Over 95% of women can produce all the milk their baby needs
The vast majority of women can make all the milk their baby needs and, contrary to popular belief, the size of a woman’s breasts doesn’t impact the volume of milk she can produce.
“Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them work just fine for breastfeeding. The size of a woman’s breasts, whether large or small, doesn’t reflect their milk-making capacity, nor how easy breastfeeding is. Breasts are made up of fatty tissue, glandular tissue and connective tissue,” says the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA).
Milk production depends entirely on supply and demand: in the early months, milk needs to be removed effectively from both her breasts at least a minimum of eight times in 24 hours for a mother’s supply to be established and maintained.
Each breast has lobes of glands where the milk is made. These glands contain clusters of alveoli, which are little hollow sacks with milk-making cells around the outside and the milk in the center
From these alveoli run tubes, called ducts, which carry the milk towards the nipple. The milk flows from these ducts out through tiny openings in the nipple.
By far the most common reason for low milk supply is under-stimulation of a mother’s breasts, either because her baby isn’t feeding frequently enough or isn’t removing milk effectively. Optimal positioning and attachment is the key. Although it can be trickier with larger breasts to get the positioning and attachment that works best, support and practice makes perfect.
What goes in must come out! If your baby is having lots of wet and dirty nappies then there must be milk going in to create it. You are looking for about 5 or 6 wet nappies per day and one dirty per day of life (ie one dirty on day one, two dirty nappies on day two and so on) From day 4 your baby should have around 4 dirty nappies per day. A good poo is the size of a credit card or more. Your baby’s poo should change from the black sticky meconium to mustard colour by around day 4.
Weight gain. Many new parents can become obsessed with their baby’s weight. Don’t worry too much about it, however it can be a good guide as to how your baby is doing. Weight loss of 5-10% is normal after birth. This can be higher if you had a lot of IV fluids during your labour and birth. You would be looking for your baby to regain his birth weight by about 2-3 months old. A rough guide is for your baby to gain about 5-7oz per day. Remember weight is just one part of the picture; it is not the sole focus.
If you are worried about your little ones intake contact a lactation consultant today.