Did you know that a painful latch can lead to low milk supply? The more you are in pain at feed time the less you relax, the less oxytocin you release (that’s the hormone you need to help the milk letdown), you then tend to stop the feed sooner than you would have, had it been a pleasant experience. All those factors can contribute to the supply of breast milk being reduced!
What can you do about it?
1. Sit as comfortably as you can.
2. Get your baby latching as deeply as possible,with as much nipple & areola in its mouth as possible.
3. Drain your breasts as best as possible at each feed.
4. ‘switch feed’ ie. first breast until it feels soft, second breast until it is soft, then back to the first again, followed by second, until you feel your breasts are very soft and your baby has been doing slow, sleepy suck/swallows for a good 5 minutes.
5. Feed your baby as often as it needs to.
6. Post feed 3-4 times per day, try to express for another 10 minutes per side. Do this ASAP feed over, allowing then maximum time for breasts to fill again for next feed.
7. Eat and drink well. Try to rest when you can too.
8. If the above are not sufficient to increase your supply, talk to your health care provider, about maybe drinking some ‘Nursing tea’. This tea would have in it, fennel, anise seed and fenugreek. It is recommended to have up to 3 cups per day. It might also be worth starting on extra fenugreek tablets taking up to 3 Grams per day.
I know all this sounds like an enormous job! Think about how long you had thought you would actually breastfeed for, then think about how short a time you have had trying to learn this new skill, don’t be too hard on yourself!