Low milk supply during breastfeeding means a mother is not being able to produce enough milk in a sufficient quantity needed to meet nutritional demand of her baby. It is also known as hypogalactia or hypo galactorrhea. Agalactia is a term used for absence or failure of milk secretion after giving birth. Homeopathy for low milk supply during breastfeeding uses medicines of natural origin that are very safe to use without any side effects.
There are few things that don’t point towards low milk supply as lay man may relate to from misconceptions. These includes – a baby is not getting enough if he is nursing frequently, if breast isn’t leaking milk, breast suddenly became softer, baby has increase frequency and lengths of feeding session, baby is fussy, if baby takes bottle of formula milk even soon after nursing, when women do not feel a let down sensation or on pumping very little milk comes out. They are not related to low milk supply and are not valid ways to check if milk supply is low or not.
If a baby is gaining weight when exclusively breast fed then it means the milk supply is sufficient for his growth. Some of the actual signs that indicate that baby is not getting sufficient milk needed for growth are poor weight gain, not enough wet diapers (less than 8 – 10 diapers) in a day, have signs of dehydration (like lethargy, dark rings around eyes, sunken fontanelle, yellowish urine), getting weaker, or signs of not growing well.
- 1 Causes
- 2 Homeopathy for Low Milk Supply During Breastfeeding
- 2.1 Pulsatilla – When Milk Quantity is Scanty, Thin and Watery
- 2.2 Chamomilla – To Establish Flow of Milk when Absent with Sore Breasts
- 2.3 Urtica Urens – For Cases with Complete Absence of Milk (agalactia) with Pain
- 2.4 Ricinus – To Enhance Milk Flow
- 2.5 Lactuca Virosa – A Galactogogue to Stimulate Milk Production
- 2.6 Lecithinum – Another Galactagogue to Increase Milk Supply
- 2.7 Bryonia – For Inflamed Breast with Suppressed Milk Flow
- 2.8 Alfalfa – To Improve Quantity and Quality of Breast Milk
- 2.9 Asafoetida – For Re-establishing Milk Flow When it has Dried
- 2.10 Lac Defloratum – To Improve Milk Secretion
- 2.11 Calcarea Carb – For Cases having Scanty Milk with Hard, Distended Breast
- 2.12 Causticum – For Suppressed Milk Flow from Fatigue or Anxiety
It can firstly arise if breastfeeding is started late after childbirth. Next it can happen if the baby is not latching properly. It means the baby is not sucking properly to draw enough milk from the breast. If the breast milk is not removed time to time then its production reduces. Next it can arise if the baby is taking infrequent feeds or taking feed for a short time approx less than 5 minutes. This is because frequent extraction or draining of milk from breast boosts or triggers milk supply but allowing the milk to remain in the breast for long decreases milk supply. Use of pacifiers and supplementing feeding with infant formula milk unnecessarily in initial weeks also decrease milk supply. Starting breastfeeding as soon as possible after childbirth, making sure the baby is latching properly during breastfeeding, frequently breastfeeding around every 2 – 3 hrs during initial weeks, avoiding bottles and pacifiers in the early week can help in cases having above reasons.
Premature birth, jaundice, tongue tie in baby also tend to decrease milk supply because with these conditions baby can’t suck properly leading to low milk supply.
Other than above factors related to low milk supply are stress, exhaustion, not taking enough sleep, not drinking enough water, use of certain medicines (like zyrtec D), use of hormonal pills, history of previous breast surgery, injury to breast, underdeveloped (hypoplastic breast) being underweight or obese, drinking alcohol, smoking and taking excessive caffeine.
Apart from above there can be a medical reason which is causing true low milk supply. In such cases the medical reasons have to be treated to establish good milk supply. The medical reasons include hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), anaemia, post partum haemorrhage (Blood loss of more than 500 ml to 1000 ml of blood within the first 24 hours after childbirth), Hypopituitarism (decreased secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland), hyperprolactinemia (medical condition with deficiency of prolactin hormone). Prolactin is lactogenic hormone or milk hormone which is responsible for breast growth during pregnancy and for breast milk production after delivery for breast feeding the baby), recent mastitis (inflammation of breast), retained placenta, breast cancer, pregnancy induced high blood pressure, insulin dependent diabetes which is poorly controlled.
