How to Increase Milk Supply Naturally In 10 Ways
At some point during your breastfeeding journey, you’re likely to wonder how to increase your milk supply. Whether you are struggling to produce or are creating a stash to use when you head back to work, try these 10 natural, effective ways to boost your milk production.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding with a new baby are all about figuring out how to do it (remember – you’re both learning!), establishing a routine, and building up a strong supply of breast milk.
Many new moms worry about making enough breast milk for their babies. While there are a small number of moms who aren’t able to make enough, this common fear usually manifests in questions such as “Is my baby getting enough milk?” or “How can I increase my milk supply?”.
It’s normal to worry about these things at some point in your breastfeeding journey. If you find yourself wondering whether you are making enough milk, there are simple and natural ways to increase your milk supply.
Related Post: The Benefits of Breastfeeding
How to Increase Milk Supply Naturally: 10 Ways
Common causes of reduced milk supply include:
- Lack of eating enough food
- Feeding your baby too infrequently
To combat these common problems, try these 10 methods to increase milk supply effectively and naturally.
Related Post: Important Facts to Know About Breast Milk
1. Drink Water
Since breast milk contains almost 90% water, staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to help establish or boost your milk supply. While the exact amount of necessary fluid intake may vary per person, aim for at least 64 ounces of water each day.
Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle with you all day and keep track of how many times you refill it. I like to use a 32 oz bottle to make my math a little easier 🙂
If you experience headaches, dry mouth, or dizziness, increase your fluid intake.
2. Eat Foods That Increase Milk Supply
Certain foods can help boost milk supply. Eat more foods such as leafy greens, oats, brown rice, apricots, almonds, beef, eggs, and sweet potatoes.
Bonus: These foods also provide healthy extra calories and nutrients that you need when breastfeeding.
3. Get Enough Rest
Caring for a newborn baby is exhausting. There’s no way around that.
Unfortunately, stress and exhaustion can have a negative impact on your milk supply. Find time to relax when you can.
Even taking a nap while your baby is sleeping can make a big difference toward giving your body the extra energy it needs to make a healthy supply of breast milk.
4. Nurse Frequently
Your body follows the rules of supply and demand when it comes to producing breast milk. When you increase the demand, your body will increase the supply.
Assuming your baby latches well, the more frequently you nurse, the more milk your body will produce to meet the demand.
5. Nurse on Both Sides
If you really want to increase your milk supply, let your baby drain both of your breasts. When your baby feeds until your breast is fully empty, it triggers the supply and demand system.
As a bonus, when your baby completely drains a breast, he or she receives not only the foremilk but also the fatty hindmilk which is fabulous for their growth and development.
6. Increase Skin-to-Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact is when you hold your baby (wearing only a diaper) to your bare chest and cover you both with a blanket. This way of holding a baby helps to regulate her body temperature, lowers her stress, and improves her breathing.
Skin-to-skin contact encourages bonding which has a positive impact on breastfeeding. It can encourage a baby to nurse for a longer period and at the same time help you produce more milk.
7. Use a Breast Pump
Use a breast pump to provide additional stimulation to your breast. The additional stimulation triggers the supply and demand system, cueing your body to produce more milk.
8. Drink Lactation Tea
If you like to drink tea, you can enjoy a lactation tea to help boost your supply. While research results are out on their effectiveness, I tried them (Mother’s Milk tea, specifically) and had positive results.
9. Make Lactation Cookies
Some women believe that eating lactation cookies work. However, even if they don’t work to increase breast milk supply, they’re cookies – enjoy!
There are a few brands you can buy, or you can try making your own. Try a variety to see if any work for you. Yum!
10. Try Natural Supplements
Ready for a big word? Galactagogues are substances that promote increased milk production. Fenugreek and blessed thistle are two of the more common examples. Taking these supplements individually or as a combo can help increase milk supply naturally.
Note: If you have questions or decide to try supplements, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.
How to Increase Milk Supply – Final Thoughts
If you find yourself wondering whether you’re making enough milk to feed your baby, try using these tips to naturally boost your breast milk production.
Remember that each woman is unique – what may work for one to help increase milk supply may not work for another, but in the end, the main goal is to feed your baby.
If you try one of these natural methods and don’t see any improvement, try another. And if necessary, another. Sometimes it may take a combination of methods to achieve the results you want or need.
However, if you try several of these methods and don’t see any improvement, please consult your doctor. While it’s not very common to be unable to produce an adequate supply of milk, it is possible. At the end of the day, formula is a readily-available substitute if needed.
You got this, mama!
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