top of page


What are lactation crises?

Changes in the baby's behavior (more nervous and upset).

Babies seem dissatisfied and uncomfortable when breastfeeding (breastfeeds longer than usual, seems to get angry at the breast and never finishes feeding).

This situation causes distress to mothers (negative thoughts about her ability to breastfeed, she has run out of milk, the baby is hungry, the baby no longer knows how to breastfeed).

Sometimes they are the cause of starting supplementation with artificial milk and even stopping breastfeeding.

A baby may have several seizures during her life or none at all.

Milk production is regulated through the demand of the baby (more demand, more production).

1st lactation crisis:

At 17-20 days of life.

Until then babies have been very regular (they eat and sleep).

Behavior changes:

- They want to breastfeed continuously (they do not breastfeed or eat every 30 ').

- They cry desperately if their breast is not in their mouth.

- they regurgitate milk in considerable quantities but want to continue suckling.

You need the help of your partner, family and professionals.

For what is this:

- Need to increase the mother's milk production. She does this by nursing without rest for 2-3 days and thus achieving optimal milk production.

- Babies must have regained their birth weight before 15 days of age. The stools tell us that the baby is eating optimally.

2nd lactation crisis:

At 6-7 weeks of life.

The baby needs more milk again.

Behavior changes:

-Increase in demand and in the number of dams.

-When he gets on the chest he gets very nervous, he sucks doing stretches, cries into his chest, arches his back (without leaving his chest) and tenses his legs.

For what is this:

Need to increase the mother's milk production.

-Change to the composition of the milk, changing the taste considerably but temporarily. More salty taste.

-Once the situation is normalized (after a week) the children regain the pattern of lantància prior to the crisis.

3rd lactation crisis:

At 3 months.

The most "delicate".

It affects mother and baby.

It takes a month, approximately, a month to be fixed.

The baby does not ask for the breast as often. The mother interprets it in different ways: she is not hungry, she does not want to eat or she rejects her.

Before, the baby was delighted to be at the breast for long periods of time and now it takes only a few minutes.

The mother notices the soft breasts and attributes it to insufficient milk production.

The feedings are chaotic (easy distractions, crying sometimes but soon she sucks again.

He only sucks well and calm when he sleeps.

Less weight gain (normal) and this reinforces the feeling of hunger.

Decreased bowel movements (aes can be interpreted as insufficient intake).

What happens?

-They are experts in suction and can do the feeding in a few minutes.

-Big changes occur in your brain

a) Neural connections multiply very quickly (opening world of sensations). b) They go from limited, immature sight and hearing to a dramatic improvement in vision (they see beyond the mother's face). They are very easily distracted. The same thing happens with hearing.

c) The curiosity that arouses prompts her to stop breastfeeding.

- They cry (desperately) when sucking.

- Maternal anxiety increases (very soft breasts, feeling that you do not make milk, you stop noticing the milk rises). This prompts women to leave the breast early and unwanted.

-The mother has enough milk and the ability to make all the milk she needs at any given time. But her body modifies the milk production system to optimize the process (she starts to make milk when the child requires it, the body takes 2'2 minutes to trigger the ejection reflex). Children do not usually like this change (they must suck and wait).

Often this crisis begins supplementation with artificial milk and the progressive abandonment of breastfeeding.

It is a complex crisis. You must know the mechanisms that produce it and help the mother.

4th lactation crisis:

One year of life.

Getting there is a success and it is not easy, due to pressure from society and in some cases from health professionals themselves:

-They consider that the child is already too big to suckle.

That breastfeeding interferes with her relationship with food. They mistakenly suggest that if he is not breastfed he will eat more. But this is not the case, it is now that they stop showing interest in food or eat small amounts of certain foods and the demand on the breast increases.

What happens?

-There is a decrease in growth speed à decrease in food intake (no reduction in lactation).

-Error in believing that breast milk is no longer nutritious or adequate for children at this age.

-At 15-18 months growth speed increases again and also interest in food.

5th lactation crisis:

At 2 years of life. Last crisis.

Recommendations to keep up to 2 years of life.

Children ask for the breast continuously with requirements and intensity similar to those of the newborn.

They ask for the breast in a nervous and sometimes inquisitive way.

If the mother refuses them or tries to postpone it, the baby gets angry.

What happens?

- Stage of development similar to those of an adolescent. A stage focused on no and self-affirmation.

- More autonomous, this independence causes them insecurities that they solve by sucking.

- It lasts for a few months, until the baby is more secure and the demand is normalized and reduced.

The false crises

The increases in demand of the 4 and 8 months are not considered crises.

- At 4 months: Babies begin to wake up more at night. If they slept for several hours in a row, the demand for breast increases and they claim every 2 hours.

- At 8 months: They wake up in anguish, crying at night, claim the breast and quickly calm down when sucking.

What happens to them?

- None of these demands is related to milk production or breastfeeding. If not, the baby uses the breast to overcome the distressing moments that happen.

- At 4 months, infants incorporate sleep phases that they did not have at birth.

98 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page