Simple ways to boost your milk supply for your new baby at home.
As a new mother, breastfeeding can be a struggle.
Late night feedings, low milk supply, and sore nipples are enough to make any mama want to throw in the nipple shields.
But don’t despair, you are not alone. Don’t toss that pump and give up on breastfeeding just yet!
There are so many different benefits to breastfeeding your little bundle of joy.
When a mother’s breast milk supply is low, there are many factors that can affect a mother’s milk supply:
- Mama or baby being sick
- The mother’s work schedule
- Demands of other children
- Baby not having a good latch
- General stress of the mother
- Switching to scheduled feedings (rather than on-demand)
- Skipping normal pumping or feeding sessions
- Forgoing night time feeding or pumping sessions
- Dietary changes
I think you get the point…
On a positive note, there are many things that you can do to quickly increase your breastmilk supply.
Still wondering how to increase your milk supply?
Here are seven things you can do to increase your breast milk production.
But remember…whenever you are making any kind of drastic changes to your pumping schedule or eating habits (including supplements) you should check with a certified lactation professional first).
Let’s face it, life happens. It’s not always possible to stay on a strict pumping schedule all day, every day. The production of your breastmilk works on a supply and demand basis, the more demand, the more supply.
Our bodies are truly amazing! When your baby is eating more, or you are pumping more, you will make more milk, that’s just how nature works.
If you aren’t familiar with power pumping, it is a simple way to trick nature into thinking that you have a really hungry baby that needs more milk!
Power pumping is about pumping until your drain your breasts and trick your body into thinking that it needs to up its production in order to satisfy the needs of your hungry baby.
It is suggested that you power pump for one hour. Yes, I know that can be a lot, but it will be worth it! While it is ideal that you do a power pump session every time, even one per day will drastically help.
Here is a sample power pumping schedule:
- Pump for 20 minutes
- Rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes
- Rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes
Make sure you are using an app or something to keep track of your progress during each power pumping session.
You don’t need anything special to power pump other than your normal pump, a comfy chair, and something to keep track of your pumping progress.
Oh, and a hands free pumping bra is a must! Trust me, you are going to give up real quick if you have to sit there and hold your pump the entire time!
When it comes to power pumping, proper timing is essential! Don’t swap out a regular feeding with a power pumping session, your baby is much better adapted at draining the milk from your breasts than your pump is.
Plus, you don’t want to deprive your baby of that precious feeding either. If you are able to, you can do a power pumping session right after your baby is done eating if your breasts are not already drained.
If your baby is sleeping longer through the night, you can always get in an early power pumping session. While I know you would probably rather sleep in, if your baby is skipping a night time feeding and you are waking up feeling engorged, you can always get in an early morning power pumping session to start off your day.
While I would love to be able to give you a schedule to follow, it is not that simple. You need to figure out what is going to work best for your and your baby’s schedule to get the most out of power pumping.
Getting Enough Water
I can not stress this enough!
Proper hydration is essential in producing enough breast milk. There are plenty of cute water bottles out there to help to remember to drink more water to make more milk!
Or, if you don’t like having to refill your water bottle every two hours, you can get this 128 ounce water bottle, you will definitely drinking enough if you finish this every day!
Drinking enough water is so incredibly important to making milk. Think of it like your superpower, you can turn water into liquid gold!
What you eat has a direct effect on your milk supply. Try to incorporate more lactation inducing foods into your daily diet. Lactation promoting foods are nutrient dense, whole foods. Here is a list of some of the best foods to help get your milk production going:
- Almonds (any and all kinds of nuts and seeds)
- Brown rice
- Brewers Yeast (this can also be considered a supplement)
- Leafy greens
- Coconut oil
There are many more, but when it comes to your diet, try to incorporate as many whole foods as possible. Bright fruits and veggies, leafy greens, whole grains, and healthy fats are all great for making more milk.
There are also a lot of different lactation recipes that you can make to help increase your breastmilk production. Like lactation cookies, yes please! Lactation smoothies are also beneficial as they allow you to pack a lot of nutrient dense food into one meal.
Plus they are easy to make, you can eat them on the go, and they won’t leave you feeling hungry.
In addition to eating a diet that is rich in lactation inducing foods, you can also incorporate various supplements into your diet. Sadly, sometimes changing your diet just isn’t enough to get your milk production to where you want it to be.
Adding certain supplements to your daily routine can drastically help to increase your milk production. If you are looking to increase your milk supply practically overnight, here are some supplements to consider taking:
I mentioned brewer’s yeast before when talking about the various foods to add to your diet. Brewer’s yeast has a lot of different benefits, other than just increasing milk supply. It is an overall mood elevator, helps fight fatigue and boosts energy levels, as well as makes a great addition to lactation cookies, smoothies, and other lactation recipes.
Fenugreek is an herb that has been used for thousands of years to help nursing mothers increase their milk supply.
While you might end up smelling like maple syrup (a small price to pay), fenugreek capsules have helped many women to boost their milk supply in a relatively short period of time.
Mother’s Milk Tea
Mother’s milk tea is a blend of traditional herbs that help to increase breast milk production, such as fenugreek, fennel, anise, coriander, and blessed thistle.
It is recommended that you drink three to five cups per day in order to get the full benefits of the tea.
Enjoy with a bit of honey or stevia to sweeten it up a bit.
While both fenugreek and blessed thistle are in the mother’s milk tea, there is no harm in taking the supplement capsules as well.
Blessed thistle and fenugreek compliment one another and should really be taken together to get the maximum benefits of both. With both fenugreek and blessed thistle, it is suggested that you take three capsules of each three times per day.
Let There Be Milk
I won’t lie, this stuff doesn’t taste good, but it works! I would generally put it under my tongue or as far back in my throat as possible as to not to taste it. You can also mix it with a few ounces of juice or water and chug it.
It is a tincture of galactogue herbs (meaning lactation inducing).
It is recommended to take 1ml up to four times per day.
One of the ways to increase your milk supply is to massage your breasts while you are pumping. Massaging your breasts helps to increase the flow of the milk to the ducts and releases more milk.
You will want to massage around the outer part of the breast rather than right next to the nipple.
This helps to move the milk down the duct and towards the nipple to be expressed.
Rest and Relaxation
Yes, I know what your thinking, rest and relaxation?! My baby is still waking up every couple of hours! How am I supposed to rest?
While it might be difficult to do this on your own, ask your partner for help in being able to get enough rest.
Not only is this going to help your milk production, it will also help your sanity.
When you are so exhausted that you can barely function, your breasts are not going to cooperate either and your milk supply is going to suffer.
Get Enough Electrolytes
Whether it is Gatorade or coconut water, you should include an electrolyte rich drink into your daily routine.
Not only do drinks like coconut water and gatorade increase your hydration levels, they are also a tasty break from water. Specifically, coconut water is able to increase the levels of both capric and lauric acid in breastmilk.
This has a direct benefit on your baby’s immunity and is also good for you too.
Whether you try all or some of these methods to increase your breastmilk supply, you should see a change within a few hours to a few days.
Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing results right away.
Keep up with it and think positive!