Maternal and Infant Health Program Maternal and Infant Health Program

  SLC area: (801) 273-2871

  SLC area: (801) 274-0674

  Maternal and Infant Health Program
  P.O. Box 142002
  Salt Lake City UT

Increasing and Maintaining Your Milk Supply

In order to maintain a good milk supply, your breasts must be emptied regularly and completely. When breasts are left full, they send a signal to your body to decrease milk production. The more milk you remove from your breasts, the more you will make. The following hints should help stimulate your milk supply and condition your let-down reflex so you can provide the maximum amount of milk for your baby.

Milk production and release are affected by:

  • your emotional state
  • your physical condition
  • your pumping routines
  1. Use a hospital grade electric breast pump.
  2. Pump 8 to 10 times a day for 15 minutes per breast each time. You may want to keep a log to record the time you pump, the amount of milk you express, and what you did (warm compresses, massage, etc.)
  3. It is best to use a double pump kit. This will greatly increase the hormone levels that tell your body to make milk.
  4. Take a nap, or rest, two times a day.
  5. Eat three meals and two snacks a day. Drink fluids liberally. Pour yourself an 8 to 12 ounce glass of water or juice each time you sit down to pump.
  6. Apply a very warm, moist compress to your breasts for 5 minutes (a small bath towel soaked in hot water works well). You may also immerse your breasts in a sink full of warm water or shower before pumping.
  7. Try to relax before and during pumping. Things to help you relax:

    Get a backrub before or during pumping

    Take a warm bath or shower before pumping

    Listen to relaxing music or a favorite TV show

    Use pillows for comfort

    Sip on a favorite drink

  8. Gentle massage can help initiate milk flow. Start from the outer edges of the breast and massage with circular motion about the size of a quarter. Gradually progress toward the nipple. Stimulate your nipple directly, either by rubbing with the heel of your hand, or by gently squeezing or rolling your nipple between your thumb or forefinger.
  • Imagine that you are nursing your baby.
  • If your milk slows after pumping for 5 to 7 minutes, stop and apply warm compresses for 5 minutes. Do breast massage again and then pump for another 7 minutes.

(used with permission from Mary Erickson, Lactation Educator at University of Utah Hospital)