Usually, a baby’s poop is an indication of its health. During the first few years of a baby’s life, you’ll be witnessing a range of different poop colours that will shock you. Still, it is important to note that baby poop has no comparison with an adult’s poop; hence, it is wise to observe the colour and texture before making any claims.
Since all newborns tend to eat, sleep, and repeat, their diet keeps changing as they transition into a growing phase of their lives. However, in this article, we will discuss each poop colour while focusing on black.
In babies, black is normal and doesn’t call for any concern, but there may be times when you should reach out for professional medical help.
Types of Poop Colour: What Do They Indicate?
Aside from black, there are a handful of poop colours that you should be aware of so that you don’t go into a panic mood. Therefore, below are some of the most common colours and explanations for why you might see these colours.
Black Poop Colour
In newborn babies, the poop colour of black is deemed normal and healthy. A newborn’s very first stool is most likely to be black with a tar consistency. This texture is more commonly known as meconium.
Meconium is a thick, black stool of cells, mucus, and amniotic fluid. The black stool should last over the first few days and is normal. However, if the colour doesn’t change from black to either yellow or green, then that is a worrying sign. If the colour continues to show up, then seek medical help immediately.
Yellow Poop Colour
Yellow poop colour is also a sign of normal functions in the little one’s body. This poop colour is commonly found among babies who are breastfed.
It is mustard yellow and may also appear to have small flecks in it, which are caused by breast milk that are harmless. These stools may also arrive 3 to 4 times a day and can be firm or runny.
The poop in breastfed babies is stated as “seedy.” It is described so because these seeds may look familiar to cottage cheese curds but are yellow in colour. Extremely runny or frequent yellow poop could result in diarrhoea. This is a dangerous situation as diarrhoea can lead to severe dehydration.
Red Poop Colour
Most new moms consider red poop colour as a sign of distress and may be linked to the bleeding in the digestive system, but it is not entirely true.
Maybe you are seeing red poop colour in your baby’s diaper due to the dark red coloured food items that gave them, e.g. drinks, tomatoes or beets. Or it could be that the red colour is displayed due to an intestine infection that should be reported to a paediatrician.
If you gave your baby something red to eat, you should wait for the poop colour to return to normal, but if that doesn’t happen, it would be best to check with your doctor as soon as possible.
Green Poop Colour
Green Poop colour is probably the most witnessed and familiar in babies. This poop colour is evident in babies slightly older than newborns.
Green poop is bound to appear due to several reasons. The most common is eating foods such as spinach, beans, or green vegetables. Other reasons could be an allergy, slow digestion when the baby has eaten too much, green vegetables or food included in the mother’s diet, and the intake of antibiotics either by the mom or the breastfed baby.
White Poop Colour
White Poop colour screams concern when a baby isn’t producing bile in the liver, making it hard for the food to digest. This is an unusual colour and must be reported to a health care professional at any phase of one’s life.
Causes Of Black Poop
One of the major causes of black poop in newborns is meconium, but other factors also contribute to the black poop.
Another factor or cause of black poop could be in-taking iron formulas. These formulas are needed and given to babies to ensure that they get the optimum amount of iron in their bodies to boost the overall growth process. Thus, it can result in black poop.
But, if your baby is now months old and isn’t taking any iron supplements or iron-fortified formulas, it would be best to have it checked by the doctor. As the diet expands with the child’s age, black poop may appear from time to time and indicate the ingestion of certain foods, e.g. liquorice, grape juice or Oreo cookies. However, frequenting black poop is a dangerous sign and must be discussed with the doctor. Medicines (which contain iron) can also be the reason behind your baby’s black poop.
When To Worry?
Though black poop is normal during the first few days of life, if this colour and a firm texture of the poop persist, then you should call your doctor immediately. The doctor will most likely perform more tests to see any alarming problems such as bleeding in the digestive tract.
Apart from this, it is imperative to note that while your baby is breastfed, they absorb almost all of it; therefore, there may be no poop during the starting days. But some babies may poop a mustard yellow coloured poop after the feeding sessions. This can continue for a few months or weeks. Babies feeding on various milk formulas may poop a darker or tanner colour.
