Breastfeeding can be difficult despite your best efforts. Some of these things are more obvious such as your baby not feeding normally or supplementing with formula. These more obvious issues are ones that you can spot right away and usually correct by reversing the behavior that caused the problem.
Then you have the secret killers: the issues that aren't easy to recognize and catch you completely off guard. Continue reading to learn more about some of these factors that can cause problems for your supply.
Placenta and Bleeding Problems
If the entire placenta wasn't removed in one piece, you could have problems establishing a healthy supply without extra help. On a related note, if you have postpartum bleeding for more than six weeks, you may find your supply doesn't get established well or suddenly seems too low for your baby. Your bleeding may not continue past six weeks, but if it was excessive or your had hemorrhaging, your supply could be reduced as well.
It is a popular activity for new parents to try and sleep train their babies in order to get more sleep. Whether or not you agree with sleep training or are more of a co-sleeper, or you let the baby do as he or she will, this information applies.
You may try and train your baby to sleep longer stretches at night before they are really ready to, thus skipping night feedings and reducing your supply. Or you may have a "good sleeper" that sleeps for several hours at night without you interfering. If this happens too early, you will find that your supply will decrease abruptly.
Anemia, or having low iron in your body, was a big thing that you had to watch out for during pregnancy, but have you given it much thought since you had your baby? The truth is, anemia can decrease your milk supply and is something that should be considered if you have ruled other problems out. Anemia also increases your risk for breast infections and plugged milk ducts. For most, continuing their prenatal daily is enough to prevent anemia.
These are just a few of the reasons why you may experience low milk supply. There are several other factors and causes for low milk supply that you should explore with your doctor and a lactation consultant so that you can discover and fix the problem at hand.