Breast milk is one of the most vital forms of nutrients you can give to your baby. As a mother, this is something that you should already know! But these benefits extend far beyond nutrition; breast milk is infused with antibodies that protect your baby from several infections and illnesses.
This is perhaps the biggest reason why leading medical journals and organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommend that you breastfeed your baby for at least the first six months after birth.
And research indicates that breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby, but good for your health too! You can read the entire list of benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mother here (link to benefits of breastfeeding article).
But have you ever wondered what goes on in the backdrop and how breast milk is produced? Well, this article will detail the human body’s process of producing breast milk and much more.
Anatomy of the Female Breast
The areola is the dark area of the breast that circumvents the nipple in the middle. It tends to darken during pregnancy, and this dark pigmentation makes it easier for your baby to focus and latch on.
The areola in most cases acquires small glands aka Montgomery glands, which secrete natural oils that lubricate, clean and protect the nipple during both pregnancy and breastfeeding.
This discharged oil is infused with an enzyme that kills bacteria, and produces the necessary breast creams. With regards to the nipple, it has 15-20 openings for smooth milk flow.
Infant suckling triggers the pituitary gland in the brain to release two important hormones namely oxytocin and prolactin. The first hormone releases nutrients such as proteins and sugars from your blood supply and converts them into breast milk, and is also involved in other body functions in both males and females.
The former causes the cells around your areola to contract, and release the milk through your milk ducts. Other hormones involved in breast milk production include progesterone, estrogen and metabolic hormones such as thyroid and insulin.
How is Breast Milk Produced?
Contrary to popular belief, breast milk production initially is not a supply and demand process. During the pregnancy stage and a few days after birth, breast milk supply is hormonally driven aka the endocrine control system.
This system will start to trigger about half way during your pregnancy, and eventually produce colostrum milk, which is the first type of milk produced after you give birth to your baby. This is referred to as Lactogenesis I.
Although your breasts begin making colostrum halfway through pregnancy, the high levels of progesterone limit milk secretion and as a result keep the volume turned down. And the level of progesterone further drops with the delivery of placenta at birth.
This sudden drop in progesterone triggers Lactogenesis II, which is a stage where breast milk increases in volume. After the two stages of lactation, there is a lactation III stage aka milk synthesis.
During this stage, breast milk synthesis is controlled at the breast, and milk removal is driven by your baby’s appetite. In simplistic terms and in normal circumstances, your breasts will continue to make milk as long as milk removal continues whether naturally or unnaturally with a breast pump.
Milk synthesis is generally controlled by two main factors. Breast milk contains a small amount of whey protein called FIL (Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation). The primary goal of FIL is to slow down the process of milk production when the breasts are full. This means that milk production will slow down when FIL is present and speed up when less FIL is detected.
But for milk synthesis to occur, it is crucial for the hormone prolactin to be present. On the walls of the milk producing cells of the alveoli, prolactin sites allow this hormone in the bloodstream to stimulate the breast milk components.
The walls expand and stretch when the alveolus is filled with milk and as a result alters the shape of the of the prolactin sites hence limiting the flow of the flow of the hormone and decreasing the rate of milk synthesis.
As the milk is released from the alveolus, many of the prolactin receptors return to their normal state, and as a result increase the rate of milk synthesis. This overall theory suggests that frequent milk removal in the early weeks of pregnancy aids tremendously in increasing the number of prolactin sites.
Breast Milk Production without Pregnancy
There may be times you might want to breastfeed without being pregnant such as in the cases of adoption or surrogacy. And although it takes a fair bit of effort, good news is that women in this situation can still breastfeed by following a set of protocols.
As noted earlier, oxytocin and prolactin are the two naturally occurring hormones responsible for breast milk production. These hormones when mimicked with physical stimulation and/or hormone supplements can help produce breast milk without being pregnant.
Although it is possible for women to produce breast milk when not pregnant, whether they will be able to produce enough of it depends on several circumstances. Ultimately, it is best to weigh the pros and cons of induced lactation before deciding on if it's right for you.
