The Hypogalacty is insufficient milk production in the mammary gland of a new mother. This underproduction is often the cause of incorrect breastfeeding processes. In such a case, treatment consists of instructions on how to breastfeed properly.
The individual symptoms of hypogalactia depend primarily on the cause. The lack of milk is usually noticeable as soon as the infant is to be breastfed.
In terms of Hypogalacty, hypergalactia, and agalactia are abnormalities in milk production after pregnancy. Milk production and milk secretion are controlled by hormones and are therefore dependent on the pituitary hormones prolactin and oxytocin. Both the formation of milk and the secretion of milk from the mammary glands are stimulated by the interaction between mother and child.
Mechanoreceptors are located in the mother's chest. These receptors register sucking movements of the newborn. The registration of the sucking touches stimulates the hormonal secretion, which in turn causes the milk production and finally the secretion of the milk. Hypogalactia does not appear to produce enough milk in the maternal breast to adequately breastfeed the child. The absolute absence of milk production, on the other hand, is known as agalactia. There is an overproduction of the hypergalactia.
The cause of hypogalactia is usually not an organic one. In the majority of cases, mistakes in breastfeeding are the real problem. Under certain circumstances, such errors can, for example, cause milk congestion, which gives the impression of hypogalactia. In only about five percent of all cases, hypogalactia is actually based on a physiological problem.
In most of these cases, the physiological cause of hypogalactia corresponds to a deficiency in the hormones oxytocin and prolactin. Both hormones are produced in the pituitary gland. A deficiency of these hormones occurs especially when tumors have attacked the pituitary gland.
Most tumors in this context are benign tumors of the pituitary gland, which can primarily disrupt the formation of prolactin and thus result in a reduced production of milk in the mother's breast. A second physical cause of hypogalactia can be Sheehan's syndrome.
This syndrome corresponds to a postpartum birth complication, which manifests itself as partial or global hypopituitarism and, due to high blood loss, causes hypovolemic shock at delivery. Due to the shock, there is a reduced blood flow to the pituitary gland, which can result in necrosis of the tissue.
The individual symptoms of hypogalactia depend primarily on the cause. The lack of milk is usually noticeable as soon as the infant is to be breastfed. The symptom of deficiency caused by a blocked breast does not have to occur on both breasts, but can also occur unilaterally. If there is a physical cause such as Sheehan's syndrome or a lack of hormone production, there is usually bilateral milk deficiency.
As a rule, one only speaks of hypogalactia if there is a lack of milk despite breastfeeding intervals.As accompanying symptoms, many of the affected mothers mainly develop psychological problems and feel inadequately able to fulfill their role as mother. Such psychological problems can make a lack of milk production even worse. A vicious circle can develop. Hypogalactia is usually not associated with pain.
To diagnose hypogalactia and, above all, to assess its cause, the doctor primarily uses the anamnesis. If, for example, birth complications such as Sheehan's syndrome are known, the doctor will be able to identify the cause of the hypogalactia within a very short time. Under certain circumstances, imaging of the pituitary gland is arranged to rule out a causal tumor disease.
If neither necrosis nor any other kind of change in the pituitary gland can be identified and the laboratory shows normal hormone levels in the mother's blood, breastfeeding errors are probably responsible for the apparent lack of milk. The prognosis of hypogalactia is usually extremely favorable, as the phenomenon is usually not a pathological phenomenon.
As a rule, the hypogalactia leads to clear symptoms, so that treatment can be carried out quickly and early. The mother cannot produce enough milk for the newborn child, so there is an undersupply of breast milk for the child. For the child, however, there are no further complications, as the nutrients can also be absorbed differently.
In many cases, however, the mother experiences psychological complaints or depression and inferiority complexes. This restricts the quality of life, and the negative psychological state sometimes increases the symptoms. However, the patients do not suffer from pain.
In the worst case, the hypogalactia can be caused by a tumor that has to be removed. Treatment of hypogalactia does not always take place. Most of the time, the disease can be resolved through proper breastfeeding, so that the symptoms disappear quickly and no further complications arise.
