It’s extremely important to maintain a healthy, sufficient milk supply for your baby’s well-being. Milk supply refers to a mother having sufficient breast milk to adequately satisfy the health and nutrition needs of the baby.
In some cases however, a mother’s milk supply may reduce due to stress, poor nutrition and diet, infrequent feeds, short feeds, poor suckling or poor attachment.
Milk production and breastfeeding is also psychologically linked, so if the mother lacks confidence, feels overwhelmed, worried or tired, milk supply may reduce.
Increasing milk production is not an impossible task and can be done with the help of your health care provider. It is encouraged that mothers facing this problem get into the habit of stimulating the breast and removing milk frequently, gently massaging the breast while breastfeeding to help the milk flow.
You can also use foods, drinks or local herbs believed to increase milk supply. Ensure that these are safe to use while breastfeeding and would not harm your baby.
Remember, the length of time that it takes for a woman’s breast milk supply to increase varies. It helps if mothers are strongly motivated, and if her baby is willing to suckle frequently. But the mother should not worry if it takes longer than expected. Every situation is different.
If a baby is still breastfeeding; sometimes the breast milk supply increases in a few days. If a baby has stopped breastfeeding, it may take 1-2 weeks or more before much breast milk comes.
Seek help from your health care provider if you are not producing a sufficient milk supply. Remember to maintain a healthy eating habit and stay hydrated.
(Submitted by the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council)