Re: Why isn't there more medical information about BFing?
There is more, possibly not enough. There is some great info through the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine....bfmed.org , and also through ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association, recently they made their newsletters available to all, don't have a direct link). Sorry for incomplete links but I don't have enough posts, yet.
Just as a disclaimer, I am not an IBCLC, but am a midwife and worked as a breastfeeding counselor with WIC for several years. I also a mother of 3 (soon to be 4) and I have also had breastfeeding difficulties; although I have successfully breastfed exclusively and extended, up to 3.5 years, the first few months is always a struggle for me. My babies are on the breast around the clock and though they are healthy the never achieve that "4 to 6 ounce per week " weight gain. We define our own success.
There are definitely hormonal conditions that can make breastfeeding really difficult. One is insufficient glandular tissue/ hypoplasia which I believe I have to some degree.
Also, PCOS can affect milk supply, as can thyroid conditions. Sometimes mom doesn't know she has a condition. Medications, too.... especially hormonal birth control. Sometimes there might be retained placental fragments and mom's prolactin doesn't kick into full gear because her body hadn't gotten the message the pregnancy is over.
Baby might have a physical abnormality, like a tongue tie, or a labial frenulum (upper lip) that is overlooked and milk transfer can be compromised.
Unfortunately a lot of medical professionals have little training in lactation and abysmal, outdated information... this applies to homebirth midwives and OBs and pediatricians a like in my experience. Many (the latter 2) get the bulk of their breastfeeding info from formula reps, which is just backwards to say the least.
There are medications to help increase milk production and they are used off-label, Domperidone and Reglan. There is some great info on these at lowmilksupply.org .
Ultimately I do believe, in the majority if cases, it really is not a hormonal issue but lactation mismanagement which is probably the reason for those run of the mill "nurse your baby more" answers.... so important and underestimated especially in the hospital. Moms are not educated enough on what's normal, or not, and nurses are given the authority to make snap decisions that can adversely affect milk supply. I have heard these stories so many times, it is frustrating and has brought me to tears more than once. Just like we are told we are inadequate to birth, so it continues, into lactation, parenting, etc...
There is also some very interesting, non medical perhaps but definitely academic information from an anthropologist named Kathleen DeWyttler, I believe... look her up too, she has a website.
Sorry to go on for so long but this is a topic near and dear time, I hope something in this post is helpful for you.
Last edited by islandymama; 06-20-2013 at 08:28 PM.