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Breastfeeding

Low Breast Milk Supply

Almost all mothers who breastfeed go through a period of questioning whether or not their supply of milk is adequate. Some mothers simply aren’t able to produce enough milk to meet the needs of her baby. According to many experts, true insufficiencies of milk are very rare. A lot of women think their milk supply is low when it actually isn’t. Thinking this can happen if you lose the feeling of fullness in your breasts or if the milk stops leaking from your nipples. Babies that go through growth spurts may want more milk than usual, and these more frequent feedings may leave your breasts less than full.

Possible causes of low breast milk supply
A mother’s milk supply may diminish for a brief period of time if she isn’t feeding her baby often enough due to nipple pain, or a poor latch on technique. Illnesses or estrogen containing birth control pills may also affect the production of milk. Low calorie diet can also cause a reduce in milk supply due to the body needing all necessary calories and nutrients to produce adequate amount of breast milk needed for the baby.

What you should do
The best way to handle a low supply of breast milk is through a doctor’s care or qualified lactation consultant. You should make sure that your baby gets frequent feedings and that nothing is wrong with your nipples or your milk ducts. Doctors are the best ones to ask, as they can run tests to see if everything is fine within your body. A low supply of breast milk can affect your baby, although it’s more of a mental condition than anything else. If your baby isn’t gaining any weight or if he/she is losing weight, you should consult your doctor immediately. Improved techniques for breastfeeding will normally help.

In most cases, you can still nurse with a temporary decrease in milk supply, although frequent breastfeeding is the key to boosting your production of milk. You may also want to consider using a breast pump to express any breast milk not consumed by the baby to ensure your breasts are properly emptied at the end of each feeding. This technique can assist in producing milk supply. You may also be interested in our article on Breast Compression, which can encourage milk supply and may assist the baby obtain adequate amount of breast milk.



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