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Milk Supply

I know several women who wanted to breastfeed but had to switch to formula because they didn’t have enough milk. Might this happen to me?

It is rarely necessary to switch to formula because a woman is unable to produce enough milk for her baby. Nearly all women can breastfeed successfully, assuming they receive enough support and information. The women you know who didn’t have enough milk probably did not breastfeed frequently or long enough or did not manage to get their babies latched on to the breast properly. If their babies were given supplemental feedings or a pacifier, their infants’ subsequent nursing efforts may not have been strong enough to stimulate enough milk production.

The volume of breastmilk naturally fluctuates quite a bit during the first two or three weeks. The best initial solution when a newborn cries for a feeding or wakes frequently in the night to breastfeed is to continue nursing as often as possible to stimulate milk production.

By using good breastfeeding techniques and focusing on exclusive breastfeeding, you will find that your baby’s demand will increase your breastmilk supply. The early days and weeks are crucial in terms of getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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