a common reason for tears

This week we had a common theme in moms group: low milk supply, the heartbreak of a desperate mama.

I can't count the mamas who have come through the group, or as doula clients, who have cried many tears over low milk supply. I sometimes cry right along with them. I know that I work with a population of moms who experience more low milk supply, as I work with moms who are often struggling or who need extra support (hence the support groups or doula care I get to provide). BUT, I still think it is worth mentioning since it is such a disappointing process.

While I applaud the moms I see for trying so hard to increase their milk supply, and I try to console the moms who have had to make choices that they wouldn't have wanted for their baby's feeding needs, I also want to make sure the right resources are available for those who need it (and to be able to support all the mamas that don't have a group or a doula to care for them!).

A favorite site for those challenged with trying to bring up milk supply for their breastfeeding baby is www.lowmilksupply.org. There are many others, but I find the information on this website helpful and non-judgmental. Additionally, www.bfar.org is done by the same parent company, and it stands for 'breastfeeding after reduction surgery', a common complication and factor in low milk supply. The sites also have great forums which can be a lifeline when you think you are the only one struggling with this while other mothers make plenty of milk.

The book MAKING MORE MILK by Lisa Marasco and Diana West is also a favorite, and one that was written for mothers and not just for lactation professionals. I love this book  because it is so practical and non judgemental,  although some of the herbs they mention can be hard to come by.

As always, www.kellymom.comis a great resource for breastfeeding questions in general, and I love their no nonsense approach. I do caution moms with low milk supply about looking at the La Leche League website or publications as they often tell me they are racked with guilt afterward. I love LLL, but I know their intentions can be mistaken for judgement, and when you are bustin' your gut trying to make more milk already, this can be a spinning cycle that doesn't get you anywhere.

Did I mention moms who have low milk supply are at a significant increase for postpartum depression and anxiety?

Bottom line, you have to feed your baby. Breastmilk is wonderful, but if your body can't make the milk your baby needs, the baby needs more food. You can be working on all sorts of milk making approaches, but in the meantime, feed your baby the best food sources you can. More on that later...