Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation

Decreased milk production

Herzl Family Practice Centre, Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic and Program Patient handout

There are many medical and non-medical ways of increasing milk production. It is never “too late” to increase milk production if you are willing to seek help and put in some effort.

How can I tell if I don’t have enough milk?

Decreased milk production means that your baby needs more milk than you can produce.

Signs that your baby is getting enough milk:

These signs are not written in stone, and it is important to follow-up regularly with your health care provider to ensure that your infant is growing and developing well.

Important: the amount of breastmilk that you are able to pump does not always show how much milk you truly have. Your baby will almost always be able to get more milk out of your breasts than a breast pump will be able pump out.

How to increase breastmilk production without pills:


What if I need to supplement?

If you need to supplement for any reason, remember that this does not mean that you have failed at breastfeeding, and it may only be temporary.

The best way to supplement is by using your own pumped milk. If that is not available, donor milk is the second best option. The third option for supplemention is infant formula. It is best to avoid powdered formula as it is not sterile.

There are many ways to supplement your baby, including:

Avoiding the use of a bottle may help in making sure your baby latches well onto the breast. Please speak to a lactation professional to see which of these methods is right for you.

How to store breastmilk:

Breastmilk is very valuable, so it is important to store every drop for later use. For healthy term infants, freshly expressed breastmilk can be stored in the following ways (Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Guidelines):

The information contained in this patient handout is a suggestion only, and is not a substitute for consultation with a health professional or lactation specialist. This handout is the property of the author(s) and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. No part of this handout can be changed or modified without permission from the author and the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic. This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission on the condition that it is not used in any context in which the International Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is violated. For more information, please contact the Goldfarb Breastfeeding Clinic, Herzl Family Practice Centre, SMBD Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. © 2009