At times, dark green stools passed by the baby may look black under poor lighting. To double-check whether it is black poop or not, you can always take a bit of the stool on white paper and then look at it under proper lighting. Most of the time, this trick can help, and you confirm that it is indeed green, which is normal in babies.
The bottom line is that whatever your baby will intake will eventually end up in their diaper. Often, black poop is normal, and sometimes it isn’t. This primarily depends on your baby’s overall health, other habits and what the baby’s been eating.
If you sense some problem or issue, such as discomfort or constant appearance of black poop, then you can cross-check with your doctor for your satisfaction and for your baby’s protection.
Babies are probably the cutest creatures ever to exist, but we all know how much emotional and physical strength it takes to bring that little bundle of joy into the world. Many women feel pumped up and happy when they realise they are pregnant with their first child. However, this time frame is filled with countless fears and new experiences.
Women who face risk during their pregnancies feel more of these fears. A healthy pregnancy takes about 40 weeks. All soon-to-be mothers expect that they’ll give birth around this time, yet some mothers give birth at 30 or 31 weeks too.
A pregnancy at 30 or 31 weeks is deemed a preterm pregnancy. Hence the baby born is known as premature. Unlike a healthy pregnancy, the doctor will most likely enlighten you about loads of complications involved.
Therefore, this article will look at some of those issues that arise when a baby is born at 31 weeks.
Characteristics of a Premature Baby
It is quite clear that a baby born at 31 weeks is weaker, frail, and at a higher risk of getting infected with diseases than a baby born at 37 or 40 weeks.
A premature baby will weigh somewhere around 4 to 5 pounds, whereas a healthy baby weighs at least 6 to 8 pounds. The baby will be smaller in size and look pretty slim, but they will be gaining weight over the next few weeks.
Moreover, a premature baby is most likely to have underdeveloped organs, require special care, and sleep a lot to grow and preserve their tiny amount of energy. It is important to note that each baby born at 31 weeks will have its own sets of challenges for which the parent or parents must be prepared.
However, the good news is that medical science has advanced enormously, which means there are more options and countless ways to ensure the survival of a premature baby. Thus, as a parent, you must be patient with the process.
Causes behind Premature Birth
About 11.5% of babies born worldwide are born prematurely. In addition to that, there have been many speculations as to why babies are born prematurely. However, the causes remain unknown for the most part. Premature pregnancy can occur spontaneously, or there could be medical issues that may cause this to happen.
Some of the causes as to why a woman gives birth prematurely could be having a poor and unhealthy diet during or before pregnancy, going through a severe medical condition such as diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure.
Other causes of a premature pregnancy could be heavy smoking, issues regarding the placenta or cervix, in-taking drugs and unlimited amounts of alcohol, and lastly, stress that can mess up with one’s mental and physical health.
Problems Regarding Premature Birth
When it comes to problems regarding premature birth, there can be both short and long term complications. However, it is crucial to have looked at the overall difficulties. A premature baby doesn’t need to be sick. Though they are born earlier, they can still live normal, healthy lives if provided with special care.
Overall, premature babies look different from normal babies. For example, their skin will most likely appear translucent, their head may be larger than the rest of the body, and they might have fine hair known as “lanugo” over their bodies.
A few of the short term complications are as stated below:
One of the most common problems with premature babies is the breathing problem. Since the lungs don’t develop until about 36 weeks, a baby born any time before that would need help with their breathing.
In some cases, these babies need extra oxygen, and they might need the aid of a ventilator to stabilise their breathing levels. Premature babies are also at the risk of developing a lung disorder known as Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.
Frequently, premature babies have a hard time maintaining their body temperature due to a lack of body fat. The brain section that controls the temperature isn’t fully developed yet. Thus they are at risk of hypothermia.
To counterattack the risk of such problems, premature babies are kept in incubators until they learn how to control their body temperature.
Jaundice is also a problem that occurs commonly in premature babies. Jaundice strikes when there is an excess buildup of bilirubin in the baby’s bloodstream. This causes the baby’s skin and the whites of their eyes to become yellow. Asides from jaundice, premature babies can also develop anaemia.
