13 Ways To Increase Milk Supply Fast
Was I the only one who thought breastfeeding was going to be the easiest part of motherhood? That milk supply didn’t exist as an issue. How formula is a choice, not a need because we have breast milk… how ignorant.
I’d tell my younger self if I could, “Breastfeeding is hard, it isn’t a fit for everyone. It is natural but it is HARD. It is mentally draining because it is HARD. Moms need to feed their baby formula because breastfeeding is HARD. Building a milk supply is HARD.”
Nothing in motherhood comes easy.
12 hours after birth, I was told “You don’t have a latch Hunny, your baby isn’t getting enough milk” I didn’t know if I was expressing milk or if my baby was full.
The whole time I assumed I was doing a grand job. No, this had easily become one of the most difficult challenges I faced during my first weeks postpartum.
These challenges surrounded my low milk supply. I remember sitting a week later pumping milk, expecting something to come out and all I got was a drop.
My friend’s sister had her baby the same day I had mine, and in her instagram story she recorded a video of her sister working and pumping 4oz on each breast.
I was in utter shock, sitting there barely getting 2 drops. I’m thinking, “Why am I not producing milk?” “Am I not meant for this?” I wanted this so bad, that I was sitting in a bed of tears.
What did I do?
That one video inspired me to dive deep and research every bit of information about breastfeeding available.
I said to myself “I can get there but THIS WILL TAKE TIME, PATIENCE, AND FOCUS.” Immediately, I asked doctor google
- How many ounces should my 1-week-old eat?
- How do I pump correctly?
- Are there signs my baby is getting enough milk?
- How do I increase my milk supply?!
With my head down I stayed focused. I felt like I was getting my body ready for the Olympics reaching for the (Liquid) Gold Trophy.
During “training” my body was exercising and adapting to its new needs. Through research, I discovered that only 2% of women CAN’T produce milk. If the odds are ever in your favor, don’t give up!
The tears kept flowing, but the results kept going! Not as fast as I wanted them to but I made JUST enough.
Having a stash in the freezer was the least of my worries, I just wanted my baby to be fed. After 10 months, I’m still here!
Not producing a mass amount of milk due to my exclusive breastfeeding, but I’m producing precisely what he needs.
When I felt my supply alter again, I discovered these tactics throughout my journey and they beautifully worked in their own time. I stashed these tips in my notebook app on my phone, to remind me of simple tasks like drinking water, eating more, pumping, relaxing etc.
These were my go-to tactics to increase my milk supply fast, but I also stayed consistent mama, don’t forget how they became easy!
The links on this webpage may contain affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission if you decide to make any purchases using my links. This affiliate relationship does not alter the integrity of my content. Thank you for your support!
1. NURSE ON DEMAND AT EVERY DEMAND | EVERY 2 HOURS
This is important information I am about to share, information that will make breastfeeding make a little more sense. Nursing is a supply and demand process.
Let’s say your breasts are holding one ounce on each side, once you express that exact amount of milk, it will continue making one ounce in the next couple of hours.
Now, lets say, your breasts are holding one ounce each but your baby just tried to express two. That consistent pull your baby/pump is trying to express is letting your breasts know to produce more.
It will not happen in the next session, with consistency it could happen in the next day or so.
After I understood that, I was able to understand that I can make a goal, and work for it because it is not just gonna come from sitting and doing nothing.
This is why nursing on demand is so important. The more you express, your girls will take that as a sign to work harder. Do this every two hours!
If you’ve just fed your baby, and they continue to cry even when you changed them, played, or checked to see if anything has made them uncomfortable… feed them again (a sign your baby hasn’t drunk enough breastmilk) and can help your supply and demand.
2. SKIN TO SKIN | TAKE A NURSING VACATION
Babies absolutely thrive from cuddling. It calms their nervous system down, whilst keeping their body temperature stable.
There’s a hormone that you and your baby both produce when in this position, it’s called oxytocin.
Oxytocin is known as the love hormone, a hormone that makes you feel all warm and bubbly inside. It triggers- A LETDOWN. Immediately this increases your milk volume, isn’t that incredible?
