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Feeding At The Breast And Expressing Breast Milk

Morning of Day 2

Here we are on Day 2 of your 3-day journey toward producing more breastmilk.

TIP: MOVE MILK OUT AFTER A PERIOD OF SLEEP.

Remember those prolactin receptors from Day 1’s tips? You developed most of them in the first 72 hours after giving birth to your baby. The more your baby breastfed then, the more prolactin receptors you have now. Prolactin rises with sleep. Been asleep for several hours? You’ve got a higher prolactin level and receptors at the ready. If you don’t move milk out after a period of sleep, you’re telling your body “Don’t make so much milk for us tomorrow.” This is why nighttime feeds are critical to making more milk. Breastfeed or express during the night, after a 4-hour stretch of sleep when your prolactin level is high. Relax into this feeding and pumping, taking the time to get into the hind milk. 

Your body produces milk when it is stimulated to do so. Hormones, like prolactin and oxytocin, as well as your senses; visual, auditory, olfactory... alert your brain and body to produce milk. Simply put, prolactin tells your body to make milk. These levels also continue to rise during of the course of the feeding or pumping session to keep up with your baby’s demand. A too-short feeding sends another wrong message to your brain. 

Oxytocin causes muscle contractions within your breast and ensures that your milk moves to your nipple and then gets ‘ejected’ out. As long as you have adequate stimulation to your nipples and to your senses... images, aromas, sounds, the pressure of your baby on your chest... the milk production department becomes alert and active and continuous.

You are a factory, not a bank. You can expect that within 60 seconds of your baby sucking effectively you’re going to have milk flowing. You will make milk as long as the stimulation keeps up. You’re never really empty, just real slow.  Regular and frequent pumping or putting your baby to your breast sends the right messages to your body for the continuous manufacture, supply and flow of breast milk for your baby. It’s not like you’ve already made the milk between feedings and it’s sitting in there waiting to be withdrawn, you make it fresh... as you need it! There are inhibitory peptides (think proteins) in the foremilk that inhibit the production of the rest of the milk for the feeding... you’ve got to move it to make it. You have a brilliant system in place for sustaining your baby. You’ve got to move the fore and hind milk out to send the right messages for increasing your supply.

Evening of Day 2

TIP: MAKE THE LAST FEEDING OF THE DAY SUPER COMFORTABLE.

Allow this feeding to be as stress free as possible. During breastfeeding those hormones come into play yet again. Your prolactin produces a feeling of calm. Your adrenalin production is suppressed. Your milk ejection reflex will be stimulated by your oxytocin if you relax into this feeding. Any embarrassment or fright can inhibit your milk ejection by interfering with the release of oxytocin. For this last feeding and expressing of the day – choose your bed. Choose your favorite sensory input, close your eyes and visualize milk pouring from your breasts. When satisfied, you will drift off to sleep easily and awaken refreshed in 4 hours to pump your ever-increasing supply of breastmilk.

Day 3’s Mini Tips will open your eyes, muscles and arteries to physical activities that will increase your milk supply.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all insurance companies are required to cover the services of a professional lactation consultant and to provide breastfeeding equipment, including pumps, in conjunction with each birth.

Paula Zindler
RN IBCLC

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