I'll break it down for you in a series of 3 posts, so stay tuned for the full scoop!
#1: Growth spurts.
Babies and children go through growth spurts - we all know this. Now you might hear people mention "the 3 month growth spurt" or "the 6 month growth spurt," but the truth is, every baby is different! Yes, your baby will go through growth spurts - and lots of them! - but these spurts are not necessarily going to be right on schedule. This is why, after having plenty of milk earlier on, when you feel like your baby (who is typically under 6 months old in this particular scenario) is nursing, and nursing, and nursing some more, and you feel like you've been sucked dry, you can rest assured that your baby is getting some milk each time she nurses, and that your body is just going to take a couple of days to catch up and figure out just exactly how much that baby needs now that she's going through a spurt and you are personally nourishing an ever growing and changing little person!
Another sign that your baby is going through one of these spurts is that she will look a little more chubby than usual. People might even comment on her deliciously chubby cheeks or thighs! Well, a few days later, even though she seems like she is a bottomless pit, she is going to lengthen out and look a little taller, slimmer, and more mature. And by that time you may have even forgotten about your scare, that you thought surely your milk must be drying up!
If you suspect your baby is going through a growth spurt, the best thing to do is nurse, nurse, and nurse some more (and lay off the bottles if you can!) so that your body will get the message that it needs to produce more ASAP! Its all about demand and supply. That's how milk production works.
One more juicy little tip for you, if you are feeling really tense and discouraged by nursing so often and your baby seems to be getting frustrated too, try taking a nice warm bath together. The warm water will relax you and pave the way for a free flow of hormones that will make you let down a little more milk, plus being skin-to-skin in a warm bath with your baby will inevitably motivate your little bundle of joy to come snuggle and nurse some more. Its the perfect set up! Even if you don't feel any extra let downs, enjoy the snuggles and the relaxing bath together!