Many women suffer from low breastmilk and even poor breastmilk quality after giving birth, and while most milk production problems can be corrected by addressing issues of breastfeeding management, there are some for whom making enough milk to sustain their babies is difficult or impossible. Called primary lactation failure, this condition occurs when a mother’s body does not make an adequate amount of milk for her baby, even when everything else (including but not limited to: latch and positioning, breastfeeding frequency and exclusivity, mother and baby are kept together, baby’s oral anatomy is fine – no tongue tie, cleft palate) is in order.
Primary lactation failure can be due to a variety of factors, including previous thoracic or breast surgery that severs critical nerves or ductwork; hormonal complications, such as those that accompany polycystic ovarian syndrome or thyroid abnormalities; and a condition in which mammary tissue simply did not develop during adolescence. Most lactation consultants will ignore the fact that lactation failure does exist and just tell you to “try harder”, dont be discouraged, it is a real condition that is becoming more common and it has to be recognised and addressed early.
There is also evidence that exposure to high levels of certain environmental contaminants, namely dioxin and other endocrine disruptors, while in the womb (in your mother’s body before you’re born) can predispose a woman to have insufficient breast growth during adolescence and pregnancy, the two times in her life her breasts should be growing.
In some cases, growth could appear normal, but only fatty tissue developed, not the glandular tissue required for breastmilk production. This could be the result of hormonal irregularities that occur with some endocrine conditions, such as PCOS or uncontrolled thyroid or insulin-related conditions which are very common nowadays. These issues are especially important to address, because the hormone imbalance that interrupted the development of glandular tissue may also be preventing the remaining milk-making tissue from doing its job properly. Normalizing these hormonal irregularities can help to maximize the performance of the glandular tissue that is present; this is why certain medications and herbs may have the effect of boosting milk production.
Natural cures for insufficient breastmilk and lactation failure
Fortunately many cases of lactation failure can be addressed by a number of supplements available on the market, these include supplements specifically for breastfeeding like lactaboost, although other general postpartum supplements on the market could also assist. If this does not work then you should seek help from a complementary or western medical professional who may prescribe individualised herbs or pharmaceuticals or advise you to bottle feed with an appropriate formula.