Are there ways to increase milk supply?

It is common practice for a mother to cease breast feeding due to the perception that the infant is not getting enough milk. In most cases the fears are unfounded and the mother can produce adequate milk.

In a small number of cases, if milk supply is reduced it is normally temporary.

Ways to increase breast milk supply include:

  • Increase the supply by breast feeding more frequently.
  • Ensure the mother is having enough rest.
  • Encourage ways to minimise stress and promote well-being.
  • Ensure the mother is having plenty of fluids, at least 9 cups per day.6
  • Ensure the mother is eating a healthy, well balanced diet.
  • Ensure the mother has the most effective positioning.
  • Let babies determine length of the breast feed.
  • Avoid using pacifiers particularly for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid putting babies on scheduled feeds or stopping night feeding too early (before 6 months).
  • Express breast milk to further stimulate supply.
  • Use lactation aids to feed the baby when possible, rather than using a bottle for supplemental feeds (contact a lactation consultant for more information).
  • Encourage skin-to-skin as much as possible