How to Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast!
As a fellow breastfeeding mom, one of my greatest fears was, what happens if I quit producing breast milk, or what happens if I’m not making enough breastmilk to feed my baby.
I have to believe most breastfeeding moms and pumping moms have had that thought and even that fear. Even seasoned moms who have done it more than once have tried to figure out how to increase milk supply fast.
When you have the pressure of being your baby’s one and only source of nourishment, the pressure is on, and at times, it can seem daunting.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do when you either, aren’t producing as much breast milk as usual, or you want to make sure your breast milk supply continues to be plentiful.
Some breastfeeding moms have even asked specific questions about breast milk supply issues, such as how to increase milk supply at 6 months, or how to increase milk supply at 8 months.
There really isn’t going to be a difference based upon the age of your baby. Each recommendation listed here should work no matter how old your baby is if it’s going to work for you. If you’re a momma who is exclusively pumping breast milk, trying to figure out how to increase milk supply when pumping is equally as important.
Any time I share helpful breastfeeding or health information in general, I always want to make it clear that I am *not* a lactation consultant, just a fellow momma, and it’s important that you always reach out to your healthcare provider with any concerns or healthcare questions.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. I only recommend products I love or would personally use.
What is a Galactogue and Why Are They Important?
Each of the items I am going to share has helped increase breastmilk supply in some women. Not every woman reacts the same way to each breast milk solution, which is why I am including several different things you can try to increase your breast milk supply.
A galactagogue is a substance that increases milk supply, but it isn’t fully known how or why it works.
Galactagogue comes in the form of food, herbal supplements, and even medications.
If you’re a new mom trying to figure out this breastmilk thing, I would HIGHLY recommend taking this breastfeeding class. It is like having a lactation nurse sit with you and explain how breastfeeding works.
Foods to Increase Breastmilk Supply
1)Breast Milk Lactation cookies
As any chocolate-loving momma would do, I also added in a scoop of M&M’s to make them a bit more palatable, because the brewer’s yeast, in my opinion, made them a bit dry. Chocolate can make anything better, right? Here’s a lactation cookie recipe for you to try increasing your breast milk supply!
So, what is it in these cookies that help increase milk supply? You use something called brewer’s yeast, and brewer’s yeast has been known to boost breast milk supply.
There are also some really great, reputable companies, such as Mrs. Patel’s that make lactation cookies for breastfeeding moms who want to either increase their breast milk supply or maintain their breast milk supply.
One thing I struggled with during my pregnancies was low iron, also known as anemia. I had to take an iron supplement for the duration of my pregnancies.
Why does that matter when we’re talking about breast milk production?
One reason some women struggle to produce breast milk is low iron.
Thankfully, there are foods like oatmeal that are high in iron, which may be the reason that eating oatmeal, whether by itself or added to lactation cookies can help increase a mom’s breast milk supply.
If you’re trying to figure out which one to choose, between the old-fashioned, and the instant, go with the old-fashioned.
Drinks to Increase Breastmilk Supply
This idea of drinking Gatorade to increase milk supply is new to me.
I have heard that the color of the Gatorade is an important piece of this breast milk solution work, and you’ll want to grab either blue or red. If you shy away from red dye, grab the blue.
Drink a couple of cups of Gatorade and give it a few hours. One of the stories I have heard from breastfeeding moms is that their milk supply increased that quickly. For others, it took a little longer, and for some, it didn’t work at all.
I still think something as simple as drinking a Gatorade is worth trying to increase your breast milk supply.
4)Upspring Baby Milk Flow Powder Drink Mix
There are a lot of drinks available that claim to quickly boost breast milk supply. I personally never tried any of them, but this is one that has been recommended to me.
Follow the instructions and mix the powder with water. This powder drink mix has both fenugreek and blessed thistle in it, which is likely why it is so well-known and recommended to boost breast milk supply.
I check it out on Amazon, and the reviews for this product were awesome! Check it out for yourself and see if it’s for you.
Things to Try to Increase Breastmilk Supply
5)Pumping After Each Feeding
After my first, I knew I was going to be going back to work. That was one of the main conversations I had with the lactation consultants I saw at the hospital. I wanted to know how to pump enough breast milk and prepare a breast milk freezer stash before returning to work.
It was interesting because I felt like I was given a couple of different answers from each consultant. More or less, they said you could begin pumping around the 3- to 6-week mark. They recommended that I begin by pumping after each breastfeeding session(during the day), and then storing that breast milk.
One thing to note is that when pumping after each feeding, you need to be careful to not tell your body to overproduce breast milk. If you begin to feel engorged, like you’re producing more breast milk than you need, just cut down on the number of times you’re pumping after feeding. I had this issue once and it was easily corrected.
By pumping after each feeding, you’ll also get the chance to learn how to set the settings on your breast pump and become more confident for times when you may find yourself pumping away from home, especially if you’re going to be a working mom who is breastfeeding.
If you need help with exclusively pumping, this is a great course to get you settled in and comfortable using your breast pump.
If you aren’t familiar with power-pumping, don’t worry, it’s simple.
First, make sure you have a quality breast pump. I HIGHLY recommend Spectra S1. After a rough go with a couple of other breast pumps, I finally found the Spectra S1, and it was amazing! Read more about the Spectra S1 and why I love it!
For power-pumping, all you need to do is pump for 20 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, and pump for 10 minutes.
