Once you're through those early days of existing in a milky haze of hormones and adoring glances at your precious newborn, you might think that you have breastfeeding sorted. You and your baby have settled into a kind of routine, you're managing to shower, dress yourself and make a cup of tea, all in the same day. You're rocking this motherhood thing.
Suddenly though, you're all at sea again. Your little one seems starving when you only fed her ten minutes ago and you're marooned on the sofa with a nursing limpet. Evening rolls around and you find yourself weighing up whether it's better to go to bed only to be woken in half an hour, or to try to just stay up all night.
What's going on? Why do you suddenly feel like you're not making enough milk? What happened to your happy, contented little one? Is your baby broken?
Introducing the Growth Spurt. These can happen at any time, but there are key periods in your child's life when a spell of intense, rapid growth seem more likely to occur: pretty much the whole of the first ten days, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months for example.
During these times, it's not uncommon to feel as though you aren't making enough milk to satisfy your baby. He might seem fussier than usual, perhaps not sleeping quite so well, maybe wanting to feed for hours on end. Understanding a little about how your milk supply works can help you know how to get through these times.
Supply and demand:
Your body is amazing. You've seen that already as you carried your child and brought her into the world. Breastfeeding is no less impressive. Your milk supply automatically adjusts in myriad ways to perfectly meet the needs of your baby. The content of your milk changes, providing the perfect balance of nutrition and hydration. You're even able to feed a newborn and a toddler simultaneously and provide each with differently composed milk.
Similarly, the amount of milk you produce is automatically tailored to the amount your baby needs to thrive. She feeds, you make milk, she drinks more, you mske more milk. Simple, perfect harmony.
What you need to know is that sometimes it takes a little while for your body to catch up with demand. During these growth spurts, your body needs chance to increase milk production to meet the increased demand. Luckily, Mother Nature has done a pretty amazing job of designing the nursing relationship. The more you feed, the more milk you make. So, as your baby drinks more, your breasts are stimulated to up their game. Within a few days, things will have adjusted and a more normal feeding rhythm should return.
Making things easier for you.
Extra feeds day and night, coupled with trying to maintain your usual daily routine can quickly make you feel exhausted. It's always important to take care of yourself while breastfeeding,
So, try not to feel disheartened because your routine seems to be dissolving before yo6r eyes. Remember that all the extra feeds are the perfect way to boost your milk supply. Try to relax and surrender yourself to this phase as much as possible. In a few days, things will have settled down again.