Mythbusters: Lactation Edition, Part 2
The next set of breastfeeding myths are discussed with the lovely Meagan. Meagan is a nursing student, whose field of interest is in labor and delivery, as well as lactation. She’s very knowledgeable and passionate about breastfeeding & I’m so glad she was able to answer these questions for me. She’s also adorable. And engaged to one of my oldest friends, Ryan. Not oldest, as in, he’s old… Oldest as in we’ve known each other most of our lives. But I digress…
1. Should I supplement with formula until my milk comes in? There is no need to supplement. Before the milk “comes in,” there is still a substance called colostrum in the breast and it is sufficient for the baby. It has all he/she needs for nutrition. I have to add, though, that this is applies ONLY in situations where the newborn is healthy and has no blood sugar/health issues.
2. My newborn wants to eat constantly… am I making enough milk? It’s as simple as supply and demand. The newborn wants to feed when they’re hungry. Each time they feed, they stimulate more milk production. Sometimes, they are even soothed by the mother’s nipple…like a pacifier, which would make them want to “latch” constantly. Make sure they’re gaining weight and that they’re having wet and dirty diapers is also another indication that they’re receiving what they need.
3. I’m only getting half an ounce when I pump, do I have a low milk supply? That doesn’t necessarily mean you have low supply. It may be the type of pump used. Babies also suck milk MUCH better than a pump could ever do. If the baby is gaining weight and having the physician-recommended wet/dirty diapers, chances are, the milk supply is NOT low. It’s also good for moms to drink lots of water to get that milk a flowin’ .
4. If I nurse all the time, will I run out of milk? You will NOT run out of milk. This goes back to the supply and demand thing.. Once the baby sucking stimulates the breast, it continues to produce milk, never “emptying.” There’s a constant flow of milk.. The baby will never empty a breast in one feeding because there’s always more milk coming in. They will know when they need to stop.
Meagan did such a great job answering these questions… I only have one thing to add. She’s absolutely right about the pumping. If someone wouldn’t have told me that pumps are less efficient than babies, I would have had several (more than I already did) major panic attacks when T was brand new. I didn’t really start pumping till he was 2-3 weeks old, and I hardly got anything for what seemed like forever. It would take me 4 or 5 sessions to get 3 oz. Eventually, my body adjusted & I was able to actually pump a significant amount of milk, but it took awhile. Especially since I was with T all the time, so I was not pumping in place of feedings. Now, I can easily get 4 oz in 15 minutes in between feedings.
Anyways, on a side note, I’m so excited to get my friends and family involved in this blog! I’m just having so much fun writing and researching things I’m interested in! Hopefully with me going back to work soon (and by soon, I mean Monday!) I can enlist some special guest posters (i.e. My friends Kayla & Kristin, and possibly my husband… he’s the idea man behind this blog anyway!)
Thanks, again, Meagan for playing Mythbusters with me! 🙂