Am I Making Enough Breast Milk?

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New moms often worry if they’re making enough milk to feed their babies. Truth is, most women have no trouble producing plenty.

“If you’re concerned, check your baby’s growth and weight to make sure he or she is getting enough. And don’t fret over breast size,” says Michelle Knorr, RN, BSN, IBCLC at Miami Valley Hospital. Even if your breasts are small, chances are excellent that you can make all the milk your baby needs. “Remember that your baby’s sucking stimulates production. The more you nurse, the more milk your breasts will make,” Knorr says.

Truth is, most women have no trouble producing plenty.

How Do I Know?

  • Track your baby’s weight. It should double in the first few months. Keep in mind that because your baby’s stomach is small, he or she will need many feedings each day.
  • If your baby is having at least 6-8 wet diapers and three or more yellow stools, your baby is getting enough milk.

What Can I Do if My Milk Supply is Low?

“To increase your milk supply, always try to remove the milk completely from your breasts so less builds up between feedings,” says Knorr. “An empty breast means better milk production.” You may want to talk with your doctor or a lactation consultant to see if any health condition, treatment or medication is interfering with your milk production.

  • Breastfeed often, up to 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.
  • Cuddle more with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact stimulates milk production.
  • Pump your breasts for several minutes after breastfeeding.
  • Make sure your baby is latched on and well positioned.
  • Offer both breasts at each feeding. As long as he or she is still sucking and swallowing, have your baby stay at the first breast. Offer the second breast when the baby slows down or stops.
  • Avoid giving your baby formula or cereal, especially during the first six months. Otherwise, your baby might lose interest in your breast milk, and your milk supply will drop.

Also consider:

  • Renting a hospital-grade pump if you think you’ll be pumping for an extended period of time
  • Talking with your doctor or lactation consultant about taking a substance called a galactogogue, which may increase milk production

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Small Steps: How Long and Where Will You Pump?
Your individual needs will guide you to the best pump for you.