Making enough milk By Yvette O’Dowd
reastfeeding isn't always easy. In fact, most parents experience challenges in establishing breastfeeding and some struggle maintaining it.
Many breastfeeding advocates play down the difficulties as they fear putting people off trying. Which might be true for some people, but most parents want to breastfeed their baby. It's not really breastfeeding which is overwhelming, but the environment women learn this natural technique in. Without the support of experienced role models in their family they rely on midwives, child health nurses, lactation consultants and breastfeeding counsellors to guide them. And dedicated as these all are, none can be with the mother and baby 24/7. That role often falls to a partner, friend or family member who likely has less knowledge of how breastfeeding works. Society's expectations of breastfeeding mothers can be unrealistic. Discharged from hospital with little experience of putting their baby to their breast, often on a regime of pumping and topping up with formula, mothers are set up for failure. Delays in support, waiting lists and financial barriers in accessing IBCLC lactation consultants and general worries about milk supply, attachment and infant sleep lead to many parents ending breastfeeding. When you understand how breasts make milk and how babies work with the breast to maintain milk supply, you can work with your breasts and baby to maximise milk production.
continued next page...
94 Peninsula Kids – Summer 2021/22