Are you worried about whether your breastfed baby is getting enough milk? What are some of the reasons behind low milk supply?
There are SO many things that can impact on your milk supply, this list is not exhaustive. Sometimes multiple reasons (e.g. mother and baby issues) can impact on your supply. The good news is that you can get help and try to find the reasons behind your low supply so that a plan can be put in place. I’ve been a low milk supply mum, and I know how exhausting and confusing it can be when you’re questioning your supply. The only reason I got through it was from getting help and support from lactation professionals, my family and friends. You don’t have to struggle on your own!
Some reasons for low milk supply can be:
Hormonal, sometimes seen in mothers with –
- Diabetes (type 1 and 2), Gestational diabetes
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid dysfunction
- pituitary dysfunction
Ineffective milk removal –
- baby with weak suck or poor latch
- baby with tongue tie
- baby with low tone
- prematurity (born before 37 weeks)
- restrictions to breastfeeding (e.g. scheduled feeding, timed feeding)
Underlying breast issue-
- Insufficient glandular tissue (IGT) or hypoplasia. This is a great site to get further help and advice on IGT.
- nerve damage from surgery (reduction or implants). Having an appointment with an IBCLC before baby is born is a good start in these special cases.
If you are worried that your baby is not getting enough, you need to start looking at what is going on closer, so try to write feeds, wees and poos down. If exclusively breastfed, is your baby:
- back to birthweight by 14 days? After return to birthweight, usual gains in the first 3 months are 175-225 grams per week.
- Having frequent poos (bigger than a 20c coin), several times a day?
- Has poo changed from meconium (first day or two), to green-brown (day three to four) and then to seedy mustard after day five?
- having 5-6 heavily wet nappies after day 5? Urine should be clear and not smelly (no “rust stains” after 72hrs)?
- Bright, alert and meeting milestones?
- feeding 8-12 times in 24 hours with audible swallows?
If you are worried about anything in the lists above, contact your baby’s health professional and then seek lactation support ASAP from an IBCLC. I’m available on varying days of the week and weekends, so give me a call so we can work out a good time to get together! If I can’t answer your call, leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible.