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Are you concerned about low milk supply?

Are you concerned about low milk supply?

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 11:22

Knowing that you are producing enough milk for your baby will give you the confidence to keep breastfeeding and enable you to enjoy the experience every time you bring your baby to the breast. 

Many mums question whether they are producing enough milk to satisfy their baby at some point on their breastfeeding journey, so if you are concerned about your supply, know that you are not alone. However, it is important to trust your motherly instinct and find the information you need to feel comfortable with your supply or practical tips to boost your supply if you need to.

Often mums are told that their supply is low when really it is only suppressed and there is a big difference. 

True low milk supply is often caused by elements out of your control such as diabetes or PCOS but suppressed milk supply is often a result of breastfeeding advice which is not tailored to your individuality i.e. your breast shape and size. 

Many of the mums I meet are experiencing suppressed milk supply and this is quickly resolved when breastfeeding patterns, positioning and attachment techniques, are tweaked so that they become relevant to that particular mum and baby. Standard breastfeeding advice, particularly when it impacts breastfeeding long term, does not work as all mums and babies are different.

  • If you are concerned about your supply, the first element to consider is whether or not your baby is positioned well at your breast. ‘Tummy to mummy’ doesn’t suit everyone. Some babies need to roll back slightly, so that both baby’s upper and lower cheek touch the breast throughout the feed.
  • If your nipples are tender and your feeds are uncomfortable, you can improve your latching technique so that baby is able to access more breast tissue and transfer milk more effectively. People who tell you that pain is part and parcel of breastfeeding, may actually be contributing to your suppressed supply because feeding your baby should be pain free. Pain during a feed indicates that there is something not working as well as it should and that it needs to be addressed, quickly.
  • Keeping an eye on your baby’s wet and dirty nappies is a very practical way of monitoring your baby’s intake as what goes in must come out and this is true from day one.
  • Regular weight gain is another practical visual clue to give you the confidence that your baby is getting everything he needs. In the early days your baby will gain 20g – 30g each day and this will slow down after the first few weeks.

The important thing to remember is that there are two people directly involved in breastfeeding namely you and your baby. Each of you have a particular role to play when breastfeeding and as a skill it will come easily to some and with time and practice to others. When looking for information to improve feeds or resolve problems, ensure that both you and baby are taken into consideration.


Geraldine provides Breastfeeding Workshops and runs a weekly Breastfeeding Clinic


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