After childbirth women are faced with the responsibility of breastfeeding their baby to ensure full growth and development. The mother is expected to breastfeed the young one for 6 months exclusively and it is no easy task as it takes a great toll on the physical, mental and emotional health of the mother.
Despite the endless benefits of breastfeeding some mothers struggle with this due to health reasons as they experience Lactation insufficiency i.e low breast milk supply. A situation where a mother produces little breast milk is not enough for the proper feeding of the child. Low milk supply is usually caused by allowing milk to remain in the breasts for long periods of time, or insufficiently draining the breasts during feeds. It is usually preventable unless caused by medical conditions that have been estimated to affect 5-15% of women.
Many times people believe the size of a breast determines the supply of milk but medically and scientifically it has been proven not to be so. Low milk supply can be either primary (caused by medical conditions or anatomical issues in the mother), secondary (caused by not thoroughly and regularly removing milk from the breasts), or both. Secondary causes are far more common than primary ones.
This troubles a lot of women who go through all sorts of procedures to provide a lasting solution to the problem. They opt for traditional (African methods), lactation cookies and also seek medical help. In situations where either of the three does not work, they are advised to consider formula feeding for the baby.
Read also: Fruits That Aid Milk Production In Breastfeeding Moms
Various factors can cause a low milk supply during breastfeedings, such as waiting too long to start breastfeeding, not breastfeeding often enough, supplementing breastfeeding, an ineffective latch, and use of certain medications. Sometimes previous breast surgery affects milk production.
- Premature birth
- Maternal obesity
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes
Photo Credit: Getty