Dip in milk supply? Try a babymoon.
September 21, 2016
Even when nursing is going well and you've settled into a good routine, things can happen that cause your supply to dip. Things like going back to work, your period returning, or coming down with a case of mastitis. All of these circumstances (among others) can cause your supply to suddenly decline.
There is a simple, low-tech fix for these kinds of situations, and it's a very pleasant one: a babymoon. Think honeymoon, but with your baby. It's also sometimes called a “nursing vacation” or even “nursing boot camp.”
A babymoon is a peaceful stretch of time spent in bed with your baby, snuggling up (ideally skin-to-skin) and nursing frequently. Spending a weekend (or any two days) in bed with your baby can provide a significant boost to your milk supply. You'll need some support so ask your partner or family and friends to help prepare meals and take care of other children while you focus on your baby. Then settle into bed with food, water, and your preferred entertainment (no, you don't have to gaze at your baby the whole time!).
As simple as it sounds, a babymoon can work wonders for your milk supply. This extended period of close contact will boost your milk making hormones (particularly oxytocin), and encourage frequent feeding – the foundation of a good milk supply. It will also provide you with some much-needed rest, and will likely reduce your stress level. And of course, it will allow you and your baby to connect to one another.
A babymoon may also help with babies who refuse to latch on because of the frequent opportunities to nurse, and also because you're likely to be in positions which elicit babies' natural breastfeeding reflexes. Baby-led breastfeeding and biological nurturing are good methods to try to use during a babymoon. If your supply has dipped on one side more than another (after mastitis, for example), offer that breast more frequently (and see this post for more tips on rebuilding supply after mastitis).
Can't devote a full two days to a babymoon? Do what you can. Any amount of time spent in close contact and feeding frequently will benefit your supply, and give you the rest and calm you need and deserve.