“Low Intake of milk”, “Failure to thrive”, “Growth failure” and “Slow gain” are all terms used to describe the circumstance in which baby is not receiving enough breast milk to grow and pick up weight healthily.
If your baby is growing well and is generally healthy, then he/she is
getting enough milk. Growth can be slow at times, but may still be
Causes of low intake of milk
Problems in Mom that can cause a low milk supply or cause baby to have difficulty latching on:
If baby is struggling to pick up weight and Mom has a sufficient milk
supply, Mom can pump milk into separate containers, keeping the hind
milk and foremilk separate. She can then freeze the foremilk for when
baby is a little older. The hindmilk is fattier and more satisfying and
will help baby gain weight faster.
- If Mom is using a breast
pump, it is always best to use a hospital grade, electric double pump.
Making sure that the flange (part that touches the breast) is the right
- Avoid using pacifiers and artificial nipples. Alternative methods of feeding can be used to avoid the use of these.
Mom can investigate different ways of increasing supply, if this is an
issue. She can increase supply with acupuncture, herbs, galactogogues,
and certain lactogenic foods.
- Some medications can decrease milk supply, for example some contraceptives.
Mom should take care of herself, keep calm and eat well as well as
keep herself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
If supplementation is necessary, it is recommended to first try human
milk fortifier which adds goodness and calories to the breast milk. The
second best choice would be to use donor breast milk if safe and
available and the last resort would be formula.