8 Tips for Increasing Your Milk Supply
We must! We must! We must increase our bust!
Am I the only one that says this in my head when I am thinking about increasing my milk supply?
There are many things you can try to increase you milk supply.
Overabundance doesn’t always come naturally to some mamas, including myself, so we need a little extra help to feed those little boob monsters.
I was always told to pump in between feedings, but I am a poor pumper.
Also, despite popular belief, drinking lots of water does NOT increase milk supply, but it is important to stay hydrated.
I can pump and pump, and only get an ounce or two at a time from both sides! Here are some things to try to get the milk flowing.
Table of Contents
- 1. Check baby’s latch
- 2. Ditch the binky/pacifier
- 3. DON’T supplement with formula
- 3. Offer both sides at each feeding
- 4. Pump after or between feedings
- 5. Try a galactagogue
- 6. Eat cookies!
- 7. Check your medications
- 8. Go bra-less
1. Check baby’s latch
Sometimes a poor latch can mean baby isn’t actually getting enough (or anything!) which reduces supply. If baby cannot properly empty the breast, it won’t “fill back up”.
2. Ditch the binky/pacifier
I know it might be a pain, but keep baby on the breast as often as he/she wants. I promise. You won’t be a human pacifier forever. The more they are there, the more milk there will be! Supply and demand!
Giving your baby the boob offers comfort, too (for better or for worse).
3. DON’T supplement with formula
A lot of times moms think that they are not making enough milk when they actually are.
If you supplement with formula, you may actually decrease your already perfect milk supply. Some women never feel a let-down, so don’t let myths make you believe something is wrong. Always get the opinion of a certified lactation consultant if you think you have low supply.
I had to supplement with formula for my first girl, but this was only after finding out that my milk supply wasn’t enough for her. She was really underweight. With my second girl, I supplemented with breastmilk from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to make up for it. By my third girl, my milk supply was fine.
3. Offer both sides at each feeding
If your little one falls asleep on one side, make sure to offer the other side first the next time they nurse.
You might find a nursing bracelet helpful to remember which side is next, but I could always feel the fullness.
4. Pump after or between feedings
If you choose to pump, do so after or between feedings. If your baby falls asleep on one side, pump on the other.
5. Try a galactagogue
That’s a $5 word, but that’s really what they’re called.
A galactagogue is a food that boosts your milk supply.
You can try herbs in capsules, like fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle or fennel seed.
You can also use some of the ingredients in lactation cookies in any food or baked good. Ingredients include steel cut oats/oatmeal (not the same thing), flaxseed meal, and brewer’s yeast.
6. Eat cookies!
What better reason to eat cookies than to better feed your baby?!
Some store-bought, processed cookies have yeast in them. You don’t have to make your own lactation cookies, or buy them, if you don’t have the time or want to save money. I’ve bought oatmeal cookies from the bakery when I was at my most desperate.
P.S. Brownies also work for this!
7. Check your medications
Some medications affect your body’s ability to produce enough milk, or nutritious milk, for your baby.
While doctors are usually cautious about this, they still miss things. Over-the-counter drugs, like pain and allergy meds, can drastically lower your supply.
8. Go bra-less
Bras restrict your chest and hold your girlies in place, which doesn’t leave much wiggle room for milk storage.
Choose nursing bras that are loose and flexible, and easy to alter when you need to feed your baby — or don’t wear one at all. If you have to take off your bra entirely in order to breastfeed, it’s not the right bra for breastfeeding.
Not wearing a bra feels weird at first, but I have slowly gotten used to it. I do wear comfy nursing bras out in public, but I often don’t wear a bra around the house because breastfeeding is so. much. easier. when I don’t have to deal with that.
What have YOU used to increase your milk supply and feed your baby?