Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?
Does Size Matter?
Absolutely not! There is no correlation between breast size and the amount of milk produced. Large breasted women have higher proportions of fatty tissue compared to their glandular tissue.
There IS a correlation between breast size and ability to breastfeed, and the verdict falls in favor of small breasted women. Small breasted women have an easier time breastfeeding and, consequently, their babies may be healthier.
Insufficient Milk Supply
It is very rare for a woman to be born with insufficient glandular development. Watch your child to make sure she's getting enough milk. She should be suckling until milk comes and then you should hear them make a swallowing sound (a soft "ga, ga, ga"). She should gain about 4 to7 ounces a week after the first four days of life. If your baby is losing weight or appears lethargic, contact your physician as soon as possible.
Milk comes on demand, so remember that expressing your milk if you're away from the baby will help more milk come.
A remedy for increasing your milk supply is brewer's yeast. This yeast is usually prescribed for people with high stress as it's rich in B vitamins, iron and protein. Many women have found that it increases their breast supply. Mix about one tablespoon in a drink.
Too Much Milk
Some mothers have hyperlactation, or an overabundance of breast milk. Hyperlactation causes milk to spray or leak out of the breast. A baby may choke or gag on the first spray of milk as she is unused to having to swallow so much.
Hyperlactation is caused by an undeveloped and unregulated milk supply. After a few weeks, this should even out. Some lactation experts believe that hyperlactation is caused by a large number of alveoli, or milk producing glands. Each breast has between 100,000 and 300,000 alveoli. Women who produce too much milk may be at the top of this range. If hyperlactation does not settle within a few weeks, consult your physician; hyperlactation could be a sign of hormonal imbalance.
There are a few things you can do about this. You can change your breastfeeding positions. One helpful position is to lie on your back with your baby feeding on top of you; this will slow the supply of milk. Another possibility is holding your baby facing you as if she were sitting up.
Try expressing a bit of milk right before you breastfeed; this will get those few initial squirts out of the way. It's important not to express too much, as this could signal your body to produce more milk. Lastly, keep your baby feeding on one breast for each four-hour period (about two to three feedings). If the other breast feels full, relieve the pain by expressing a bit of milk from that breast.
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