Infant insufficient milk syndrome associated with maternal postpartum hemorrhage

J Hum Lact. 1995 Jun;11(2):123-6. doi: 10.1177/089033449501100218.


Insufficient milk syndrome is defined as failure to thrive in infants due to insufficient daily breastmilk intake. This discussion examines a possible association between insufficient milk syndrome and maternal postpartum hemorrhage. Ten consecutive cases of insufficient milk syndrome associated with maternal postpartum hemorrhage were identified. The mothers presented between 3 and 35 days postpartum. Maternal postpartum blood loss ranged from 500-1500 ml in eight cases (mean: 963 ml); in two cases, blood loss was noted as 400++ and 200++, respectively. Six mothers experienced a drop of hemoglobin by > 30g/L; two had a drop in blood pressure > 30mmHg for > 20 minutes. All infants were failing to thrive. Five infants suffered hypernatremic dehydration with serum sodium levels ranging from 148-166mmol/L. Breastmilk electrolytes were measured in six cases, and elevated sodium levels, ranging from 21-100mmol/L, in five cases. These data serve to heighten awareness of insufficient milk syndrome as a potential consequence of postpartum hemorrhage. Early postpartum review of all breastfeeding mothers and infants is strongly encouraged.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Failure to Thrive / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Lactation Disorders / etiology*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / blood
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Pregnancy


  • Hemoglobins