Adjusting your milk supply
If you've been bottle feeding and want to try breastfeeding more often, you may need to encourage your milk supply. It might take a bit of time as it can be tricky to increase your supply when it's been low.
Try to set aside time to work on it and be patient with yourself.
How can I increase my breast milk supply?
Here are some things you can do to increase your breast milk supply:
- try to breastfeed as often as possible, while your baby is calm and relaxed.
- hold your baby skin to skin during feeds, if possible – this encourages your body to produce milk and your baby to feed
- start each feed with the breast they did not feed from last or only fed from a little
- reduce the number of bottles gradually as your milk supply increases
- avoid introducing any solid foods until your baby is around 6 months
- express your breast milk regularly between feeds to encourage a steady supply
If you're doing all these things already but you're still concerned you have low milk supply, ask your midwife to refer you to a breastfeeding specialist.
Feeding specialists are very understanding and can have a look at how your baby's feeding, and offer practical advice, help and support.
Reducing your milk supply
Give your body time to adjust to producing less milk. Phasing breastfeeding out gradually will help prevent mastitis and engorged breasts.
Weaning your baby off breast milk should be a gradual process – it's best to not rush it. For every feed you drop, allow yourself about a week to adjust.
There may be times when you may need to slow the transition down. For example, if your baby is poorly, they may want to breastfeed more frequently.
Remember, if weaning off breast milk is proving tricky, try to be patient. You can always take a break and try again in a few weeks.
Babies under 1
Replace dropped feeds with first infant formula.
If your baby is under 6 months, they will need to be bottle fed. If they are older than 6 months, they can have their feed in a beaker or cup.
Babies 1 year and older
As long as your baby is having a well-balanced diet, they will not need a replacement feed.