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Feeding the Child

Low milk supply - Part 1

It’s perfectly normal to worry about your milk supply, especially when you begin breastfeeding. In fact, the number-one reason that mums give for abandoning breastfeeding is that they feel their body isn’t producing enough milk. The good news, though, is that nearly all mums are capable of making plenty of milk for their baby.

I don’t feel I’m producing much milk, should I worry?

The first thing to do is rule out false alarms about your milk supply. A good way of telling if your baby is getting enough milk is by keeping track of his weight gain.

Your newborn baby will probably have lost between five per cent and 10 per cent of his birth weight in his first few days. It's natural for newborns to take a little dip in their body weight.

But after a few days your baby should start to put on weight again. If your baby is weighed when he's between five and seven days old, you should see that he’s starting to grow.

There are other ways to tell if your baby is thriving, too. You can be reassured that he’s getting enough breastmilk if he:

- wets five to eight nappies a day
- looks healthy and alert
- does yellowy-mustard poos which lighten in colour about five days after birth

You may think you’re not producing enough milk if:

- Your letdown reflex feels weaker or your breasts feel less full. In fact, this is a sign that your body is adjusting to your baby’s feeding requirements.

- Milk stops leaking from your nipples. Again, this happens when your body adjusts to your baby's feeding pattern.

- Your baby seems to want more milk than usual. Check your baby is latching on well. Try changing breastfeeding positions to ensure he's able to feed comfortably.

- Your baby’s feeds have become shorter. Some babies simply become more efficient and faster feeders. You may feel you're not satisfying your baby, when, in fact, he's able to fill his tummy more quickly.