User Error Results In More Cases of Low Milk Supply Than Any Other Reason
Here are the top 5 breastfeeding mistakes moms make that lead to low milk supply:
Breastfeeding Mistake #1 - Not breastfeeding or pumping often enough – This is the most common of the breastfeeding mistakes and the most common cause of low milk supply. Anything that prevents you from removing milk frequently and completely from your breasts is tearing down your milk production. You should be aiming for no more than 3 hours between the start of one pumping or breastfeeding session and the start of the next.
Breastfeeding Mistake #2 - Breastfeeding on only one breast each session – This is actually a technique for correcting an oversupply of milk. It leaves milk in the breast that isn’t removed for extended periods of time. This signals the body to make less milk.
Breastfeeding Mistake #3 – Giving bottles for any reason – Perhaps Grandma is visiting and really wants to give baby a bottle, or daddy wants that special bonding of giving a bottle. Bonding happens through holding, cuddling, smiling and loving – not through holding a bottle. Any time a bottle is given it will diminish your supply. The only way to counteract this is to pump at the same time that the bottle is given and pump at least as much as was given. But even then you’re still at risk for nipple confusion, flow preference and nipple preference – all which can damage your milk supply.
Breastfeeding Mistake #4 – Supplementing incorrectly – If you’re not extremely careful about how you supplement, there’s a good chance your milk supply will be damaged. See SNS System on how to supplement the right way.
Breastfeeding Mistake #5 – Not establishing good breastfeeding in the first fourteen days – Immediately after birth is a critical time for your breasts to establish the appropriate breastfeeding hormone receptors they need for maximum supply. If anything interrupts this process, your milk supply will have an artificially low ceiling. If it’s been less than two weeks since your baby was born, do everything you can to remove milk frequently and completely. If it’s been more than two weeks and you think this may have happened to you, you’ll have to work especially hard to increase your milk supply. Sadly some moms may not be able to raise their supply past the ceiling imposed by limited hormone receptors. See our articles on increasing breast milk supply.