Dr. Peter Hartman and his team of researchers, located in Perth, Australia, have done extensive research on human lactation. In one of their studies they found one woman who produced 16 ounces of milk a day, yet her baby gained well. The average lactating woman produces between 25 and 32 ounces of milk every 24 hours.
The baby drives the milk production by removing milk from the breast frequently and thoroughly. If the baby is not removing the milk well or at all, it is essential that mother remove the milk. This can be done by hand expression or with a pump(hand or electric). When milk is not removed, the brain very quickly downregulates the milk production. The human body gets an A+ for efficiency. For some women milk production can start to decrease within 6 hours if milk, including colostrum is not removed.
The first 2 weeks after delivery-delivery of the placenta signals the milk production-the breasts are in the market research phase. This is when the breasts are laying down the majority of the milk producing cells. It is critical that the brain gets the message to make lots of milk during this period. If your baby is not drinking well and removing the milk, you can remove the milk yourself. The more milk removed the more milk made.
If you are concerned about your milk production, contact a lactation consultant or IBCLC. Dr. Tina Smillie, Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist, says that breasts that make milk can make more milk. Hand expression is a great way to increase milk production.