If you notice your breast milk volume is low, there are any number of possible reasons why it could be happening. Whether or not these concerns are easy to rectify depends on your specific situation.
In this article, we will go over a few common reasons for low breast milk volume along with possible solutions.
But first, here is a quick tip. If you want to support the production of healthy breast milk, consider taking a highly rated supplement like NOURISH Lactation Support Vitamins by Eu Natural. This supplement supports healthy lactation with Fennel Seed, Fenugreek, Goat’s Rue Extract, Lemon Balm Extract, and other healthy ingredients.
Now, let’s go over some problems and solutions for low breast milk production.
Problem: Delayed lactation
Within a couple days of giving birth, your milk supply should increase automatically. But sometimes, there is a delay in this process, causing low volume during the timeframe immediately after your baby is born.
Sometimes, delayed lactation results from issues involving drainage and/or scheduling of feeding sessions. If that is the case, addressing the problems should lead to an increase in milk supply.
In other cases, there could be a medical cause, in which case you will need to address the underlying issue to see results.
Sometimes the issue is also simply the result of premature birth.
Problem: Drainage and scheduling issues
There are a variety of different issues pertaining to drainage and scheduling which can lead to low production. For example:
- If you are not feeding your newborn often enough (i.e. every couple hours), this can result in low milk supply.
- Feeding on a schedule that is ideal for you rather than Baby may cause issues.
- Your baby may not fully empty your breasts because of difficulties latching, medication use, falling asleep, or anatomical or medical reasons.
- If you are not fully draining your breasts while pumping, that too may cause milk production to slow.
Mayo Clinic suggests, “For the first few weeks, breast-feed eight to 12 times a day — about every two to three hours. Check your latch. Make sure your baby is latched on and positioned well. Look for signs that your baby is swallowing. Be alert to feeding problems. Offer both breasts at each feeding. It’s OK for your baby to nurse on only one breast at a feeding occasionally — but if this happens regularly, your milk supply will decrease. You might pump the other breast to relieve pressure and protect your milk supply until your baby begins taking more at each feeding.”
Mayo Clinic also adds, “Don’t skip breastfeeding sessions. Pump your breasts each time you miss a breastfeeding session to help protect your milk supply.”
Problem: Poor dietary choices
There are a number of possible dietary culprits when it comes to low milk production. For starters, along with a nutritious diet, you need to stay hydrated. If you are not getting enough fluids, that could decrease volume.
For another thing, you could have low milk volume if you have low levels of important nutrients, or if you are not eating enough calories. There are also certain herbs which might decrease milk production.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day. You’re hydration requirements while nursing will be higher than they usually are.
Ensure that you are eating a varied, nutritious diet which includes plenty of vitamin D, iron, and other key nutrients.
If you are eating a lot of parsley, sage, or mint, you might want to scale back on these. Eating large quantities of these herbs could interfere with milk production.
Problem: Underlying health problems
There are situations where low milk volume could be the result of a health issue. For example, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, luteal phase defects, and obesity are all health conditions which could reduce your milk supply.
If you suspect that a health problem could be involved with your low milk supply, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can treat the underlying issue.
Also, be aware that there are medications which can reduce milk volume. If you are taking any of these, ask if it is safe to switch to another medication which might be less disruptive.
There Are Solutions to Many Breast Milk Volume Problems
Low milk volume can be a frustrating problem when you are nursing your baby. Just from the list above, you can see there are many possible causes—and the list above is not even exhaustive.
But many problems which lead to low milk production can be resolved when you take the right steps.
If you are having a difficult time identifying the issues which are reducing your milk volume or you think you might need to treat an underlying health condition, be sure to talk to your medical provider. In the meantime, follow best practices for nursing and consider taking a health supplement like NOURISH for lactation support.