Several times, because mothers are new to breastfeeding, they are unsure about how much they should be feeding their baby. Some women also have difficulty in the process of breastfeeding. Almost 60% of women give up breastfeeding earlier than they should because they feel that they aren’t doing it efficiently enough. However, avoid resorting to formula if your baby is younger than 6 months. There is no actual substitute for breast milk. If you feel like you aren’t doing a good enough job in feeding your baby breast milk, it would be extremely beneficial for you and your baby to consult a pediatrician before making any hasty self-imposed decisions.
However, if it has been confirmed by your doctor and you are indeed low on breast milk, here are a couple of things you can try to get back to breastfeeding your baby.
1. More frequent feedings
Most of the time, problems with breastfeeding arise because your baby doesn’t consume as much milk as they’re supposed to. The more milk they want and drink, the more milk will be produced for them. So, it would be a good idea to increase the number of times you breastfeed your baby. The more milk you feed your baby, the faster your breastmilk will be replaced with more breastmilk, making the entire process fall into place naturally.
Sometimes, the problems you’re facing can be attributed to your baby’s positioning. Make sure to latch your baby on properly before you start breastfeeding. It’s always advised to ask elders or experts for help the first time, to make sure the positioning of your child is correct. If your baby seems to be falling asleep, gently stroke or tickle them so they wake up and complete feeding before sleeping.
Try to avoid breastfeeding your child with only one breast. Make sure to switch breasts while feeding and feed from each breast at least two times in each cycle or session. This evens out the flow in both breasts and saves you from having only one breast with a sore nipple. Give your body enough rest and try listening to music or performing any such activity that calms you during the process of breastfeeding.
The aim of pumping is to increase the milk supply to your breasts and remove the milk faster. It is very efficient if your baby isn’t feeding properly. Try pumping your breasts in between or after the breastfeeding sessions. Make sure to continue pumping two or three times more, even after the last drop of milk, just to keep the breasts simulated.
As a last resort, you could consider a galactagogue. These are foods, drugs, herbs or any substance that increases milk supply when consumed. However, these need to be taken only after a medical consultation and not by one’s own will. Galactagogues are not a substitute for nursing or pumping. They have side effects, which are very rare, but severe.