Pros of Induced Lactation:
The biggest benefit of producing your own breast milk is the immense benefits it provides to your baby. This especially helps when you’ve adopted and can speed up the bonding process.
Another great reason for induced lactation is the large sum of money you will save over time on formulas and other canned baby foods.
Cons of Induced Lactation:
One of the major pitfalls of induced lactation is the time and effort it requires to be successful owing to the fact that you are stimulating breast milk production. You will have to pump your breasts more often than natural breast milk production, which is roughly 6-12 times per day including night sessions.
In most cases, you will be engaging in hormonal therapies for induced lactation, which could result in disruptions to your menstrual cycle and/or mood swings.
If you’re ready to get started with induced lactation, you will first have to prepare for a few changes that may or may not take place within your body. First, you need to be prepared to experience enlarged breasts, sore or swollen nipples or irregular menstruation.
Next, you might experience increased hunger during induced lactation because your body is led to believe it is eating for two. For this, it is best to increase your calorie intake, but indulge in healthy food choices in order to minimize weight gain.
Lastly, you might experience mood swings, and periods of anger and depression so having a highly supportive partner, friend or family member on hand to help you through the process is extremely helpful.
Although all it takes is stimulation to induce lactation, your doctor may prescribe supplements to accelerate the process. Good news is that there are several options for adoptive nursing or induced lactation; some of the most notable ones are discussed below.
1. Hormone stimulant with pumping
Along with the use of birth control pills, this technique can help accelerate the development of the milk ducts (breast tissue) aka alveoli. It is best to initiate this process approximately two months before breast stimulation, but the longer you take to nurture the hormones the better.
There are several different brands that can be used for this induced lactation technique, and it’s a just a matter of exploring several brands to determine the one that works for you.
For the best results, combine birth control with a prolactin stimulant such as metoclopramide (reglan) or domperidone (motillium) along with breast pumping. Some women claim that Reglan could increase feelings of anxiety and nervousness so speak to your doctor before commencing treatment.
The hormonal stimulant that you used prior to breast stimulation should be stopped between 6-8 weeks of your infant’s birth. Reason being by then it would’ve tricked your body into believing that you’ve given birth.
This is the right time to initiate the breast pumping process, where you gradually increase the number of pumping sessions and strength of the pump. Speaking of breast pump, it is not something you’ll want to skimp out on so be sure to invest in a good hospital grade pump such as one from Medela.
Start by pumping both breasts for roughly 15 minutes every 3 hours and move it up as you feel comfortable. It is good idea to use a supplemental nursing system such as a dropper for nursing, but your lactation consultant will be in the position to guide you on the right track.
Be sure to continue pumping after each nursing session so that you continue to have a rich flow of breastmilk. Mothers are generally advised to continue the prolactin stimulant until the end of the lactating experience.
2. Prolactin stimulant with pumping and medication
This method involves using only prolactin stimulants and breast pump stimulation. The process would remain the same as above for the most part except that you will not be served any birth control hormones.
Furthermore, if you don’t have a 6-8 week window before your baby is born, you can begin to pump right from birth. If you’re breast milk supply is low, speak to your doctor about using a breast milk boosting supplement such as Motherlove More Milk Special owing to its Goat Rue composition.
3. Breast pump only
This is the best option for those who do not wish to use any form of medication or supplements. This truly works great for mothers who have breastfed previous children considering the fact that pumping would awaken the breast’s cellular memory.
But there are a few abnormal hormonal changes that can cause lactation in women that aren’t pregnant. These include:
Galactorrhea – regarded as the most common causes of non-maternal lactation, this condition results in a milky discharge. This discharge should not be confused for breast milk, and could be caused by a few different reasons. These include chronic kidney disease, nerve damage and spinal cord injuries.
Pituitary Microadenomas – these are benign tumors that tend to grow on the pituitary gland. They often secrete excessive hormones resulting in non-maternal lactation.
