Your milk supply at the beginning

By Johanna Clark, Franjos Kitchen

Johanna Clark from Franjos Kitchen talks through what you could expect in your milk supply at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey.

We all know that where possible breast milk is best for our babies. Unfortunately for some mum’s breastfeeding is simply not possible. This can be an emotionally tough time for many parents hard to accept but we all do have to realize that we all live in a very lucky country and have great milk alternatives and we all know our babies will still thrive on these. However, if there any chance we can help you with a tip or two to perhaps help your situation to either begin or prolong breastfeeding your child then brilliant!

Let’s work towards the majority of us exclusively breastfeeding to 5 months!?

Common barriers to breastfeeding: 

  • Poor information, communication or care during the pre-natal period. 

Note: Try to think about post-birth in your prenatal period (I wish I did!) and ask your midwife plenty of questions on what happens after. I.e what to expect with breastfeeding, sleeping and how you will feel

  • Perceived low milk supply

If your baby is content and putting on weight, great!

  • Delayed first feed

As soon as you can get your baby to latch on

  • Perception of partner’s attitude

Educate your partner during the prenatal period

  • Popular media and celebrity influences

Those first 24 hours

  • If possible, ensure you have skin to skin (i.e. no washing, wiping or fully wrapping your baby) contact for at least 1 hour post-birth. Try for longer if possible – a couple of hours would be brilliant
  • Try and feed within 30 minutes of birth as this triggers all the hormones and also connects you with baby straight away. You are a very important person to this little being!
  • Stay with your child in the same place as birth for at least the first 24 hours
  • No pacifier or supplementary feeds offered – this may confuse your little one. It takes time to teach your baby to latch on and how to feed. This is the only thing she needs to learn right now
  • Surround yourself with positive influences. You need continual support, encouragement and assistance.

What might be inhibit the milk ejection reflex and supply

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Fear
  • Embarrassment
  • Damage to nerve from breast surgery
  • Improper latch on
  • More than 4 hourly gaps between feeds
  • Be careful if your baby sleeps through the night. That is great for them but unfortunate for you as you still need to get up every 3-4 hours and express your milk. This is imperative to keep your milk supply up. If you don’t, you will most likely notice your supply drop very very quickly
  • Hormonal imbalances (thyroid, oestrogen and progersterone, insulin)
  • High birthing intervention, premature labour treatment, stressful birth
  • Dehydration
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and cigarettes

If your baby is getting enough milk they will:

  • Be content for 2 hours post feeding (most likely)
  • Pass clear dilute urine 5-6 times a day
  • Pass bright yellow watery stools 6-8 times a day
  • Regain their birth weight within 2 weeks
  • Demand feeding day and night

Benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Better mental developments
  • Protection against ear infections
  • Protection against chest infections and wheezing
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Protection against diarrhea and tummy upsets
  • Less smelly nappies
  • Better mouth formation
  • Less eczema
  • Stronger bones later in life
  • Lower risk of early breast cancer for mum
  • Reduced risk of obesity, Alzheimer’s, CVD, SIDS… and the list continues!

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

Gain more Parenting Insights at our Expos

Get your Expo tickets today! View Expo dates