I am going to tell everyone the secret for successful nursing relationships that will be 100% effective for 98% or more of the human population and I’m going to do so without any cost or obligation to you, your nursling, your future nurslings, or your boobs: JUST NURSE THAT BABY!
Really. Unless you or baby have a specific medical condition (these really do exist but they are rare) this is all that is required. Nurse on demand. Note that I didn’t say “breastfeed”, I didn’t say “pump” I said “nurse”. If baby wants your breast let him have it. If you think he isn’t getting anything he may not be and that is ok. Don’t rush out and buy fenugreek, don’t make lactation cookies or shakes or whatnot because his wanting to be nursed isn’t necessarily a sign of failure. Just because he demands the breast often DO NOT USE FORMULA OR EXPRESSED MILK TO “TOP HIM OFF” because you think he isn’t getting enough and don’t pump to increase your supply. These things will interrupt the system of supply and demand because he is “supplied” by drinking a bottle and isn’t at your breast “demanding”. There are ways to know if your baby isn’t getting enough milk and the first sign would be too few wet diapers-constantly demanding the breast is not a sign of malnourishment.
Breast pumps have their place in life-those who must return to work, mothers with babies who have a health problem, those who have a well established nursing relationship and are pumping to share milk with families in need, etc.-but it can interrupt the breastfeeding relationship and can make things far more frustrating for both you and baby so we must be careful not to over-utilize them. I will talk more about shopping for pumps in a future post.
Did you know that when you have her latched your baby’s saliva sends messages to your body telling it exactly how much and what kind of milk her body needs at that exact moment? Our bodies are magic! Have you ever seen expressed milk from a mother who is nursing a newborn or an infant next to that of a mother nursing an older nursing? Not only is the quantity different but you can see in the color and fat content just how different those nurslings needs are and just how personalized that milk is! When I have a newborn the toddler sib tandem nursing alongside that babe always chubs back up like a little round baby again because they nurse much less frequently than the newborn so my body makes rich newborn milk instead of toddler milk. I have seen stories of mothers who are tandem nursing and use one breast exclusively for each child and the size of her breasts and the milk that comes from each is drastically different!
If you are one of those people who have been doing this but it is still not working or if just just need a little help, support, and encouragement please contact a Breastfeeding Educator or Lactation Consultant for support and advice. I am available for consultation face to face or virtually-I am currently working on the online shop for these services so please just contact me directly via email or on Facebook until I figure that all out.