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Thread: Breast Milk Production
28th June 2014 12:01 AM #1
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- Jun 2014
Breast Milk Production
Hello! I started having problems with my breast milk supply soon after we started bottle-feeding our baby with an infant formula when I have to be at work. But when I'm at home, I focus on breastfeeding him since I know it is the best and it is healthier for him and he is less likely to get sick when it's breast milk. Any advise or suggestions regarding the steps or maybe the food that I need to eat to again increase my breast milk production? Thank you!
28th June 2014 06:12 AM #2
That's great that you are breastfeeding. There are so many benefits of breastmilk (the latest research shows that it aids babies brain development and also that breastmilk contains stem cells) and formula milk sadly doesn't come close to its properties and can even reduce the immunological properties of the breastmilk if you are mix feeding.
Remember that breastmilk works on a supply and demand basis. The more frequently you put your baby to the breast the more breastmilk your body is told to produce. Unfortunately when you start introducing formula milk as well this means your body is not being told to produce the same amount of milk and your breastmilk supply will start to reduce.
It sounds like this is what has been happening in your case. If you had a good milk supply before you started introducing formula then it is better to stimulate the breasts more frequently (to produce more breastmilk) rather than focusing on foods which can help to increase breastmilk production. Of course there's no harm in eating foods such as oats and seaweed which are known to aid breastmilk production too.
I wonder if you are able to express breastmilk to leave for your baby whilst you are at work? Your employer has a legal obligation to give you breaks to express, a private room to do so and a suitable place to store the breastmilk. Have you ever used a breast-pump? You would want to simulate the feeds your baby has - i.e. pumping for at least as frequently and as long as he feeds (no breast pump is as efficient as extracting milk as a baby). Please don't be discouraged if you don't express off much milk to begin with - it takes practice to simulate your baby's feeds and your breasts will take a few days to start to increase their supply again.
At 12 months of age a baby can still get over 90% of their nutritional requirements from the breastmilk alone. Obviously from 6 months of age and when your baby is developmentally ready you introduce solid food alongside the breastmilk but the breastmilk still provides by far the majority of what they need.
How often do you work? You could try and gradually build up a stock of breastmilk. Who cares for your baby whilst you are at work?
You are doing a fabulous job - please know that. The breastmilk you do give your baby is hugely significant and important to him - a wonderful gift. It can be very difficult being a working mum sometimes.
Please post back and let us know your thoughts as well as how we can support you further with this.
Last edited by ljmarsden; 28th June 2014 at 06:14 AM.