Lack of Breast Milk

Lack of Breast Milk  

Insufficient Lactation


What is a Lack of Breast Milk ?

A mother should produce adequate amounts of breast milk soon after birth.  Within 12 hours after giving birth the first amount of milk should come.  Generally breast milk will be pale yellow and thick. If very little appears or none comes this poses a problem that needs treatment called insufficient lactation. This problem may also manifest as small amounts of milk produced throughout breastfeeding months. The amont a mother needs to produce to feed her baby depends mainly on the needs of her infant.  


Chinese Medicine Differentiation and Treatment

Qi and Blood Deficiency

loss of blood and Qi during delivery, weak constitutions, or too young or old in age during the pregnancy may all result in not enough milk.

With Qi and blood insufficiency the breasts are overly soft and never get engorged.  The milk is thin and watery. These women may have large amounts of lochia discharge postpartum.  Generally women with insufficient lactation due to this pattern will also show other symptoms of Qi and Blood deficiency.  

Principle of Treatment: - nourish Qi and Blood to increase milk production

Herbal Medicine Formula: Tong Ru Dan or Zhu Ti Tang (Ba Zhen Tang w/ Huang Qi and pig leg)


Liver Qi stagnation

emotional stress may decrease the amount of milk production.  Emotions may also cause breast distension, hard breasts, pain ...    Other Liver Qi stagnation symptoms would also be present. 

Principle of Treatment: - course Liver qi to promote milk flow

Herbal Medicine Formula: Xia Ru Yong Quan + Wang Bu Liu Xing and Chuan Shan Jia


Phlegm and Qi stagnation

not necessarily emotional, may enlarge breasts yet breasts stay soft and fatty with no milk, may be overweight, may have lack of milk glands.

Principle of Treatment: - strengthen Spleen, eliminate Phlegm

Herbal Medicine Formula: Lou Lu San (classic) + SP tonics (Huang Qi, Bai Zhu) + Phlegm herbs (Ban Xia, Gua Lou, Bei Mu) + Blood tonics

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