Why some women do not produce enough breast milk
Insufficient production of breast milk is called hypogalactia, and although we often hear many women say that their breastfeeding failed because 'they did not have enough milk', it is an alteration that occurs in a very low percentage of mothers. Hypogalactia is a situation in which the woman is not
Insufficient production of breast milk is called hypogalactia, and although we often hear many women say that their breastfeeding failed because 'they did not have enough milk', it is an alteration that occurs in a very low percentage of mothers.
Hypogalactia is a situation in which the woman is not able to produce enough milk to satisfy the nutritional needs of her baby exclusively, and it is necessary to supplement with a bottle.
Causes of hypogalactia related to the anatomy of the breast
- Mom reduction surgery: there are times when secondary to breast reduction, part of the mammary gland is removed. In these cases the production of milk may be compromised, and we will have to go to a mixed diet.
- Unilateral mastectomy: In those cases in which a breast is amputated, it may happen that the mother does not produce enough milk with just one breast to cover the needs of the baby. However, there are many cases in which the mother feeds her child with only one breast, it is true that they require a lot of support from their environment and competent health professionals.
- Breast hypoplasia: is an alteration in which there is an absence of breast tissue. The breasts have a normal size, but a characteristic morphology. Usually they are breasts very separated between them, tubular form, and can present / display evident differences between size of one and another chest. However, only through the evolution of the postpartum period, the increase of the baby's weight during the first days will determine the need for a supplement.
Causes of hypogalactia due to a maternal disease
- Alterations of the thyroid gland: hypothyroidism is especially the one that can be associated with alterations in milk production, although any alteration of the thyroid gland can produce it (hypohyperthyroidism or thyroiditis) . That is why any study of milk production requires a study of the thyrroid function.
- Alterations in the body mass index: either morbid obesity or low weight (anorexia nervosa). The former may have a delay in the rise of the milk, while the latter may present an alteration in the formation of the mammary gland.
- Maternal or even gestational diabetes may have a delay in the rise of milk. Like women with obesity, skin-to-skin contact is recommended.
- Mastitis: After an infection, production can be lowered for a few days until inflammation subsides and breast function is restored.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome: These women have several clinical manifestations such as hirsutism, painful rules, ovulation disorders, and also alterations in prolactin receptors. However, it is not indicative of problems during breastfeeding. It is estimated that a third of women will have a normal production and a 3% a hypergalactia.
Causes of lack of breast milk due to childbirth
- Cesarean section: urgent caesarean sections produce a lot of anxiety for the mother, while those that are scheduled without the woman coming to labor represent two situations in which the onset may be affected of lactation. Also in these cases skin-to-skin contact with the baby, stimulation with a pump or manual and supplementation of the baby, if necessary, are key to stabilize the situation. Fear and excessive stress can inhibit production, and in the case of scheduled surgeries when the birthing process is not put in place, the body is not prepared for the start of lactation.
- Placenta retention: Physiologically production in milk begins when the placenta is released from the uterus, if there is some rest that the hormone cascade needed to get everything underway stops.If it reaches colostrum, but not milk transition.
- Sheehan Syndrome: due to massive hemorrhage during labor / cesarean section that produce a lack of irrigation in the pituitary gland, which controls the hormones that are related to breastfeeding. It is an exceptional situation, which can even cause the production of milk to be non-existent.
In most cases hypogalactia is not easily reversible, but with the help of specialists in breastfeeding and, occasionally, some drugs, hypogalactia can be alleviated and exclusive breastfeeding can be achieved in some cases or to establish a mixed lactation in others.