More short term problems include heart problems, immune system problems, metabolism problems, brain problems and a few more.
Long term complications include hearing problems, chronic diseases, dental problems, behavioural/psychological problems, learning difficulties, and overall development problems.
If the baby is born at 30 or 31 weeks, they’ll be kept in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). If the baby has temperature problems, an incubator will help them stay warm. It is also possible that the baby will constantly have its vitals checked.
For breathing problems, the doctor will put the baby on the ventilator to compensate for issues while swallowing; they will require a feeding tube by either their stomach or nose or by both mediums. In addition, there may be a drop in your baby’s blood volume; hence they’ll be given a blood transfusion.
As for the medications, the doctor might give the baby medication for the heart, lungs and other organs depending on the symptoms. If the newborn’s condition is terrible, they might need to undergo any medical surgery recommended by the doctor.
In conclusion, it is essential to realise that premature babies and preterm pregnancies are normal and shouldn’t be a sign of worry until there are dangerous complications.
There may be some challenges and times where issues regarding your little one may put you in a difficult position, but remaining steadfast will do wonders. The survival rate of premature babies is almost 90%; therefore, as long as you follow your doctor’s advice, your baby will be just fine and go on to live a healthy life.
Cluster feeding (also known as bunch feeding) is a typical process that occurs in almost all babies. It is defined as a time when your newborn wants a lot of short feeds for a few hours. This is quite normal and happens in the early days of breastfeeding your baby.
Though it can happen at any time of the day, it usually occurs either in the late evenings or the early hours of the day.
Before jumping to the conclusion that there is something wrong with your milk supply, it is not anything like that. Though cluster feeding can have you thinking second thoughts about your milk production or even making you feel unconfident – it has nothing to do with your nursing or mothering abilities.
Causes of Cluster Feeding and How Long Does it Last?
There are not many causes of cluster feeding as it appears as a typical occurrence in babies. However, the major ones are growth spurts and constant development.
Simply put, growth spurts are a cycle of time in which your baby has a colossal or intense period of growth. During this time frame, babies want to be fed frequently, can change their sleep patterns or become fussier than usual.
As for constant development, babies grow and achieve new developmental milestones pretty quickly in the first six months. When such mental and physical changes start to take place, babies need more nutrition and attention.
Unfortunately, cluster feeding sessions are quite draining emotionally and physically for moms. However, they don’t last for more than a few days or (maximum) for a week. Since cluster feeding occurs in phases, not much can be said about its exact timing.
Signs of Cluster Feeding
As mentioned above, you’ll likely notice some behavioral changes in your little one that give clear signs of a growth spurt happening. Nevertheless, it will be best to know about some of the signs that instantly give it away that your baby is going through these development processes.
The signs are stated and discussed below are:
Your little one is having a lot of dirty and wet diapers.
Your little one is gaining weight.
Your little one is cranky and fussy at this time.
Your little one takes short naps between the nursing sessions.
Your little one feeds for a bit of time and then pulls away.
Your little one is frequently hungry.
Thus, if your baby suddenly wants to be fed more and wants to be nursed 24/7, you might want to brace yourself for a cluster feeding regime!
Tips for Cluster Feeding
We shall be sharing and discussing some crucial tips of cluster feeding and how you can ensure that you go through this phase without much to worry about.
1. Feel Relaxed and Comfortable
If you wish to make this time a peaceful one, it would be best to feel relaxed and follow your baby’s instincts. For example, while feeding the baby, get in a comfortable position and rock back and forth a little.
You can also sing and hum a few tunes or songs to feel good and ensure the baby gets the vibe. Increase your skin-ship by keeping a hand on your baby’s head and looking at them lovingly. Don’t forget to change your positions as well as the baby may get bored being in the same position.
2. Find a Partner
It would be an excellent idea to find a partner while breastfeeding your little one. Now this person can be anyone. It can either be your mom, your other half, or your best friend.
You’ll sense the time flying by even quicker once you chat and eat with your partner. You can plan out various activities that stretch at least for 3 to 4 hours. Having such a fun time will help you lift your mood as well.
3. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Since you’ll be feeding the baby straight for a few hours, it is evident that you’ll feel thirsty, and your mouth is bound to be dry. Therefore, you must be drinking plenty of water while you feed your baby.
Even aside from these sessions, keep yourself hydrated to avoid any complications. It is advisable to keep a jug of water near you at all times.
4. Tone Down The Stimulation
What we mean by toning down the stimulation is that you must take your baby to a dark room where it is quiet. Once you do that, you should keep them close to make them feel secure and comfortable within your arms.
By doing this, your baby will be able to go to sleep pretty easily. You can also set a routine for your baby and its feeding sessions. Yet, you shouldn’t take it overboard and ensure that it is flexible enough to cater for any unexpected issues.
5. Don’t Wait For The Water-Works
Being a mom, let alone going through that process, is quite tricky. Hence you must always be on the lookout and shouldn’t sit around – waiting for your baby to cry. Try to decode your baby’s hunger cues.
We do realize that figuring out those hunger cues might be challenging. But the good news is that babies tend to form a routine; thus, you’ll easily be able to know when your baby is hungry and when you must feed.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
Cluster feeding can be problematic and frustrating. Take it easy, hang in there and take short breaks to recollect yourself. If your baby has drifted off to sleep or you have been looking after for a good amount of time, then you can put your little one in a crib and go for a walk. You can also ask your partner to take over when the baby isn’t whining too much or asking for food.
Take long, warm showers, reconnect with something you love, sleep, read books and be at peace with yourself as well. Keep a balance within your activities and try not to feel too burdened or suffocated.
Remember! Managing cluster feeding can result in a bit of a challenge, but rest assured that your milk supply is moulded according to your baby’s needs. Follow the tips written and discussed within the article alongside some talking to your doctor, and you’re good to go!
Try to face changes such as cluster feeding with a positive outlook and use it as an opportunity to bond with your little one even stronger.
The news of becoming a parent indeed brings a lot of joy, as the arrival of a baby is a delightful event. Parents shop for cute clothes and fancy cribs while relatives are off to the gift shops to get their hands on the latest toys for newborns.
But what if you get to know, you are up for double trouble?
The news of having a twin pregnancy is equally joyous but undoubtedly brings the hassle of having to manage two babies with it. The only thing that makes it easier is that, unlike identical twins, fraternal twins are non-identical, and the parents don’t have to search for ways to differentiate between their twins.
However, due to non-identical frames of physical traits, the parents themselves would have to spend a lifetime explaining how the different-looking siblings in almost all aspects are twins for real.
Let’s have a look at some of the common facts and characteristics that fraternal twins possess.
How Are Fraternal Twins Formed Embryonically?
In rare cases, two unfertilised eggs can be released in the ovaries simultaneously. If these two different eggs get fertilised by two different sperms simultaneously upon intercourse, both fertilised eggs individually implant in the uterus and grow.
This means that the fraternal twins only share about 50 percent DNA, unlike the monozygotic or identical twins, who share an absolute 100 percent. Hence, fraternal twins are not genetically or physically identical.
While the reason for fraternal twin birth is not precisely known, most often, it runs in the family, and a mother is likely to have fraternal twins if she or someone in the family has had a similar pregnancy before.
Unpopular Facts About Fraternal Twins
While we have scratched the surface of fraternal twin pregnancy, let’s dive into some of the lesser-known facts about double newborns.
1. They Are The More Common Type Of Twins
When we hear the word twins, most people would imagine two identical humans with identical physical traits. However, that’s not usually the case. As per statistics, a twin pregnancy is more likely to result in fraternal twins. Around 75 percent of all twin pregnancies are fraternal twins.
2. The Fraternal Twins Can Have Different Sexes, Unlike The Identical Twins
A baby’s gender is determined by the chromosome brought by the father’s sperm to the egg for fertilisation. Since two separate sperms fertilise the eggs for fraternal twins, the gender of the babies can be distinct as well. It means that either baby can be a boy or a girl, unlike identical twins who tend to have the same gender.
This usually serves as a fun factor when someone asks the siblings their dates of birth, and the revelation that they are twins is made on people.
3. Fraternal Twins May Have Two Different Fathers
A phenomenon usually seen in movies is pretty accurate in real life too.
