Thursday 30 January 2020

Reasons For Low Supply of Breast Milk


How does milk production work?

By the end of the second trimester, the body is capable of breastfeeding. As early as the third month of pregnancy, the breasts start to prepare for breastfeeding, developing the glandular tissue needed to produce milk and increasing the number of milk ducts in thr breasts.  Once a baby is born, a hormone called prolactin cues milk production, and another hormone, oxytocin, causes tiny muscle cells in the breasts to contract, pushing milk out. As the baby nurses, the prolactin levels increase and more milk is produced, in a continuing cycle of supply and demand: Baby drains milk from your breasts (demand), breasts respond by producing more milk (supply).

Potential causes of low milk supply

Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it really isn’t. If your baby is gaining weight well on breastmilk alone, then you do not have a problem with milk supply. But if you’re not quite sure about baby’s current weight gain, if baby is having an inadequate number of wet and dirty diapers then the following reasons may be why you have a low milk supply:

1. The Baby Isn't Latching on Correctly: 

The most common cause of low breast milk supply is a poor latch. If your baby is not latching on to your breast the right way, he can't get the milk out of your breasts very well. The removal of your breast milk from your breasts is what tells your body to make more breast milk. So, if your baby isn't latching on correctly, your milk supply will suffer. If you aren't sure if your baby is latching on well, have someone evaluate your breastfeeding technique.

2. Supplementing. Nursing is a two-way process; supply & demand process. Milk is produced as your baby nurses, and the amount that she nurses lets your body know how much milk is required. Every bottle (of formula, juice or water) that your baby gets means that your body gets the signal to produce that much less milk.

3. You Aren't Breastfeeding Often Enough: Just like a poor latch, not breastfeeding often enough is another common reason mothers develop a low milk supply. Newborns need to breastfeed at least every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day and night. The more you put your baby to the breast, the more you will be stimulating your body to make a healthy supply of breast milk

4. Allowing Others to Influence You: Sometimes the people in your life who didn't breastfeed, or who don't understand breastfeeding, can make you question yourself. They may say that your breasts are too small to make enough breast milk, or that the baby is breastfeeding too often so you must not have enough milk. As long as your child is growing at a consistent healthy rate, there's no need to worry or to listen to the doubts and negative comments of others. 

5. Cutting short the length of nursings. Stopping a feeding before your baby  ends the feeding herself can interfere with the supply-demand cycle. Also, your milk increases in fat content later into a feeding, which helps baby gain weight and last longer between feedings.

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