Nearly all new mothers are now encouraged to breast feed their babies, often for as long as possible. “Breast feeding is best,” we’ve been told.
But not if you don’t make enough milk to provide adequate nutrition to your growing baby. In this case, the more natural solution may not be the best one, if you aren’t providing the necessary amount of fat and calories.
This is exactly what happened to me with my firstborn. In retrospect, I wish I had done things differently.
I’m sharing my story in the hopes that if someone else recognizes the problem, they’ll get help. This is a potentially serious situation. If you have any doubts about whether your baby is getting adequate nutrition, please consult a doctor. This is something I can’t stress enough. I made the mistake of listening to well-meaning friends.
Please understand that I’m not a healthcare professional. So I can’t give medical advice. This article is intended only to facilitate discussion. All feeding decisions must be discussed with your pediatrician, to ensure your child receives the proper nourishment.
Breastfeeding Problems Low Milk Flow
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This can create a very dangerous situation, if your baby doesn’t gain weight. However, mothers are often reluctant to switch to formula, often because they’ve been conditioned to believe this will harm their baby.
Mother’s milk is very good for babies. It provides all the needed nutrients and micro-nutrients, in just the right amounts, as well as substances to help an infant’s developing immune system.
However, a certain percentage of women, myself included, simply cannot make enough milk.
I often wondered why some of the other mothers I saw were able to express milk and fill a bottle. I was able to only get a little milk into the suction pump and then into the bottle. Their babies grew plump, on breast milk only. My baby was skinny.
Everyone’s different, I told myself. Plus, I was listening to the “reassuring” advice that breast fed babies are thinner, compared to those who are bottle fed.
So I continued breastfeeding, because I wanted to give my baby “the best start.”
Herbs to Help Lactation
There is enormous pressure to breastfeed. In retrospect, I should have stopped much sooner and switched to formula. Perhaps a more milder case of low milk production might respond to an herbal remedy. This might be something to ask your pediatrician.
There are a number of natural supplements that are designed to boost milk production. The organic herbal blend shown below contains a blend of fennel, anise, coriander, spearmint, lemongrass, lemon verbena and more.
Increase Low Milk Supply Breastfeeding
However, failure to thrive is very serious, as it can have long-term health implications. So if there’s any hint your baby is not gaining enough, or showing adequate growth, you must work closely with your doctor. I suspect the problems I encountered are more common than we realize. The same thing happened to one of my good friends. Only when she realized that her baby was dangerously underweight did she switch to formula.
Breastfeeding Problems Milk Supply
With my oldest child, I still wonder if my stubborn reluctance to continue breastfeeding, despite the fact I had trouble keeping weight on myself, did her more harm than good.
At her checkups, she did weigh in at the normal range, but barely. Foolishly, I listened to a friend, whom assured me that breast fed babies tended to be on the skinny side. So any doubts I had were assuaged.
Unfortunately, I ignored one of the warning signs. My daughter never seemed quite satisfied after her feedings. She was an extremely fussy baby. Is it possible she was just hungry?
Being a poor milk maker was something I could no longer deny when my second child arrived, soon after my first. He was a big hungry baby. There was no way I could keep up with his caloric needs. My milk production seemed to plummet, as I was also at the point of exhaustion.
In order to give my baby the best start in life, I had to switch to a milk-based formula. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was certainly the best choice.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and discussion only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Any questions about failure to thrive should be directed to a pediatrician. Women who are pregnant or nursing should also check with their healthcare provider before taking an herbal remedy.
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