Breastmilk and Growth Spurts

One of the most common worries for a breastfeeding mum is her milk supply. Here are some reassuring words and helpful tips to help you carry on breastfeeding through a growth spurt.

First of all – DON’T PANIC! One of the things that can slow down milk is stress, so try to relax as much as possible – easy to say I know but it is important.

If your baby is nursing more than usual and you are worried that they are not getting enough milk they might be going through a growth spurt. This generally happens between 4-6 weeks and again between 4-6 months. When my son was at this stage I felt like I never stopped breastfeeding and it was exhausting, but it was worth it. As long as your baby is getting bigger and producing wet nappies you should have no need to worry. What the baby is doing is changing the calorific value of your milk to suit them better as they go through different growing stages, once through the growth spurt they tend to feed less often and sometimes have been known to sleep longer, though I think that is a myth, my son still thinks sleep is for the weak! If you formula feed through a growth spurt you will be telling your body to produce less milk and your body will not be triggered to change the nutritional value of your own milk to suit your baby.

Drink gallons of water – It helped me to have a small bottle of water everywhere I was likely to breastfeed, because as soon as I settled down I would become incredibly thirsty.

Change your position –  It is very easy to settle into one breastfeeding hold but you will probably feel more comfortable in the long run if you change your position occasionally so that you drain all your milk ducts.

Forget the ironing – This time with your baby will not last forever, revel in your super power to give them the best start in life and let the housework slide. You are burning off about 500 calories a day by breastfeeding so you need rest, and possibly chocolate!

Support your system – Oats are supposed to be very good for helping you produce milk – they are also a good supply of iron and there is something very comforting about a bowl of porridge. Welcome World Breastfeeding Support Tea is made by a specialist birth and herbal healing company. The tea comes in a packet that has enough for 40 servings and there is a a free advice line to call if you have any concerns.

If you are still worried about your milk supply there are lots of free breastfeeding helplines who can give telephone advice or tell you about the nearest breastfeeding support group.