Other causes – there are a few other causes of non-maternal lactation including smoking pot and certain medications. Store this breast milk safely, and provide it to your baby as soon as they are born before initiating nursing at the breast.
Should you worry?
In all honestly, non-maternal lactation could be caused by several underlying issues, some serious, some not! It is always a good practice to seek medical attention should you witness lactation without being pregnant for several reasons, most notably to confirm that you are indeed not pregnant. You should also visit your doctor if:
You start to lactate many months after giving birth
You start lactating after a miscarriage
Any other sudden discharge especially if it contains blood, pus or has a sticky texture
Breastfeeding and Diabetes
Women who are considered insulin resistant, pre-diabetic or have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can still make breast milk and breastfeed. And good news is that that doing so is good for both mother and baby.
Expressing breastmilk prior to birth and breastfeeding overall has a positive effect on insulin response. For mothers with Type 1 diabetes, it can significantly decrease the need for insulin during the breastfeeding period, and those with Type 2 may require less hypoglycemic during this time.
But it is important to note that mothers who are pre-diabetic may give birth to babies with low blood sugar levels. If you have this condition, it is best to get in touch with your medical practitioner for the best treatment.
Furthermore, diabetic mothers may have to wait a bit longer for milk volumes to increase after giving birth. But just like regular breast milk production, the more you express, the better the breast milk supply.
There are few measures you can take to prevent blood sugar dips including:
Drink enough fluids
Enjoy a light snack before or during nursing
Adhere to a meal plan that keeps your blood sugar levels in check
Most medications used to treat diabetes do not affect the quality of breast milk and are safe to use during nursing. Mothers with diabetes however have an increased risk of mastitis or thrush, which is another reason to ensure your nipples are well maintained and breasts drained regularly.
How does Breast Milk Supply Vary?
Breast milk varies across women, during a feeding, according to a mother’s diet, throughout the day and entire nursing period. Further, breast milk can also vary depending on a baby’s gestational age. Contrarily, formula regardless of the type you buy doesn’t change at all and always tastes the same.
Mother’s Diet - diet greatly influences several elements of breast milk. For example, a mother who consumes a lot of fish will have different fatty acids than a woman who eats meat or is purely vegetarian.
As another example, a woman that eats garlic will produce breast milk that tastes and smells different. Speaking of garlic, it is known to prevent atherosclerosis so certain level of consumption does have immune boosting qualities.
There are however a few medical professionals who claim that dietary additions such as garlic aren’t the best for your baby. But it sometimes might be a good idea to introduce your baby to different types of food so they experience a variety of tastes and as a result will be easier to adapt to solid foods when the time comes.
The things a mother eats that appear in her breast milk are also more than likely to reduce the risk of allergies in the breastfed baby. The amount of food however consumed by a mother has no effect on the quality of milk a mother produces.
Even women who eat less tend to produce good quality breast milk, but the quantity may be a little less. If you do eat less, there are a few herbs and supplements that can boost your breastmilk supply.
During a Feeding – the only notable change in breastfeeding across a feeding is fat content. Breast milk at the start of a feeding generally contains 1 percent of fat content, but this could increase by 5 percent or higher by the end of the session. While the average percent of overall fat content is typically 4 percent throughout a feeding session, this also depends on what a mother eats throughout the day.
Throughout the Day – research indicates that the level of lactose in breast milk is significantly higher in the afternoon compared to the early morning. Adding to this, the amount of fat is lowest in the afternoon than it is in the morning, and the amount of protein is highest in the evening than it is in the early morning.
In order for your baby to enjoy the best of all worlds, it is important that you breastfeed or express milk throughout the day at regular intervals. With regards to breastfeeding changes during the nursing period, you can read all about it here.
Depending on Gestational Age – babies who are born prematurely will have different needs than those born under normal conditions. Given this, the milk of a mother will adjust accordingly to the baby’s needs at the specific time.
