This is a delicate subject. In the world of a healthy baby and a good latch, good + informed + evidenced based information and support, this cycling as described below is mostly the reason why breastfeeding doesn't work out
Over 90% of the time, there is no evidenced need for supplementation, if the baby is having all opportunities to go to the breast, no time restraint, no routine stopping them before a set amount of time has passed in between. Your early feeding cues are caught on point... The body’s aim is to produce enough milk for the baby it has just made.
There is a brilliant protein called FIL - feedback inhibitor of lactation. If you skip a feed, this protein sends signals to the brain to say the breast is full so we don't need anymore at the this moment. When the breast is empty the protein does the opposite. Emptied breasts make more milk faster!!!!!!
So , if you skip the feed for whatever reason it's important to get your groove back and feed as soon as your back with baby or can or express by hand, manual pump or electric. There may be many reasons why someone has dabbled into the suplimenting spiral and as long as you have an informed plan to either jump back out to exclusively BF (WHO recommendation for up to 6 months) or continue this or combi feed by pumping this is your BF journey and with the right educated advice and support you will be fine. IBCLC’s are a great place for this type of planning.
For those rare few who have problems regardless, do not produce enough milk- glandular tissue and certain conditions that put moms at risk, there is the need for supplementation and is actually what keeps them at the breast! Also, things such as SNS supplement nursing System can be a lifesaver. But this is not the general public remember just a tiny percentage.
If you find yourself needing help, schedule an appointment today. Virtual and in-home options are available. You still have the chance to meet your goals.
-Ashley Georgakopoulos, IBCLC
📸 wild flower motherhood , little latchers