussy while waiting for the letdown. Early hunger cues are opening and closing mouth, sucking/chewing on fists or objects, squirming and rooting.
**Edited to add** Thanks to Daniella for bringing up a great point! Baby could be fussy due to oversupply. If you have oversupply you may have a forceful letdown. The fast flow of milk can be hard for baby to handle (especially young babies). Baby may gag and choke while nursing, refuse to nurse sometimes or pull off the breast frequently. To help baby you can take him/her off the breast during letdown and catch the milk to save or let it run into a towel. Here's some more tips for forceful letdown: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-l...
Baby may be fussy after nursing due to foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. This explains foremilk/hindmilk better. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/foremi... It's important to let baby thoroughly empty the first breast before switching sides. Don't set a time limit on each breast. More info: http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVSep...
-My baby will take a bottle after nursing
Even when a baby has just filled up on breast milk he/she will drink a bottle of formula (or breast milk) leaving mom to think she has supply issues. The reason baby will take the bottle is because compared to the breasts the bottle "dumps" milk in their mouth. See http://www.mother-2-mother.com/cc-baby-B...
-My baby wants to eat frequently
It's normal for baby to want to eat frequently especially very young babies. According to the AAP's "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk"
"During the early weeks of breastfeeding, mothers should be encouraged to have 8 to 12 feedings at the breast every 24 hours, offering the breast whenever the infant shows early signs of hunger such as increased alertness, physical activity, mouthing, or rooting"
The World Health Organization also recommends breastfeeding on demand. See http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_heal...
Breast milk is digested quickly so it makes sense that baby wants to nurse often. If baby suddenly wants to nurse more often then it's probably a growth spurt and your baby is telling your body to make more. By nursing on demand your supply will meet your baby's needs.
For more information on low supply and how to increase supply see
The best way to increase low supply is to nurse, nurse, nurse!
The best way to know if baby is getting enough milk is by diaper count. For a baby 6+ wet/dirty diapers means baby is getting plenty. More info on diaper count: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough...
If you do have low supply contact your local hospital. They should have a certified lactation consultant who can help you. Another great place to go for help is La Leche League. They have leaders who are very knowledgeable and eager to help you. Find a local group: http://www.llli.org/
If you can think of other supply myths feel free to discuss them here.
Please remember that this thread is for discussion and information. We don't want to judge or bash anyone for their views our choices.