Are you producing enough breast milk?

Worried about your milk supply? Breastfeeding expert Sally Inch shares her expert advice

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Breastfeeding you baby can be a wonderful experience. But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. One problem you might be worried about is whether you’re producing enough breast milk.

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“We often see mums in the clinic who are worried about their milk supply,” says breastfeeding expert Sally Inch, an Infant Feeding Specialist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

“But in the early weeks of breastfeeding, it’s very unlikely that there’s not enough. It’s more often the case that your baby is not able to get at the milk that’s in the breast and that goes back to latching on.”

Lynda, 30, struggled for days with this issue. “It had never occurred to me that I’d do anything other than breastfeed,” she explains. “But when Georgia was born eight weeks ago, she just didn’t latch on.

“I was desperate for her to get the colostrum so I expressed it and the midwife fed her with a cup, which was difficult and time-consuming. Once I was back home I continued expressing, but every time there was less and less milk. I felt as if I was spending my entire time wired up to a milking machine like a cow! I was stressed out and totally fed up.”

Eventually, Lynda decided to switch to bottlefeeding with formula. “It was a very emotional decision but it was the right one for me. I totally agree that breast is best, but I don’t think any mum should beat herself up about it if she can’t do it. Having a baby is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and that’s what I want to concentrate on right now.”

Breastfeeding help

For help breastfeeding, get in touch with one of the following organisations:

Mums’ stories

“Drink up”

“Have a glass of water next to you every time you sit down to feed. Breastfeeding makes you so thirsty, and once you’ve started, you don’t want to stop to fetch yourself a drink”

Janet, 43, mum to Ellie, 3, and Nicolas, 1

“Get support”

“I got a lot of support from my local breastfeeding group. I recommend new mums find out what’s available in their area.”

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Jo, mum to Cleo, 6 months

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