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In unusual cases a medical condition may affect a mother's milk supply. For the most part, however, it's rare for a mother to have a limited milk supply. More often the problem is a lack of support for, or knowledge about, breastfeeding. If you're feeling uncertain or insecure about your ability to breastfeed, you may wind up believing you aren't producing enough milk.
Remember, the more frequently you nurse, the more milk you produce. It's important to nurse within 20 to 50 minutes of giving birth. Your baby will be quiet, alert, looking at you, recognizing your voice and smell. Breastfeeding also helps the uterus to contract and expel the placenta, minimizing blood loss for the mother. Breastfeeding eight to 15 times a day during the first few weeks helps bring in your milk supply and avoids engorgement. Also, this frequent early breastfeeding lets your baby learn to breastfeed while your breasts are still soft and pliant, making it easier for him to adjust when your milk comes in and your breasts get harder.
Don't let more than three hours pass between the start of the feeding and the next feeding, to allow for the minimum eight times in 24 hours. Any less than eight times can hurt your milk supply, cause engorgement, and keep your baby from regaining his birth weight quickly enough.
Supplementing your breast milk with formula and / or using pacifiers before a baby is eight weeks old will reduce your milk supply. To stimulate milk production, your baby needs to suckle with his mouth wide open (as if he's yawning) to compress the milk sinuses located about a half an inch behind the nipple and extending all the way around the margin of the areola.
Mothers with an oversupply of milk face their own set of problems such as engorgement, mastitis or other infections, plugged milk ducts, painful or forceful milk ejection (called letdown), and a baby who's choking or spitting up. If you are having any of these problems, try nursing on one breast with the baby in a more upright position or expressing a little milk before you begin.