Power-pumping is designed to mimic a cluster feeding session with your baby.
Power-pumping is, for obvious reasons, one of the most natural ways you can attempt to boost your milk supply.
7)Avoid Pacifiers and Bottles
So, I am a failure at this one. Each of my kids was taking a pacifier by at least two weeks. One of them even started with the pacifier in a week.
I checked with my pediatrician to gather advice on what I should do to avoid nipple confusion. I would nurse, and the baby would seem satisfied. Then shortly thereafter, within 10 minutes or so, the baby would begin fussing.
We quickly discovered that my babies were soothed by the sucking action, even if nothing was coming out.
The pacifier worked for us, but I know it isn’t for everyone, especially that soon.
As far as the bottle goes, I know it isn’t always a choice, but rather a necessity that your baby is given a bottle sooner than recommended. That’s ok.
If you’re exclusively pumping, your baby is already taking a bottle.
Doing a combination between the breast and the bottle may make you fear that once they have the quick flow of a bottle nipple, they’ll no longer want to nurse and go on a nursing strike. This was me.
Thankfully, I had many great friends who were always willing to share great advice with me, and I want to share that.
If you have to give your baby a bottle, and the flow is quicker than nursing, there is something you can do without switching bottles. Most baby bottles come with level 1 or level 2 flow nipples. Each nipple will have a number and as the number increases, the flow increases, meaning the baby is getting milk more quickly. All you need to do is purchase a lower flow nipple. I used the preemie flow nipples on Dr. Brown’s Bottles, and this will allow your baby to get milk at a closer pace of nursing.
8)Offer Both Breasts at Each Feeding
When nursing, you want to make sure that you’re ALWAYS offering both breasts at every feeding. Even if your baby seems full and if no longer interested, offer it anyway.
By emptying both sides every time, you’re telling your body it needs to make more milk.
If your baby doesn’t need to nurse on the other side, you can always pump and empty the other breast so that your body will maintain, and possibly even increase your milk supply to meet your baby’s demand.
9)Breastfeed on Demand
I enjoyed nursing for the most part. I know it isn’t always enjoyable though, especially when you’re an exhausted momma who just wants to sleep. Been there, done that. One of our kiddos had infant colic and it was miserable.
One thing that was soothing, was nursing on demand. Although it was only a short remedy for the incessant crying, it did offer peace on a regular basis.
Nursing on demand is pretty straightforward. All you do is nurse anytime your baby seems hungry.
There are two signs that I think breastfeeding moms should watch for. The first is rooting. If your baby is rooting around, trying to get to your breast, chances are, they’re hungry.
The other thing to watch for is clinched fists. Clinched fists often mean a baby is hungry, whereas relaxed hands often mean that a baby is satisfied.
Supplements to Increase Breastmilk Supply
When you’re a breastfeeding mom who is scared about losing your breast milk supply, you’ll try just about anything.
This was me. I did some research and came across something called Fenugreek.
Fenugreek is a herbal supplement you can take that can potentially boost your breast milk supply.
Each package will have instructions on how many pills to take and how often to take them.
Fenugreek does have a REALLY strange smell, so prepare yourself for that. It got to a point that I knew I needed to take it but struggled to swallow it because of the smell. I ended up holding my nose and swallowing quickly. Then I had something close by to eat to clear out the strange taste.
If the Fenugreek pill is too much for you, you can also try drinking Fenugreek tea.
You can usually expect to see an increase in your milk supply within 24 to 72 hours.
It’s important to note that you can see some potentially negative side effects from Fenugreek. I’m including a link to a list of Fenugreek side effects, but, some of the most common are an upset stomach, diarrhea, and maple syrup smell with your urine.
Make sure to check with your doctor before beginning a Fenugreek supplement.
Blessed thistle is another herb that can help increase your milk supply.
Much like fenugreek, blessed thistle does have a strange smell. If you can get past that, you’ll be good.
Many people claim that taking blessed thistle paired with fenugreek is your best chance for blessed thistle increasing your milk supply.
If you’re pregnant, it’s imperative that you speak with a medical professional before beginning a blessed thistle supplement. There is insufficient research to prove whether or not blessed thistle is safe for pregnant women.
12)Fennel Essential Oil
One other thing that I found worked really well for me was Fennel essential oil. I would take my Young Living fennel essential oil, and mix it with grapeseed oil. I put the mixture into a glass rollerball and would roll that around my lower chest and breasts after each pumping session while I was at work.
If I needed it at home while I was with my baby, I would make sure to wipe it off with a washcloth before feeding the baby. I NEVER put it anywhere close to the nipple area where the baby could ingest it.
If you aren’t familiar with essential oils, I HIGHLY encourage you to do your own research and make sure you’re comfortable using them and that you have some working knowledge of essential oils and how to use them. Another important part of using essential oils is checking the purity and only buying from a reputable company. I did my own personal research and I felt comfortable with Young Living.
A Fed Baby is ALWAYS Best!
Finding the right solution to your increase in breast milk supply is the ultimate goal. A few of these may not work for you, but keep trying things. Hopefully, one of these solutions for how to increase your breast milk supply will do the trick.
As much as I always encourage women who want to breastfeed, I will always say that a fed baby is best. Don’t wait too long until speaking with your baby’s pediatrician. You always want to make sure your baby is getting the proper nutrition and is being fed enough.
Best of luck momma!
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