The child is then breastfed from the bottle so that there is no nutritional deficiency. In the case of psychological complaints, treatment by a psychologist continues to take place. The life expectancy of the mother and child is not affected.
In the case of hypogalactia, a doctor must be consulted in any case. If the child is not adequately breastfed, severe damage and restrictions can occur in further development, which can also have a negative effect on the life expectancy of the child. For this reason, hypogalactic should always be treated. As a rule, the complaint is very easy for the mother to recognize because there is insufficient production of breast milk.
A hospital or a gynecologist should be visited in order to avoid further complications and complaints. As a rule, pain does not occur with hypogalactia. Furthermore, hypogalactia can also lead to psychological complaints and moods. If these complaints occur, a visit to a psychologist is also very advisable, as psychological complaints can also exacerbate the hypogalactia. In most cases, the disease can be treated and controlled relatively well so that there are no particular complications. The child can also be fed artificially.
If there is no physical cause for the hypogalactia, therapy consists solely of guidance on appropriate breastfeeding. The mother is instructed not to give bottled milk to her infant too often between breast meals. Because the infant uses a different technique when sucking on the bottle than is necessary for the breast, its suction capacity is reduced when breastfeeding.
This combination is the most common cause of congestion with apparent hypogalactia. Infrequent breastfeeding is also not recommended, as breastfeeding in particular stimulates the mother's milk production. It is therefore recommended that mothers adjust their breastfeeding times to the needs of the infant. In addition, they should avoid adapted milk during a growth phase so that their breasts can get used to a higher level of secretion.
If psychological stress inhibits milk production, patients with hypogalactia receive additional psychotherapeutic care. The correct handling of the stress factors can be assessed as a causal treatment of a hypogalactia triggered in this way. Other therapeutic steps are required in the case of physiologically caused hypogalactia. Pituitary gland tumors are surgically removed.
Usually this causal treatment leads to normal hormone production and the hypogalactia regresses. If there is a cause such as necrosis of the pituitary gland, surgery must be performed to remove the necrotic tissue. If the pituitary gland still secretes too few hormones, hormone substitution can take place.
Hypogalactia can be prevented in more than 90 percent of all cases if the mother of a newborn follows the recommendations for breastfeeding.
Hypogalactia without a physical cause can be remedied with special instructions. This shows the mothers how to properly breastfeed their child. In the aftercare phase, they deal intensively with appropriate breastfeeding and the well-founded recommendations of doctors and midwives. Frequently switching between breast meals and bottled milk is rather counterproductive.
The suckling ability of the infant deteriorates due to the alternating techniques, which in turn has a negative effect on milk production. A visit to the doctor is usually not necessary. It is often enough to get information on how to breastfeed properly. The infant should be breastfed whenever he wants to.
In fact, more milk is produced when the child asks for it. That is why mothers should breastfeed their children at night or at least let them suckle in order to establish close physical contact. Changing the sides of the breast also has a positive effect on milk production and breastfeeding success.
To stimulate the baby's suction power, it should not have a pacifier in its mouth before breastfeeding. For longer follow-up care for breastfeeding problems, there are special teas that stimulate milk production. Natural drugs from the drugstore can also help. Other stimulating measures are breast massages with oil and moist, warm compresses.
A doctor does not necessarily have to be consulted in the case of hypogalactia. Milk production can usually be stimulated by simple measures. First of all, it is important to breastfeed the baby as often and for as long as it wants, because the more milk the child demands, the more milk is produced. This is why breastfeeding should also be carried out at night, even if the baby just wants to suckle. In addition, both breasts should always be offered and the breast side should be changed several times.
In order for the child to suckle vigorously, they should not be given a pacifier or bottle before breastfeeding. Special nursing teas also stimulate milk production. Also malt beer and natural preparations from the drugstore. Normally it is sufficient for the mother to drink a large glass of water before each breastfeeding. Massages also help. The most effective are gentle, circular breast massages with nursing oil from the pharmacy. Warm, moist compresses can be placed on the breasts before breastfeeding.
If these measures are combined with sufficient rest and plenty of physical contact with the baby, the hypogalactia should subside quickly. Otherwise, a gynecologist must clarify the symptoms and prescribe appropriate treatment.