6 Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply

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Can you increase your breast milk production?

Breastfeeding can be stressful, especially for new moms, and it’s pretty common to wonder whether you’re producing enough milk for your growing newborn. But your body is amazing, and it’s more capable than you realize! Even if you aren’t producing enough milk right now — though you might be, even if it doesn’t feel like it — there are ways to increase your milk supply. Read on for 6 of our favorite techniques to boost breast milk production.

Techniques for Boosting Your Breast Milk Supply

Breastfeed more often throughout the day.

This is the number one way to increase your breast milk production, and it’s all about the law of supply and demand. When you breastfeed more often, you’re basically telling your body that your baby needs more milk. So, it starts increasing the supply to meet the demand. Aim for 8 to 12 feedings a day to establish and maintain a good level of milk production.

Switch between breasts while feeding.

Try to feed your baby for at least 15 minutes from each breast. First, let your baby get their fill from one breast. Then, when they start to slow down, offer them the other. For extra points, gently massage each breast before and during feeding. This helps your milk come down and makes it easier for your baby to feed.

Even if you aren’t producing enough milk right now — though you might be, even if it doesn’t feel like it — there are ways to increase your milk supply.

 

Pump or express your breast milk between feedings.

After your baby’s done eating, hand express or pump to draw out any leftover milk. Draining your breasts gives your body a signal that it’s time to make more milk, and frequent pumping can increase your breast milk supply, just like frequent feeding. Try to pump between nursing sessions, too, especially if you’re away from your baby for a few hours or more. 

Make time for kangaroo care.

Skin-to-skin contact, also called kangaroo care, is a powerful way to bond with your baby. But that’s not its only benefit. It can also stimulate your body to make more of a hormone called prolactin, which promotes milk production. For proper skin-to-skin contact, let your naked or almost-naked baby sleep on your bare chest for 20 minutes or more after feeding.

Try lactation cookies and other breast milk-friendly foods.  

There aren’t many scientific studies to back up herbal remedies to increase breast milk production, but many new mothers have increased their milk production with different foods and herbs. Some of these include:

  • Fenugreek
  • Blessed thistle
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Oatmeal
  • Alfalfa
  • Spirulina
  • Raspberry leaf
  • Fennel
  • Stinging nettle

Lactation cookies, teas, and smoothies with these ingredients may help increase your milk supply. Just make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements while breastfeeding!

Make time for YOU!

Your baby takes up a lot of your time and focus (as they should!), but it’s still important to make time for self-care. Your physical and mental health can impact your breast supply, for better or worse. So, go ahead. Take that bath. Have that nap. Stock up on healthy snacks. Find time to move your body and get your blood pumping. Sometimes, caring for yourself is one of the best ways to care for your baby.

At the end of the day, if you’re still worried that your baby isn’t getting enough milk, you may want to talk to a doctor or lactation specialist. They can offer much-needed support and advice to help you with your breastfeeding journey. Try to be patient with your body and give yourself time to adjust to your baby’s needs. You’ve got this!

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Please note: JunoDx.com and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

September 30, 2022 — Stephanie McClintock