For example, a premature baby needs more sodium and protein than a baby born on time. Owing to the fact that premature babies aren’t born fully developed, they are more prone to infections hence a mother that delivers prematurely produces breast milk with more antibodies and white cells.
Adding to this, premature babies fall short on some of the polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for the development of brains and vision. And good news is that milk of the mother will have just the right amount to compensate for these fatty acids.
Other Variables – some research indicates that breast milk provided to a baby twice in a row can be different from each other. This is especially true for the second feeding as it will have a higher concentration of fat.
Mothers who breastfeed for the normal time i.e. 3-4 years will produce breastmilk that varies according to their menstrual period. Some mothers claim that this results in low supply as well, and even affects the quality of breastmilk.
Also it is important to note that if you bottle feed your baby, your period may start as early as 6 months, and may not begin until you fully stop breastfeeding if you breastfeed.
The quality of a mother’s breast milk will also differ from one who has had several pregnancies compared to her first pregnancy. Furthermore, it is claimed that breastfed babies sleep better at night compared to formula fed babies.
If you express milk for future use, it is highly recommended that you express milk at set periods of the day i.e. morning, afternoon and night to be used at those respective times. Reason being that breastmilk expressed at a specific period will provide the optimum nutrition of that specific time.
How to Boost Breast Milk Supply?
Research indicates that roughly 15 percent of women experience inadequate breast milk supply, and there are several reasons for this shortage. Medical experts say that it's best to prevent low milk supply than try to remedy it.
Premature babies – preemie babies tend to get tired easily and have immature feeding skills, and as a result may not be able to drain or stimulate the breast effectively.
Ineffective latching – if a baby doesn’t latch on effectively, they may not be able to drain the breast effectively.
Mother’s lifestyle – unhealthy lifestyle habits could not only affect the quality of breastmilk, but also the amount produced.
Breast capacity – capacity should not be confused for breast size, but is rather the amount of glandular tissue possessed by a woman.
Environmental toxins – although rare, studies have indicated that a woman’s breast milk can be affected by her surroundings such as living in pesticide-contaminated agricultural areas.
Although there are several ways to boost your breastmilk supply, it is best to seek medical attention for the best remedy.
Pumping regularly – expressing breast milk for future use and storing it appropriately will not only help you build a large stash, but also improve your breast milk supply.
Check the latch – if your baby has not latched on appropriately, they will not be able to drain effectively resulting in low breast milk production.
Take a vacation – not the type you’re accustomed to, but a break from your daily chores to spend time with your baby. Use this time for nursing and spend some one on one time with your baby.
Avoid hormonal birth control – don’t go on the pill if you don’t need to, but resort to hormone free birth control methods such as condoms. Birth control pills have a negative effect on your breast milk supply.
Wear the right bra – wearing a bra that is too tight or one that compresses your breasts can also affect your milk flow.
Eat Oatmeal – an American breakfast, oatmeal is known to boost breast milk supply. If oatmeal isn’t your thing, oatmeal cookies and granola bars work similarly.
Not Pumping Enough Breast Milk
As mentioned earlier, breastmilk supply varies by weeks, months and somewhat throughout the day. As long as you nurse regularly, your baby will receive just the right amount of milk for their needs.
However, there may be times where breastmilk supply falls short, and this is due to several reasons. Therefore it is a good idea to understand what is normal when it comes to normal pumping output.
Mothers who breastfeed full time should be able to produce approximately 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session. If your output is higher than that, you may have an overabundant breast milk supply or may have better compatibility with the pump.
Reasons for Low Breastmilk Supply
Using an inappropriate pump – once you determine the amount of breast milk you are pumping, it is important that you get the right pump to suit.
Using an old pump – pumps just like most things are prone to wear and tear especially if you’re using an electric pump.
Reducing the number of pumping milk sessions – if there is a change in the number of pumping sessions, this could affect the overall supply of breast milk.
Starting solids – if your baby has just started consuming solids, they may be taking in less milk and will result in a decrease in breast milk supply.
