Why so many women struggle with breastfeeding

Struggling with breastfeeding? You are not alone! Many women consider stopping breastfeeding because they think they are not producing enough milk for their baby. Lactation Consultant Corky Harvey, RN, IBCLC, shares her wisdom on breastfeeding and gives advice on methods for producing more breast milk
Breastfeeding Tips - How To Produce More Breast Milk
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Why so many women struggle with breastfeeding

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It’s really interesting to me that so many mothers today still think that they don’t make enough milk for their babies, when in fact we have the evidence to support the idea that very few of us cannot make enough milk for our babies, probably only 5%; so why do mothers feel this way? What evidence shows is that the leading cause of breast feeding failure is the belief that we don’t have enough milk and that’s contributed to by not having education that tells us not only how milk is made but how to get milk started and how to maintain a good supply. We have to have normal anatomy and physiology in order to have a good milk supply, but the motor that really drives milk supply is the removal of milk. So, if you are not nursing enough, if you are supplementing and not taking milk out of your breast, you're not going to have a great milk supply. So mothers kind of miss that piece, and it’s very important to have a class before you have a baby to know who your helpers are and where to go to ask your questions before your baby is ever born. But the second thing I think that’s really contributing is that people in our culture do not know what babies are really like. And particularly the difference between a formula fed baby and a breastfed baby, and there is information, quite new, that’s really helpful and that is that the variation on how often a baby will feed and how much they take at the breast is incredibly wide. Babies will vary their feed once milk is well established five or six times a day to thirteen times a day. And what dictates that is how much storage capacity a particular mother has, how much stomach capacity the baby has, and how fast that little baby's stomach empties. And it can empty in as much as 40 minutes, 48 minutes, maybe 90 minutes, but as little as 40 minutes. So, Moms needs to know those kinds of things instead of comparing themselves to each other all the time. The third thing, that I think is so important is so many moms thinks that breastfeeding is supposed to be easy and natural. And it really isn’t. It’s a learned skill for many people, and you need to know where your help is and access it until you get it over the hump.

Struggling with breastfeeding? You are not alone! Many women consider stopping breastfeeding because they think they are not producing enough milk for their baby. Lactation Consultant Corky Harvey, RN, IBCLC, shares her wisdom on breastfeeding and gives advice on methods for producing more breast milk

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Corky Harvey, MS, RN, IBCLC

Certified Lactation Consultant

Corky Harvey is a co-founder of the Pump Station & Nurtury™ - the first new parent resource center of its kind. She is a registered nurse with a master's degree in maternal/newborn Nursing, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She teaches breastfeeding and baby care classes, facilitates the New Mother Breastfeeding Support Groups, and is a frequent guest lecturer. Corky has three grown children who were breastfed and she loves to claim that their intelligence is linked to this. Corky has two grandsons, Diego who nursed over two years, and 18-month-old Axel who is still breastfeeding. 

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