Most women can make enough milk for their baby with the right support and information. Keeping baby close, having lots of skin-to-skin and feeding frequently will all help baby get lots of your milk. Getting a really good latch will also help your baby to take milk, as well as stimulating your breasts to make more milk. You can use our checklist to reassure yourself your baby is getting enough milk. Most babies do want to feed very frequently in the early days, have a look at our ‘Why is my baby feeding all the time’ page to find out more.
Spacing out breastfeeds by using a dummy or supplementing with formula, can mean you produce less milk. If your baby doesn’t have an effective latch, they might be taking less milk per feed which can also cause you to produce less milk.
Getting lots of skin-to-skin and feeding frequently will all help. You might also want to express extra milk to give to your baby and help boost your supply.
When your baby is about three to five-days-old, it’s very common for your breasts to become very full for a few days as your milk comes in. Your breasts can also feel engorged if you leave more time between feeds. If you feel engorged the majority of the time and find your milk supply is more than your baby needs, this may be an oversupply. Sometimes a generous amount of milk can make feeding uncomfortable and stressful for you and your baby.
Usually an oversupply with settle down by about six to eight weeks if you’re feeding on demand. However, there are a few things you can try that can make feeding more comfortable in the meantime. Sometimes nursing more frequently can help as it stops pressure building up. You may find laid back feeding positions helpful as gravity helps slow the flow a little. A side-lying position lets the excess milk dribble out of the side of your baby's mouth.
Helping your baby get a really good latch can sometimes help them cope with a fast milk flow. Expressing can lead to a further oversupply, so just focus on your baby feeding on demand at the breast. If you experience discomfort, hand expressing until the pressure is relieved is better than using a pump.
Come along to your local breastfeeding drop-in to get more support and reassurance.