First time breastfeeding woes and how to start the breast milk flowing

Updated: Mar 18



Right after giving birth, expecting milk to flow to feed your child can become a source of anxiety, especially if the supply of milk does not come right after delivery.


Looking at your helpless child and wondering if you are feeding enough can be extremely distressing for a new mum.


Stay calm, take a deep breath and remember that this issue is more common than you think. Rest assured that you will be producing milk soon and your baby will not be starving.

Don’t wait to breastfeed, continue to keep trying no matter how difficult it is, it’ll usually get easier.


As you begin to breastfeed, the first challenge is getting the baby to latch on properly. Breastfeeding is a learning journey for both the mother and the baby, and as you continue to practice latching on, it’ll become something that happens very naturally.


Check that your baby is not only suckling but swallowing when latched on.


Breast milk supply is tied to demand, so the more milk is pumped or suckled, the more milk you will produce. Even small breasts will eventually be able to produce quite a lot of milk.


Here is what you can do to increase milk production:


  1. Massage your breast area and keep the pump going. A mechanical pump is recommended because a tired mother needs her rest. Let that device do its work and spend time looking after your baby or recuperating.

  2. Buy a good mechanical pump. Quality pump devices are built to stimulate the breasts and express milk efficiently. A good pump will feel like a Godsend especially when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to express milk.

  3. Express milk frequently, every 2 to 3 hours. Even if there isn’t much coming out, stay the course and keep on pumping.

  4. Do not skip breastfeeding sessions, if need to, take out the breast pump.

  5. Good sleep allows a body to recuperate and recharge, meaning better hormone production for more milk production.

  6. Drink lots of fluids and keep hydrated.

  7. Consume nutritious and natural foods. Some foods filled with galactagogues, like brewers yeast, rolled oats and flaxseed may promote milk production.

  8. Lastly, if you feel overwhelmed by the experience, engage a lactation expert to guide you through this period. All that uncertainty and anxiety is not worth the experience.

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