Searching For Solutions...Low Milk Supply
Updated: Jul 2
You’ve read the books and blogs. You’re doing “all the things”. You may have even talked to your health provider about your concerns. But what if you are still experiencing low milk supply? What if you're not getting the answers you're looking for? What's next? Let’s discuss why you might still be experiencing low milk supply and how to take the next steps to get things moving in the right direction...
According to the Low Milk Supply Foundation, up to 15% of lactating parents experience chronic low milk supply. In fact, low milk supply is a common reason for weaning earlier than desired. If you are experiencing low milk supply and not ready to wean, you are not alone and there is help available!
Low milk supply can happen for a variety of reasons. Some things you have control over, some things you do not. Practices that promote optimum supply include allowing breastfeeding whenever your baby desires at least 8 times in 24 hours, delaying pacifier use until lactation is well established and not limiting time at the breast or going too long between feeds. But what if you are doing “everything right” and you still aren’t making enough to meet your baby’s needs?
First and foremost, I highly recommend a latch evaluation, oral assessment and feeding assessment by an IBCLC. Often, a lactation professional can identify issues that, when addressed, can make a huge difference in milk transfer and thus improve supply! Check out the Resources section on our website here if you need help finding a lactation professional near you. But what if you’ve already done that and everything looks good? What next?
Now’s the time to start thinking about underlying medical reasons for low supply. Yes, there are medical conditions that affect supply and your ability to make milk for your baby. These health conditions (whether you know you have them or not) can affect the hormone balance that is so key to optimal milk supply. This includes thyroid imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gestational diabetes, insufficient glandular tissue, micronutrient deficiencies, anemia and others! Medications or tobacco use could also be the culprit. Your own health provider is a great next step to investigate these but getting a diagnosis can be a challenge. Your provider may be excellent at many things but most, unless they have sought out additional training, are not experts in the field of lactation.
We offer expert help as you search for solutions:
✓ Hassle-free Telehealth appointments with a Nurse Practitioner/IBCLC
✓ Comprehensive health history review and discussion of your lactation goals
✓ Individualized recommendations for lab work
✓ Option to order labs with interpretation of results and recommendations for treatment
✓ For many conditions, we can continue care with management and continued monitoring
A Breastfeeding Medicine visit focused on Chronic Low Milk Supply is available in Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico and Vermont.
Low Milk Supply Foundation – a wealth of information!
Photo credit: Markus Winkler via Unsplash