Hormonal birth control – available in two common types, one that contains both hormones progestin and estrogen and other progestin aka the “mini pill”. Some of these pills are known to curb your breast milk supply so it's best to speak to your lactation consultant before use.
For long term birth control that isn’t permanent, an intrauterine device (IUD) is a great choice. These eradicate the need to remember to take the pill or do anything special for them to work.
New diet – a new diet or even a poor one can greatly affect your breast milk supply. Good news however is that your diet does not affect the protein, lactose or fat content of your milk.
But considering that the food you intake has a variety of flavors, the flavor of your milk can change as well. This is why you should refrain from changing your diet often and practicing a poor one.
New pregnancy – your milk supply may reduce or even starts to dry up if you get newly pregnant. This is because your body is preparing colostrum for your new baby. If this is the case, you can take some breastfeeding supplements to get your supply back on track.
Overabundant Breast Milk Supply
Although a mother’s concern is not able to produce enough breast milk, there may be times you may be producing an overwhelming supply of milk. Good news is that is in most cases an easy problem to resolve.
If you’re experiencing an overabundant supply of breastmilk, your baby is probably showcasing one or more of several symptoms including pulling of the breast, fussing, colicky crying, spitting up, gassiness and hiccupping.
Your baby may also gain weight rapidly as they will want to nurse more frequently. Adding to this, their stools may be more watery and green, and their bottoms may be sore and red.
Mothers who suffer from high flow of breast milk may experience plugged ducts, mastitis, and engorged breasts. Your best bet is to speak a lactation specialist when you notice these symptoms.
However, the cause in most cases is a combination of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance along with an overactive letdown reflex. Tips to curb excessive breast milk supply include:
Offer just one breast – allow your baby to nurse on just one breast as long as they want. If they have nursed for less than half hour and want to nurse again in less than an hour or two, put them back on the same breast for at least 15-20 minutes.
Alter your nursing position – hold your baby and lean back slightly and get him in a position where they are facing your breast. Or lying on your side may be helpful as well. The key is to use a position which uses the force of gravity to reduce the flow of milk
Relax during a letdown – breast milk in most cases spurts out in forceful sprays, and then slows down. It is recommended that you try and catch the initial sprays in a towel and have your baby latch on and nurse after the sprays have calmed down.
You can also save this initial breast milk in a cup, which is good to be used in cereals and bottles later on. in some cases, your baby may choke during a feeding session so take him off the breast, express a little milk and have them latch and nurse again.
Adding to this, babies who choke during this initial forceful spurt session may also take in air so burp them often. It is usually no big concern if they burp often or spit up a lot because this simply means that they are taking in more milk and are gaining weight well.
Contrarily, if your baby is spiting up forcefully after a feeding and is not gaining weight, seek medical attention as this may be signs of diarrhea or fever.
Avoid pumping or expressing milk – if you experience an overabundant supply of breast milk, it is best to not let your body know that you need more milk hence it is best to temporarily avoid expressing breast milk.
Drink a cup of sage before bed – sage is infused with a natural form of estrogen that can decrease your breast milk supply. Take it accordingly and adjust it to when your supply is on tap again.
Donate your milk – if you’re making more than the required amount of breast milk, donating your milk to those who aren’t so fortunate is a great option. But take note that there are just a handful of breast milk banks in the United States so this option may not be available to everyone.
Foods to Increase Breast Milk
Galactagogues are herbs, foods or medications that can boost breast milk supply. Although, more than 95 percent of women are able to produce enough breastmilk for their babies including twins, there are a few who fall short.
But before taking any form of Galactagogues, it is important to seek advice from a lactation consultant. Reason being that even though a mother may feel they have a low breast milk production problem, most in essence don’t.
Galactagogues are best suited for those mothers who have low prolactin levels, and if not taken appropriately can affect other areas of your health and wellbeing. Further, these remedies only work if you’ve been removing breastmilk effectively and frequently and are practicing a healthy diet.
