5 Ways to Kickstart Breastfeeding

by Allison Bush Editor

Breastfeeding for new moms is a learning curve, both for the body and the mind. When you first have a baby, the body isn't quite certain about the amount of milk it should be producing, but once a routine is established, the body adjusts. If you're struggling, here are five ways to amp up your milk production.

Switch breasts while nursing

If you switch breasts frequently, you'll put more demand on each breast, which will alert your body to produce more milk. It will also prevent your baby from comfort sucking instead of eating.

Hold off on using a pacifier

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce a pacifier until breast-feeding is well established, usually three to four weeks after birth. Avoiding pacifiers shortly after birth can help protect your milk supply, as well as promote healthy weight gain for your baby.


Try to pump between feedings and let the pump run for five minutes until you produce your last drop of milk. By keeping the pump running, your body will feel the demand and produce more milk.

Use breast compression when you nurse

Breast compression involves massaging your breast and squeezing extra milk out as your baby nurses. The purpose of breast compression is to continue the flow of milk to the baby when the baby is only sucking without drinking.

Breastfeed at night

Some moms will opt to feed their babies formula before bed with the hope that the baby will sleep through the night. However, breastfeeding at night is really important for informing the body how much milk it should produce for the next day. When a mom doesn’t nighttime breastfeed, she risks decreasing her milk supply to the point of not being able to continue breastfeeding.

Allison Bush
Meet Our Writer
Allison Bush

Allison Bush is a former HealthCentral editor who covered a wide range of health topics.