It’s a feeling that many nursing mothers are all too familiar with – the anxiety and frustration of not knowing if you’re producing enough milk for your baby.
If you’re a nursing mother with a second kid, you might wonder why your milk production is reduced this time.
Remember that each mother and her breastfeeding journey is unique; just because your milk production is decreasing with your second kid doesn’t imply you’re a failure or not doing your best for your child.
In this article, we’ll look at some potential causes of a reduction in milk supply when breastfeeding a second child, as well as some advice and resources to help you improve your milk production and make breastfeeding a joyful experience for you and your baby.
Is it normal for decreased supply for 2nd child?
It can be upsetting and stressful as a nursing mother to believe that your milk production is not what it was with your first child.
Concerns regarding your milk production are perfectly normal, especially when you’re juggling the duties of caring for a new baby and maybe an older kid.
It can be challenging to find the time and energy to devote to breastfeeding, and the stress and fatigue of parenthood can be taxing on your body.
Considering the hormonal and physical changes that occur throughout pregnancy and childbirth, it’s no surprise that your milk production may differ with your second kid.
Possible causes of a decrease in milk supply after 2nd child
Various circumstances might lead to a reduction in milk production after having a second child, and it’s important to remember that every mother and every breastfeeding journey is unique.
The following are some potential causes of a reduction in milk production while nursing a second child:
Changes in hormone balance
The balance of hormones in your body significantly affects milk production.
The hormone prolactin increases the formation of milk-making cells in the breast during pregnancy.
After childbirth, prolactin levels stay high while oxytocin levels rise, assisting in the release of milk from the breast.
On the other hand, hormone levels might fluctuate and change over time, which can impact milk production.
Stress and weariness can also affect hormone levels, which in turn can reduce milk production.
Pregnancy and childbirth can result in physical changes to your breast, such as changes in shape or size.
Some of these changes might result in strains and injury to the breast tissue, causing milk output to be affected.
Stress and fatigue
What can be more stressful than a nursing mom with a child? The answer is obviously a nursing mom with two kids!
Stress and weariness can physically and emotionally influence your body by increasing the producing of stress hormone which, negatively affect milk production.
Interference from the first baby
The older kid may compete for your attention with your infant, especially if he or she is still breastfeeding.
This can also happen if the child suffers from separation anxiety.
In addition, an older child’s presence might also disrupt the baby’s feeding patterns and frequency of nursing, which can impact milk production.
Strategies for increasing milk supply
If you’re worried about your milk supply or having trouble nursing, you may try a few tactics to increase your milk production.
Here are a few strategies you might find helpful:
Breastfeeding more regularly
If you breastfeed more frequently, the body generates more milk naturally.
This is especially beneficial in the first few weeks after labor when milk production is established.
Also, you can choose to nurse on demand rather than on a set timetable because this allows the baby to feed as frequently as needed, which can also help promote milk production.
Using a breast pump
Pumping is a great method because it helps to communicate to your body the need to produce more milk. It can also help to remove excess milk from the breast and prevent engorgement or mastitis.
If you are up for it, you can even pump and breastfeed at the same time. As time goes by, hopefully, your body will slowly be accustomed to the demand and produce more milk.
Taking lactation supplements:
Fenugreek, blessed thistle, and fennel are some of the most popular supplements that claim to help improve milk production.
As general advice, before using any new supplement, contact a healthcare physician or lactation consultant to ensure that it is safe and appropriate.
Managing stress and fatigue when nursing a second baby
It goes without saying that stress and fatigue are one of the biggest factors that impact milk production.
Here are some techniques for dealing with stress and weariness when nursing your second child:
Seek support from your partner or other caregivers
When breastfeeding a second kid, it’s critical to have strong support, especially if you have an older child to care for.
It is OK to seek assistance and outsource responsibilities to others; you do not have to handle everything yourself.
Your partner or other caregivers can assist with domestic work, childcare, and other responsibilities, allowing you to dedicate more time and energy to breastfeeding.
Set aside dedicated nursing times
Setting aside specific nursing times, especially in the early weeks after childbirth, to focus on breastfeeding and bonding with your baby can be beneficial.
Having dedicated breastfeeding periods allows you to rest and recharge between feedings.
This can assist you in establishing a good milk supply and a predictable feeding schedule, making breastfeeding easier and more enjoyable.
Find ways to rest and recharge
When breastfeeding a second child, taking care of yourself is critical, especially if you’re also caring for an older child.
Make time to rest, eat healthily, and find methods to relax and recharge.
Setting aside time each day for yourself, even for a few minutes, is OK. This can assist you in managing stress and weariness and being a better mother to your children.
Seek support from other mothers
Seeking support from other mothers who have gone through similar circumstances can be beneficial.
They can provide guidance, encouragement, and a sympathetic ear. You can get help from internet groups, local breastfeeding support groups, or friends and family.
It is highly encouraged to seek assistance and support when necessary; you do not have to go through this path alone.
Managing interference from the first child
It’s natural for the older child to feel jealous or uncertain about the new baby’s birth, and it’s critical to find strategies to manage these feelings and avoid interference.
When you welcome the new baby, it is crucial to include your older child and to explain what to expect.
This help them feel more included and reassure them that they are still loved and respected.
You can also involve the older kid when taking care of the baby so that they feel more connected to the new baby and give them a sense of duty.
Several things could be at work if you’re noticing a reduction in milk supply when nursing your second kid.
Hormonal changes, physical changes to the breast, stress, exhaustion, and interference from the first kid are all possible causes.
If you’re worried about your milk production or having trouble breastfeeding, you should visit a healthcare physician or lactation consultant.
They can assist you in determining what is causing your milk supply to be low and can provide suggestions and assistance to help you and your baby succeed with breastfeeding.
You can attempt a variety of tactics to improve milk production, such as breastfeeding more frequently, using a breast pump, or taking lactation supplements.
It’s also vital to discover ways to handle stress and weariness, such as receiving help from your partner or other caregivers, scheduling dedicated nursing times, resting and recharging, and seeking support from other mothers.