How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding

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With all the stress of having a newborn baby, you don’t want to have to add a low breastmilk supply to your things to worry about. If you’re struggling to figure out how to increase milk supply without all the stress, I’ve got the best methods and tricks for you to try!

One of the hardest things about breastfeeding can be learning how to increase breast milk supply. 

I don’t think I’ll soon forget how I felt when my daughter’s pediatrician told me my sweet newborn daughter wasn’t gaining enough weight and my supply may not be sufficient. 

How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding

I needed to know how to increase milk supply fast!

Her doctor had me start on a cycle of breastfeeding her, pumping right after, feeding her the pumped milk, and then starting all over. I felt like a pumping and nursing robot, without a second to enjoy my new daughter. It definitely wasn’t the experience that I expected or wanted. 

To be completely honest… I was embarrassed, even terrified for my new baby’s nutrition. At times I felt like my body was broken. I wish someone had told me at the time that how I was feeling was a breastfeeding myth. The truth is so many mothers struggle with low supply and it’s more than normal! 

Luckily, I had a good breastfeeding support system that encouraged me to keep trying. 

I started with a goal to breastfeed for a year, and I was determined to keep going despite how hard it may be. After a month or so of trying different things, I was able to increase milk supply and finally relax with my sweet girl. 

How to Increase Milk Supply Fast

I’m so excited to share with you how to increase milk supply fast! 

How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding

If your little one isn’t gaining weight like my daughter, or if you are planning to return to work or some other life event where your supply needs a quick boost, you might be feeling a little panicked. 

But take a breath. You can do this! 

It might take a little work and some trial and error, but there are some simple ways to increase milk supply naturally in a short amount of time. In fact, once I did everything on this list I actually had an oversupply and I was able to stock up on my breastmilk freezer stash! 

Quick Tips to Increase Milk Supply

If you’re looking for where to start with how to increase breast milk supply, here’s a great list of things to try!

How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding
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  1. Relax. I know it’s easier said than done. But truth be told, stress is known to negatively affect your supply. So,  if you want to increase milk supply you’ve got to stay calm. When I was especially stressed I would ask my husband to rub my shoulders while I pumped or fed my daughter.  Peaceful music also helped me relax. 
  2. Pump. This step is so important that I’ll go into further detail about how to increase milk supply when pumping under this list. It’s the number one thing that got my supply going. The more you release milk, the more your body is going to think it needs to make! Send your body those signals to kick it up a notch by adding a few pumping sessions to your day.
  3. Drink water. Staying hydrated is crucial when trying to keep your supply up. Make sure you’ve got water with you all the time. And be sure to keep drinking it! I loved this Hydro Cell water bottle while breastfeeding because it kept my water nice and cool all day. If you struggle to drink enough water, try infusing your water with fruits or adding other sweet flavors. 
  4. Get all your nutrients. Make sure you’re eating well-balanced meals and have plenty of snacks. You can even use different types of food to increase milk supply. (check out my list below!) To keep your body in its best shape, keep taking your prenatal vitamins throughout your breastfeeding experience. 
  5. Use a Haakaa. I had heard about the Haakaa pump but didn’t realize how amazing it was until I tried it. Not only can you use it as a manual pump, but it also helped catch my letdown on the opposite breast while feeding my daughter. There were times where I got a full 4 ounces or so just having the Haakaa sitting there while I fed my daughter! Every drop counts when your supply is low and the Haakaa will make sure to catch every single one.
  6. Massage. While pumping or breastfeeding, don’t forget to give yourself a little massage. Not only can this help increase your supply, but it also helps prevent and treat clogged milk ducts.
  7. Check your baby’s latch. A lot of times, the reason that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat is that they aren’t latching correctly. Your supply might be great without even knowing it! Most hospitals have free lactation resources that you can check out to get in touch with a consultant to check on your latch. You can also ask your baby’s pediatrician to look for lip or tongue tie which may be preventing a good latch. 
How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding
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How to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping

Now that you’ve got a basic list of things to try, let’s talk about how to increase milk supply when pumping! 

I’m lucky enough to be able to stay home with my kids, so even though I had a pump gifted to me, I didn’t think I’d ever use it. Thank goodness I had one, though, because it was a lifesaver for my supply. 

Like I mentioned earlier, the more you release, the more your body will produce. 

It’s going to feel like a big hassle, but try to pump as much as you can, even if you only get the tiniest bit. Over time, I promise your production will start to rise. 

Most lactation consultants suggest that the best way how to increase milk supply when pumping is to pump about 20-30 minutes after you finish nursing your baby. This encourages your body to keep making milk once your baby has emptied your supply. 

If you don’t have a pump, make sure to check with your insurance because you may be able to get a free one. The Spectra s2 is one of the best if you have a choice!

How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding
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If you are exclusively pumping and need some tips on how to increase milk supply when pumping, try to get your baby on the breast as much as you can. They have unique hormones that they can send to you while nursing that will tell your body to start producing!

Using Food to Increase Milk Supply

One other important thing to mention is using food to increase milk supply. A lot of mamas swear by certain foods that are known to increase supply. 

Of course, everyone’s body is different so you may have to try a few things. But there are a number of foods that seem to generally increase milk supply for most moms. 

How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding

Here’s a great list of things to try. Personally, when trying a food to increase milk supply, a bottle of orange Gatorade and a bowl of oatmeal always did the trick for me!

  • Gatorade
  • Oatmeal
  • Fenugreek
  • Fennel
  • Lentils
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Brewers yeast

There are also a few foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Peppermint, alcohol, and sage all are known to dry mom’s up so be careful when eating those!  

If you’ve tried using food to increase milk supply as well as everything else on my list, you can always try using supplements as well.  Most of the time, however, moms are able to get their supply up with one of these natural ways. 

How to Increase Milk Supply When Breastfeeding

I believe in you and I hope that these tips help you increase your supply! And don’t forget that your body is unique. Try different things and don’t give up. Be patient and in time you’ll be able to get your baby just what they need. 

What worked for you to increase your milk supply? Share in the comments!

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