If you have time I highly highly recommend taking a nursing vacation, it was something I had to do when my milk supply dipped. I recommend it to everyone struggling through this time.
It isn’t the vacation you’d think it’d be. But IS a stress-free vacation for you and your bubs.
3. EAT EAT EAT
If you aren’t eating and wondering how to increase your milk supply fast…well this may be the answer to your problem mama.
I tried to tell myself, let me snap back and intermittently fast while breastfeeding my baby. Nope, that dip in milk production was like no other.
I would pump 1oz one session, and the next pump half an ounce I’m not even joking. I would cry with my crying-hungry baby. Then nurse on demand, hoping he would express more than my pump could.
Mama’s please try your best to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks between. Everything you eat is being passed to the baby, eat as many nutritious foods as you can reach.
I’m a stay-at-home mom with one baby, and it felt impossible to achieve my every meal. I can only recommend and share the importance of this tip if you want to see an increase in milk supply fast or any milk at all.
By taking care of yourself first, you are taking care of your baby.
If you want to find or add any ingredients to your foods, I recommend these superfoods because they contain beta-gluten and raise prolactin levels; prolactin (lact=lactate)
Interesting fact, breast milk is over 80% water, especially at the start of expressing. This is why it’s not necessary to stress about your baby’s hydration.
When you express milk, your body is now losing the water you’ve consumed in the day. When I breastfeed/pump my mouth instantly dries in every corner, I can not stand when I forget my jugs.
You get dehydrated by burning your calories breastfeeding, walking all day, carrying your baby countless times, cleaning, and sleeping, you are now a walking prune if you don’t remember to rehydrate.
Mama’s you should drink double the water than you did before. I used to drink 1 to 1 and a half gallons, and now I drink two.
Or substitute the added ounces with Natural Coconut Water or about Two Lite Body Armor Sports Drinks (Coconut Water flavor; my personal favorite)
Don’t know if you’ve heard the rumor but Body Armor supposedly has a magic ingredient that’s been helping thousands of mama’s produce more milk. Just get the Lite Version with low sugar content.
Can’t hurt to try!
It’s essential to provide your baby with all the nutrients they can obtain from the beginning of their life. Besides protecting our babies against infections and love of connection, breastfeeding is a purposeful act in providing our babies with adequate vitamins and nutrients.
If for any reason, we don’t have time to eat these necessary nutritious foods, are our babies still receiving the nutrients they need? Yes, but not the abundant amount we would like of course.
6. CHANGE BREAST PUMP PARTS
Most breast pump parts are made out of regular or PVC plastic. All plastic ends up having wear and tear, which end up wearing out, losing its original form. Seeing as the suction is less strong than it originally was.
We rely on breast pump suction to express as much milk as possible. If you continue to use the same worn parts, it will create the opposite effect and lower your milk supply.
A change in this area gave me the ability to see my milk supply increase incredibly fast.
You’ve probably never heard of this tip, it’s not one many people know about. Here’s a replacement guide for breast pump parts!
7. CHECK YOUR FLANGE SIZE
If it wasn’t for my sister-in-law I would’ve never known that THIS was one of my main issues when pumping. I hated doing it, every single time, every single day. I pumped about 12-15 times a day and it was all painful just because of a flange.
Checking your flange size is so important, it not only alleviates the pain but the correct size can change the amount of milk being expressed. One of the resources I used to determine my flange size.
If the flange is too large, it will be pulling more from the areola.
Which will not create enough stimulation for the milk to emit. If the flange is too small, the breast constricts and easily creates burdening clogged milk ducts. 10/10 do not recommend.
Breast pumps usually come in 21 mm and 24 mm, I bought the silicone inserts size 17mm & they were very a lot more comfortable.
8. HOSPITAL GRADE BREAST-PUMP
The suction is stronger, pumping efficiency excellent, powerful motors, and has the ability to change its settings.
Those are the two breast pumps I have, and I can’t tell you how in love I was with the Spectra. Simply because I am able to change the message and suction level.
My nipple sensitivity became incredibly high since breastfeeding and brushing them against a shirt made me gag. Believe it or not, my low prolactin levels had a lot to do with my discomfort while pumping.
