Q: How can I increase my milk supply?
“Hi Doc. My baby is 2 weeks old. Is it normal that my milk supply is still low at this time? I am able to pump 4 oz from both breasts in the morning if I don’t pump at night, but during the day, only about 2 oz every 3-4 hours. I’m pumping because we are monitoring how much she’s consuming.”
A first-time mom from our Bundle of Joy PH online course community asked the question above.
Not having enough milk or fearing that she might have low milk supply is a common concern for first-time moms. This is understandable because of course, as moms, it’s our instinct to care for and feed our babies.
We reassured our concerned first-time mom that :
- The mother’s body makes milk following the “law of supply and demand”. The baby suckling at the nipple signals the mom’s body to produce milk. So it is very important to respond to your baby’s hunger cues regardless of the interval from the last feeding. This allows mom’s body to make the right amount of milk that her baby needs. Take note, for some newborns, they want to latch onto mommy’s breast all the time!
- In most cases, we can tell if the baby is getting enough milk (which means Mommy has enough milk supply) if the baby is pooping and peeing adequately, and is gaining weight. What goes in, goes out!
- 4-6 soiled diapers
- 3-4 bowel movements
- The volume of milk expressed from the breastpump does not accurately reflect the amount of milk the baby gets through direct latching. The baby’s suckling is able to remove milk from the breast more efficiently than the pump. This means, if all is well, your baby may be drinking more than the amount of milk you pumped!
So to ensure adequate milk supply, or for some moms, to increase milk supply, try the following :
- Lots of skin-to-skin contact
- Feed baby often and per demand. (If mom and baby are well and are together, direct latching is best. You can try pumping again at a later time when you and your baby have mastered the latch and your milk supply has been established.)
- Feed at night.
- Breastfeed exclusively.
- Rest, relax, sleep.
- Eat nutritious food.
- Keep well hydrated.
- You can try lactation supplements. (But remember, these will only work if you do the previous strategies mentioned.)
Trust your body, Mommy! If your baby is happy and well, pooping and peeing as expected, gaining weight, then no need to “monitor” the milk volume you get from pumping.
And remember, if your concern persists, please call your doctor and ask for help. Because for every breastfeeding problem, there is a solution! 🙂 Happy breastfeeding, Mommy!
Getting ready for your baby’s arrival? Worried about establishing your milk supply? Want to learn the different breastfeeding positions or just know the life-saving benefits of breastfeeding your baby? Our Breastfeeding and Babycare online course will help you to prepare for the arrival of your little one and how to exclusively breastfeed your baby without the burden of not knowing where to begin.