How to Build your Milk Supply

Building up a stash of frozen breastmilk for your upcoming return-to-work can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

Your body makes the most milk in the mornings, so take advantage of that when building your freezer stash.  After your first feeding of the day, watch the clock and pump at the halfway mark between your first and second feeding.

For example, if your baby generally nurses every 3 hours:

  • Breastfeed at 6:00 am when s/he wakes

  • Pump at 7:30am

  • Breastfeed at 9:00 am


By pumping in the morning when your milk is most abundant, you will still have enough for your next feeding.

If your baby generally nurses every 2 hours:

  • Breastfeed at 6:00 am when s/he wakes

  • Pump at 7:00am

  • Breastfeed at 8:00 am

Pump both sides for no more than 10 minutes or so and freeze whatever you get in 2-4 ounce containers.  Label with the date and amount.

You might not produce much the first day or two, but if you stick to this schedule every day, soon your body will adjust and you will notice a big increase in the amount you pump.

Remember the 5-5-5 rule:  breastmilk stays fresh for 5 hours at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge and 5 months in your freezer.


Darcy Sauers is a Certified Lactation Counselor and provides private, in-home lactation counseling to new moms in the Seacoast area. In addition to her extensive training, she breastfed her three babies and experienced all sorts of issues, problems and joys.  She is now committed to helping new moms with meeting their breastfeeding goals.