Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (The Enforcer of Supply and Demand)

Breastfeeding? Planning to? Please get geeky and learn about “FIL” (Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation). This is a little protein in your milk that acts as the enforcer of supply and demand.

The more milk your breasts have in them the more FIL is present. So when your breasts become engorged between feeds they’re FULL of this protein that decreases your supply. When you constantly empty your breasts they do not have as much FIL and your supply stays the same or increases depending on your baby’s behavior.

This is why engorgement is bad. This is why bottles at night so that mama can sleep.. Bad (for supply). This is why “letting your breasts fill back up”.. Bad. This is why any schedule for breastfeeding other than “on demand”.. Bad.

It’s not because someone somewhere decided to make life difficult with all sorts of rules. It’s because your body is smart and it knows that making “too much” milk will sap your resources and put you at risk for infections. Your body constantly wants to decrease your supply and your baby constantly wants to increase it. The balance is found with on-demand feeding.

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