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-   -   Breastfeeding Theories Chat Thread (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1499419)

gingerpeachee 03-12-2013 04:31 PM

Breastfeeding Theories Chat Thread
 
*I'm not personally concerned for my own breastfeeding success.... I know it'll be okay one way or another. So I'm not looking for tips exactly. I'm more looking for ideas surrounding supply that are either out of the box or -old idea presented in a new way.*


So I have this theory about supply issues. I think *sometimes* a woman's milk supply tanks, or seems to tank or the baby is having a growth spurt and mom just feels empty, so we freak out about our supply and start mentally and vocally saying, "I don't have enough milk, I don't have enough milk." I know this has happened to me. I feel like the more I stress out about my milk supply the lower it gets. (I'm not currently nursing anybody.... I'm trying to set myself up for smooth breastfeeding this go around.)

So I'm pregnant and I am trying to mentally tell myself everyday "My breasts are filling with milk. I'm going to have a great milk supply this time." Once the baby is here I'm going to tell myself that I have a great supply multiple times a day. (I obviously wouldn't ignore things like low output or weight loss, but I usually do pretty great in the beginning anyway.) I got this idea because I was avidly searching the internet about male lactation a few years ago (because I think male lactation is so interesting, lol) and some of the stories talking about a man who merely continuously mentally suggested to himself that he was lactating right after his child was born and after a few days some milk came in. It made me think (okay so maybe its not true) but..... we might have so much mental power over our bodies. Maybe some woman like myself create our own supply problems because we are worried and stressed and actually interfering with our own success.

I also read a whole web site devoted to the use of Reglan for increased breast milk production and how placebos seemed to be just as effective (this was just the one website, I'm not saying Reglan is absolutely a placebo). Which could mean that because women think its going to work it does!

Anyway I have been thinking about a lot of things like this for a while and I would love some conversation and comments on my theory and would love to read ideas that others may have.

jlsquire0324 03-12-2013 05:44 PM

I think we underestimate the power of our minds. I find it helpful to watch the milk while I pump. It gives me confidence and I get so proud of my body :) mind over matter can't contribute to all the low supply problems I have had. Breast reduction and a tongue/lip tied baby. I take brewers yeast and pump after every feeding to increase supply. Mind over matter was essential for my natural births too! (Sorry OT) but something else that has solidified how powerful our minds are

Van1300 03-12-2013 06:47 PM

Re: Breastfeeding theories- chat with me
 
Positive self talk is real. Trust me, I'm a shrink :) Seriously, I teach my clients about the power of positive thinking and tell them to do exactly what you are doing. Repeat a positive mantra to themselves daily. I do it too, especially when pumping at work. I tell myself "I am a great mother and my milk is making Jake big and strong" and then I take deep breaths to relax while visualizing my milk flowing like a river. It helps so much!!

happysmileylady 03-12-2013 07:11 PM

Re: Breastfeeding theories- chat with me
 
Absolutely believe in the placebo effect and the ability of our minds to work over our bodies.

However, I think low supply, like most problems with our bodies, is a complicated thing. I think that our hormone levels are all over the place after we have a baby and it would be silly to assume that prolactin levels can't get messed up just like any other hormone.

I also think that the normal rhythms of our society today can play a factor. Sleep for example. Maybe one mom needs a particular amount of sleep to help maintain her supply but because she has moved away from her family she doesn't have enough people to take the baby for her to be able to get enough sleep. Another mom needs to go back to work and discovers that she isn't responding to the pump well. Or whatever. I think our bodies are all different and that what works for one body might not work for another. I think tha concept applies to dealing with illnesses, working out to lose weight, diets and allergies, and of course to childbirthing and BFing too. I think it's just way too complex to just say hat if you wear baby enough and nurse often enough and Hershey's with baby close enough that anyone should be able to nurse exclusively and successfully for months and years.

