I’m trying to breastfeed, but I just don’t seem to have enough milk. Should I supplement with formula?

The percentage of women who biologically cannot breastfeed or unable to make enough milk to satisfy their babies is very, very small. However, it is not uncommon for pediatricians, who also receive free goodies and money from formula companies, to tell new mothers that “you don’t have enough milk,” or even more outrageous fallacies (“your milk will spoil”) and then encourage her to supplement or switch to formula all together. Rather conveniently, he or she will recommend the brand of formula whose logo is splashed on notepads, pens, and other items throughout the office.

If your baby has six to eight wet diapers a day, is gaining weight, and has clear or pale colored urine, then she is most likely getting enough milk. Supplementing with formula may cause your baby to develop nipple confusion or nipple preference. Sucking on a rubber nipple is less work than suckling at the breast, and your child may refuse to take from you all together. Less suckling at the breast also means decreased milk production, which lead to more supplementing, which will lead to even less milk production… you get the idea.

Almost all new mothers can produce enough milk to satisfy their babies, and with a little work, you can increase your milk supply within a short period of time. One suggestion is to take the herbal supplement fenugreek. (Check with your midwife or health care practitioner before taking any herbal supplements). However, the most sure-fire way of increasing your milk supply is to nurse more often. Nurse longer on each side and nurse as frequently as two hours, or when baby needs it (cue-feeding). Nursing at night also stimulates the hormone prolactin, which in turn helps produce more milk. Do not let baby have any artificial nipples or pacifiers, and instead allow her to “comfort suck” with you. You may also want to pump milk with a breast pump in order to stimulate more milk production.

Source: Modern Muslima – http://www.modernmuslima.com/bffaq.htm

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