Too little milk? How to increase milk production
Do I have enough milk? ”Is the question that young mothers often ask. If your baby is healthy and growing well, there is no reason for concern. However, if you are still worried about milk production, it is best to consult a specialist as soon as possible. If everything is in order, he will be able to reassure you. In addition, you will not be in vain to feed the baby with a mixture, because of which milk production can really decrease.
Reasons for a lack of milk
Some mothers do not produce enough breast milk for medical reasons, which include:
Severe blood loss during childbirth (more than 500 ml) or the remaining fragments of the placenta can delay the arrival of milk (which usually begins about three days after birth) .1
Polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction or other hormonal disorders. In some cases, such diseases result in low milk production.2
A rare medical condition called “breast hypoplasia” in which there is not enough glandular tissue producing milk in the chest.
Surgery or chest injury. However, many mothers who have had breast surgery successfully breastfeed in the future.
If you have at least one of these conditions, consult your breastfeeding consultant or supervisor.
How is milk production
With the advent of milk, the breast begins to work on the principle of supply and demand. Each time after emptying it, whether it is feeding the baby or decanting, more milk will be produced.
That is why milk production may be reduced if you give the baby a mixture – your body will not receive a signal to produce more milk, because it will remain.
How your baby eats also affects milk production. The more often and better he sucks his chest, the more it will be. If your baby eats only a small portion in one feeding, it is necessary to express milk regularly to maintain its production level. Read more about this below.
Signs that the baby is not getting enough milk
Despite the fact that low milk production is quite rare, in the first few weeks the baby may have difficulty eating, but for other reasons. Perhaps you are not feeding it often enough or with insufficient duration, especially if you want to adhere to a certain schedule. Perhaps the baby is misplacing the breast, or he has features that make milk difficult.
The following signs indicate that the baby is not getting enough milk:
Bad weight gain. In the first few days of life, newborns normally lose from 5 to 7%, and sometimes even up to 10% of their birth weight. However, after that they should gain at least 20-30 g per day and recover their birth weight for 10-14 days. 5,6,7 If your baby lost 10% or more of its weight in the first days or did not begin to gain it by 5-6 days, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Not enough wet and soiled diapers. A good indicator of whether a baby gets enough milk is the amount of diapers used per day. Check out our article, which details the norm of wet and soiled diapers, in the section Breastfeeding a newborn: what to expect in the first week. Consult a doctor if something is bothering you or you notice that the amount of soiled diapers has begun to decrease.
Dehydration. If your baby’s urine has turned dark, he has a dry mouth or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or the baby has become sluggish, has lost his appetite, and may have dehydrated his body. 6 The cause of dehydration may be high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or overheat. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Misconceptions about a lack of milk
Newborns usually eat very often, about 10-12 times a day or every two hours. This does not mean that they are short of milk. Do not forget that feeding for the baby is also comfort, so it is difficult to say how much milk the child eats with each feeding, as its amount may vary.
You have enough milk, even if:
the child wants to eat often;
the child does not want to be laid;
the child wakes up at night;
feeding is fast;
feeding takes a long time;
after feeding, the baby takes another bottle;
Your chest is softer than in the first weeks;
milk does not leak or ceases to leak;
You cannot express a lot of milk;
you have small breasts.