(KUTV) Breastfeeding is one of the biggest stresses for many new moms because it takes a lot of work. One problem nursing mothers face is not producing enough milk. This was the case for Shalynn Underwood.
“It’s really frustrating because at first I was producing so much,” Underwood said.
Her breastfeeding struggles began shortly after giving birth. She had to get her wisdom teeth out and was also dealing with an infection in her uterus. Not feeling well and lacking an appetite, Underwood’s breast milk production decreased.
“Sometimes I would pump close to eight ounces and so going from that to two ounces was really hard,” Underwood said.
Frustrated, she reached out for help. The first step was to take a look at how she was fueling her body. Nursing mothers need to get good nutrition and not just eat healthy foods, but eat enough of them.
“Now I know how important it is to really get your calorie intake and really get your nutrition you’re going to need,” says Shalynn.
“It’s also important that moms are getting plenty of fluid because if they get dehydrated then they’re not going to produce milk,” said Dr. Kenneth Larsen, with Intermountain Alta View Hospital and Sandy OBGYN.
The body produces what it thinks the baby needs which is why women should nurse on demand. If they want to produce even more, they can try pumping between feedings and the body will respond by producing more milk.
Last but not least, talk with your doctor and don’t give up because help is available.
“We can use medication like Regalan or Fenugreek and it helps to increase it to some degree as well,” Larsen said.
If you are breastfeeding, but are not sure if your baby is getting enough milk, an easy way to tell is by the number of wet diapers they have. For the first couple of months, babies should produce about eight to 10 wet diapers every day.