In every new mother with a desire to breastfeed lurks the question of; will I have enough breastmilk to feed my baby. You will have many women tell you that you body was designed to breastfeed and that it will come naturally, but what if it doesn’t?
There are various reasons why a new mom may not have enough breastmilk, like;
- Not having enough “milk-making” ducts – for reasons unknown, some women’s breast don’t develop normally and may not have enough milk making ducts to meet their baby’s needs. Ducts do grow during each pregnancy and breastfeeding stimulates the growth of more ducts and tissue, so breastfeeding might be easier with your second or third child than with your firstborn. Supplementing with formula may be a strong option, but even breastmilk in small amounts will help your baby’s immune syster, brain development and nutritional needs.
- Some health issues like PCOS, low or high thyroid, diabetes, hypertension or hormonal problems can contribute to a low milk supply, due to the fact that making milk relies on signals being sent to the breasts from your brain.
- Using hormonal birth control before four months is also known to cause a dip in your milk supply.
- Medication used during birth such as epidural, anaesthetic or Demerol can affect a baby’s ability to latch or breastfeed effectively. Some studies have shown that these effects last as long as a month.
Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do as a mom, for many it doesn’t come easy or natural, yet for those who are able to breastfeed it will be worth every moment of fear, doubt and every inch of effort.