Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2012 Jan-Feb;41(1):114-121. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01313.x. Epub 2011 Dec 12.


Breastfeeding rates in many developed countries remain low, and maternal perception of insufficient milk production is a major contributing factor. Mothers with a perception of insufficient milk should be advised that normal breastfeeding frequencies, suckling times, and amounts are very variable. If objective assessment confirms insufficient milk production, mothers should ensure optimal milk removal frequency and thorough breast drainage. In addition, galactogogues can be prescribed. Understanding physiological principles underlying milk production will help clinicians reassure and assist mothers.

Keywords: breast expression; breastfeeding; insufficient milk; lactation; milk production.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding / psychology
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Milk Ejection / physiology*
  • Milk, Human / metabolism
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration
  • Postnatal Care / methods*
  • Pregnancy