The body of a nursing mother is a well oiled machine. If you trust in the natural functions of the human body, you will have less feelings of worry about whether or not your baby is getting enough to eat. However, if you think your milk supply is decreasing there are many tips on how to get it back up to what your baby needs.
First of all, you have to consider what is making you think your milk supply is waning. All of the signs that may make a mother think this are not necessarily indicators of low supply. For instance, the amount of milk you pump may not be an accurate indicator of what you are producing. Your baby knows how to suck to extract milk much better than any pump. Some women get very little milk at all from pumping. It is common to feel like your baby is not getting enough to eat when he starts to feed more frequently. Most of the time, when his desire to feed increases, it is a growth spurt or simply increased hunger. Remember “he is a growing boy”.
If you still think you are not producing enough milk then you have to go through some basic guidelines and ask yourself if you are doing these things. Most importantly, you have to dedicate yourself to breastfeeding. Do not think that these are your last efforts and then just give up and switch to the bottle.
First try and nurse your baby for longer amounts of time each feeding. Never remove your baby from your breast. As long as he stays latched on, allow him to suck. The sucking alone will tell your body to produce more milk. Next, offer the breast more often even if your baby doesn’t ask. If he is nursing every 2 hours, offer the breast every hour and a half.
Try not to ever supplement. By supplementing formula or even expressed milk, that means your body will never know that the demand for milk from your baby is higher. It is more beneficial to put the baby to your breast even if you think he is not getting much. This theory also goes for pacifiers. Do not give your baby a pacifier when he wants to suck. Every time he wants to suck take it as a need for food and put him to your breast.
There are actual nursing methods to help stimulate milk production. One is to switch nurse. Some advice tells you to nurse on one side one feeding and the other breast the next feeding. Try getting a full feed in on the first side and then burp well and move onto the second side in the same feeding. Remember to start on side number two the on the next feeding. Another method is to double nurse. Feed your baby on both sides and then when he is done, take a small break for burping to release some air and make room for more milk, and then go right back to the first breast. This tells your body that more milk is required and kick starts production.
The key is not giving up. Keep trying. It may just be your own lack of confidence in the natural workings of your body that are causing you to feel like you are not producing enough milk. It is not worth depraving your baby of such an important gift. Educate yourself and keep trying. Your body will do the rest.