Tips to boost milk supply fast
- Forget all about feeding schedules. There’s no such thing! Let your baby suckle whenever they demand it, even when they’re not feeding. The suckling response will trigger your own hormones to produce milk.
- Avoid dummies/pacifiers! Again, milk is made in response to your baby’s demands for milk. Let your baby suckle on your breast if you want to make more milk. Even without any milk coming out, this extra time with your baby will promote bonding and comfort. Check your latch if the extra breast time hurts or irritates your nipples. If it hurts when you nurse, then you will need to figure out the source of your pain. Breast feeding should not be painful!
- Avoid formulas! I know it’s tempting to supplement with powdered milk, but this is a sure fire way to dry up your milk supply. Your baby will prefer the flavor of formula and the mouthfeel of a bottle over your breast. Once that happens, it’s an uphill battle to get them back on the breast.
- Use a pump after nursing to stimulate more milk supply. The end goal isn’t really to pump more milk, because there won’t be a lot of milk coming out. Your body will interpret the pumping as an increased demand from your baby. And we all know that increased demand for milk equals more milk flow! Do this after your baby has nursed so your baby isn’t competing with the breast pump for milk. (Related: choosing a breast pump)
- Eliminate any stress related to nursing. A comfortable nursing bra that is easy to use while holding your baby is essential, especially if you want to nurse away from home. Choosing the right nursing bra should be done as soon as you decide to breastfeed instead of bottle feeding. Anxiety is a surefire way to dry you up if you want to increase your supply of breast milk.
- Hydrate. Drink water. More water than you think you need. Remember you’ll need to drink not only for yourself, but the amount of water lost in breast milk too.
- Eat foods that promote lactation. See below.
Foods that increase lactation
There are several foods and spices that have been proven to increase milk supply naturally. They are: oatmeal, brewers yeast, flax seed, fenugreek, fennel, anise seed, and blessed thistle. All of these are common and safe foods women have been eating since forever. I would try using these natural methods before trying pharmaceutical galactagogues.
Depending on how much you like (or hate) the taste of fenugreek and fennel, there are several ways to eat these natural milk increasing foods.
- Cookies: Oatmeal lactation cookies (recipe here)
- Tea: Fenugreek, fennel, blessed thistle tea (Traditional Medicinals)
- Smoothies: Fenugreek, blessed thistle, anise lactation smoothies (UpSpring Milkflow)
- Pill form: Lactation supplements (Pink Stork True Milk)
I’m Jane and this is my project to chronicle everything I’ve learned as I raise my little one.