Commonly known as superfecundation or bi-paternal twins, fraternal twins may have two fathers and are generally seen in women with hyper-sexual activity.
The woman’s cycle will be interrupted by the release of eggs multiple times (a phenomenon known as hyper-ovulation), and she will be having sex with more than one partner. Hence, leading to the two different eggs being fertilised by sperms coming from two different fathers, making bi-paternal twins a possibility.
4. They May Not Be Born On The Same Day
Yes, you read it right!
Fraternal twins are not necessarily supposed to be born on the same day. They can have a week or even a month gap in their ages. This happens when a woman releases one egg during her cycle, and it gets fertilised, then her cycle gets interrupted.
Now when she experiences another cycle, she releases another egg while already being pregnant. The second egg gets fertilised upon having sex now, as per a phenomenon known as superfetation.
This leads to the birth of fraternal twins with a week or even a month’s difference. This phenomenon can take place up to 24 days after the first egg’s release.
5. They Have Separate Supporting Structures
When looked upon in-utero, fraternal twins have completely separate in-utero growth and supporting structures. In addition, since fertilisation and implantation are different, twins develop separate amniotic sacs, placentas, and other in-utero supporting structures.
6. They Might Be Polar Opposites
Fraternal twins only share 50 percent of the genetic makeup. This leads to them being sometimes polar opposites in their characteristics and preferences.
While this individuality will undoubtedly be adorable, simultaneously mastering the routines and preferences of two different babies will definitely be a nightmare for the parents. This is because you will be looking after two completely different individuals who are not close to each other, unlike identical twins who have a stronger bond. After all, they share 100 percent of their DNA.
7. Fun Part: They Are Difficult To Differentiate
Fraternal twins tend to look dissimilar enough not to be labelled twins by the general public, who would often be found taken aback by shock when they learn the pair of siblings are twins.
However, often fraternal twins can look identical to a high level as well. For example, they may look like a pair of siblings with 100 percent shared genetic makeup. On the contrary, sometimes, identical twins may not resemble each other so much because of the environmental factors that may lead to slight physical differences.
The only sure-fire way to confirm if a pair of siblings are twins is the DNA zygosity genetic test. Besides demonstrating the twin status, this test is also responsible and essential for determining the baby’s health.
Twins may be double trouble for the parents, but they are a joyful bliss as they fill the home with positive vibes and laughter. Their dissimilarities make them unique but quite similar at the same time as well.
Have you been struggling with your baby’s behaviour lately? Do you think your baby is often grumpy and moody? Though such behaviours can happen occasionally, a baby constantly feeling uncomfortable will make you worry and keep you on your toes all the time.
But what if your baby is like this because of gas issues? Even though it is a bit challenging to dig the exact point of contention in babies in the early months, some signs can help you figure out the specific problem for sure.
As for this article, we’ll be going through some tips and tricks that can aid you in giving your baby the relief that he should have.
Causes That Lead To Gas In Babies
Before we jump into the tips to help a gassy baby, it is essential to know that such problems are common in occurrence. Since the baby’s digestive system has just begun developing, having gas issues is 100% normal.
The passing of gas is a normal human phenomenon; hence a gassy baby isn’t much worry. However, when the gas in the body is unable to pass, it gets collected in the digestive tract, thus causing bloating and irritation in a baby.
Anyhow, it will probably be more fitting if we go through the signs first. That can let you know whether your baby has a gas problem or not.
Some typical signs of babies with gas problems are:
Crying for elongated periods.
Sulky and sad mood.
Improper sleep and food cycle.
Bloating and Farting.
The signs mentioned above can happen due to various reasons. For example, one of the reasons why babies produce more gas than adults is because of constipation. Other reasons could be the incorrect way you are making your baby burp, the baby’s position, and the sucking of your baby through a pacifier.
Quick Tips To Help A Gassy Baby
Once you have made sure that your baby indeed has gas issues, the tips mentioned are going to prove quite helpful.
You’ll realise that most of these tips are common, and it could be that you indeed do them. But from now on, it will be better if you pay more attention to these and carry them out properly.
