Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child growth and development. Breast milk is the ideal food for the baby as it provides nutrients, energy and protects against many infectious diseases.
After the delivery, breastfeeding is initiated within the first hour of birth. The mother should breastfeed the baby exclusively for 6 months without giving anything like water or other fluids. After 6 months, complimentary food is introduced by continuing breastfeeding for up to 2 years.
Milk secretion usually starts on the 3rd and 4th day after delivery. But some mothers face the problem of inadequate milk production.
Why inadequate milk production occurs?
Prolactin is the hormone that is responsible for milk production and secretion. Due to the use of certain medications, suppression of prolactin occurs and results in low milk production.
Inadequate milk production may also be due to infrequent breastfeeding or supplementary breastfeeding.
Sometimes previous breast surgery, premature birth, obesity and medical conditions of the mother also affects milk production.
When there is less milk production and milk supply to the baby, a mother may worry about it.
How to improve milk production?
Following delivery, a baby is breastfed within 1 hour of birth. Put baby to the breast at 2 to 3 hours interval from the first day onwards.
Baby is always given breastfeed on demand. Breastfeeding is given exclusively in the correct position.
Feed the milk from both the breast. If you continuously feed on one side, milk production decreases in the other one. Use either a breast pump or manual expression of milk to relieve the pressure caused by breast engorgement. Don’t skip any breastfeeding sessions.
Use medications with caution because some medications affect milk production. Always take medicines with the doctor’s advice.
There are some medications available to improve the milk production like
- Metoclopramide increases milk volume by increasing prolactin hormone level
- Sulpuride also found effective
- Oxytocin also causes milk let down.
You should take plenty of fluids with a nutritious diet like green leafy vegetables, fruits, ghee and protein-rich food which helps in milk production.
You can consult your doctor if you’re very much concerned about baby feeding and milk supply.
In the above post, we discussed the reasons behind decreased milk production and different ways to improve it.