Recently a friend of mine, a nursing mother, was running a fever. The fever caused her milk supply to go down, and she was bombarded by well meaning friends who insisted that she had mastitis....
She didn't have mastitis, but this got me thinking of the times my milk supply has gone down, and come back up... and then gone down, and come back up... So I thought I'd write a brief post about that this week.
There are many things that can affect a mother's milk supply. Sometimes it really does just fluctuate. The main thing to remember is to just be patient, your supply will come back. Don't give up on nursing!!
I could never write a comprehensive list of things that could affect a woman's milk supply, because there are so many factors that can. If I were to make a list, though, it would include things like:
- Any sickness a mother is experiencing will tax her body, and may decrease her milk supply
- A fever. Because your body requires extra fluids when you have a fever, it will reduce your milk supply.
- Consuming sage and parsley (I still use these, I just not everyday, and in reduced amounts)
- Not getting enough rest
- Make sure you are drinking enough water! You body cannot make milk out of nothing. Being low on fluids will require your body to take from your stores, and when those run low, so will your milk supply.
- Take a break here and there during the day. I know it's hard to do, but take a few minutes to sit and rejuvenate, use it as a moment to reconnect with your little babe. It really may be that simple -- I've experienced it. Making milk uses energy within your body, not to mention the nutrients that are going from you into your precious milk.
- EAT! Make sure you are getting enough nutrients. Again, your body cannot make milk out of nothing, you require added calories, fat... added nutrients. I hate putting it as calories, we put too much stress on the word calorie. Who needs to count calories? Not a nursing mamma!
- If you are a scheduled feeder, reduce the amount of time between feedings. The more often you nurse, the more your body will be stimulated to make milk.
- Fenugreek. I have used this on more than one occasion and had great results. The first time I took it it took my body about 48 hours to be kicked into gear. Now every time I use it I see results within hours. If you don't have any fenugreek, check your spice rack. It is one of the main spices for curry!
- Place a warm wet wash cloth on your breast, and gently massage for a few minutes before nursing.
Next week I'll be writing a post about engorgement issues. In the mean time, what have you found that has helped you boost your milk supply?