While there are certainly conditions that may create challenges to breast-milk supply, such as PCOS, diabetes, retained placenta, low thyroid or iron levels and a condition called Insufficient Glandular Tissue (Breast Hypoplasia: red flags include a lack of breast development during puberty and pregnancy and/or tubular shaped breasts that are widely spaced), there are also a lot of booby traps around low supply that have mothers reaching for the bottle.
Even if you have a medical condition that means you are having a hard time, you don’t need to ditch your nursing bra just yet.
You have most likely heard very good reasons to breastfeed: boosting baby’s immune system; providing breast milk that changes to meet your baby’s needs; a lovely way to bond and allowing instant comfort for an unsettled baby.
Another important reason to consider breastfeeding is evidence that it can reduce your own and – if you have a baby daughter – her risk of breast cancer too.
Derived from ancient Greek language where ‘galacta’ means milk and ‘algogos’ mean leading, a galactagogue is a substance that helps to lead milk from the breast. Galactagogues aim to build, maintain or enhance milk supply in breastfeeding women. You may also hear galactagogues referred to as lactogenic substances. There is evidence to suggest that galactagogues and lactogenic substances have been used for thousands of years, or more accurately, from the very beginning of time.
You feel as though you have finally ‘nailed’ breastfeeding. Your baby is latching and sucking well, he’s having plenty of wet and poopy nappies and he’s been calm between feeds. Then, suddenly he wants to feed all day. Could he be having a growth spurt?
Suddenly feeling 'fluey'? Emotional and teary? And you have a hot sore breast?
Feeling 'fluey' any time when you are breastfeeding is a warning sign that you could be coming down with mastitis, an inflammation of the breast that may or may not also be infected. Symptoms of mastitis can hit suddenly and hard: one minute you feel just fine and the next you feel shattered and aching all over with chills and a fever. Sometimes flu-like symptoms come on even before you get a fever or notice breast tenderness.
There is no use crying over spilt milk, goes the old saying. But if you are a mum expressing your precious breast milk, you don’t want to see even a drop get spilled or wasted. So, what is the best way to store your precious ‘liquid gold’ and how long will it keep?
Yes, breastfeeding can be challenging at first – it’s natural but it’s also a learned skill like riding a bike or driving a car. And you wouldn’t simply hop on a bike or get in a car and expect to cruise off without any instruction or preparation, would you? By preparing for breastfeeding you give yourself a much better chance of beating the ‘booby traps’ and getting through the early days more easily.