Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, but it’s not always easy. So if someone out there has fed you some line about how the body just “knows what to do” so you won't experience a single problem, erase that thought from your brain. I’m not trying to freak you out, but I also don’t want you to be totally heartbroken if you face some nursing challenges. For example, tongue ties, insufficient glandular tissue, and NICU stays that can all cause undersupply. So I asked several breastfeeding moms to reveal how they handled undersupply, and they all had some pretty interesting methods and experiences to share that, in my opinion, could come in handy for any soon-to-be nursing mom.
Back when I was pregnant with my son, I read a lot of books that all claimed that everyone (and I mean everyone) has the capability to breastfeed. They made it seem like those who didn’t just weren’t trying hard enough. Then I gave birth and realized I had a lot of cards stacked against me when it came time to breastfeed. For one, my son was taken to the NICU so I didn’t even see him the first two days of his life. He was also intubated, so we didn’t get to even try to nurse until he was nearly 2 weeks old. I was so stressed and depressed I didn’t feel like pumping, so when my milk came in I didn’t take advantage and it started drying up quickly. I was also on medication for pain and anxiety, thanks to all my birth trauma, so that did not help the situation in the slightest.
Then, just when I thought things couldn't get any more challenging, a lactation consultant told me she was fairly certain I had insufficient glandular tissue. So no, breastfeeding is not always easy. I pumped like a mad woman for four months and fed my son what I could, but no matter how many "boost your milk supply" teas and pills I swallowed, or how much oatmeal I ate, none of it helped. Eventually, I threw in the towel. Some moms are able to increase their supply and continue breastfeeding, of course, because every woman, baby, and situation is different. So, with that in mind, here's how some moms handled their undersupply issues: