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Breast Feeding

Run out of breast milk?

03/08/2005

Question:

My sister had her first child 3 years ago, and I`m about to have mine next month. Lately I have been questionable about breastfeeding. My sister and I were always about the same size and during our pregnancy, I`m pretty much weighing the exact same as she did. She was unable to breastfeed her child because she said she " didn`t have enough" .

Is that ever possible, and will that happen to me because I am considered a underweight pregnant woman? Is there anything I can do to avoid that problem so i can be able to breastfeed my baby for longer than 6 months?

Answer:

Each woman is different; each baby is different and each person's life is different. So.. The experience one person has breastfeeding will not be the same as another. Nor will each of your breast feeding experiences be the same with each baby.

Breast if they contain adequate breast tissue does NOT impact your ability to breast feed. A small breasted woman can still breast feed successfully. If you think you may not have adequate breast tissue you should ask your health care provider to evaluate your breast.

The thing to consider about your weight is why you are underweight. Have you always been underweight? Do you have an eating disorder? All of these could play a role in your ability to breastfeed your baby. This is something that can best be assessed by your personal health care provider who is aware of your unique history.

Milk production is based on supply and demand. If your baby is put to breast frequently, latches on correctly and nurses vigorous then your body will usually produce enough milk. There are unique situations when this will not occur, but this is something that you will need to discuss with your health care provider or a lactation consultant.

Since you have many questions about breastfeeding it would a good idea for you to schedule a visit with a lactation consultant. They will be able to address your questions based on an assessment they can do on you.

To find a local lactation consultant check with the hospital where you will delivery your baby and the office where you baby will receive their health care.

Good luck. You will be giving you baby a wonderful start.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati