Breastfeeding is considered to be the best option for newborn babies. For some mothers, unfortunately, this may not be possible, at least early on. There are a multitude of reasons why breast milk may not come in or is produced in very low quantities. Unable to fulfil the baby’s requirements, it is also a contentious issue among experts and medical practitioners. Here, we will highlight some of these reasons and try to understand the underlying causes of no breast milk.
1.Stress Our hectic modern day lives, leave us with less time and less contact with family, friends, and sometimes, with the aspirations and emotional needs of the self. Stress is identified by medical practitioners as one of the core reasons for a myriad of ailments. This includes anxiety, heart disease, depression, and lack of breast milk production. Stress can cause the body to act and react in unexplainable ways.
2. Hormonal Imbalances Often described as a small butterfly-shaped organ, the thyroid gland, though tiny, is crucial to maintaining a balance of hormones. A malfunctioning thyroid gland will cause hormonal imbalances, resulting in low or no milk production. Among the important hormones, oestrogen and progesterone are associated with breast development, puberty and the onset of fertility in women. Prolactin aids in milk production during pregnancy and Oxytocin helps with the flow of milk through the ducts. The lack of these hormones on account of thyroid gland function or any other factor will interfere with the production of breast milk.
3. Lifestyle Pregnancy is a delicate phase. Much care and attention have to be paid to the lifestyle choices made during this time. A sedentary lifestyle, improper diet, indulgence in alcohol, drugs, habitual smoking, and high caffeine intake can impact the production of breast milk.
4. Birth Control Most birth control medications work by manipulating the hormones in the body. These artificially applied manipulations may cause consequences, both in the short-term and long-term health of women. Some women start taking medications after the baby is born and this practice could result in no milk production after delivery. PILLS
5. Taking Certain Medications And Herbs Like birth control medications, certain other medicines and some herbs can interfere with the production of breast milk. Consult your doctor about prescription medicines or any other medicines that you take regularly. Herbs such as sage, oregano, parsley and peppermint are all known to inhibit breast milk production. It is advisable to consult medical practitioners and experts on the diet best suited for breast milk production.
6. Environment And Surroundings Increasing air pollution, contamination of water and food, and environmental degradation are the harsh realities of modern life. Such factors may also interfere with the production of breast milk. While not much can be done to completely shield yourself from this reality, certain precautions in terms of food and water can certainly be undertaken. It would also be prudent for women with breastfeeding babies to avoid overcrowded and polluted places for a while.
7. Difficult Delivery Even with knowledge, skill and technology at our disposal, things don’t always go as planned. This holds true with pregnancy as well. There are numerous issues you could face while delivering a baby. From difficult labour and haemorrhage to mistakes by caregivers and medical staff, many factors can lead to a traumatic delivery. The stress caused by such delivery may impact the production of breast milk. Post partum hemorrhage after deliverycan lead to acute decrease in hormone levels and no milk production, called Sheehan’s Syndrome.
8. Storage Size The amount of milk produced and stored in a woman’s breast is not related to the size of the breasts themselves, but the amount of milk-producing tissue in them. Some women may have large breasts and a small capacity, and in some women, the reverse may be true. Sometimes, one side of the breast may produce more milk than the other. Women whose breasts produce and store more milk will have to feed or pump out milk more often.
9. Insufficient Draining of Milk In an ideal setting, the more a baby breastfeeds, the more the mother’s body will produce milk. If the baby is not able to breastfeed properly, the leftover milk will not allow the breasts to produce more milk. It is necessary that the breasts are drained of milk to initiate more milk production. Massaging the breasts can aid more milk to flow and ensuring that the baby is able to latch on properly will help proper draining of milk.
Note: It is important to note that the picture used for this article is for illustration purpose
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