Concerns about making enough milk are the most common questions on breastfeeding hotlines and the number one reason mothers offer supplement or give up breastfeeding altogether. It has long been assumed that mothers who worried about their milk production just didn’t understand how breastfeeding worked and that all they needed was a little education and reassurance to get breastfeeding back on track. While it’s true that most mothers can make enough milk, there are definitely mothers who really aren’t making enough milk, and for a variety of reasons, their numbers may be rising. We’re also discovering that there are more causes for low milk production than we once realized. Fortunately, new advances in the field of lactation are helping us to develop better strategies–it is rarely too late.
An important approach for improving low milk supplies is targeting the treatment to the underlying cause. Without understanding why a mother isn’t able to produce enough milk, she may easily put time, effort, and money into solutions that don’t address the real problem. When her strategy doesn’t work, she might then incorrectly conclude that her low milk production is irreversible. Strategic targeting increases chances for success.