What if you are not producing enough breastmilk?

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Breastfeeding is a foundation for life, isn’t it? According to a survey done on 500 Indian new mothers, 22.7% of them face lactating issues in their breastfeeding journey. Dr. Zinal Unadkat Shah, a pediatrician and lactation consultant of Mumbai, shared her observation, saying that in the last five years, the lactation issues in the metropolitan cities have increased up to 20 to 40%

As per WHO guidelines, the first six months of breastfeeding are a must for newborn babies. Breastfeeding provides the necessary foundation for his or her growth and development. But there are many new mothers out there who cannot give this foundation for their little one.

The reasons can be many, and there are solutions as well. Here I am writing this article to make you aware of what low breastmilk supply is and why it happens. I will also be sharing one of the solutions for this problem that can help younger mums overcome this hurdle. That solution is food! So, let’s begin.

Does the condition of less breastmilk supply exist?

You may be wondering why I asked this question. Less breastmilk supply is when the mother cannot produce enough breastmilk for her baby. This condition is often misunderstood, as per many health experts.

If you are a new mother, you may perceive that you have less breastmilk or find breastfeeding challenging because of the following reasons.

  • Infrequent and short time feedings.
  • Incomplete or poor latch by the baby.
  • Negatively influenced by other people about breastfeeding.
  • If your baby is going through a growth spurt (Growth spurt is a natural phase wherein baby develops a serious appetite and feels hungry constantly).

If you do not have any above problems and still facing lactation issues, then you have to look out for the following signs to confirm that you have less breastmilk supply.

  • Breastfeeding is not comfortable for you, and it is painful.
  • Your baby feeds for more than 45 minutes at each feeding session.
  • The baby feels hungry even after feeding.
  • You cannot hear the baby’s swallowing sound during nursing or breastfeeding.
  • Your breasts don’t feel full before feeding and softer/less full after feeding.
  • After the fifth day, your baby is not urinating at least six to seven times per day.
  • The stool of your baby is not in light yellow with few lumps (sometimes, your baby may poop several times a day or once in seven days, both conditions are expected).
  • The baby is not gaining weight.

If you face any of these issues, you can consult a Lactation Expert to evaluate your breastfeeding technique and frequency.

What if you are not producing enough breastmilk?

The reason for less breastmilk supply can be many. These include the health conditions such as insufficient glandular tissue or milk-making ducts, hormonal issues, and previous breast surgery. If you are diagnosed with any of these health conditions, follow the medication prescribed by your health consultant.

The use of hormonal birth control, medications, herbs, mental imbalance like stress, exhaustion, physical changes like new pregnancy, period, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and drinking alcohol, including caffeine in your diet, also negatively affect breastmilk production.

When you are under medication or treatment for low breastmilk production, you can feed your baby with infant formula. This infant formula is the most suitable solution available.

But does that mean you can stop trying breastfeeding? The answer is no. No matter how small the amount of breastmilk you feed, it is crucial to keep breastfeeding your baby along with infant formula.

This feeding is essential mainly because, as you consistently breastfeed your baby, your body gets a message to produce more breastmilk, and hence this process comes on track! But, if you fail to do so, your body will assume that there is no need for breastmilk production, and thus, it results in an early full stop for your breastfeeding journey.

I am sure you do not want your baby to be deprived off of the most nutritious breastmilk.

So, irrespective of whether you are under medication for low breastmilk supply, you can naturally enhance your breastmilk production. You need not just rely on commercial infant formulas until your baby starts to feed on solid foods.

Also Read:
How to ensure the safety of breastmilk and infant formulas?
Impact on babies of High Sugar Diet in Breast Feeding Moms
Secrets To Lose A Postpartum Belly
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