Here are some of the most common reasons for low milk supply and some strategies that may help, curated by casino roo.
- Insufficient glandular tissue
Some women’s breasts don’t develop normally (for various reasons) and may not have enough “milk-making” ducts to meet their baby’s needs. Ducts do grow during each pregnancy and breastfeeding stimulates the growth of more ducts and tissue, so this may be less of a problem with a second or third baby. There are certainly steps you can take to maximize your milk production (these might include pumping and taking a prescription medication–talk to your doctor and a breastfeeding expert) but you may also need to supplement a low milk supply with formula. It’s worth the effort to continuing breastfeeding, though, as even a small amount of your milk will help support your baby’s immune system, brain development and nutritional needs.
- Hormonal or endocrine problems
Perhaps you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a low or high thyroid, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) or hormonal problems that made it difficult for you to conceive. Any of these issues may also contribute to low milk supply because making milk relies on the hormonal signals being sent to the breasts. What can you do? In some cases, treatment of your health problem will help you to boost milk production, although supplementation may be needed. A visit to a breastfeeding clinic or lactation consultant can help you find an approach that will work with your specific condition.
- Previous breast surgery
Breast surgeries can be done for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Breast reductions or enhancements, for example, are increasingly common. Nipple piercings can also be considered a kind of breast surgery and may damage milk ducts in the nipple. How much these surgeries affect breastfeeding varies widely, depending on how the procedure was done, how much time has passed between the surgery and the birth of the baby and whether there were any complications that might have caused scarring or damage to the breasts. Some women, especially those with breast enhancements rather than reductions, may be able to exclusively breastfeed without any difficulty. Others will need extra help and may have to supplement.
- Using hormonal birth control
Many mothers who breastfeed and take birth control pills find their milk production doesn’t change, but for some, any form of hormonal birth control (the pill, patch or injections) can cause a significant drop in their milk. This is more likely to happen if you start using these contraceptives before your baby is four months old, but it can happen later as well. The first step to increasing your milk supply again is to stop the medication, but talk to your doctor before you do and be prepared to change birth control methods. Some mothers also need extra help (such as a prescription medication, herbal supplements and/or pumping) to boost milk production.
- Taking certain medications or herbs
Pseudoephredine (the active ingredient in Sudafed and similar cold medications), methergine, bromocriptine or large amounts of sage, parsley or peppermint can affect your milk. If you find your milk supply has dropped and realize you have taken one of the medications listed here, ask your doctor about an alternative treatment for your cold or health ailment. Increased breastfeeding and possibly pumping will help you build up your milk production again after analyses by experts from best casinos online.
- Sucking difficulties or anatomical issues
The problem may not even be low milk supply, but lie with your little one; it may be difficult for him to get the milk from your breasts. He may, for example, have a tongue-tie. That means the thin membrane of tissue at the bottom of his mouth is holding the baby’s tongue too tightly, so that he’s not able to use it properly to extract the milk. (A baby doesn’t really suck the milk out of your breast, he uses his tongue to help compress the breast and push the milk into his mouth.) In many cases this is fairly easy to see, but for some babies the restricting membrane is at the back of the tongue and harder to identify. Check to see if your baby is able to stick his tongue out (over his bottom lip) and that he touches it to the roof of his mouth when crying. If your baby is tongue-tied, the membrane can be clipped by a doctor and the baby’s ability to breastfeed will improve quickly. Other problems can also cause sucking difficulties (such as cleft lip and cleft palate), so if you suspect your baby isn’t feeding well, check with an expert or your doctor.