Although uncommon, there are reasons that a baby may not be able to breastfeed for a period of time

If your baby is not breastfeeding, the most important thing for you to do is establish or maintain your milk supply

  • Remove your milk by hand expressing, pumping or combining both methods
  • If a baby is not taking the milk directly from the breast, milk must be removed on a frequent basis, usually a minimum of 8 times in 24 hours (if a mom is just beginning to pump, she may find she is most successful if she pumps every 2 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night. Once a good milk supply is established, she may be able to reduce the number of times she pumps in 24 hours)
  • If a baby is breastfeeding some of the time, the mother may pump or hand express at the times a feeding is missed
  • For information on supplementing, see expressing milk and supplementing

If you are relying on a breast pump to maintain your milk supply for more than a day, a hospital grade double pump in combination with hand expressing may be the best option for getting the required milk for your baby. For information on renting pumps in Niagara Region click here.  You may find watching the videos included in the supplementation section very helpful.


Reviewed January 2020 - KS