There are lots of things that we can do while you are still pregnant. We can prepare for boosting milk supply based on your medical history, or put a tool or two in your hospital bag just in case. Breastfeeding is physical and hormonal, so there is a checklist you can go through while you’re pregnant to see if you have any precursors for low milk supply.
1. Did you have trouble getting pregnant?
2. Do you have thyroid issues?
3. Do you have diabetes?
4. Do you have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome?
5. Did your breasts change size during pregnancy?
6. Have you had a breast surgery?
#5 is an important question: Did you experience breast changes during pregnancy. Sometimes you need to ask her significant other to answer that one.
I’m not talking Dolly Parton changes, just slight changes in your bra cup size. About 1.5% of women do not have enough mammary tissue to make milk, so we must consider this as a possibility.
If you have any history of thyroid issues, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or you had problems getting pregnant; these are all precursors for low milk supply. Don’t worry, we can work on synthetically boosting your prolactin after the baby is born, but just knowing this information will help.
Look At Your Nipples
When I work with a pregnant mom, I do a breast exam to see if I can find any potential issues with the latch. If the nipples are flat or when you compress the areola do they retract, we can plan for the use of a nipple shield. Simply squeeze your areola from both sides and see what your nipple does. If it stays in place, you are in good shape. If it retracts back into the boob, you will want to be prepared for a possible latch issue. Don’t worry, you found out before any issues began, so that is an excellent start!