Issues producing enough breastmilk? Let’s talk about Hypoplasia
Low Milk Production, Let's talk about Hypoplastic breast
By Diana Osorio
Hypoplastic breast is a condition where the breast, one of them or both didn’t develop enough breast tissue during puberty. This fact affects breastmilk production because there are not enough mammary glands to produce enough breastmilk.
Hypoplasia can be easily recognized by a Clinical Lactation Consultant, an OB Doctor, or a health care professional who specializes in women’s health.
Here in this article you will be able to learn how to recognize this condition.
Hypoplastic breast is a breast which doesn’t have a round shape. It looks more like an almond or also has tubular shape or elongated. The breast is small, thin and looks more like a tube. If you stand in front of the mirror without a blouse and bra and look at the shape of your breast, you will notice that the breast shape is either round, or a soft oval. If you notice that the breast shape is elongated or flat like an almond. And the areola from this breast is different to the other, is larger and puffy and the distance from where one breast starts to the other is wide, maybe one hand apart or 2.5 inches + apart; you are looking at a hypoplastic breast(s), also known as Tubular breast or breast with insufficient glandular tissue IGT.
How this affects you?
It means that this breast won’t produce enough milk. But if the other breast looks round and the areola isn’t puffy, then, that breast will be capable of producing enough milk for your baby.
Yes, one breast will be able to sustain your baby’s nutritional needs
What to do next?
First, stop all thoughts of guilt that you may have about not been able to produce enough milk for your baby. Always remember, that you are doing the best you can with the information and support you have.
Then, look for a Lactation Consultant or IBCLC, sometimes the WIC program has IBCLCs on their staff. There are many support groups from La Leche League that will be able to provide you support and advice at a low cost or free.
There is research that Goat’s Rue, which is an herb, helps to increase breast tissue and therefore your milk supply. You can find tinctures, drops that have been processed for you to take daily and help you to increase your milk supply.
Tips to breastfeed with hypoplastic breasts:
1-As soon as your baby is born start breastfeeding, you may know that the more the baby sucks the more milk you will produce. Keep the baby skin to skin or close to you as much as possible. Receive support from the start from a Lactation consultant.
2-If the baby is unable to breastfeed from the start, then start hand expression, which is much more effective than a pump during the first days after giving birth, If you don’t know how to manually express your milk, this is a link to a video from Dr Jane Morton from University of Stanford.
3-Because our colostrum is so thick, when we pump most of it gets wasted in the pump parts. That is why hand expression to collect the colostrum is the best way to do it and besides hand expression stimulates our breast to produce milk more effectively than a pump, when is done properly. You can feed your baby your colostrum with a syringe, plastic spoon, or small medicine plastic cup.
These are Links to Important sites that will help you to find solutions:
- Breastfeed your baby very often. Milk production is based on demand. Nurse your baby often to stimulate the production of Prolactin.
- Have your baby weight monitored by a pediatrician. A baby should gain 1.0 to 1.5 ounces oz per day during the first 2 months in average.
- Ask a lactation consultant or IBCLC about using breastfeeding herbs that may help you to make more breastmilk. Goat’s Rue may be a good choice since it's believed to help build up glandular tissue, as well as increase breast milk supply.
- If you have to give your baby a supplement, know that it's OK. You don't want your baby to starve or not gain enough weight.
- You can try a nursing supplementing device which allows you to provide your child with additional nutrition as they breastfeed.
- Pumping can help you to make more milk. If you use a breast pump after each feeding it can further stimulate your breasts. Use any breast milk that you pump as a supplement.
- Make sure you have the correct flange size when pumping.
- Eat a healthy well balanced diet with enough calories to support the production of breast milk.
- Drink plenty of fluids, water is essential for the production of milk. Drinks which contain cane sugar instead of other artificial sugar, and Coconut water are efficient ways to hydrate our bodies very fast; which in return allows your body to work on milk production.
- If you have breast implants, talk to a Lactation consultant and learn more about breastfeeding after you have breast surgery
- If you have not had breast surgery but are considering it, wait until after you have breastfed all your children since breast surgery could damage what little milk-making tissue you do have.
- Join a local breastfeeding group for assistance and support.