Inadequacy of Breast Milk

There is no known drug or diet that really increases the supply of breast milk. Perhaps adequate calories and especially carbohydrates help, hence the common belief that the lactating or nursing  mother should have more sago may have some truth in it. The only effective stimulant to increase the quantity of breast milk is the repeated emptying of the breast. The most common failure of breast milk is failure to persist with breast feeding.

During the first few days, the mother often thinks that she has too little or that the milk is too watery. One must remember that the baby also needs very little nutrition during the fist few days. Also the milk produced during the first few days may be small in quantity but is high in nutritive value. If you are producing only a little milk, feed the baby on both breasts and as frequently as necessary.

Repeated and complete emptying of the breast will stimulate the breast to produce more milk, and there will soon be enough to suit the baby’s needs. If the baby appears hungry during these days, offer him some boiled water. This will provide him with all his fluid requirements but will leave him hungry enough to suck vigorously at the next feed. If you become anxious and start with bottle feeding, he will quickly learn that it is easier to get his feed from the bottle and not try to suck the breast at all.

Many parents are under the impression that breast milk alone is not enough for the babies. The easy availability and extensive publicity given to various infant milk products make parents feel that they are not doing their bet for the baby unless the bottle feed him. It has become rather a status symbol especially with the middle class.

Of course there are occasions when the mother genuinely does not have adequate breast milk. This usually happens when the mother or newborn baby have been too ill to start with breast feeding during the first few days. Anxiety and overwork may also reduce breast milk. if you persist in letting the baby feed frequently from the breast, there is good chance that your breast milk will increase as your health or that of your baby improves.