Do not miss out any breast feeds by giving a bottle feed. If the baby is losing mass – and she should never be allowed to lose more than one tenth of her body mass – give diluted evaporated milk feeds, diluted one part water to two parts milk after the breast feed until you have built up your milk supply again.

Try to promote an efficient let down reflex by getting into a routine procedure before you feed, either by playing music you like, or getting a special drink you enjoy, or simply try going through the feeding process in your mind.

Pain from sore nipples or other sources can make you tense. See how to deal with sore nipples (p. 91) and take a painkiller 15 minutes before you start feeding (not codeine, it is constipating).

Do not forget that lactation takes about three weeks to become established, so keep up frequent feeds in the beginning to get a really good flow going.

Get as much rest as possible prolactin is secreted in larger quantities during sleep.

Drink extra fluids, anything you wish although tea and especially coffee in excess are not recommended as they could overstimulate the baby. (Rooibos tea is in order.) Champagne may make you relax enough to get the let down reflex going and you will certainly take a brighter view of things! Keep alcohol consumption moderate though.

Vitamin B complex often has a beneficial effect on lactation probably because it helps the mother relax. The dose is two brewers yeast tablets three times a day. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) should not be taken in large amounts as it can reduce the milk supply.

Certain medications have been found to increase the milk supply, and they can be taken once all possible causes have been checked and other methods tried: calcium iodate tablets (Lactagol), (two, three times a day) can be obtained without prescription and often have a remarkable effect on the milk supply.


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