As you learn how to breastfeed, it can be difficult to decipher what is fact and what is fiction. Between sleep deprivation and the bombardment of information during the early postpartum period, it is easy to have your confidence shaken as you navigate this new journey. Some common behaviors in babies and the ways in which your body functions can lead you to believe you aren’t making enough milk or what some call low milk supply.
MYTH: My baby is cluster feeding, which must mean I’m not producing enough in one feeding.
FACT: It is common for babies to cluster feed for a few hours at a time, typically in the late afternoon/early evening. This is attributed to the low volume/high fat content of the milk you produce later in the day. Bonus: This usually indicates that your baby is gearing up for a longer sleep period! They also may cluster feed during times of growth spurts, developmental changes, or even in times of sickness.
MYTH: When I pump, there isn’t much coming out, so I must not be making enough.
FACT: While breast pumps have vastly improved over the past decade, they’re not all perfect! Often, your baby is more effective at removing milk from your breasts than anything on the market. So, while you may have a more than ample supply, your body may not respond to your breast pump as effectively. So keep in mind: your breast pump output isn’t always an indicator of exactly how much you’re producing.
MYTH: My breasts seem too soft, so there must not be anything in there.
FACT: As your body regulates your milk supply to your baby’s needs, the fullness that you noticed in the beginning of your breastfeeding relationship may no longer be present. This is also a normal body response that some parents may notice more with their second and subsequent children.
MYTH: My baby is fussy so they must not be getting enough milk.
FACT: There are many things that can cause your baby to be fussy. While low milk supply can be one of them, more often than that the cause of fussiness can be linked to things like your diet, positioning, reflux, an undiagnosed tongue tie, or not related to breastfeeding at all!
While these circumstances are unlikely to be solely due to low milk supply, I want to be clear that they still can be indicators of such. If you’re still saying to yourself, “I need help breastfeeding”, it’s best to seek out the professional guidance of an IBCLC from our company so they can assess your specific situation and give you a care plan.