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Making Enough milk for Your Baby

Skin-to-skin care

  • Making Enough Milk for Your ChildSkin-to-skin care was developed in Bogotá, Colombia because there weren’t enough incubators for preemies. The babies held skin-to-skin did better than the babies in incubators!
  • Babies are calmer if they are held skin-to-skin by their parents
  • Mothers who practice skin-to-skin make more milk
  • Babies who spend time skin-to-skin with their parents grow better and learn to feed faster
  • The staff will let you know when your baby is ready to start skin-to-skin
  • Once you start, hold your baby skin-to-skin every day - the more time, the better
  • Try wearing a button-down shirt, loose blouse, or a stretchy camisole
  • Skin-to-skin is best done with a lot of skin contact, so removing your bra and having the baby only in a diaper is best
  • Keeping baby simple clothing (not a lot of snaps or decorations; onsies or sacks that open at the bottom are great) will help you do more skin-to-skin, and allow the nurses to assess your baby and safely monitor tubes or IV’s
  • Don’t be shy! Ask your nurse to help you pick up your baby for skin-to-skin time!

To make the most milk for your baby:

  • It is important to empty your breasts completely every time you pump so that your milk production stays high
  • If your breasts get too full and hard in the first 2 weeks, you could have a low milk supply later
  • BreastfeedingCheck to make sure your pump is working well (you can ask your nurse to check it, too)
  • Be sure you are pumping both breasts at the same time
  • Most women get more milk from one breast than the other, so don’t worry if there is a small difference – it is totally normal
  • Review your pumping schedule (are you pumping 15-20 minutes more than 6 times a day?)
  • Do you have any pain when pumping? Let us know so we can help
  • Make sure you are pumping at least 1 time at night because it makes a real difference in helping you produce more milk for your baby
  • Remember to keep pumping for 2-3 minutes after you start to see your milk flow slowing down
  • Consider trying more manual expression/massage with pumping
  • Relax while you pump by thinking of your baby, looking at his/her picture, smelling a blanket that he/she used
  • Try pumping at your baby’s bedside
  • Let your nurse or lactation consultant know if you are having any problems, pain, or have seen even a small decrease in your milk supply


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