Too little / too much milk

Too little milk

Many mothers live in the fear of an inadequate milk supply but in most cases this fear is unsubstantiated. If you are afraid that you do not have enough milk first watch for the signs that indicate your baby is getting enough. See: is my baby getting enough.

If you really feel that you are experiencing too little milk ask your lactation specialist for help to increase your milk supply and stay in contact with your health care professional.

The following tips may help you to increase your milk production:

  • Milk production follows the system of supply and demand - the more milk is drained from the breast the more milk will be produced.
  • You should increase the frequency of feeds. Try to breastfeed every two hours during the day and every three hours during the night.
  • Only a well positioned and correctly latched-on baby can stimulate the breast adequately. Therefore check or have your lactation specialist checking the positioning and latch-on of your baby.
  • Breastfeed at least 15 minutes per breast and offer both breasts at each feeding.
  • Try switch nursing. As soon as you realise your baby slowing down in sucking and swallowing, remove the baby carefully from you breast and switch to the other side.
  • Get enough rest. A few days of rest with the baby and nothing else to do but resting and breastfeeding can be very efficient.
  • Avoid all kinds of artificial nipples. All sucking should be at the breast.
  • If it is necessary to supplement, use a cup, SoftCup Advanced Cup Feeder - Avoid use of a standard teat.
  • Additional pumping might be appropriate. Ask your lactation specialist about pumping or hand expressing.
Too much milk

Too much milk can be annoying, too. Mothers who produce too much milk may suffer from full, engorged breasts, plugged ducts, and mastitis. Your lactation specialist can support you if it is necessary to reduce you milk supply.

The following tips may help you to reduce your milk production:

  • Offer only one breast at each feeding. Allow your baby to breastfeed on this one side as long as he wants and keep him at this breast for the next two hours if he wants to nurse again.
  • To avoid engorgement in the other breast, hand express just enough milk to stay comfortable. But express only if necessary and only the amount you need to feel relieved. Do not empty the breast completely.
  • Apply cold compresses to the breast after feeding the baby.
  • Drink a cup of sage tea. Sage contains a natural form of estrogens that can decrease your milk supply.
  • Peppermint tea has a similar effect but not as strong as sage tea.