Why Some Women Don't Make Enough Breast Milk

Insufficient production of breast milk is called hypogalactia, and although we frequently hear many women say that their breastfeeding failed because they 'did not have enough milk', it is a disorder that occurs in a very low percentage of mothers.

Hypogalactia is that situation in which the woman not able to produce enough milk as to meet the nutritional needs of your baby exclusively, and it is necessary to supplement with a bottle.

- Mom reduction surgery: There are times when, secondary to breast reduction, part of the mammary gland is removed. In these cases, milk production can 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 only one breast to meet the baby's needs. 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 from competent health professionals.

- Breast hypoplasia: It is an alteration in which there is an absence of breast tissue. The breasts have a normal size, but a characteristic morphology. They tend to be breasts widely separated from each other, tubular in shape, and may present obvious differences between the size of one breast and the other. However, only through the evolution of the postpartum stay, the increase in the baby's weight during the first days will determine the need for a supplement.

- Thyroid gland disorders: It is especially hypothyroidism that can be associated with milk production alterations, although any alteration of the thyroid gland can produce it (hypo-hyperthyroidism or thyroiditis). That is why, in the event of any alteration in milk production, a study of thyroid function must be carried out.

- Alterations in body mass index: either morbid obesity or underweight (anorexia nervosa). The former may have a delay in the rise of milk, while the latter may present an alteration in the formation of the mammary gland.

- Maternal or even gestational diabetes they may have a delay in the rise of the milk. Like obese women, skin-to-skin contact is highly recommended.

- Mastitis: after infection, production may drop for a few days until swelling subsides and chest function is restored.

- Polycystic ovary syndrome: These women have several clinical manifestations such as hirsutism, painful periods, ovulation disorders, and also prolactin receptor disorders. However, it is not indicative of problems during lactation. It is estimated that a third of women will have a normal production and 3% a hypergalactia.

- Caesarean section: Urgent caesarean sections cause a lot of anxiety for the mother, while those scheduled without the woman going into labor involve two situations in which the beginning of breastfeeding can be affected. Also in these cases, skin-to-skin contact with the baby, stimulation with a breast pump or manual and supplementation of the baby, if necessary, are key to stabilizing the situation. Fear and excessive stress can inhibit production, and in the case of scheduled surgeries when the birthing process does not start, the body is not prepared for the start of lactation.

- Placenta retention: Physiologically, milk production begins when the placenta detaches from the uterus, if there is any remainder, the hormonal cascade necessary for everything to start may stop, if colostrum is produced, but not transitional milk.

- Sheehan syndrome: due to massive bleeding during labor / cesarean section resulting in lack of blood flow to the pituitary gland, which controls hormones that are related to breastfeeding. It is an exceptional situation, which can even make milk production non-existent.

In most cases hypogalactia not easily reversibleHowever, with the help of breastfeeding specialists and, sometimes, some drugs, hypogalactia can be alleviated and exclusive breastfeeding can be achieved in some cases or mixed breastfeeding can be established in others.

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