One of the reasons why a lot of moms give up breastfeeding is low milk supply. We worry about it right after birth when we only have colostrum and even if newborns only need a few ounces every day. By the time moms need to get back to work, or at least just go out without baby in tow, we worry if milk we left behind is enough.
Not all woman are blessed with abundant breast milk, and many working moms rely on how much breast milk they pump while at work for their little one’s supply the next day. Do you catch yourself eagerly watching how much milk you’re expressing? It can get stressful, especially if you’ve been pumping for a good 15 minutes and still only manage to produce an ounce or two.
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Johanna Sargeant, who runs the page Milk and Motherhood, shared on a Facebook post that she had the same pumping struggles that affected her milk supply. She was so worried about it and needed a break for her mental health. She found an easy and neat hack that might be what every pumping mom who isn’t blessed with abundant milk needs.
“When I was told to pump after feeding to boost supply, I’d sit there and watch. I’d double pump for 20 minutes after every feed, and become more and more demoralized at the lack of milk in that bottle,” Sargeant shared. “I realized that, for my own mental health, I needed to stop watching!” she added.
Of course, it is easier said than done. Now, Sargeant advises moms to put a sock over their pumping bottle, and she has received incredible feedback, that moms were able to pump two to three times more milk when they stop worrying about how much the bottle is going to contain at the end of the pumping session.
“We know that oxytocin release is inhibited by stress, and oxytocin release is required for letdowns, so if you find you are getting stressed while watching, try it!” she explained. You know when breast leaks happen when you think of baby? It’s similar thinking of your baby and only happy thoughts when you express milk.
Sargent’s post has been shared more than 8,700 times and had received more than 11,000 reactions and 4,000 comments. A lot of the moms were shocked but happy and eager to try it and that it makes so much sense that it would have undoubtedly helped them when they were still pumping milk.
There are a lot of factors that affect your breast milk supply. You can take and drink malunggay pills, tea, or other galactagogues that help increase your milk supply, but it wouldn’t work as well, not without direct latching. It is only by breastfeeding your little one that signals your body to produce more milk.
Sure, direct breastfeeding can be an issue when you’re back to work and just pumping. But at night and any time you can, you should still keep on latching your baby as often as you can if you don’t want your milk supply to dwindle.