False alarms of low milk supply
If you're fretting over your breast milk supply we're here to put your mind at ease with some of the more common misunderstandings that make breastfeeding mums think they don't have enough milk
milk supply

A lot of women don't reach their breastfeeding goals, and many of them say this is because they just didn't have enough breast milk. But we can bet if they had checked out this list of false alarms, a lot of mums would have been able to put their mind at ease and continue to breastfeed without that nagging concern. Are you falling for any of the below misconceptions?

1. My baby wants to breastfeed between feeds. Your baby might actually just want something to suck between feeds. Sucking is comforting to young babies, and it doesnt always mean they're hungry - they could be tired, bored or stressed. 

2. She's wanting more breastfeeds. Your baby could be goig through a growth spurt, which will mean a lot more feeding for a couple of days. Or if it's more prolonged, it could mean your baby is a snack feeder - very common in the early evening when they like to nap and snack. Or it could just be the sucking comfort mentioned above. 

3. My baby is hungry shortly after a breastfeed. Is she? Or does she just have the urge to suck? If she is truly still hungry, she won’t be easily distracted or amused and will be perpetually hard to settle.

4. After a breastfeed she will down a bottle of milk. Bottle teats are easy for babies to suck, so it's more likely that your baby will get an over-full stomach because of the urge to suck. 

5. My baby is not gaining enough weight. There can be many reasons for failure to thrive, but it is a serious condition and should not be ignored. Check whether different scales are giving different readings, and whether you're weighing her in the same clothes. If you're worried, consult your GP or plunket nurse. 

6. My breasts are soft. This can happen as your breasts get used to feeding and you get into a good routine, and is completely normal. Be happy that the leaking has stopped!

Common milk supply false alarms

This article was written for Kidspot, New Zealand's favourite parenting resource for Early Life Nutrition.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breast milk. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional for advice about feeding your baby. This post is part of the Early Life Nutrition story.
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