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Our milk supply is something every breastfeeding mother worries about at some point. Even if you have a healthy and good supply we all have been known to doubt ourselves, and have concerns about milk supply.
I have been lucky to have a good milk supply with every baby. But, I still had my doubts from time to time. When my first baby was born she was in the NICU for our entire hospital stay. While she was a healthy full term baby, she swallowed some fluid during delivery which she choked on a bit, and was rushed to the NICU in the middle of our first night.
After she was taken to the NICU she remained there for our entire hospital stay. Being my first baby I had no idea how to breastfeed or what to expect. Having her away from me, not participating in skin to skin, and all the wires and beeps and other distractions going on in the NICU, made my first attempt at breastfeeding difficult.
I could not get my milk to come in at all during my few days in the hospital after birth and doubted if breastfeeding would be for me. She had formula while I continued trying to breastfeed, and using a pump after each feeding, to try and bring my milk in.
Once we were sent home this pattern continued until eventually my milk did start to come in and I was able to breastfeed more. While I did end up being successful exclusively breastfeeding after awhile, this was my first foray into worrying about milk supply.
When my third baby was a few months old I had a pediatrician question my breastmilk supply due to her low weight gain. It turns out she was just small with a fast metabolism (at 2.5 her weight is still in the lower percentiles).
My supply ended up being okay this time around too, but I was concerned. When breastfeeding we really don’t know exactly what we are producing unless we pump and measure everything. Or if we weigh our breastfed babies before and after each feeding.
While it is normal to worry about breastmilk supply, our bodies will usually make what is needed for your baby. If your baby is gaining weight and having lots of diaper outputs your supply is most likely just fine.
If you are concerned about milk supply and would like to try increasing your supply, I have rounded up some articles to help:
From one of my favorite sites for all subjects related to breastfeeding:
If you would like to try increasing your supply with pumping I have an article on power pumping:
If you have any concerns about your breast milk supply while breastfeeding check out some of the resources I listed above. In general if your baby is gaining weight, and has plenty of output diapers your supply is most likely fine.
If you are concerned about your baby’s growth please check with your pediatrician.