The amount of milk your body produces when you are breastfeeding is based on several different factors. How healthy you eat, the amount of water you consume, your overall stress, and how well your baby is eating. After birth, the goal for your child is to regain their birth weight. Babies often lose about 7 to 10% of their body weight in the first few days after they are born. Babies impacted by a lip or tongue-tie may lose more weight than that, as they try to navigate how to properly eat.
Once your baby is latched on, they need to continually suck in order for them to get milk. While when they first latch on they get a little bit of milk as you let down, they must work for the milk to continue. Dr.Strutz suggests, “Babies with tongue or lip-ties, may not be latched on properly. This means that they are unable to work correctly to get additional milk after the initial let-down. If your baby does not continue sucking, your milk supply can begin to dry up because your body does not believe that it needs to make more milk.
If your baby is latching on but you are not releasing enough milk it can also lead to mastitis or blockage in a mammary duct. This blockage can be very painful and require antibiotics to clear up the infection. During this time, breastfeeding may not only be painful for you, but can continue to decrease your supply if you are not able to breastfeed through the mastitis.
We now know how to help many mothers successfully nurse. If you have questions, or to have your child evaluated for a lip or tongue tie, contact Dr. Judy Strutz & her team today.