Breast milk, the most important component to provide your child a healthy start to life, can dry overnight due to several factors. Some of these factors can be stress, illness, certain medication, extreme caffeine consumption, alcohol, or long gaps in feeding. However, your milk supply can be regained through healthier choices and frequent feeding.
So if you are also at a phase of motherhood where you are detecting the decrease in your milk, here is a comprehensive insight into everything you need to know about breastmilk drying up.
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How much milk is considered normal?
On the birth of your little one, the colostrum starts producing in small quantities. This production increases once the baby starts to feed.
This production goes up to 24 to 30 ounces daily within 3 months when a mother breastfeeds her child regularly.
It is advised to breastfeed or pump the milk 8 times daily so that the hormones in the body can detect the need to produce more milk leading to the increase of milk production.
5 factors that can affect milk supply:
Breastmilk, this nutrient-filled liquid, is not only the first food your child gets but is also needed to help your baby grow, develop and combat harmful infections.
But in case if you feel that your supply is dwindling or drying up, check for the following cues:
1. You are stressed out
Being physically, emotionally, and psychologically stressed out or depressed means your certain hormones will get disturbed rather badly. Leading to cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine secretion increasing hence resulting in dried-up milk.
Whereas being too concern while breastfeeding, or going through a financial crisis, relationship issues, anxiety, or any painful condition can also affect your milk supply.
2. Not getting enough rest
Taking care of a baby can be an exhausting job with balancing numerous other responsibilities. But the postpartum fatigue requires you to relax and let your body heal peacefully.
When your body is not getting enough sleep, and the energy level is almost draining, you might experience a drop in your supply as well.
3. Not being conscious of what you eat
Food is the biggest savior for any mom. What she eats and how much water she drinks can affect the milk supply significantly.
So if you are conscious of losing weight after pregnancy maintaining a healthy diet and an adequate water intake is extremely important.
Sometimes consuming certain herbs and spices in large quantities can also dry up your milk. For example, Peppermint and sage, large doses of parsley, oregano, and yarrow have shown decreased milk in some women.
4. Unhealthy life choices
Caffeinated soda, tea, coffee can cause dehydration and lower or drying up your milk overnight. If you are smoking or consuming way too much alcohol, it affects the oxytocin hormone in the body, stimulating the let-down reflex. It will block the way for milk to drain out hence reducing the production.
5. Hormonal changes
Are you pregnant or have your periods about to start or have started because these hormonal changes can cause your milk to dry up.
If you have started birth control pills containing estrogen, it can upset your hormones, causing them to affect the milk supply.
How to replenish your milk supply
Not all hope is lost if your milk has dried up overnight because re-lactation is possible. Here are some tips for replenishing your milk supply:
- Eat products that can stimulate this process. Oatmeal or fenugreek products such as mother’s milk cookies and teas.
- Stay hydrated and avoid excessive caffeinated products. Take rest and provide the body adequately with nutritious food.
- Don’t stop feeding your baby. Feed him after every few hours or try to pump your milk in a bottle that can be later used when needed.
- Try messaging your breast or using breast compressions to ease the milk flow.
If you’re not suffering from any major illness or have gone through surgery recently, then the simple lifestyle changes can help you revamp the milk supply pretty easily.
A study recounted that being relaxed and listening to soothing music while pumping the milk resulted in 2 3 times more output and better milk quality.
So feed frequently and try to relax and be energized for the coming days.