Homeopathy for Low Milk Supply During Breastfeeding
Homeopathic medicines are very effective to improve milk supply during breastfeeding. They help in enhancing milk supply naturally by treating the medical reason behind it. Some of these medicines not only help to boost breast milk production during lactation but also helps to improve its quality. Though these are entirely safe to use but one must take them under supervision and guidance of a homeopathic physician who will suggest the medicine name, dose and repetition based on every individual case analysis.
Pulsatilla – When Milk Quantity is Scanty, Thin and Watery
Homeopathic medicine Pulsatilla is prepared from plant Pulsatilla Nigricans commonly known as pasque flower or wind flower. This plant belongs to family ranunculaceae. It is valuable medicine to increase milk flow when it is little in quantity, thin, watery and lacking true milk globules. Swelling of breast may be present. Females needing it may have mild, sensitive nature with weeping tendencies. They weep every time a child is put to breast.
Chamomilla – To Establish Flow of Milk when Absent with Sore Breasts
It is a very helpful medicine for increasing breast milk. It is indicated for women who have soreness of breast and absent milk. The breast may be hard and tender to touch. Drawing pain in the breast can be present too. With this they may have profuse lochia (vaginal discharge that occurs after childbirth). it is also indicated when there is suppressed milk from anger spells.
Urtica Urens – For Cases with Complete Absence of Milk (agalactia) with Pain
This medicine is prepared from a plant known as small stinging – nettle. This plant belongs to family urticaceae. This medicine is considered in cases in which milk is entirely absent after childbirth. Along with this pain of burning, stinging nature is present in the breast. Swelling of breast is also there. In such cases this medicine helps in establishing milk flow and relieves breast pain. There may be a history of a lump in the breast in the past in the cases needing it.
Ricinus – To Enhance Milk Flow
It is a natural medicine prepared from plant Ricinus communis commonly called castor oil bean that belongs to the family euphorbiaceae. The leaves of this plant have very strong action on female genitals and breasts. Its use for enhancing milk supply has been done since ancient times. There are records by Hale that in ancient times in the Cape Verde Islands the leaves of this plant were applied to the breasts of females after childbirth to boost the flow of milk. Homeopathically this medicine is effective as oral medicine to enhance milk flow in nursing women.
Lactuca Virosa – A Galactogogue to Stimulate Milk Production
This medicine is prepared from plant Acrid Lettuce of family compositae. As per Dr.Boericke this medicine is a true galactogogue (herbs and medicines that help to increase breast milk flow in lactating mothers). In cases needing it there can be agalactia ( means entire absence of milk in breast).
Lecithinum – Another Galactagogue to Increase Milk Supply
Lecithinum is another prominent homeopathic medicine which act as a galactagogue to increase milk quantity. In addition to this it also makes milk more nourishing and nutritious.
Bryonia – For Inflamed Breast with Suppressed Milk Flow
This medicine is prepared from the root of plant Bryonia Alba commonly known as wild hops. This plant belongs to the family cucurbitaceae. It is very beneficial for cases having inflammation of breast (mastitis) with suppressed milk flow. The breasts are swollen, hard, heavy with scanty milk secretion where it is required. Burning, tearing pain in the breast is also present. Nipples can be very hard with this. Other than above it is also useful for cases where lumps in breast are there with retarded milk flow.
Alfalfa – To Improve Quantity and Quality of Breast Milk
This medicine is prepared from plants called Medicago Sativa, California Clover or Lucerne. This belongs to the family papilionoideae. It is a very effective medicine to improve the quantity as well as quality of milk. Additionally it is a great tonic to increase energy, stamina and give strength to the body.
Asafoetida – For Re-establishing Milk Flow When it has Dried
This medicine is prepared from gum resin of the living root of plant Gum of the Stinkasand. This plant belongs to the family umbelliferae. This medicine carries a great ability to reestablish milk flow in cases where it has dried up a few days after delivery. Females who need may have a very sensitive nature.
Lac Defloratum – To Improve Milk Secretion
This medicine works very effectively to improve milk flow. It quickly helps to bring milk flow in a few hours or a day. Females who require it may have decreased in size of breasts.
Calcarea Carb – For Cases having Scanty Milk with Hard, Distended Breast
This medicine offers help when the breast is hard, distended with scanty milk flow. Nipples may be hard with this. Stitching pain in the breast can be felt when child nurses.
Causticum – For Suppressed Milk Flow from Fatigue or Anxiety
It is a wonderful medicine to trigger milk flow when it has been suppressed from fatigue or anxiety. Females who need it also have complaints of cracked nipples. They also have intense itching about the breast. Pain in the breast during nursing can also be felt by them.