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Breastfeeding

Last Reviewed: March 2013

Six Months and Beyond

Having a good milk supply

You may feel that you do not have enough milk because when you pump or hand express you may get very little or don't get any milk. This does not mean that there isn't enough milk for your baby. Your baby is much better at taking milk from your breasts than any pump or hand. If your baby is latched well and feeding on demand you will produce enough milk.

How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

    Signs your baby is breastfeeding well and getting enough breast milk:

    • You can see and hear your baby swallowing
    • Baby looks relaxed and content after the feeding
    • Baby is content and settled between feedings
    • Your breasts are softer after the feeding
    • Baby is gaining weight well
    • Baby is having lots of wet diapers (pees) and soft, yellow bowel movements (poos)

After about one month, your breastfed baby's bowel movements may decrease from several per day to one every several days. This is normal if the bowel movements are soft and yellow. However, it is also normal for your baby to continue to have lots of soft, yellow bowel movements every day. After three months, it is normal for your baby's weight gain to slow down. After six months, weight gain slows down again. See How to tell that your baby is breastfeeding well.


My baby is feeding all the time and is very fussy

There are times when your baby may want to feed more often than usual and be very fussy. This can happen during a period of rapid growth known as a growth spurt.

Babies have growth spurts around three weeks, six weeks, twelve weeks of age and at other times as they get older. These times can be tiring and concerning for parents.

Many mothers worry that they do not have enough milk during a growth spurt. It is important to remember that breastfeeding works by supply and demand. When your baby is breastfeeding more than usual, you will produce more milk to keep up with his needs. Growth spurts often last a few days until your body starts to make more milk for your baby. Supplementing him with formula is not necessary during a growth spurt. Supplementing during a growth spurt will prevent your body from getting the message to make more milk.


My breasts feel softer than before

During the early weeks you may often feel that your breasts are full between feedings. As your baby gets older, your breasts are softer. This is normal and does not mean that there isn't enough milk for your baby. Breast milk production settles down to match your baby's needs.


What causes low milk supply?

If a mother experiences low milk supply it is likely because of a breastfeeding problem that can be corrected.

It is important not to give your baby bottles or breast milk substitutes (formula) without some guidance from a health-care professional. Supplements are usually not needed and may contribute to breastfeeding problems.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, talk to a health-care professional who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding.

Mothers often notice a decrease in their milk supply when they are taking birth control pills. Mothers may consider using an alternative birth control method called Lactation Amenorrhea Method or LAM. To use LAM effectively, you need additional detailed information. For more information on LAM and other methods of contraception, call Region of Peel—Public Health at 905-799-7700 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
See Breastfeeding and Contraception (birth control) (pdf iconPDF file, 86KB)



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Revised: Monday October 05 2015

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