While most breastfeeding mothers will go through a period of self-doubt where they worry that their milk supply is inadequate, experts say that true milk insufficiency is very rare. It does exist of course, but it is exceptionally infrequent.
Many women wrongly think that their milk supply is dwindling. Sometimes this is just because the breasts don’t seem so full any more. Maybe the milk isn’t leaking from the nipples, or the breasts simply don’t feel as heavy.
There are other causes for a lack of feeling of fullness, however. One major thing to remember is that babies have growth spurts. When they have these growth spurts, they often eat more than normal. Because of this, the mother’s breasts will not fill to extreme fullness while the babies are eating that much.
Causes of reduced production: Your milk supply may diminish temporarily for several reasons. One common cause is not feeding the baby frequently enough. This is often due to pain in the nipples while nursing, or to a poor latch technique by the baby. Illness can also make a woman’s milk supply dip, as can taking birth control pills with estrogen in them.
What to do: If you think that you are experiencing a decrease in milk supply, check with your doctor. He or she can test you to make sure that there is nothing truly wrong. You will need to make sure the baby is eating frequently enough, and that there are no problems with the nipples or milk ducts.
The main thing is to ensure that a low milk supply doesn’t have a negative effect on your baby. Often, a woman worries about her milk being low when it isn’t but if the milk really is low it can be harmful. You want to make sure that your baby isn’t losing weight or failing to gain. If he or she is losing weight or stuck at one weight, contact the doctor right away.
Generally, you’ll get instructions for better breast feeding technique and this will help a lot. In some cases there will be bigger problems, as indicated by baby’s weight fluctuations.
Generally, even if you do have a drop in milk supply you can still nurse. Frequent breast feeding will actually remedy the problem most of the time.