Low milk supply can seem like an absolute nightmare when you have your heart set on breastfeeding your baby, but it doesn't have to be. Minbie has helped lots of new mums build up their milk supply using a combination of pumping with our hospital grade double breast pump and mix feeding using our award winning breast like bottles. You may be surprised to learn that a low milk supply is usually just a temporary situation which can be improved with a little help.
Why do I have a low milk supply?
A low milk supply simply means you aren’t producing enough milk to meet your baby’s needs. This doesn’t mean you need to give up breastfeeding altogether. In fact, Minbie has helped lots of mums in your position, build their milk supply whilst carefully holding on to their breastfeeding bond.
It’s very normal to find you have a low milk supply when your baby arrives, and although most mother’s do produce enough milk for their babies, there are many others who struggle for various reasons. A few possible reasons why you may find you have a low milk supply are:
- Your baby is not latching correctly on the breast. (If this is the case you may find you’re in pain too.)
- Your baby doesn’t seem to want to feed as often as they should.
- Once your baby is latched correctly on the breast they are not feeding effectively.
- You’re topping up with formula so there has been less demand for breastmilk.
- You have recently had mastitis.
- You’re taking oral contraceptive pills containing estrogen. (Oral contraceptives pass into the breast milk, can change the content and can even lower the amount of breast milk produced.)
Lots of us think we have a low milk supply when actually our bodies are behaving exactly the way they should be. For example:
- You may think your bub is feeding too frequently and therefore you’re not supplying enough to meet their demand. Actually, it’s perfectly normal for your little one to want to feed anywhere between 8 & 12 times in 24 hours. This kind of frequent feeding will help increase your milk supply. (If you’re completely exhausted, this is a great time to pump and give dad the opportunity to offer a bottle).
- Your baby is only feeding in short bursts so you’re sure there mustn't be enough milk. Honestly, as long as your baby is growing as they should be, you can rest assured that you’re doing just fine. Once your baby has grown a little more, they will become more efficient on the breast and therefore take more milk in less time.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
As soon as your baby is a week old they should be feeding between 8 &12 times a day. You can tell they’re getting enough milk if they are:
- Waking for feeds by themselves
- Settling well between feeds
- Having at least 6 soaked nappies in 24 hours
- Pooping at least once a day
Simple ways to increase your milk supply:
- Skin-to-skin contact. This closeness will help to keep your little one awake and increase the release of hormones needed for breast milk production.
- If your baby decides to ‘snooze’ at the breast (I mean why wouldn't you if you were so comfy and cosy) and isn’t feeding well, you can try expressing from each breast instead to encourage your milk supply and to have a reserve of milk as a back up.
- Frequent breastfeeding at least every 2-3 hours will help increase supply. Remember, it’s perfectly ok to wake your baby to feed, sometimes they need a little reminder!
- Make sure baby is latching correctly. An incorrect latch could mean that your little one isn’t effectively extracting milk, which will not only affect your milk supply, it will cause you pain.
- Make sure baby is draining your breasts efficiently.
- Expressing after you have breastfed your little one, encourages an increase in supply & ensures that your breasts will be well drained and ready to produce more milk.
- If you need to give your baby extra milk, offer expressed breast milk separately using a Minbie bottle to safeguard your feeding journey.
How can Minbie help me?
If, like many mums, you’re experiencing low milk supply, it’s important that you only offer your baby a bottle that has been designed to replicate the breast and therefore won’t harm your breastfeeding bond. These are the moments Minbie was made for.
Our patented teats offer your little one the same feeding experience they get when they're on your breast. This means you avoid all the complications that come with using other bottles. Your baby will feed from a Minbie teat just as they would on you, meaning your breastfeeding bond is protected and your baby is learning to feed in a way that not only aids digestion but also trains their breastfeeding muscle memory. Yes, these incredible bottles have been known to make babies more efficient breast feeders.
Have you got any questions about how Minbie can help you? Log on to the website and chat to one of us now!
If you are concerned about your milk supply or your baby’s feeding, contact your GP or a lactation consultant who can support you further.