As a new mother to breastfeeding, I had a TON of questions, concerns and doubts. Was I going to be able to breastfeed, would she latch appropriately, would I even produce enough milk? Many mothers at some point during their journey with breastfeeding will ask the same questions.
You think your baby is nursing constantly and there is no way you could possibly have any milk left. Maybe you’re pumping only a couple of ounces each session and you should be pumping more. Or maybe you’re just looking for ways to increase your milk supply so that you’ll have enough to send to daycare or to have a night out with your husband or friends.
Whatever your case may be, worrying about your milk supply is very very common. But you know what is actually NOT common? Not having enough milk. It is crazy how God designed our bodies to create a human and be able supply it with food. I mean how powerful as a mother to be able to physically feed your child from your breast or feed your child with the milk you made? I absolutely love it! Even though we all think we need to make more milk, most mothers do just fine and their little babes are completely satisfied! BUT if you are actually suffering from an undersupply and are looking for ways to boost your supply, read on!
Here are some ways to increase your breast milk supply!
1. Nurse. Nurse. Nurse. & Then Nurse Some More.
The number one way to increase your milk supply is to nurse as often as possible. It truly is all about supply and demand. Meaning if your baby is demanding it, your body will supply it. My little girl nurses 24-7 it seems like. I always offer my breast whenever she is fussy, hungry, sleepy or sad. I also always offer it before a pacifier, because who doesn’t love the cuddles and closeness and supplying any extra milk counts when a baby is trying to grow! We also co-sleep/bed share so she makes nursing less of a task at night. PLUS we get to be close and bond together throughout the night as well! LOVE.
2. Eating Oatmeal Every Day.
The golden ticket! I eat oatmeal every. single. day. And no not the “just add water” instant packets, I am talking the real hand-rolled organic oats. I truly can tell a difference in my supply when I don’t have my oats. Plus most mothers say they feel better when they eat oatmeal, which is most likely due to the awesome minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Oatmeal has other great health benefits as well from balancing out blood sugar levels to helping boost your gut with all its fiber. Lastly, you can literally add anything to your oatmeal to spice it up such as brown sugar, fresh fruit, peanut butter, maple syrup and more!
My Everyday Oatmeal Recipe!
1/2 cup of Hand Rolled Organic Oats
1 cup Coconut-Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 tablespoon Ground Flax Seeds
1 tablespoon flaked coconut
Secret Ingredient Alert – – -> I add a tablespoon of my Sweet Cream Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer! This adds the perfect amount of sweetness and a creamer texture.
3. Drinking LOTS of Water.
This one is something I have always struggled with! I was not a huge water drinker to begin with, so trying to force down more than 64 oz. a day after I had my little one was hard for me. But I knew if I wanted to make that liquid gold, I was going to have drink the clear gold. They say you are supposed to drink half of you body weight in ounces, but almost double that if you are a breastfeeding mother. WHAT!? That is a crap ton of water, which only shows you how important it is. If you’re a good drinker, keep it up girl, but if you’re not like me, try and fill up a big glass every time you nurse.
Side Note: I have also had other mothers swear by Blue Gatorade! Another way to hydrate and increase supply! Give it try and let me know if it worked for you!
4. Get Your Beauty Sleep.
As a nursing mother, your body needs to be rested and strong to make milk for your baby. And as a new mother, finding sleep is hard these days, like really hard. So I am going to keep this short and simple. Do whatever you have to do to get some sleep, whether it’s bed sharing, napping while your little one is, resting your eyes for 30 minutes or acting like you’re going to run to the store for a second and secretly nap in your car (but really). Just get some rest!
5. Pump, Pump, Pump It-Up! AKA Power Pumping.
So there is this thing I learned in my breast-feeding support group called “Power Pumping.” Basically the more you stimulate your breasts, the more milk they will make. You are essentially tricking your body into producing more milk by rapidly emptying your breasts. It replicates what babies do when they are “cluster feeding” which is when a baby nurses on and off often. To do this, pick one hour each day or night and you will do the following.
- Pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes. Pump another 10 minutes; rest for 10 minutes. Pump again for 10 more minutes and then finish.
Some women begin producing extra milk right away while for others it may take up to a week, so don’t be discouraged. Also remember that pumping output does not always equal nursing output. The key is perseverance.
6. Enjoy a Beer or Glass of Wine.
Some mothers, including me, swear by this! Though it’s obviously not okay to get drunk and then nurse your little one, the barley or brewer’s yeast in beer can help stimulate prolactin which in turn helps us mamas make more milk! While I haven’t quite figured out what in wine would increase a woman’s milk supply, it made my breasts so engorged, I woke up leaking in the middle of the night and had to pump some off (has happened more than once.) Apparently it is an old wives tale? Also having a glass helps us relax which is huge for any mother. (See Tip #10)
7. Herbal Supplements.
While I have not had to take any type of supplement, many women turn to them. These are the most effective and popluar ones- – -> Fenugreek, Brewer’s Yeast, Bless Thistle or Mother’s Milk Tea. These herbal supplements are also called “galactagogues.” But before using these, be sure to talk with your doctor or a lactation consultant for dosages and directions.
8. Lactation Cookies, Peanut Butter Bars or Booby Bites.
Yummy! This is probably the most delicious way to boost your milk supply! While all of the above pretty much contain oatmeal, some also include brewer’s yeast and flaxseed, two other great milk boosting ingredients. It’s also important to make sure you aren’t eating foods that are known to decrease milk supply (anything with peppermint, sage and spearmint). Check out these recipes below!
- Booby Bites: http://thebakermama.com/recipes/no-bake-lactation-bites/
- Lactation Cookies: https://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/
- Peanut Butter Bar: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/2011/06/lunch-lady-peanut-butter-bars/
9. Breastfeeding Musts.
Some other ways to increase your supply is to make sure when you are nursing/pumping you are doing it effectively and efficiently. Make sure to offer both breasts during every feeding and pump both breasts at one time. Massage your breasts during feeding and pumping. This helps stimulate your milks ducts and allows the milk to flow. Make sure your baby or pump is latched correctly. Undress your baby for skin-to-skin contact.
Remember to relax. If you put too much stress on yourself it can actually cause your milk supply to drop and your little ones can sense when you are tense! So love on your baby as much as possible, think positive thoughts while feeding and pumping and remember you are being the best mom you can be!
I sincerely hope that one or more of these methods will be able to help you increase your milk supply! Good Luck Momma!
-x o x o. andrea
I am not a doctor or lactation consultant. All the advice contained in this post is simply what has worked for me. I received help from both lactation consultants and other mothers for ways to increase my milk supply. Talk to your doctor before you begin any supplements or dietary changes while nursing.