Fenugreek – this is the most common herb used to boost breast milk supply, and has been for centuries as a solution. When consumed in large amounts, Fenugreek can also lower blood sugar levels so it might not be the best choice for some diabetics.
This is the best solution for adoptive mothers for induced lactation, but its consumption during pregnancy is not recommended. When consumed appropriately, results from fenugreek can be seen within 24-72 hours after starting the herb.
Goat’s Rue – another powerful herb to boost breast milk production, Goat’s Rue has been proven to increase breast milk supply in 50 percent or more cases. One of the noteworthy benefits of Goat’s Rue is that it can be used during pregnancy and can be used in combination with other herbs or all by itself.
Three recommended Goat's Rue Solutions are:
1. Goat's Rue Lactation Aid Support – no added ingredients and available in capsule form.
2. Motherlove Goat's Rue - Stimulates the development of mammary tissue and available in capsule form.
3. Mother’s Select Organic Goat’s Rue – Gluten Free, Dairy and Soy Free and available in capsule form.
Fennel – this herb not only helps boost breast milk production, but also relieves symptoms of upset gas or stomach. It can be used alongside Fenugreek when gas is an issue.
Red Raspberry Leaf – this helps boost breast milk supply, and also helps the uterus recover after birth. Adding to this, it is increasingly rich in niacin, vitamins and minerals, and is also claimed to relieve the symptoms of Raynaud's Syndrome.
Blessed Thistle – also known "Our Lady's Milk Thistle", apart from boosting breast milk production, this herb can also relieve mild forms of postpartum depression. Take note that it is a bitter herb so it's best to take it with tea or coffee.
Vitex – this herb has long been used to boost breast milk production. Its primary function is to balance hormones so if you’re experiencing PMS symptoms while breastfeeding, vitex is worth exploring.
Alfalfa - this herb not only helps boost breast milk supply, but also enriches your body with important vitamins and minerals especially vitamin K.
Hops – this herb has been used in several cultures for years, but you must get the right quality for it to be an effective solution for low breast milk supply.
Foods that Decrease Milk Supply
It is best to avoid certain foods, which can decrease breast milk supply. These include:
Thyme – most commonly used in several culinary specialties, thyme has distinctive flavor and even though it has medicinal properties that help aid in several ailments including acne and blood pressure, it can have a negative impact on breast milk production.
Cabbage Leaves – although breast engorgement can be reduced by applying cabbage leaves topically and appropriately, over-application can work contrarily.
Peppermint and Spearmint – although you can a little bit of peppermint tea, it is best to avoid altoids and love candies and other things that have peppermint oil.
Beer and Alcoholic Beverages – contrarily to popular myths that beer boosts breast milk supply, it actually does the opposite. It in fact inhibits your milk letdown reflex and makes it harder for your baby to get the milk.
Parsley – although chewing on some parsley after a meal tastes refreshing, you may want to stay away from dishes that are garnished with large amounts.
How to know if Breast milk is drying up?
It is normal for a mother’s breasts to feel less full, soft and even empty after the first 6-12 weeks. If you experience a drop in your breast milk, it may not necessarily mean that your milk supply has dropped, but means that your breasts have gotten used to how much milk you actually need.
The rule of thumb when it comes to breastfeeding is that your milk will respond to your baby’s demands. Sometimes women question their faith in their breast milk supply when all things are indeed normal.
For example, your breasts will go through a phase of engorgement in the initial stages of breastfeeding, which some moms interpret as breast milk drying up. Take note that your breasts are not designed to store milk, but most of the milk a baby needs comes at the time of feeding.
Another example when moms think they have dwindling milk supply is when they baby suddenly wants to feed more often than usual. In this circumstance, they feel that their baby is not able to get enough milk, but this is not usually the case.
In most cases, your baby must be going through a growth spurt, which are common at 3 and 6 weeks and 3 months of age ad as a result are growing rapidly and need to feed more frequently.
