Increasing Your Milk Supply: Why the Care Plan Will Work

At first the Care Plan to increase your milk supply may seem backward. Why would you start pumping and supplementing your baby after each feeding when what you really want to do is breastfeed? In fact, this will be a big step forward in your breastfeeding success because the outcome is almost always a satisfied baby fed only from the breast.


By giving your baby a supplement after each feeding and then pumping, you can be confident that:

  • Your baby will be full.
  • Thanks to pumping, your breasts will be fully drained after each feeding, so your milk supply will increase.

Feedings have a beginning, duration and end

You'll know if your baby isn't getting enough nourishment if you feed her for a long time, then she wakes up 20 minutes later crying for more food. This can turn into what feels like around-the-clock feeding.

What's happening is that your baby is feeding well for the first part of the session, but after 10 to 20 minutes she isn't getting much else. Instead of keeping her at the breast, you're better off finishing the feeding with a supplement. That way she'll get more food and gain strength for the next feeding, and you'll feel there's an end to the ongoing feeding.

No more spinning your wheels

You might think this plan of pumping and supplementing is more work than breastfeeding, but it's actually less work because feeding times are limited to 20 or 25 minutes. Even with supplementing and pumping, the entire feeding should be finished in 45 minutes or less. That's probably less time than you were spending before, when you were spinning your wheels with a baby on your breast who wasn't getting filled up.

The supplement is a means to the end

Giving your baby a supplement is in no way the beginning of the end to breastfeeding. Instead, it's a way to ensure that your baby is getting a full feeding each time.

If you're feeding your baby frequently and she still seems hungry, you're not going to be able to break that cycle and boost your supply unless you supplement. The only thing that will boost your milk supply is better drainage from pumping. The faster you boost your supply, the sooner this problem will be resolved.

Tips for success:

  • Ensuring that your baby is full after every feeding will give you peace of mind and end around-the-clock feeding.
  • Don't view supplementing your baby as breastfeeding failure. It's a short-term solution to long-term breastfeeding success.
  • Pump and supplement regularly for best results. The faster you boost your supply, the sooner you'll be supplement free.

This information is courtesy of Bravado Designs, the brand synonymous with women's breastfeeding success for 18 years.

Source: Heather Kelly is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who also sits on the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council Heather has been practicing in New York City since 2001.

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Heather Kelly
Heather is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
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