How to Increase Milk Supply

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It is very common for a new mother who is breastfeeding, to wonder if her baby is getting enough breast milk. Please read the following page, on how to check if you have a sufficient supply of breastmilk. 

There are several things that can be tried to increase breast milk supply. Eating enough calories, getting enough rest, and even trying a few herbal supplements, such as Fenugreek are all things to explore. 

Firstly, breastfeeding uses up a lot of calories. Depending on BMI, you might need to eat more now than what you were before the pregnancy. As the fat supply that a pregnant woman puts on while pregnant depletes, more calories will be needed to produce more breast milk. Use our calorie calculator to calculate your specific daily calories needed. 

Secondly, getting enough rest and allowing the body to relax, reset, and rejuvenate is essential for milk production. Lack of adequate rest is one of the most common causes of low breast milk supply. Resting can undoubtedly be a challenge with a new baby in the house, but it is vital for at least maintaining a decent supply of breast milk. 

Lastly, supplements such as Fenugreek are used worldwide, with excellent results. Fenugreek, in particular, is a herb used to increase breast milk production. Most women see an increase in milk production usually in about 24 hours, give or take. I recommend the natural form of Fenugreek. Fenugreek seeds can be boiled and taken as a tea with honey and lemon for taste. 

All in all, there are some straightforward and natural solutions to increasing breast milk supply. The most important is making sure that you consume enough calories and get enough rest. If those two are not an issue, then herbs may be beneficial. 

NB - Breastfeeding on demand, and skin to skin contact are important and the best way to make sure that you’re producing enough milk. Taking a nursing vacation would be extremely beneficial. 

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Specific Problems Connected to Low Milk Supply

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Breastfeeding - Research shows that mothers with PCOS struggle with low milk supply more often than other mothers. PCOS and breastfeeding.
  • Infant Growth SpurtsAll babies will have infant growth spurts or also called “frequency days". Mothers almost always think that they have a low milk supply during these growth spurt times, because their baby starts to drink right through the day and becomes very fussy. More about Growth Spurts here.
  • Breastfeeding with Small BreastsSize has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to breastfeed! More about breastfeeding with small breasts


Natural ways of Improving Milk Supply

  • How to Increase Milk Supply Naturally with herbsIf you have a low milk supply, it’s always best to first try to increase milk production naturally via herbs or via your daily food intake. Herbs and breastfeeding & Lactogenic foods.
  • Oatmeal and BreastfeedingOatmeal contains an amazing array of nutrients like beta-glucans, phytochemicals, protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. This will promote a more lush supply of nourishing milk. How to Increase Milk Production with Oatmeal
  • Mothers Milk TeaThe herbs in mother’s milk herbal tea can imitate female hormones, as they contain phyoestrogens. Phytoestrogens, which are plant estrogens, perform a lot like human estrogen. How to Produce More Breast Milk with Mother's Milk Tea.
  • Fenugreek & BreastfeedingFenugreek seed extract is most famous for its milk supply benefits, as it is an excellent galactagogue for induced lactation, mothers don’t need to take dangerous drugs to increase their breast milk supplies anymore. 
  • Supplemental Nursing - A supplemental nursing system is a feeding tube attached to a bottle that contains either formula or breast milk for supplementary feeding at the breast. This allows a mother to breastfeed her baby even while her baby is being supplemented. Allowing her to increase milk supply whilst her baby is receiving donor milk or formula. 
  • Breast MassageMassaging your breasts will clear the milk ducts and get the milk flowing more freely, which will help empty the breasts and therefore trigger higher milk production. More about Breast Massage.
  • Breast CompressionCompressions will help drain the breast and therefore increase milk supply. More about breast compressions.
  • Wearing BabyWearing your baby can help you increase your milk supply, this is especially helpful to premature babies. 
  • How to Increase Milk Supply with GalactogoguesThere are lactation herbs and medications that are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother. It is mostly used for increasing breast milk supply, but is sometimes used to induce lactation by those mothers who want to breastfeed their adopted babies. More about Galactogogues here.

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Increasing your milk supply. (KellyMom.com)



How to Increase Milk Supply 
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Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

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Featured Comments

Low milk production - baby not taking breastmilk

By Paru 

(India) 

I have three months old baby. I am on/off breastfeeding and also using infant formula milk. But now milk supply of mine is decreased, and my baby is not showing any interest to suck my nipple. So I depend entirely on formula milk.   

Is this okay for my baby’s health? What can I do to increase my breastmilk? Is it possible now?

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Increase milk supply 

by: Lyssa  

Breastmilk is based on supply and demand. The more frequently and thoroughly you empty your breasts of milk, the more you will make. Full breasts make milk slowly; empty breasts make milk more quickly.  

The best way to increase supply is to nurse baby before giving her a bottle or to simply - only nurse. 

Take a day or two to spend time skin to skin and nurse as often as she would like; this will help with her preference of the bottle.   

It may also be beneficial to stop using a dummy until breastfeeding is re-established. It is possible to get baby back to full nursing, but imperative that formula and bottles be limited to emergencies.  

If you have a pump, you can also "power pump"; this is where you pump 20 mins on, 20 mins off for an hour, then rest an hour, then repeat several times a day for a few days. Power pumping mimics cluster feeding and should help increase supply. 

Formula has it's uses. It can have numerous long-term health effects, and breastmilk has proven to be superior, but there are indeed times that formula is needed, and you are NOT a bad mom for using it.  

Do what you feel you need to do to feed your baby."

Low supply after mastitis?

 by Dina 

Could a complication of mastitis be low milk supply?  

Ever since I got it, both my breasts started decreasing in milk supply, and now my daughter cries every time she's feeding and only nurses for a few minutes before starting to cry, pulling away from my breast. Is this normal? and what can I do about it?

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Increasing breast milk.

 by: Zelda Behr 

(South Africa) 

"Mastitis can cause milk supply to decrease, but it should be temporary. The question is, did you keep on nursing during the mastitis? 

Continuing to breastfeed during mastitis will help clear up the infection or blockage and will ensure that your supply returns. 

Your little one might be fussy when the milk becomes salty (due to the mastitis), and she might not like the taste. 

Here are some ways to increase your milk supply.

  • Try to breastfeed more often; nothing works better than that for establishing your milk supply.
  • Herbs: milk thistle, blessed thistle, fenugreek, fennel, brewers yeast, alfalfa, anise, goats rue, hops, red raspberry leaf.
  • Lactogenic foods: Carrot seeds, beet and yam. - Beet leaves, spinach, chicory and other dark green leafy vegetables, Raw nuts, flaxseed oil and sesame oil, Water, herbal root-beers, chicory coffee and barley water, Ginger, Green papaya, Dill, Sesame seed. Garlic is especially great because it has been found to give breast milk a more agreeable taste, which will increase the time the baby spends on the breast, therefore, increasing breast milk production. 
  • Breast massage. 
  • Pumping between feeds. 
  • Nipple stimulation.
  • Mothers milk tea (I use this one)

Recipe: 

2 parts fennel

1 part nettle

1 part blessed thistle

1 part fenugreek

½ part Hops 

(grind the seeds before adding the boiling water to them – seep for 15-20 minutes) 

Good luck.

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