Breastfeeding is a relationship, and can be a full time job. There is a tremendous range of normal so finding your own version of normal can be challenging. These are the most common questions our clients ask.
“Why doesn’t my breast pump work?”
A: You have good milk supply, but milk won’t come out when you pump. There are so many hormones associated with let down, the breast pump doesn’t typically inspire those feelings. Many women just don’t respond to the pump. You can try more pumps, you can try looking at pictures of your baby, and if you are very concerned about your milk supply you can talk to an IBCLC.
“How do I make more breast milk?”
A: If you are facing supply issues, it is important to see an IBCLC. Often you will think you have low milk supply, but that may not be the case. If you do have low milk supply, you can take a weekend and nurse at least every 2 hours, and pump in between. Or you can pump on one breast, while nursing on the other. Breast milk is about supply and demand. Typically, if you demand more, your body will produce more milk.
“Why does breastfeeding make me sad?”
A: Some parents don’t have the happy loving feelings associated with breastfeeding. If breastfeeding gives you intense feelings of sadness you may have D-MER, or Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. The most important way to aid anyone experiencing D-MER is to validate their feelings. Studies have shown that anything that increases dopamine levels can help.
“Am I bad mom for not breastfeeding?”
A: Absolutely not. In every situation in life, we are faced with pros and cons. It is your job as a parent to weigh out those pros and cons to make the best choices for your family. At Southern Pacific Doulas we strongly believe that fed is best, and we encourage you to feed your baby in the way you are most comfortable with.
“Am I making enough milk?”
A: The best measure for if you’re making enough milk, is if your baby is gaining weight. As long as your baby is gaining enough weight, you are making enough milk.
“How can I stop my milk from drying up?”
A: It is very important to establish milk supply in the first 6 weeks. That is a critical time, as certain receivers are opened, and after 6 weeks they close. So the best way to keep your milk from drying up, is to find support, and solve any problems, during those first few weeks. After those 6 weeks, it’s supply and demand. Continue nursing, and/or pumping, as long as you want to.
“When should I stop nursing?”
A: This answer is very simple, whenever you and your baby no longer want to nurse. Regardless of your baby’s age, the right time to stop is when either of you are ready to stop nursing.