How to Increase & Maintain Breast Milk Supply by Pumping?


As a new mom, nothing would concern you more than the health of your newborn. The thought of producing little breast milk can upset you, and there is no easy way to find out the reason behind it. If you notice that your newborn is growing healthy, you need not worry. But if you are under the assumption that your milk supply might not be adequate, then you need to seek help promptly. Breastfeeding education is a continuous process, and things can get quite overwhelming as a new mother.

But things get easier.

You can set things right in your breastfeeding journey with proper education, confidence, and practice.

Understanding how breast milk supply works.

Your breasts begin to produce milk through the “supply and demand” mechanism as soon as your breast milk starts to flow in. Your breasts produce more milk each time it is removed through breastfeeding or expression.

Giving formula in bottles can, therefore, lower your milk production because it doesn’t send a signal to your body to make more breast milk because none is being eliminated.

How your infant nurses have an impact on your supply as well. You will produce more milk if they breastfeed more often and successfully. For additional guidance, get assistance from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding guide. If your baby isn’t getting enough milk during a feed, you should express frequently to preserve your supply of milk. 

Reasons for low breast milk supply

There can be a series of reasons for the low breast milk supply. A tiny percentage of new mothers struggle to produce enough breast milk for health-related reasons, such as:

  • Your milk will not start to flow until three days after the delivery if you lost too much blood (more than 500 ml/17.6 fl oz) during the birth or if placental pieces were retained.
  • A medical history of thyroid, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or other hormonal conditions. Mothers with various conditions can occasionally experience low milk production.
  • Mammary hypoplasia is a rare medical disorder in which the breast lacks sufficient glandular tissue to produce milk.
  • Previous breast trauma or operations, but many mothers who have undergone surgery go on to breastfeed with success.

See a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding guide if you fit these criteria. 

Signs your baby is not getting enough breast milk?

Although low milk supply is rare in women, your baby may not be getting enough breastmilk for other reasons.  

The following are signs your baby isn’t getting enough milk:

  • Poor weight gain. It’s normal for newborns to lose 5% to 7% of their birth weight in the first few days – some lose up to 10%. However, after that, they should gain at least 20 to 30 g (0.7 to 1 oz) per day and be back to their birth weight by day 10 to 14.5,6,7 If your baby has lost 10% or more of their birth weight, or they haven’t started gaining weight by days five to six, you should seek medical advice immediately.
  • Insufficient, wet, or dirty nappies. The number of poos and wees your baby has per day is a good indicator of whether or not they are getting enough milk – refer to this article explaining the pattern your baby should be following in Breastfeeding your newborn: What to expect in the first week. Seek medical advice if you’re concerned or if you have noticed dirty nappies decreasing in wetness and heaviness.
  • Dehydration. If your baby has dark-colored urine, a dry mouth, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or if they are lethargic and reluctant to feed, they could be dehydrated. Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or overheating can cause dehydration in infants. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical advice quickly.

How to increase your breast milk supply using a breast pump?

The theory behind making enough breast milk depends on how many times a mother pumps milk daily. Usually, it is said that at least eight to 12 times, a new mother should pump her milk.  Don’t give up if you only initially get small amounts; with consistent pumping, this will rise. Eight to twelve times a day, including one at night when your levels of the hormone prolactin, which produces milk, should be your goal when it comes to milk removal (both through nursing and pumping). It is best to eliminate milk as often as possible.

The supply should significantly increase if you pump regularly for two or three days in a row. Consult a breastfeeding guide for recommendations on how to get more milk out of each pumping session.

Ways to maintain the supply of  milk for your baby using a breast pump

  • The number of times your breasts are emptied during the day determines how much milk your body produces. A healthy supply of pumped milk can be developed or maintained by often emptying the breast by pumping, much like your infant would be nursing.
  • The majority of babies are nursed eight to twelve times per day. The pattern of pumping should roughly resemble that of nursing your child.
  • Till you have a good milk supply, pump every three hours around the clock or at least eight times in 24 hours. Setting an alarm on their phone to remind them when it’s time to pump can be useful for some mothers.
  • Typically, pumping takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Once your milk stops flowing, pump for two minutes in order to create

Final Thoughts

Breastfeeding education should be taken seriously. New mothers often suffer from issues regarding breastfeeding. You need to be patient with the process. In case of any complications, do not hesitate to consult a breastfeeding guide or a board-certified lactation consultant.

When nursing, it’s important to have a supportive community.

You can find out if your baby is doing well and whether there is anything you can do to increase your supply from a doctor and lactation consultant. In addition, they can inspect your pump to ensure proper usage and fit.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 month ago

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