Learn how to increase breast milk supply. These tips and hacks are designed to help new moms build a successful breastfeeding relationship with their baby!
Becoming a new mom can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially for moms who discover they have a low milk supply for their baby. I had a low supply with my babies early on, so I want to show you how to increase breast milk supply.
I breastfed two babies for a combined 31 months so I have some experience with the ups and downs of breastfeeding. Some of the things we’ll talk about seem common sense, and I hope some of the tips are brand new to you.
If you’re currently suffering from a low milk supply, I want to encourage you not to give up on breastfeeding! You can get through this! So many moms are going through the same thing you are.
There are a lot of things you can try to increase your milk supply and if it’s absolutely necessary, you can always use formula to supplement in the interim. Some breast milk is better than none.
How to increase your breast milk supply
1. Drink lots of water.
Your body needs to be well hydrated to produce enough milk for your baby. If you’re having issues with your milk supply, you should try and avoid alcohol and other dehydrating drinks. Be sure you’re drinking your water out of a safe water bottle.
2. Let your baby use you as a pacifier.
This may not sound like a lot of fun, but the more your baby nurses, the more milk your body will start producing. You can even take a “nursing vacation” by doing nothing but eating, drinking water and breastfeeding your baby for a few days.
I once breast fed a baby for 6 hours straight – no joke! After that night, I never had milk supply issues with her again. I wish I’d known this tip with my first baby.
3. Nurse from both sides at each feeding.
This is one thing I was doing wrong. My older daughter would empty one side and lose interest so I thought she was full and my milk supply suffered.
I should have been trying to get her interested in the other side. Once I started having her nurse from both sides (and often from each side twice during each session), my supply started to increase.
4. Stop using your breast pump.
A lot of people told me to pump between feeding to increase my supply. For me, it had the opposite effect.
This definitely isn’t true for everyone, but for me, if I pumped even once in the morning, my supply was shot for the rest of the day. It’s like my body didn’t register that my milk was emptied by the pump.
I stopped pumping and that problem went away. If this sounds familiar and pumping isn’t helping to increase your supply, see how things go when you don’t pump at all.
5. Take Fenugreek.
Fenugreek is a galactagogue, an herbal substance that helps increase breast milk supply (there are also prescription galactagogues). Yes, it’s true, when you take Fenugreek, you will smell like maple syrup, but there are worse things you can smell like.
I took Fenugreek for about a month with my oldest daughter and I believe it helped. It did take some time though.
6. Drink Mother’s Milk Tea.
Mother’s milk tea is also full of all sorts of herbs that help increase your milk supply. I drink tea all the time, so I figured it couldn’t hurt. Coupled with the fenugreek, I think it helped my milk supply. One of the best options is Earth Mama Organics Milkmaid Tea.
7. Go to a La Leche Leauge Meeting.
I didn’t do this, but wish I had gone to a La Leche League Meeting early on. I’ve heard that the support you get there is really great. You’re more likely to succeed with breastfeeding if you have a good support system behind you.
8. Check out Kelly Mom.
My favorite website for breastfeeding tips was always Kelly Mom. If you haven’t been to the Kelly Mom website before, check it the section on milk supply.
There are so many things you can do to increase breast milk supply before giving up. Try a few of these things and see if they help!