Breastmilk Supply 101: Establishing and Troubleshooting

Breastmilk Supply 101: Establishing and Troubleshooting

With endless “tips,” “tricks,” and countless avenues of information about breastmilk supply, it can get very overwhelming as a new mom or mom-to-be to wrap your head around it all! Check out this quick 101 guide about breastmilk supply, written by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and our in-house lactation director, Ashley!

From the Start

  • Learn about breastfeeding, positioning and hunger cues while PREGNANT
  • Offer the breast immediately after birth, aka “The Golden Hour”
  • Room-in with baby, no separation at hospital or home, for the first 4 months
  • Feed on-demand, every hunger cue, regardless of last feeding time
    • Avoid pacifiers for the first 4 weeks to avoid missing feeding opportunity
    • Newborn’s first hunger cue: waking up
  • Ask for help from a lactation professional (IBCLC, CLC, CLE, etc)
    • Report:
      • Pain
      • Discomfort
      • Insecurities
      • Feedings lasting longer than 30 minutes
  • If separation is unavoidable, hand express and pump → Keep milk flowing!
    • Do not delay
    • Pump or express every 2-3 hours, even at a night


  • Avoid scheduling feeds, continue on-demand
  • Keeping baby close
  • Room sharing for the first 4 months
  • Comfort at breast is still important
  • Efficient feedings- a feeding should not take more than 15-20 minutes
    • This does not include pacifying at the breast following a feed
  • Proper breastfeeding support

Maternal Nutrition, Water, and Supplements

  • Drink to own thirst level, aim for at least .5-1 oz of water per pound of weight i.e. 150 lb woman, normal activity level, needs 75 oz or 9 cups/day
  • Continue vitamins (i.e. prenatal or postnatal) per doctor recommendations
  • Focus on iron-rich foods, as well as magnesium and calcium, especially immediately postpartum and for the return of monthly menses
  • Coffee in moderation is acceptable and will not affect supply or quality of milk
  • Avoid medications that are designed to dry up secretions, i.e. allergy medications

All content published on the Motif Medical site is credited for information purposes only. This information should not substitute as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or qualified health professional with any questions regarding the health of you or your baby.


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