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Trouble producing milk for the baby. How to improve the lactation?

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I have a 1 month old baby and my wife is having trouble producing enough milk for the baby. Regarding this situation, i need help in improving the lactation.
Posted Thu, 16 May 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Balaji Chinnasami 33 minutes later
Hi dear,
Thanks for your query to health care magic. Most of the times its our feeling that milk production is less rather than being the reality. As long as your baby is feeding eight times a day, passing more than four times urine, gaining atleast 20-30gms per day (By now baby should have gained 500 gms atleast) it means lactation is adequate.
Try giving feeds during night time as it increases milk production. She should be taking a balanced diet which includes eggs, red meat, liver if you are non vegetarian. Vegetarians can take good amount of nuts, ghee, adequate fruits and vegetables. Also continue her iron and calcium supplements. Try Galact granules 2tspoon in a glass of warm milk twice a day. Worries decrease secretion hence she should stop worrying about less milk production.
Milk production depends on demand, hence usually it will be produced according to the need. Baby's growth happens in spurts and during that phase you might feel that milk is inadequate. But in a few days the prouction also increases to XXXXXXX the demand. Just be patient instead of resorting to top up feeds as breastt milk is the best for baby. Till 6 mths exclusive breast feeding is to be done and breast fedding has to be continued till 2 years of age.
Don't worry your baby is fine and will get enough milk. If you have any further queries I am happy to help you or else close the query and kindly rate it.

Take care
Dr. Balaji Chinnasami MD
Assistant professor - Pediatrics
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Trouble producing milk for the baby. How to improve the lactation? 27 minutes later
thanks for the reply.

My baby was very healthy and active at birth (with birth weight of 3kg). After birth, my baby truly couldn't get sufficient milk. My wife so happened to deliver at one of the hottest places in Andhra Pradesh (Vinukonda) and the Gynecologist in charge just blindly insisted that mother will start secreting sufficient milk and only that should be fed. We being ignorant at that point in time just followed her words. But on 5th day my baby went to dehydration state with fever of 102 and reduced heart rate (90beats/min).

We had to rush her to a hospital in guntur where she was kept in icu for 4 days. My wife living in a village region and the consulted doctors being static thinkers, couldn't think/asses the situation dynamically depending on the mother/baby condition. Had they recommended temporary top up feeds just to keep the baby from going into dehydration state, it would have saved a lot of pain and trouble for us.

While i totally agree that top up feeds are not good, they will be of rescue when the situation demands. Had the baby been provided with top up feeds, she need not had to go through the situation of being hospitalized and treated with antibiotics, which is also bad!. Now I am not experienced on comparing if top up feeds are more bad than antibiotics or if its the opposite, but we had to supplement the baby with top up feeds as we can clearly see that the baby weight has reduced to 450gm (from birth weight of 3 kg), during hospitalization and even after 15 days the weight was increased to only 2.840 kg.

Even though top up feeds are helping the baby to stay calm (she was mostly crying earlier), Being educated and learning about the disadvantages of using top up feeds is bothering me. So I planned to bring her to Bangalore and find a good pediatrician and verify if there is anything that can be done to improve the lactation. My wife started using Lactare, but it didnt show any improvement.

If possible, can I get some reference to a good pediatrician who can asses the situation and guide properly?

Answered by Dr. Balaji Chinnasami 3 hours later
Hi dear,
Thanks for giving me full details about your baby's problem. I am really sorry for what happened to your baby. Sometimes for babies born out of caesarean section, lactation doesn't start so easy as vaginal delivery. Even my close friend who is a doctor by himself faced with the same problem. Kept on breast feeding and by one week baby went into dehydration fever and excess weight loss.
Your baby falls under special situation and we cannot keep talking the same exclusive breast feeding. Best strategies will be,
1. Try only breast feeding & buy a digital baby weighing scale. Check weight daily for atleast three days. Is your baby gaining atleast 20 gm per day. Then you can just try only breast feeding. If not,
2. Try both breast feeding & top feeding (infant milk substitute). Always start with breastfeeding. Let her suck at the breast to its best and take as much as possible. Then top her with infant milk substitute at the same sitting..
3. Never give with bottle. Try katori spoon or paladai feeds. Because feeding bottle nipple is easy to suck on and it is difficult to suck breast. It will result in nipple confusion.
4. Prepare infant formula in the most hygienic way or else they will catch diarrhea.
5. Make sure that you give rota virus vaccine to your child for protection from diarrhea partly.

If exclusive breast feeding is not possible, try mixed feeding with priority to breast feeding. But avoid bottle feeding. Prepare infant formula hygienically. Your baby will do fine.

All pediatricians with good knowledge should be able to handle this scenario as it is common problem. I am not based in bangalore to say you the best doctors there.
If you have any further queries I am happy to help you or else close the query and kindly rate it.

Take care
Dr. Balaji Chinnasami MD
Assistant professor - Pediatrics
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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