Causes of low breast milk supply during confinement
Are you suffering from low milk supply during confinement? Demand is correlated to supply when it comes to breastfeeding as well. When the child wants more milk, naturally the mother produces more milk. Most of the mothers are able to feed their babies perfectly well. Less than 5% of mothers have concerns. While some think they don’t have enough milk, it’s usually the other way. They do have a supply well enough.
Here are few signs to watch for if you suspect a low milk supply during confinement:
- Frequency of feeding: Baby feeds at least 8 to 10 times a day.
- Behaviour after feed: Check if your baby appears to be contended after feeding. Babies who are well fed are usually healthy and active otherwise.
- Co-relation between input and output: Babies pass urine at least 7-8 times a day and at least 3 stools a day in the first month of confinement.
- Baby weight gain: On an average new born puts on 2 pounds each month, for up to first three months of life and one pound every month, for the next three months. The new born baby weight usually doubles at the end of 4th month.
If your baby falls in the above category you don’t have to worry, he is getting enough.
7 causes of low milk supply during confinement:
1. Improper latch:
The first few days of birth and confinement are crucial when it comes to producing enough milk. Immediately after birth, the baby should be prepared to latch on. It should be fed each time the baby demands. Crying or restlessness is the most common hunger cue. If you suspect the baby is not suckling well, seek for an immediate help.
2. Breast Milk Substitutes:
Some caretakers make the mistake of feeding formula milk to the baby, especially during the first few days of confinement, thinking that the mother needs to rest.
The production of breast milk has got a lot to do with mother’s psychology. When the baby is fed with something else, the mother’s body receives signals that no more milk is needed and does not produce milk. When it becomes a habit, the mother stop producing milk when required. Especially for the first few days of confinement, the baby should be fed more so that the mother will be primed to produce enough milk. Initially it may be difficult to figure out hunger cues, when in doubt do not hesitate to feed your baby.
Smoking is known to reduce the milk supply. It should be avoided in pregnancy and lactation, at least during confinement.
4. Medical conditions:
Mammary hypoplasia/Insufficient glandular tissue is one such condition wherein mammary glands would not have grown well. Such women tend to suffer from low milk production.
5. Fertility issues:
Reasons which stop a woman from conceiving could also be the reasons for low milk supply. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Diabetes and prediabetes are some of those. Early diagnosis and treatment helps.
Over the counter medicines/ herbal preparations used for cold/flu and oral contraceptives containing oestrogen may hamper milk supply.
7. Nipple/Breast surgery:
The condition of mammary ducts and nerves helping milk production are directly linked to the amount of breast milk produced. If mammary ducts or nerves are damaged, they can be surgically corrected.
Breast milk is the most important thing for new born babies and mothers should have a balance diet during confinement in order to harvest good milk production. Awareness is most important when it comes to establishing a good milk supply. It prepares the mother and her caretakers in advance, to deal with possible causes accordingly.