9. POWER PUMPING
Breast milk supply is all based on supply and demand. Evidently, this could be quite exhausting from pumping for an hour (not like we’re spending every other hour pumping) but the results are worth it.
If you want to increase that milk supply fast, try it out.
Know that power pumping should be done once a day at the same time every day, for one week. Replace one regular pumping session, for one power pumping session.
I recommend purchasing a pumping bra or using the old nursing bra trick (a cheaper alternative to the expensive pumping bra)
Power pumping recreates “cluster feeding”, which you will experience a lot in a baby’s growing seasons.
- Pump for 20 Minutes
- 10 Minute Rest
- Pump for 10 Minutes
- 10 Minute Rest
- Last Pump for 10 Minutes
10. PUMP OTHER BREAST WHILE NURSING | PUMP AFTER NURSING
This is the perfect way to trick your breasts. Tricking them to think you are feeding two babies not one, remember what I said earlier about supply and demand.
It’s PERFECT. Just be careful, the high risk of over-supply is at bay. Undeniably the go-to option if you’re looking to increase that milk supply fast.
There is a product called a Haaka, it’s a manual pump that suctions your breast (creating stimulation) that activates and collects “let-down”. It’s absolutely genius!
I’ve witnessed mamas get 1-3 ounces from using one. You can still nurse on the same breast you used the haaka with. (Supply-Demand at work again)
I recommend putting it on properly, to get the best use out of it and steer clear of the baby accidentally popping it off.
If the Haaka doesn’t work for you, the alternative is pumping 5-15 minutes after you’ve nursed. If you are waiting for your baby to finish on your other side to start pumping, do so.
Take your time mama, no pressure (stress is the greatest milk reducer) just as long as you get a pump in before the next feed. The urgency to have it done 5-15 after is for your boobs to think the baby is hungry for more.
11. BREATHE | RELAX | HAPPY THOUGHTS | LOOK AT PICTURES OF YOUR BABY
- Drop your shoulders
- Drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth
- Relax your eyebrows
- Take a Deeeeeeeeeeeeeep Breath
Pull up the cutest videos of your baby, smell his clothes, and watch a video of puppies playing in the backyard. Anything that can melt your heart with no stress strings attached.
This simple tactic can create a mind to milk connection. Oxytocin is in response to certain triggers in your minds-body. Remember, this hormone is the love hormone that prompt’s a let-down.
It’s even possible to produce more milk fat during your session. Our body can do amazing things when our mind is healthy.
Trust in your body, listen to positive breastfeeding affirmations because if I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN TOO. Believe me when I say that. Nothing gets my milk flowing like a good laugh from my August.
12. HEATING PAD | MASSAGE BREASTS
Use a heating pad, or a rice sock (Childhood Recipe; fill a sock with uncooked rice for two-four minutes in the microwave. your welcome) to stimulate the milk in your breasts.
The warmth and pressure will increase the circulation; leading to a letdown and relieving engorgement.
While I pump or nurse, I’m usually massaging my breasts from the outside of the cup towards the nipple. I can feel the milk in different areas of my breasts so I massage it out as I’m pumping or nursing.
EASILY giving me an extra ounce from each.
13. REACH OUT TO A LACTATION CONSULTANT
There comes a point in your breastfeeding journey where your compass goes out of whack. And like mine, it felt broken. I didn’t know until almost 3 weeks after I’ve given birth, that my son had a tongue tie.
I had explained what I was going through, and my lactation consultant told me by my many symptoms it sounded like my son had a tongue tie. And that I am suffering from a nipple yeast infection….yeah, WHAT?!
These two issue’s needed TLC as soon as possible.
The dip in my milk production was rooted in these two problems. The pain steered me away from breastfeeding and pumping.
Originally, I thought this was exactly how breastfeeding was supposed to feel like.
I’d constantly hear from the world, “it always gets better”.
But quickly, I understood why mamas quit. They aren’t being helped before getting discharged or during a postpartum check-up. The expectation to increase our milk supply fast, comes in aggressively.
I hope my story helps you take that next step and call a LC now, don’t wait till all else fails. They all carry tips and tricks that can potentially be absolutely life-changing. Clear the problem as soon as you can, every minute counts.