A low breast milk supply is frustrating – and that’s the LEAST of the problems it causes! If you need to know how to increase breast milk supply fast – this is for you:
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to fix this, read on for how to increase breast milk supply fast.
As a new mother, this has been one of the most frustrating hurdles I’ve faced. (Wondering if your tiny babe is unhappy because he is hungry is a particularly yucky kind of frustrating.) When the squishy baby was new we had more than a few breastfeeding struggles – including jaundice, lip & tongue tie, and thrush – all working together to create a low milk supply.
In fact, my hungry little boy and the subsequent googling of how to increase breast milk supply was more or less the primary focus of all my attention for the fifth week of his life.
I did all. the. things. I read about, and within a few days, the squishy baby was happily gulping again (and sleeping better – hallelujah)!
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The most important tip to increase breast milk supply
In case you’ve missed this in your research – breast milk making is a supply and demand thing. If you do not empty the breast at each (or many) feedings, it doesn’t matter how many lactation cookies you consume or herbs you take. If your body believes you have enough milk, breast milk production will not increase.
This can be hard (esp. when baby is new) your boobs are sore and it FEELS like baby is nursing f.o.r.e.v.e.r. – we are often tempted to cut nursing sessions short. With baby #2, I was determined not to cut our nursing sessions short in that first month, to really establish supply well, because having a low supply is so frustrating.
A nipple shield made this way easier, because it made those long sessions bearable. (Baby had a dyson strength suck!)
10 tips to increase breast milk supply – FAST
♥ 1 . Drink more water –
I have to admit that this was super hard for me the first two weeks postpartum because peeing made me cry and I really really DID NOT want to pee one more time than absolutely necessary (I did figure out how to pee postpartum without crying eventually).
But you NEED water to increase breast milk supply. This is common sense.
♥ 2. Sleep –
HA! (No, but seriously, the lactation consultant I saw said if you’re not getting at least 3 – 4 hours, you’re not going to be making milk the way you need to.) So… good luck with that. I totally get how hard it is to get any sleep at all in those first months. Or even the 7th, 8th, 9th month…) Perhaps enlist help from your hubby, your mommy, your sister…
Related: The Best Baby Sleep Tips Ever
♥ 3. Essential Oils –
Basil and Fennel are the essential oils you want to use – Read this testimonial from Oily Army Team member Ashleigh Campbell and how she used essential oils to boost her breast milk supply. (This is a freaking amazing story from one truly dedicated momma!) And I really loved the smell of the fennel.
♥ 4. Power Pumping –
Again – breast milk production is a supply and demand thing. Pump more out, get more in. This post from Love and Breast Milk gives you the low down on how to get the let down to really jump when you pump. (Hahaha, am I hilarious or exhausted?)
This only works IF you can get a pump to work for you. Having a really really good pump is important.
♥ 5. Nurse More –
It’s even better than pumping for increasing supply. If you’re out a lot, it can be tricky. I found that having a good nursing cover makes nursing in public SO much easier. (I got a nursing cover from Covered Goods this time around – it’s very versatile – and I sort of intended to use it as a car seat cover… but I love it so much as a nursing cover, that’s it’s only job now!)
♥ 6. Warm up –
Cold actually inhibits let down, so if you have a hot shower before you nurse or pump you will be making the milk more available. This will allow for better emptying of the boob, which will tell your body you need MORE milk.
♥ 7. Use herbs to increase breast milk supply –
I took fenugreek and blessed thistle (at the same time) and saw results within a couple days. You know you’re taking “enough” fenugreek when your sweat (and your pee) start to smell a little like maple syrup. Yep, it’s weird.
Related: How to Fix a Slacker Boob
♥ 8. Supply supporting foods –
This protein powder was created SPECIFICALLY for nursing moms and includes some of those herbs mentioned above (as well as ingredients to help control sugar cravings so you can drop the baby weight). It makes for a VERY quick and yummy snack – while giving your supply a boost!
You can also eat oats, flaxseed, garlic, nuts, carrots, salmon, spinach – and lots more.
Adding these things to you diet at the very least won’t hurt you. (Here’s a list of awesome breast milk making recipes so you have ideas of what to do with all that supply supporting food…)
(Bonus, most of these foods aren’t the kind you need to steer clear of if you want to lose weight while breastfeeding.)
♥ 9. Drink a dark beer –
I’m politically incorrect enough to include this! Old wive’s tale or not, I believe it works. I am NOT suggesting you drink a lot of beer or any beer at all in fact. Just putting it on the list. And please remember: if you shouldn’t drive a car, you shouldn’t nurse your baby. Some alcohol IS passed into breast milk. (I’m not the ONLY one online that believes in beer… Lindsey @ Mother Rising does too!)
♥ 10. Domperidone –
When you’ve tried everything else and you’re desperate, there is a prescription you can get from your doctor that will increase lactation. (Natural is always best in my opinion but when it comes down to it, I’d rather take this pill to increase my breast milk than throw in the towel and quit nursing all together.)
And, hey – don’t miss these Nursing Momma FREEBIES:
(Use the coupon code mommyonpurpose50 to grab any of the following for free, you just pay the shipping!)
Free Nursing Pillow
10 Pairs of Reusable Breastpads
10 thoughts on “10 Tips to Increase Breast Milk Supply”
well with have a 8 week baby girl and breastfeeding exclusively(was pumping due to latching problems) and taking the mini pill and seen significant drop in supply but i waited 1 week before starting and begun taking fenugreek 3 capsules 3x a day, and drank Healthy nursing tea to boost milk supply.i would stop taking the birth control and use condoms until milk supply is up then go get the mini pill.
I’d advise staying away from the mini pill all together if you can! I’m not going to go back on it at all…
You are doing amazing work! Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts.! 👍 I think the combination of drinking more water and domperidone had the best effect. Until I started the domperidone my baby may well have fed on blood from a stone. We tried the skin-to-skin, the constant feeding, the teas, the massages, but basically my milk never came in in sufficient quantity. Just as I was about to quit, a friend suggested domperidone (So happy 😊 I googled “Getdom2bf” and got Dom). I was able to stop the domperidone after a while and supply held more or less steady.
Please please don’t recommend domperidone. Although it can increase milk supply, it can be very risky for the baby because it has the potential to cause QT prolongation and torsades de pointes, two serious conditions that affect the heart rhythm (the FDA has warned against the use to increase milk supply). If you’re desperate, using formula is a much better and safer option. Thanks for the other tips though!
Domperidone is legal and considered safe in Canada – many many many women take it here. I did lots of research before I took it, and I wasn’t persuaded that it was dangerous – but everyone SHOULD do their own research and talk to their doctor!
Of all my research I never heard of these essential oils. I want to definitely try this soon. Thanks for the helpful tips.
Thanks for this post. I have really struggled with low supply with both of my babies. I never managed to exclusively breastfeed my babies, but I did find that using essential oils and herbs did give my supply a little boost. I used domperidone the 1st time round. It didn’t cause any issues, but it also didn’t really help my supply either.
Wish I had read a post like this when I was breastfeeding! My supply dried up after 4 months and even before that wasn’t so great. I know for next time!