Moms going back to work and expressing milk for future storage tend to notice a drop in breast milk flow after a few weeks or months. In this case, it could indeed be that their milk supply is winding down, and the biggest reason for this could be the breast pump.
Pumps are mechanical things and hence are prone to wear and tear. But apart from that, the breast pump you choose must cycle at a lower speed than the baby nurses, which is approximately less than 60 cycles per minute.
Adding to this, regular use of a breast pump may gradually affect your breast milks flow to match your baby’s needs resulting in diminished milk production. As a quick solution, hospital grade pumps work best, which you can easily get your hands on from a hospital pharmacy or your lactation consultant.
Lastly, your breastmilk supply can also tend to dry up when you introduce solid foods. This is because when your baby eats more solid foods, they will not need the same amount of breastmilk as when they first started.
These breast changes are completely normal, but it is best to speak to a medical professional for expert advice.
There may be times when you’re doing everything right including the right amount of breastmilk, but your baby just won’t nurse. This is commonly referred to as a nursing strike and there are several reasons for it including:
Mouth pain from a cold sore, teething or an infection
An ear infection
A cold or stuffy nose
Slow letdown or reduced milk supply
A big change in your baby’s nursing routine or schedule
You’ve been bitten by a teething baby, whose startled after your reaction
A change in soap or toiletry
Change in taste of breast milk caused by hormonal changes, a vitamin or drug
How to End a Nursing Strike?
Quite honestly, ending a nursing strike can be tricky even for the most experienced and patient mother. A typically nursing strike can last between 2-3 days, but may last longer. Even though your baby may refuse to nurse within this period, it is imperative that you encourage your baby to nurse and express your breast milk.
This will simply ensure you have a good stash when you need the milk. Here are 10 tips on how to end a nursing strike.
1. Check for baby’s physical problems – a mother once found a small piece of paper stuck to the top within her baby’s mouth. Upon removing the paper, her baby was relieved and went back to regular nursing.
Some babies have gone on a nursing strike bladder infections that make urination painful, ear infections (suckling tends to increase the pain), teething or stuffy nose problems.
Also and mostly and oversight, we tend to change perfumes or deodorants giving much thought to how it may affect the people around us. If you’ve done so lately, try avoiding it for a day or two too see if it ends the nursing strike.
2. Avoid pacifiers or bottles during the strike – consider the fact that sucking is a natural trait, and this for them must be achieved at the breast. If you’ve already gotten your baby’s feet wet with the bottle, you by all means can continue but try as much to keep it to a minimum. Without letting your baby get dehydrated, offer them just the right amount of food and water and simultaneously encourage them to satisfy their needs at your breast.
3. Don’t stop pumping – even though your baby isn’t temporarily nursing, you will still have to continue expressing breast milk in order to maintain milk production. In addition, this will help you prevent breast infections and plugged ducts. During this time, you can give your baby milk through ice cubes, milk pops, syringe or a cup.
4. Patience is key – sometimes you may get frustrated seeing your baby resisting nursing, but the key is to be patient as its no fault of your little one. Forcing your baby to nurse will just make things worse so instead spend some quality time with them with no pressure to latch or eat.
5. Try again when they’re about to fall asleep – the best time to give your baby a feel for your breast is when they are falling asleep or just waking up. If they wake up and aren’t complying, don’t force them.
6. Bath together – with your breasts available, get into the bath tub with your baby, and see if they latch on.
7. Move around – walk around the room while you have your baby in a sling or wrap and offer to nurse them.
8. Try a dark, quiet room – laying down in a dim, quiet room may make your baby reminiscence about the old breastfeeding days.
9. Play some music – yes it’s true! Even babies love music so go on and play some of your favorite tunes while trying to get them to latch on.
10. Spend time with other babies – this might remind your baby about their nursing days and may want to get back to it.
Breast milk production has nothing to do with the size of the breasts, but is the work of the inner components of each breast. I hope the article above has provided you with great insight into how breast milk is produced and remember the more you nurse, you more breast milk you produce.