All About Your Milk Supply

4 Things That Can Hurt Your Milk Supply

Skipping feedings: For the first four to six weeks, your newborn should be nursing as often has every two hours around the clock. After that, you may be able to drop some nighttime feedings so that your child sleeps for four to seven hours at a stretch. However, until then, or if your baby is sleeping more than four hours during the day, wake him up to breastfeed.

Not drinking enough liquids: Your body needs a lot of water to make milk -- and to keep you healthy as your recover from childbirth. Drink water all day long, as well as healthy beverages such as milk and juice. Drink sugary sodas and caffeinated drinks such as coffee in moderation, since they may not keep you as well hydrated.

Dieting: A breastfeeding mother needs roughly the same number of extra calories as a pregnant woman. You're still "eating for two," which means an extra 300 to 500 calories a day, or about the amount in a container of yogurt, a cup of cereal, and a piece of fruit. Dieting, or cutting back calories, is the opposite of what you need to do -- you can hurt your milk supply and make yourself feel run down as well.

Stress and worry: Unfortunately, worrying about your milk supply can hurt it. Nursing is both a physical and a psychological thing -- if you can stay relaxed, think about the happy aspects of parenthood and your new baby, and remain confident about breastfeeding, you boost your chances of success.

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