Stress, hormonal changes, deficiency of glandular tissue, polycystic ovarian disease, history of breast surgery, birth control and medications are some of the reasons for breastfeeding issues in new moms.
Breastfeeding is an all-natural act of feeding of an infant from its mother’s breast. It is the natural way to feeding a newborn and has been widely encouraged by almost all cultures since ages. Over the years, the physical varied problems associated with breastfeeding have been acknowledged and measures have been taken to substitute breast milk with other safe options.
We all know that breastfeeding is best. But for many women, it’s not possible. There are multiple reasons why a woman’s milk doesn’t come in or is very low, and the topic is widely debated. Some women believe that it takes time and to not give up. Others believe that moms aren’t trying hard enough, which is ridiculous. No person can control what their body does or doesn’t do. Low milk production or lack thereof, is not the mother’s fault and is a medical issue that needs to be addressed. In this article, we will talk about 7 common reasons why some new mothers fail to produce milk and try to address this important issue:
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From anxiety to heart attacks, stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, and even low milk production or none at all. When we are under a lot of stress we don’t function as we normally would. Our bodies try to keep up us, but the stress can cause the body to react in strange and unhealthy ways as it copes with the stress. It’s easy to say just don’t stress so much, but it’s easier said than done. And while pregnancy and birth should be a happy time, no life is perfect and many of us experience more stress during pregnancy than what we would like.
Hormones are a big factor in milk production. Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that stimulate breast development during puberty and pregnancy. Prolactin contributes during pregnancy and then drives milk production along with insulin and cortisol. Then, the oxytocin pushes milk through the ducts. When these are off, milk production will be too. Having low milk production or not producing enough is an indicator of hormonal imbalances and something might be wrong. It is best to see a doctor and have tests run to find out if that is the cause of your problem.
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Deficiency of glandular tissue
Mammary hypoplasia or deficient glandular tissue can be the cause of your low or non-existent milk supply. Unfortunately, there is not much known about mammary hypoplasia, although some doctors believe there may be a genetic link. It is also believed that mammary hypoplasia didn’t cause problems except cosmetically. The breasts may be spaced far apart, asymmetric, or tubular-shaped, which are some characteristics of this problem. The breasts can even be full enough to fill out a bra cup, but the milk-making tissue is not there. Breasts, then, are full of fat tissue. Speaking to a doctor or lactation specialist can help you find out if this is the problem.
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Polycystic ovarian disease/symptom
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disease which causes all sorts of ailments. It can lead to infertility, excessive facial and body hair growth, irregular periods, head hair loss, weight gain, and acne. If one is lucky enough to get pregnant with pcos, it can still cause other problems like low or no milk supply. While there is no cure for pcos, there are a variety of treatments available.
History of breast surgery
Breast surgeries can be done for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Breast reductions or enhancements, for example, are increasingly common. Nipple piercings can also be considered a kind of breast surgery and may damage milk ducts in the nipple. How much these surgeries affect breastfeeding varies widely, depending on how the procedure was done, how much time has passed between the surgery and the birth of the baby and whether there were any complications that might have caused scarring or damage to the breasts. Some women, especially those with breast enhancements rather than reductions, may be able to exclusively breastfeed without any difficulty. Others will need extra help and may have to supplement.
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Many mothers who breastfeed and take birth control pills find their milk production doesn’t change. But for some, any form of hormonal birth control (the pill, patch or injections) can cause a significant drop in their milk. This is more likely to happen if you start using these contraceptives before your baby is four months old, but it can happen later as well. The first step to increasing your milk supply again is to stop the medication, but talk to your doctor before you do and be prepared to change birth control methods.
Pseudoephredine (the active ingredient in sudafed and similar cold medications), methergine, bromocriptine or large amounts of sage, parsley or peppermint can affect your milk. If you find your milk supply has dropped and realize you have taken one of the medications listed here, ask your doctor about an alternative treatment for your cold or health ailment.
If you are a new mom suffering from this problem, then worry not! There are countless ways to combat this. All you need to do is to have faith in you and love for yourself, and follow what your doctor says.
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