Are you feeling that you are low on breast milk production? If so, this article will help you! The first step is to decide:
Are You Really Low on Breast Milk Production?
Often with breastfeeding it is challenging to know how much breast milk your baby is getting because you can’t see what is going in. What you can’t see, you can’t measure and so it’s difficult to tell if you are low on breast milk production. But there are two tests that you can do and either one will tell you if you are low on breast milk production.
The first test is called the feed weight test. For this test you will need to buy, rent or borrow an accurate baby scale. Then for 24 hours you will weigh your baby right before breastfeeding and immediately right after breastfeeding. You’ll note the starting weight and the ending weight and you’ll subtract one from the other and it will tell you how much weight baby gained while breastfeeding. Baby didn’t actually gain weight, but is heavier by the amount of milk that baby breastfed.
You’ll follow this process for an entire 24 hour period and at after you finish, you’ll do some simple calcualtions and it will tell you exactly how much breast milk you are producing each day. You’ll compare that number to the number of ounces babies typically drink in a day (see below) and that will tell you if you are low on breast milk production.
This is an overview of the feed weight test. For complete instructions on measuring your milk supply, see this article on breast milk production.
The second test you can take to know for sure if you are low on breast milk production is the pump test. This test requires a good, high quality breast pump. Perhaps you already own a good breast pump that you are getting good milk output from, but if not you can rent a hospital grade pump from your local hospital or local WIC office. Once you have your pump, you’ll pump 4 times over a 3 hour period. You won’t be able to breastfeed your baby during the pump test so plan ahead. It is fine to give baby the milk you pump during your pump test.
You’ll write down your pumping output from each of the four pumping tests and after you finish, a few quick math equations will tell you exactly how much milk you are producing each day. And just like with the feed weight test, you’ll compare this number to how much milk a baby typically drinks during a day and this result will tell you if you are low on breast milk production!
This is just an overview of the pump test. For complete directions see this article on breast milk production.
Now that you know how much breast milk you are producing each day, it’s time to:
Compare Daily Breast Milk Production to Baby’s Daily Milk Intake
- Babies 1 to 6 months old typically drink 25 to 30 ounces of breast milk each day. If you are producing less than this amount, then you are low on breast milk production.
- Babies less than 1 month old typically drink 16 to 24 ounces of breast milk each day.
- Babies that are eating solid foods such as baby cereal, applesauce or cheerios typically drink less breast milk because they are getting some of their daily calories from solid food. For each month baby has been eating solid foods subtract 1 to 2 ounces of require breast milk from each day.
Compare the amount of breast milk you are producing each day to what your baby’s daily milk intake is likely to be and if baby’s intake is more than the breast milk you are producing, then you are low on breast milk production.
If You Are Low on Breast Milk Production Read This
In general the faster low milk production is corrected, the easier and more complete the recovery. If you are low on breast milk production, get help fast by checking out these 11 ways to increase milk supply.