Studies on perceived breast milk insufficiency. III. Consequences for breast milk consumption and growth

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1991 Mar;80(3):297-303. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1991.tb11852.x.


Fifty-one mother-infant pairs were followed prospectively during the period 3 days to 18 months after delivery. In total 54.9% of the mothers experienced transient lactation crises, emanating mostly from a perception of breast milk insufficiency. Within the crisis group no significant difference in the infants' intake of breast milk during the crises compared with control measurements 1 week later was found. Nor had the crises any immediate impact on growth of the infants. A comparison between the crisis and the non-crisis group, revealed that the breast milk consumption in the crisis group was throughout lower with significant differences at 3 and 5 months. The infants in the crisis group also had a significantly lower weight at 2, 3, 4 and 9 months and were significantly thinner for their height at 1-6 months and at 9 months, although both groups were above the NCHS mean. We conclude that even if the infants in the crisis group had a lower consumption and a slower growth development, the differences were comparatively small. Furthermore, evidence was provided that the breast milk insufficiency occasionally perceived as acute by the mothers was in most cases not real.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation / physiology
  • Lactation / psychology*
  • Male
  • Milk, Human
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Prospective Studies