I want to talk to you about toilet paper today or more appropriate to our discussion, the lack of toilet paper. During this time of pandemic, everyone is on the look out for toilet paper. I actually spent some time today reading all about toilet paper making and the factories that make toilet paper. Did you know that toilet paper is not a big money maker so stores only carry a small amount of it. Factories apparently already work 24 hours a day making toilet paper so there wasn’t a whole lot that they could do to ramp up their production.
Luckily for you breastfeeding mamas, your body is capable of ramping up the making of breastmilk when needed.
Today I want to explain to you the analogy of a factory when it comes to making milk. Let’s put this in terms of toilet paper factories for giggles. As we all go to the store looking for toilet paper and we don’t find enough(or any), we start to demand that the factories step it up and make more. So since there is a greater demand for toilet paper and the shelves are getting empty the managers of the factory approves some overtime to get that factory pumping out even more toilet paper than they already were. Things are trucking right along, people are happy that they have toilet paper again, possibly even more toilet paper than they need. Stores start having some left on the shelf as people finally learn that they don’t have to hoard it.
But then as the demand for toilet paper goes down the managers of the factories start to get a bit nervous about all of this overtime that they have approved so they start cutting back on hours and production. Some slacking starts to happen now that the crisis has passed. The workers decide that they just don’t need to work so hard now or make as much. Production cuts way back. Afterall, the store shelves look full.
Now, I want to change this analogy to milk-making. It is just like a factory. The more demand that there is for milk the more milk you will make. When baby starts to nurse more often, don’t take it as a signal that you are not making enough milk. Consider that the baby(manager) could be letting the workers know that they need to step up production because there is a need for more milk, possibly a growth spurt.
On the flip side of that, if baby starts sleeping longer, you get busy while out and about so baby doesn’t nurse as often, or maybe you are a pumping mama and just feel overwhelmed with all that pumping so you decide to skip a pump here or there, that is like telling your workers that the need has decreased so they can take a break.
Low milk demand equals low/slow production, high demand equals faster/higher production. Full breasts make milk more slowly and drained breasts make milk more quickly.