For most women, their body is just going to, automatically, respond proportionately to your baby’s need for milk. The more that you breastfeed, and the more that your baby takes your breast milk, the more breast milk that your body is going to produce. Your body “listens” to your baby’s need, and produces enough milk accordingly. Still, it can take some time after you begin nursing for your body to build up this equilibrium, and to know for certain how much milk your baby needs. Because of this, there are things you can look for to know if your body is producing enough milk.
The most effective method for knowing whether or not your body is producing enough milk is to watch your baby while he or she is being fed. During a normal feeding, your baby should be going to both breasts, and nursing until the point where both breasts are soft and drained. If your baby does this but still seems to be hungry after feeding, it is possible that your body is not producing enough milk.
There are some reasons why this can be the case. For example, adoptive mothers who have chosen to nurse will almost always find that they have a hard time keeping up with their baby’s demands for milk, at least initially. This is also true for the mother who works outside of the home or who must be away from her baby for hours at a time and must pump her breast milk. In some cases, a woman’s milk ducts may be somewhat lethargic, and may need a stimulus of some sort.
For women whose body is not producing enough milk, there are several possible options. One remedy that women have used in the past is herbs known as galactagogues. Galactagogues are ingredients in an herb that are known to stimulate breast milk. Such herbs include alfalfa, blessed thistle, and fenugreek. In addition, the herb goat’s rue is thought to stimulate the mammary glands, and may also be able to help your body produce enough milk for your baby’s needs.