Not Producing Sufficient Breastmilk
There may also be physiological reasons for breastmilk insufficiency
Signs that a baby is not gaining weight adequately
- He grows less than 18 grammes/day.
- He has not recovered his birth weight by three weeks.
- His growth line is not rising appropriately on the growth curve.
- He sleeps for long periods of time to conserve energy.
- He seems lethargic and has a weak or high pitched cry.
- His urine output may be low with concentrated urine; or urinary output may be normal. Urinary output alone is not a reliable measure of weight gain.
- He has very few stools, or none at all.
- He may stay at the breast consistently.
- He may have a worried look on his face, with hanging folds of skin on his body.
(Caution) Poor weight gain is not just caused by breastmilk insufficiency. Don't try to judge by yourself; consult an expert.
Lack of breastmilk intake and hyposecretion of breastmilk
There are two types of breastmilk insufficiency:
Lack of breastmilk intake and hyposecretion of breastmilk. Refer to the following coping strategies and consult an expert such as doctors, midwives, and lactation consultants.
Lack of breastmilk intake
Insufficiency of breastmilk intake because of inappropriate breastfeeding style and poor sucking of baby
- Check how to hold your baby (positioning) and how to help your baby suck on (latch on), and modify if necessary.
- Don't limit the frequency or duration of breastfeeding; allow your baby to nurse as often and as much as he wants.
Hyposecretion of breastmilk
- Actual insufficiency of the breastmilk produced by the mother
- Sometimes caused by breastmilk intake insufficiency
- Divided into 2 types:
Primary breastmilk hyposecretion, which occurs for medical reasons such as mammary gland hypoplasia, and secondary breastmilk hyposecretion, in which even though the ability to produce breastmilk is present, appropriate support is not provided and the amount of breastmilk secreted doesn't increase, and may decrease.
If you have breastmilk hyposecretion caused by medical reasons, breastmilk production can often be insufficient and appropriate supplements are needed.
If one breast has secretion insufficiency, you still can get sufficient breastmilk secretion from the other breast only. Milk expression is also effective in increasing breastmilk secretion.
Supplementing breastfeeding when the amount lactated is insufficient, in order of priority
- Freshly expressed mother's own milk
- Chilled breastmilk
- Frozen and thawed breastmilk
- Infant formula