Low milk supply and the pediatrician

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Human milk is the optimal food for human infants, and provides many diverse and well described benefits for both mother and infant. Low milk supply, whether perceived or actual, is one of the most common reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers often seek out the guidance and support of their pediatrician in evaluating and resolving milk production concerns.

Recent findings

Recent evidence supports the importance of breastfeeding for maternal and child health in both developing and developed countries. Lack of knowledge regarding optimal breastfeeding management accounts for the large majority of low milk supply concerns, but there is emerging evidence that impaired glucose tolerance may contribute to intrinsic low milk supply.

Summary

Breastfeeding mother–infant dyads should be followed closely until lactation is well established and the infant is gaining well. Further research is needed to understand the physiologic contributors to low milk supply and to guide evidence-based interventions to optimize maternal success in reaching breastfeeding goals, particularly for women of poorer metabolic health.

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