Increasing your milk supply seems to be a very common question with any breastfeeding mother. Whether or not your baby is getting enough milk crosses every mothers mind.. whether it is your first child or your fourth!
First thing is first! Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you! Be sure to stay hydrated and keep snacks at your nursing stations! Stress also does not help milk production.
Breast milk is all about supply and demand.
The more you feed, the more milk you will produce. That being said, the best way to increase your milk supply, is to feed more! Breastfed babies typically eat every 3 hours, or at least 8-12 times in a 24 hour window.
Tips to Increase your Milk Supply;
Have your baby skin to skin as much as possible! I absolutely loved my Baby K’Tan Wrap (until about 4months and then my babe was too much of a chunk 😉 Test out as many carriers as you can, everyone is different and just because one of your friends loved a certain one, you may hate it. There may be a lending library in your area – check it out!
Rest! I know this is way easier said than done.. but ask for help with household tasks. Get your partner to take care of the dishwasher or dinner.. take friends up on their offers to come cuddle the baby while you rest.
Feed your baby at least 8-12 times in 24hrs. Do not skip night feeds! This seems like the best feed to let your partner or family member help with so that you can get a ‘solid’ 6-8hrs. BUT these night time feeds are essential to help increase your milk supply! Your body produces more prolactin (breastmilk making hormone) during night time hours. If you do not feed/pump during the night your supply can significantly decrease.. again with supply and demand. It is essential to maintaining or increasing your supply to feed frequently or pump when baby feeds from a bottle.
If your babe isn’t latching/feeding well or your are just hoping to pump, try to pump at least 6-8 times per day. Being sure you pump at least once during the night. Remember, Prolactin is highest at night – between 2 and 5am.
Wanting more information on breastfeeding? Check out the Ultimate Breastfeeding Course
Hoping to exclusively pump, but want to know more? Check out Pumping 101
Warm compresses to breasts prior to feeding &/or massage breasts during feeds to increase milk flow
Power Pump for 2 or 3 days, explained below
Offer both breasts at every feeding, and be sure babe finishes first breast first. The second breast is kind of ‘dessert‘. This will also help the baby sleep longer as he/she will receive the majority of your hind-milk and will be satisfied longer.
Try expressing or pumping after feeds to help boost your supply. I highly recommend a Medela Electric Double Pump, it is hospital grade so you know it is effective and way less work than a manual. A manual would be fine if you pumped on the ‘one offs’, but not if you planned on pumping any amount of time. Ive had carpal tunnel in pregnancy as well as following (now).. I could not imagine the time and pain of manually pumping..
If feeding formula along with breastmilk, be sure to pump every time babe has a formula bottle. If not, your supply will drop
Talk with your Doctor or Midwife about medications that may increase your milk supply
This page may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you use them. I only recommend items that I have personally used, love and trust!
Items found to increase milk supply;
Fennel Essential Oil – I make a cup of tea (I like cinnamon rooibos from Davids Tea) and add two drops of Fennel (has a licorice taste)
Rolled Oats – a bowl in the morning can do wonders!
Fenugreek- This herb is commonly used among mamas to increase milk supply. Most notice a increase within 24-72hrs *do not take if you have low blood sugars or bleeding/clotting disorders
Blessed Thistle – is another herb typically combined with Fenugreek to help increase milk supply
Mothers Milk – many mamas swear by this, it comes in tea bags and tastes like licorice (very similar to fennel mentioned above. I have not tried this myself but can be found at any local natural/organic food store
Brewers Yeast – another milk booster. It may taste a bit bitter if you use too much, add sugar if need be
Flaxseed – milk booster!
Almonds/Walnuts – packed with healthy proteins and calcium, is a galactagogues
And the one you probably haven’t come across.. which is so incredible simple!
Gatorade – we all know the importance of staying well hydrated! Apparently, all though not much, if any research is done on how Gatorade increases milk supply – many mamas swear by the blue gatorade almost instantly increasing their supply! *Side note, other Gatorade flavors work, many just note the blue is best
Be sure your getting in enough calories! Eat healthy! Avocados, greens, oatmeal and nuts all help your maintain supply!
Try to decrease your stress in other areas, your baby not only picks up on it but feels it as well, your milk supply can suffer.
Talk with a Pharmacist if prescribed any medications. Some medications which have estrogen or an antibiotic, for example, can decrease your milk supply.
And Remember, the BLUE Gatorade!
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