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Tips & Guides

Not producing sufficient breast milk

There may also be physiological reasons for breastmilk insufficiency

Signs that a baby is not gaining weight adequately

1.He grows less than 18 grammes/day.

2.He has not recovered his birth weight by three weeks.

3.His growth line is not rising appropriately on the growth curve.

4.He sleeps for long periods of time to conserve energy.

5.He seems lethargic and has a weak or high pitched cry.

6.His urine output may be low with concentrated urine; or urinary output may be normal. Urinary output alone is not a reliable measure of weight gain.

7.He has very few stools, or none at all.

8.He may stay at the breast consistently.

9.He may have a worried look on his face, with hanging folds of skin on his body.

(Source: UNICEF WHO, "UNICEF/WHO Breastfeeding Management and Promotion in a Baby-Friendly Hospital, an 18-hour course for maternity staff”, 1993, p. 69)

(Caution) Poor weight gain is not just caused by breast milk insufficiency. Don't try to judge by yourself; consult an expert.

Lack of breastmilk intake and hyposecretion of breastmilk

There are two types of breastmilk insufficiency:
Lack of breast milk intake and hyposecretion of breast milk. Refer to the following coping strategies and consult an expert such as doctors, midwives, and lactation consultants.

1. Lack of breast milk intake Insufficiency of breast milk intake because of inappropriate breastfeeding style and poor sucking of baby.

Coping strategy

1.Check how to hold your baby (positioning) and how to help your baby suck on (latch on), and modify if necessary.

2.Don't limit the frequency or duration of breastfeeding; allow your baby to nurse as often and as much as he wants.

2. Hyposecretion of breast milk

1.Actual insufficiency of the breast milk produced by the mother

2.Sometimes caused by breastmilk intake insufficiency

3.Divided into 2 types:
Primary breast milk hyposecretion, which occurs for medical reasons such as mammary gland hypoplasia, and secondary breast milk hyposecretion, in which even though the ability to produce breast milk is present, appropriate support is not provided and the amount of breast milk secreted doesn’t increase, and may decrease.

Coping strategy
If you have breastmilk hyposecretion caused by medical reasons, breastmilk production can often be insufficient and appropriate supplements are needed.
If one breast has secretion insufficiency, you still can get sufficient breast milk secretion from the other breast only. Milk expression is also effective in increasing breast milk secretion.

Supplementing breastfeeding when the amount lactated is insufficient, in order of priority

1.Freshly expressed mother’s own milk

2.Chilled breastmilk

3.Frozen and thawed breastmilk

4.Infant formula

 

 

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