Making Enough Milk?

Making Enough Milk


Breastfeeding can be challenging, but you can do it!

Some mothers believe they cannot produce enough milk for their babies, but in reality, most women are able to make the milk their baby needs without giving formula.

A low milk supply is a common concern that can be fixed with some patient persistence.

Contact a Peer Counselor at your local WIC clinic for more info on breastfeeding!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Supplementing with Formula

Giving formula in addition to breastmilk causes your baby to feed less at the breast. It also tells your body to decrease the milk supply.

Giving a Bottle

It can take up to one month for your baby to learn to breastfeed. If you start using a bottle too early, the baby may begin to prefer the bottle over the breast causing a decrease in milk supply.

Schedule Feedings

Feeding your baby on a schedule rather than when they are hungry can cause a decrease in milk production by telling your body you do not need the milk.

Switching Breasts too Soon

Let your baby finish feeding completely on one breast and then switch to the other side. Not switching or switching sides too soon will not empty both breasts, decreasing the signal to your body to make more milk.

Baby is Too Hungry

Crying is one of the last signs or cues of hunger given by your baby. Your baby may have difficulty latching onto the breast if she is crying. Look for other hunger signs such as rooting and sticking the fist in the mouth.

Not Waking Your Baby to Feed

Babies need to be fed at least every 2-3 hours, or 10-12 times a day during the first few weeks. Infrequent feedings can be a sign to the body that milk production is not needed.

Milk Supply Checklist

Feed Often

It takes 10 or more good feedings a day to increase your milk supply. Your body responds to frequent feedings by producing more milk.

Proper Latch

Your baby needs to be properly latched on to your breast to be able to fully empty your breast. Listen and watch for your baby to gulp and swallow the milk.

Help the Flow

As your baby feeds, gently massage your breast to help the milk flow. You can further empty your breast by pumping when the baby is completely done feeding.

Feed on Demand

Learn to recognize the cues that your baby is becoming hungry. If you wait too long to feed, your hungry baby may have a difficult time latching.

Empty Both Breasts

Give your baby enough time to empty one breast before switching sides.

Feed at Night

Emptying your breasts at night
by feeding your baby or pumping will help increase your milk supply during the day.

Relax with Skin to Skin

Stress can lower your milk supply, so try relaxing by giving you and your baby skin-to-skin time. The warmth of your baby on your chest will also help your breasts release milk during let-down.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Take care of yourself by eating a well balanced diet.

Drink Enough Water

Drink adequate water each day to produce enough milk.

Your Baby is Getting Enough Breast Milk if He/She is:

  • Nursing 10-12 times a day
  • Has adequate messy and wet diapers each day
  • Is gaining weight well

Other Problems that May Cause a Low Supply

  • Contraceptives
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Tongue-tie: baby has an attached frenulum so cannot get a proper latch


ILCA. Clinical Guidelines for the Establishment of Exclusive Breastfeeding. 3rd ed. 2014
Marasco L. Common Breastfeeding Myths. Available at
Ferber, SG, Makhoul, IR. The effect of skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) shortly after birth on the neurobehavioral responses of the term newborn: A randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics, 2004:113;858-865.