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Q&A: Not Enough Milk in the First Weeks of Breastfeeding

Wendy Goldenthal, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor


Q Dear Wendy, When my infant was born, I had no milk. My midwife said to keep trying. The only problem was I would only get an ounce of milk in 24 hours. Everyone told me that I had no milk. When they had their children, their milk came within the first week. My problem was I went like this for three weeks and I still only had one ounce of milk in 24 hours. But yet my mid-wife said to keep trying. My infant would latch on and two seconds later she would start crying. So finally I gave up and put her on Similac. What is your opinion about this?

A I am sorry that you have had such difficulties. While breastfeeding is important, it is more important for you to make sure that your baby is fed. When your baby is first born, your colostrum is available for your baby. Your milk will generally come in anywhere from 3 to 7 days afterwords. You mentioned that you only got one ounce of milk in 24 hours. But it is not clear how you got this. Did you use an electric pump? A manual pump? What day did you do this? Pumping in the first day or so generally dosen't produce much milk, so this amount is not unusual. If you decide that you want to give your baby breastmilk you still have the opportunity to pump with a hospital grade electric pump to relactate. I would strongly recommend that you contact your doctor and a local Lactation Consultant and discuss relactation with her.


A Certified Breastfeeding Counselor with eight years of experience. She is the founder and owner of Nursing Mothers Supplies, a website where breastfeeding mothers can purchase breastfeeding supplies and get a little advice as well.

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