Not having enough milk is one of the most common reasons UK mothers give for stopping breastfeeding.
The vast majority of women are physiologically able to breastfeed, but do need the right information and support, especially in the early days.
Low milk production is almost always connected to the way breastfeeding is managed. Effective breastfeeding depends on:
- Enabling the baby to attach effectively so they can feed properly
- Allowing the baby to feed whenever they want, for as long as they want.
Getting breastfeeding off to a good start by having skin contact and an early first breastfeed as soon as possible after birth, keeping your baby close, and avoiding giving supplements of formula milk or using teats and dummies will also help ensure a good milk supply.
Some mothers worry whether they are making enough milk because they do not know if their baby is gaining sufficient weight. Click here to see what to expect from your baby if feeding is progressing well.
There are cases of genuine physiological problems where a mother can be following best practice and still not be producing enough milk – two of the most common are use of the combined contraceptive pill and retained pieces of placenta. If you have been feeding on demand, have good attachment and are still having these problems, speak to your GP.