1. Check The Position Of Your Baby
During feeding sessions, ensure that your baby’s head is kept higher than its stomach. That way, the milk shall go down your baby’s stomach and the air upwards.
You can also use a pillow while feeding. Please don’t make your baby lie down as that will cause more gas. If your baby is bottle-fed, go for bottles with nipples that help regulate air and liquid.
For those who breastfeed their babies, you must consult your doctor about your diet, as peculiar foods might be causing that painful gas in your baby. Some food items that can cause gas are caffeine, dairy products, vegetables such as broccoli, etc.
2. Make Your Baby Burp
One of the easiest ways to alleviate trapped gas or relief gas, in general, is to make your baby burp during the feeding session and after it.
You can also gently pat your baby on the back after the feeding, or you can make them lie down on their backs, too, if they don’t burp right away. If your little one lets go of the nipple only a few minutes after you start feeding, then that could be a sign to make your baby burp instead of thinking it’s full.
Frequent massages can also be effective for babies to easily digest their food and have a happy and energetic mood overall.
3. Make Your Baby Ride A Bicycle
No, this does not mean that you get your baby to bicycle and neither does it require any hardcore effort from your side.
All you have to do is lie your little one down on its back and slowly move the legs back and forth in a bicycle motion. This can aid in the release and push that gas out. You can also push your baby’s knees to his tummy and hold it for a good 10 seconds.
Repeat these minor but productive exercises to relieve gas quickly!
4. Do The “I Love You” Massage
Most of you must be thinking that we are making this up, but no. Usually, the nurses teach the technique of the “I love you” massage to new moms before leaving the hospital.
The steps included are as stated. Lie down your baby on its back and start rubbing the tummy in circular motions with a gentle hand. Start stroking the words “I”, “L”, and “Y” with three fingers on the baby’s belly. Next, spell the words around the entire belly smoothly.
By doing this, you are helping the gas in your baby’s digestive tract to pass out without any discomfort – Isn’t that a fun yet easy exercise to do with your baby?
5. Don’t Skip Feeding Sessions
If there is one thing that you should never do, you must never skip your baby’s feeding time or wait for a specific time to roll around.
Purposefully waiting for a temper tantrum or meltdowns is like adding fuel to the fire. Babies, especially newborns, are hungry all the time. Moreover, while crying, they are simply chugging air down their throats. This can highly contribute to that terrifying gas episode.
Since crying is unpredictable primarily in infants, it is better to keep them well fed to avoid unexpected waterworks.
6. Experiment And Encourage Baby Drops
Though it might not be ideal for dabbling around and experimenting, trying formulas that tone down that gassiness can be a good thing.
Apart from testing new formulas for your baby, you can also try baby drops. They are not helpful for all babies, but they don’t cause harm either.
Note: Talk to your doctor before you try or give anything to your baby. The last thing you would want for your baby is to be in pain and discomfort.
Here are all the tips and techniques that you’ll need to help a gassy baby. Remember, newborns are pretty sensitive, and almost anything can trigger them. Therefore you must be aware of the signs, causes and remedies related to gassy babies. Not only will that keep you prepared but also you’ll be able to solve the issue yourself!
There’s one problem most of the new moms face, low milk supply. It could be a false alarm, but sometimes it isn’t one. There are times when your milk supply could be running low, that’ll reflect in your baby’s behaviour.
Is your baby crying too much these days, or seems agitated? If everything else checks in OK, you should probably pay attention to your milk supply. There are numerous reasons behind the low milk supply, which we will discuss in this post.
So let’s get into it!
Signs: Knowing If The Milk-Supply Is Low Or Not
It’s vital to determine if you’re producing less milk or not. Not only is it harmful to the baby, but it’s not suitable for the mother either. Therefore, it’s essential to assess this problem as soon as possible and seek professional care.
Here are the three signs that’ll help you in knowing if the milk supply is low or not:
1. Poor Weight Gain
Weight loss after birth is quite normal. Newborn babies lose about 5 to 7% of their weight in the early postpartum period. But afterwards, they regain at least 4-7 ounces per week as well. If this is not happening, and your baby is not gaining the usual weight, it’s time you seek professional help.
