Are you practicing mixed breastfeeding but have noticed a sudden drop in your milk supply? A temporary drop in lactation is often a sign of insufficient stimulation of your breasts by baby, which implies a reduction in your milk production.
It's important to react quickly and take action allowing you to boost your lactation if you wish to continue breastfeeding. Let's see together how to achieve this in the best possible way!
Reminder of what mixed breastfeeding is
Mixed breastfeeding offers the possibility:
- to breastfeed your child,
- to allow baby to benefit from all the benefits offered by your body
- and also to feed him directly from the bottle!
For meals administered with a bottle, it is possible to offer your baby breast milk expressed with a manual or electric breast pump, or to give powdered milk, sold in supermarkets or pharmacies.
Mixed breastfeeding allows you to combine more freedom with moments of intimate life between mother and child. It may happen that lactation reduces or stops temporarily in the context of mixed breastfeeding. This can be explained in different ways.
Now let's try to see which ones!
Causes and solutions to restart your lactation and continue mixed breastfeeding
There are different reasons why your milk supply may be reduced. We offer solutions for each of them to help you continue your mixed breastfeeding.
Cause #1: You no longer have time to breastfeed your baby directly and your lactation is impacted
Despite the fact that you have activated mixed breastfeeding, perhaps even as soon as you return from maternity ward, you put your baby to the breast less and less, due to lack of time or even desire.
The problem is that if lactation decreases, you may forget to express the milk produced instinctively by your body at mealtimes with a breast pump. Your breasts, due to lack of stimulation, receive the signal to stop milk production. 🥛
The less you breastfeed your child, the less milk you will produce! It's the principle of supply and demand . This request is not a favor done by your employer but a legal obligation to which he himself is bound, at the rate of one hour per day (subdivisible).
- Solution 1: If it's a time problem, you'll have to reorganize your schedule to be able to continue mixed breastfeeding.
Can you reduce your working hours? Or take paid (or even unpaid) leave to maintain your dream of breastfeeding your baby? Do you plan to express your milk regularly? If so, ask your employer for a special room, specially designed for this purpose.
- Solution 2 : If it's a problem of desire, the discourse to be given turns out to be totally different!
The time of weaning may have sounded. Thoughts and bodies are intimately linked. Your lactation decreases due to your lack of motivation to breastfeed your child. Which shouldn't make you feel guilty though! Whether you choose to breastfeed for 1 year, 3 months, or a few days doesn't matter.
- The main thing is to listen to yourself as a mother, but also as a woman.
Cause no. 2: You offer the breast to the baby but he turns away, which reduces lactation
Conversely, you are still in a good breastfeeding dynamic and you regularly suggest that your baby take your breast at mealtimes. Unfortunately for you, your little one doesn't seem that interested and is reluctant to drink. He even seems to ask for his bottle... How frustrating! Once again, your breasts are not stimulated enough and lactation naturally decreases.
Did you know that this phenomenon has a name in the wonderful world of parenting? The feeding strike... ✊ No, you are not dreaming. The love of your life, so small, so fragile, and above all so cute, is already showing his preferences and loudly claiming his dissatisfaction!
:It is quite simply by using your charms as a mother that you will be able to persuade him, little by little and always without forcing, to take your breast again by means of gentle words and cuddles. However, check that your baby does not have a null part. A refusal to suckle the maternal breast can be explained by a reason other than a need for convergence, such as invisible pain in the eyes of parents, for example:
- Infant colic,
- postural pain or kiss syndrome,
- stuffy nose,
- eyelash in the eye,
- finger cut,
- gastric reflux,
- stomach ache,
- unsuitable room temperature or fever…
Review every detail that could interfere with calm heads. If the feeding strike continues, consult your pediatrician and express your milk to avoid becoming engorged or suffering from mastitis (rare). This will allow your lactation to continue while things return to normal.
Cause #3: You are sick, tired or deficient and this is affecting your lactation
A final hypothesis that could explain why your milk secretion is declining would simply be that you are tired, sick or deficient. Producing milk requires energy resources (nutrients) that your body naturally draws from.
But it is above all the prolactin hormone which plays a major role in this natural wonder that is breastfeeding! In case of weakness (cold, lack of sleep, stress, etc.), your energy and vitality decrease. And if you show poor health, fatigue, migraines or even general demotivation, this will slow down the production of prolactin, and then, in turn, your lactation.
- Eat healthily during mixed breastfeeding.
- Don't smoke, or get help to quit! A child is an opportunity to set an example by making good resolutions. 😉
- If possible, go to bed early and respect your sleep needs.
- Limit sources of stress as much as possible. Treat yourself and enjoy relaxing sessions (shopping, walks, cinema, etc.)
If your state is close to depressed, or even postpartum, it is important to be well supported and to react as quickly as possible to escape the vicious circle. It is not always easy to confide in those close to you. And swallowing a tube of vitamin C is not enough to make you feel better in cases of deep distress. Raising a baby presents a stratospheric flood of responsibilities in the first few weeks. No parent is ever truly prepared for this.
📳 For information, a toll-free number called “Allo Parents Bébé” allows you to ask all questions relating to your infant or child up to the age of 3, in complete anonymity! To reach this number, you can dial 0800 00 3456, Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What to remember from this article
- Mixed breastfeeding is appreciable because it allows you to combine the freedom offered by bottle-feeding and the proximity induced with the child by breast-feeding.
- Sometimes, it happens that lactation decreases, the latching of the breast by the child or the expressions of milk by the machine being insufficient or absent.
- It is important to reorganize your days and make time to promote milk production, but also to ensure that this problem of slowing down is not due to rejection of the breast by the child.
- If, as a mother, you think you are “the cause” of this lack of milk, we advise you to take stock of your emotions, your state of health and your consumption habits in order to identify any possible obstacles that could cause opposition. to your mixed breastfeeding. Don't be alone with your doubts and worries.
- Finally, it is obviously possible to take the next step by weaning your baby if that is your wish. Have you ever thought about equipping yourself with a bottle that combines all the physical characteristics of the maternal breast?
At Elhée, we manufacture and sell baby bottles whose shape resembles that of the breastfed in order to best satisfy weaned and semi-breastfed babies.