Breastfeeding doesn’t come easy for every mother. It can be hard to transition to breastfeeding for the first two weeks and even into the first year. For some mothers, there is grave concern about the fact that the amount of milk they produce is simply not enough to meet the requirements and needs of their newborn child.
However, breastfeeding techniques today can help to significantly increase milk production. Understanding the causes of reduced milk supply and learning new strategies to increase the amount of milk produced, will help mothers of newborn children find the comfor they need to ensure they have an ample supply of milk for their babies.
Common Causes of Low Milk Production and Steps You Can Take to Minimize Them
Lack of Milk Producting Ducts
First and foremost, many women’s breasts do not develop normally for a variety of reasons and, as a result, may find they don’t have enough milk producing ducts within their breasts to meet the individual needs of their newborn child. Though these ducts will experience growth during each and every pregnancy and actual breastfeeding will help stimulate the growth, low milk production is indeed a moot problem when you have a second, third of fourth child.
However, when the problem presents itself, especially with the birth of a first child, you can take steps to maximize the milk supply by pumping or even taking prescription meds that your doctor may prescribe. You may also find it necessary to supplement your feedings with small amounts of formula, adding to your breast milk feedings that are essential to your baby’s brain development, immune system and nutritional requirements.
Hormonal or Health Problems
Hormonal problems as well as other health problems can also be accountable for reduced milk production. Whether you have an ovarian disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, an inactive thyroid or hormonal issues, any one of these conditions can contribute to a reduced breast milk supply for mothers.
In order to increase milk production, it is important to receive proper treatments for any health problems or conditions you may have. You may also want to engage the services of a breastfeeding clinic or even a consultant who specializes in lactation who can help you determine the best approach to take.
Breast surgeries you may have had whether for medical reasons or cosmetic enhancements or reductions, or even nipple piercings, can actually cause harm to the milk ducts in the nipples and minimize the amount of breast milk produced. The impact such procedures may have will vary from person to person depending upon the actual procedure, how long in advance of pregnancy it was performed, and whether or not there were procedure complications that left behind scars or damaged tissue.
There are no steps to be taken to offset the side effects of breast surgeries or procedures when it comes to breast milk production and supply. The state of your breasts and nipples as a result of surgeries or breast procedures will remain the same.
Medications & Herbs
There are also a number of medications and herbs that can have a significant impact on the production of breast milk. Such medications as pseudoephedrine, and other cold medications as well as excessive amounts of parsley, peppermint and sage all play a role in breast milk production. Terminating the use and ingestion of these meds and herbs, coupled with breast pumping, can help increase breast milk supply.
Get Answers from Our Breastfeeding / Childbirth Educators
Here at Riverside Medical Group, we want all our new mothers and partners to understand that even if your newborn baby shows signs that they are not getting enough milk, don’t give up. Rather, take time out to either consult with a breastfeeding clinic or reach out to a lactation or breastfeeding consultant who can not only help you determine the cause of your low breastmilk supply, but can also recommend effective solutions to resolve your breastmilk problem and allow for a happier and healthier mom and baby!