Another alarming sign that you will come across is dehydration. If your baby is not producing tears while crying, hasn’t passed urine in several hours, looks lethargic, and has a soft sinking spot on his head – your baby is dehydrated. Moreover, he is probably dehydrated because he has been experiencing milk shortages.
3. Insufficient Wet or Dirty Nappies
Insufficient wet nappies are the last sign that may help you figure out if your milk supply is low or not. Babies should be damp, smelly, and should have a record of 6-8 wholly soaked nappies in 24 hours. Anything, otherwise, would probably indicate a problem that needs medical attention.
Reasons Behind Low Breast Milk Supply
Now that you’re familiar with the signs of low breast milk supply, it’s time to learn about the reasons behind this issue. In addition, learning about the problem can help you reverse it with healthy habits and lifestyles.
1. Mom’s Poor Diet
Since you’re the mom, it’s apparent that you’re in charge of producing breast milk. Consuming unhealthy foods or having an unbalanced diet can directly affect the supply. Therefore, it is vital to eat healthy in order to keep producing milk during breastfeeding.
Adding garlic, chickpeas, almonds, fenugreek, dark leafy vegetables, and oatmeal can help boost the production.
2. Mom Under Stress
Taking care of a baby is not an easy task. There are a million things to manage that usually contribute to stress and anxiety. This leads to the production of cortisol and adrenaline. Both inhibit the release of oxytocin which is responsible for milk “let-down.” Therefore, cutting down stress and loving the process can help increase the milk supply.
3. Incomplete Latch
An incomplete or poor latch can also cause a significant decrease in breast milk production and supply. It is so because if the baby doesn’t latch properly, the breasts don’t empty as they should. Instead, it’s the emptying of breasts that stimulates the production of more milk. Thus, to ensure that your breasts don’t run out of milk, ensure that your baby is positioned ideally.
3. Cutting Down Feeding Time
It’s essential to give adequate time for your breasts to empty. If you don’t, your milk supply will inevitably suffer. Try breastfeeding your baby for at least 8-10 minutes on both sides to avoid this problem once and for all.
4. Unhealthy Lifestyle
Everything a mother does affects her baby. For example, if she is smoking, skipping meals, or not massaging her breasts from time to time – it will cause a drastic decrease in the breast milk supply. To avoid these issues, make sure that the moms take care of themselves and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
5. Alternating/Supplementing with Formula Milk
The arch-enemy of your breast milk’s supply is formula milk.
So if, in the very beginning too, you start to alternate breast milk with formula milk, there will surely be a decrease in your breast milk production. That is because your breasts work on supply and demand – the more you breastfeed, the more milk they produce.
So, alternating with formula milk can decrease that supply and demand process, creating trouble for your baby.
6. Taking Hormonal Oral Contraceptives
While contraceptives don’t affect the milk supply of many others, some may experience this issue. It’s due to estrogen in the pills or patches that causes the decrease in breast milk, especially if taken before your baby is four months old.
7. Scheduling Feedings
Scheduling when to feed your baby and when to not can also disrupt the demand and supply chain. Once disturbed, this can lead to low breast milk production. So, to make sure that you don’t go through this, please don’t schedule feedings.
Feed your baby whenever they are hungry, and you’re good to go.
8. Skipping Feeds at Night
It’s natural to want to skip breastfeeding at night. But it’s essential to not give in to the desire and feed your baby if he wakes up at night.
The interval during the night can be quite a lengthy one. In addition, it can potentially trick your body into believing that it’s OK not to produce milk anymore. This can eventually lead to a decreased breast milk supply, and in turn, affect your baby’s health.
Improve Your Breast Milk Supply
Having a decreased breast milk supply is not something unfixable. Here are some of the easiest ways to improve your milk supply:
Use a breast pump to maintain good flow
Massage your breasts from time to time
Switch between both the breasts
Aim for the perfect position of your baby so that he latches properly
It’s incredibly essential to look out for fake signs as well. Sometimes, it might feel like your milk supply is low, but it isn’t. Therefore, it’s always better to consult with a healthcare professional. In addition, try to improve your lifestyle, improve breastfeeding positions, and never schedule feeding periods for the baby.