I think there are more women who struggle with supply issues than most LCs and lactivists are willing to admit. I also think that that is one of the factors limiting research into the real reasons why low supply happens, beyond the standard lines of "supply and demand, just nurse more" and "don't give bottles or pacifiers, they cause nipple confusion." There are pills to help guys 'perform' and pills to help prevent pregnancy and pills to replace thyroid hormones, but there is very little to improve breastmilk supply. IMO that is really where the focus should be. Discovering and working the medical side of it needs more focus.

I often wonder how many societies actually do exclusively nurse foe an extended period of time-meaning up to and beyond the recommended 4-6month timescale for starting solids.

kittenbaby77 03-12-2013 08:36 PM

Try to sleep when baby sleep for the first month or 2. Sleep helped my supply. Stay positive and believe in yourself. :) u can do it!!

Computermama 03-12-2013 09:32 PM

I don't know about the power of positive thinking, but I absolutely believe that stress is bad for us. Stress triggers the fight or flight reflex. It draws blood away from the organs and into the limbs so you can either fight or run. It can mess with so many of our normal systems, so it completely stands to reason that it would affect milk supply. If positive thinking and visualization help reduce your stress I could see that positively affecting your supply.

gingerpeachee 03-13-2013 05:33 AM

Re: Breastfeeding theories- chat with me
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by happysmileylady (Post 16389237)
I think there are more women who struggle with supply issues than most LCs and lactivists are willing to admit. I also think that that is one of the factors limiting research into the real reasons why low supply happens, beyond the standard lines of "supply and demand, just nurse more" and "don't give bottles or pacifiers, they cause nipple confusion." There are pills to help guys 'perform' and pills to help prevent pregnancy and pills to replace thyroid hormones, but there is very little to improve breastmilk supply. IMO that is really where the focus should be. Discovering and working the medical side of it needs more focus.

This right here is exactly why I want to open up this conversation. I want to see what other women have noticed to make a difference for them. In reality the "nurse more" suggestion isn't a very helpful solution when its not working.

I like this idea about sleep. I never considered the effects sleep could possibly have on our hormones. This baby will be born in the summer so I may try to spend more time skin to skin as well- some moms report better milk supply this way.

I'm not personally concerned for my own breastfeeding success.... I know it'll be okay one way or another. I'm more looking for ideas surrounding supply that are either out of the box or -old idea presented in a new way.

There was another thread with a link about hands on pumping that I thought was soooo helpful. I remember thinking with my first, "I have to express into the pump to get any milk.... this thing isn't working." When in reality hand expression and pumping work together to get the best effect. If you change the way you look at things the things you look at will change.... youknow?

Nerissa 03-13-2013 06:27 AM

Re: Breastfeeding theories- chat with me
 
I think there are a lot of factors that play into a sucsessful breastfeeding experience. Stress, lack of sleep, being a working mom all work against a moms ability to breastfeed. I think this forum is made up of way more SAHM than WOH moms and being a WOH mom who is breast feeding is completely different.

I WOH, with my first and 2nd babies I had a pretty good supply at first, pumping enough for the next days bottles but not really any extra for the freezer. That lasted till about 5 months when I wasn't able to pump even 1/2 of what I needed. By 6 months there was nothing left. I was getting maybe 2oz total for my pumping sessions. We went to formula. Those two babies were very much, nurse and be done. They did not comfort nurse and both STTN early. I don't wake a healthy sleeping baby. I think both of those factors played a roll in the end of my supply. I was actually fine with it to be honest. WOH, pumping, stressing over having enough milk was causing me more stress. I was sleeping less with trying to get up in the middle of the night to pump and it wasn't working.

Now with baby #3, she is a completely different baby and I have learned some new things about supply and ways to help. She is a big comfort nurser and still wakes 2 times during the night. My supply is different too. I also am eating differently. I eat a big bowl of oatmeal w/flax everymorning. I can tell the difference when I don't eat my oatmeal for a few days. My pumping amounts are down. We have hit 6 months with no supply issues and not having to dip into my freezer stock.

sunnyllama 03-13-2013 06:32 AM

Re: Breastfeeding theories- chat with me
 
removed:(

sunnyllama 03-13-2013 06:32 AM

Re: Breastfeeding theories- chat with me
 
sorry double post:(


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