5 Tips to Increase Your Milk Supply
- Posted on: Feb 23 2023
Breast milk has been the number one choice for nutrition for babies for many years. If you are a new mom or soon-to-be mom, you probably have questions about breastfeeding. A common question that comes up about breastfeeding is how to increase your milk supply. Are there any foods you can eat or things you can do to increase the amount of breast milk your body makes for your baby? Oftentimes women want to increase their breast milk even though their baby is already getting enough. Some people swear by a certain food or supplement. The button line is there is no single correct answer or method.
How is Breast Milk Made and How Do I Know I’m Making Enough?
There are many physical changes that occur during pregnancy. One of those changes is when the cells of the breasts respond to the pregnancy hormone changes and start to get ready to make breast milk. When the baby suckles, these cells will make breast milk.
In most cases, the more your baby suckles, the more milk your breasts will make. The best way to know if your baby is getting enough breastmilk is by counting the number of wet diapers they have in a day and if they are gaining weight. From birth to three months old, infants normally gain about one ounce a day. Remember that it is also normal for a baby to lose a small amount of weight in the first days after birth. Your pediatrician will also help you track your baby’s weight and let you know if they have any concerns about the baby’s weight or nutrition. If you are concerned about your breast milk supply talk to your pediatrician and follow these tips to help guide you.
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying well hydrated is one of the most important things you can do while breastfeeding. Water is the best option for staying hydrated. You should avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks. If you are wondering whether you are hydrated enough, take a look at your urine. If it appears dark you are probably not consuming enough fluids.
2. Eat Nutritious Foods
Eating healthy nutritious foods will help your body produce good breast milk. There is no single food that has been proven to increase breast milk supply. Choose lean protein-rich foods, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eat foods that are not highly processed. Eating a variety of foods will change the flavor of your breast milk and allow your baby to try different tastes. While breastfeeding your healthcare provider may recommend a daily multivitamin to make sure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients needed.
3. Lactation Cookies, Teas, and Supplements Have Not Been Proven to Work
You may see cookies, teas, and supplements for sale that claim to boost milk supply and lactation. The truth is that very limited research has been done on these products. These products claim to contain substances called galactagogues which increase breast milk volume. Common galactagogues contained in these products include fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, milk thistle, alfalfa, and shatavari root. There is very little research that proves that these aid in producing more breast milk.
4. Breastfeed More Often
The cells that make breast milk are stimulated by your baby suckling and your breasts emptying. This signals the body to make more breast milk. If your baby breastfeeds more often it is likely that you will produce more breast milk.
5. Pump if Needed
Some women will pump between feedings in order to stimulate the cells of the breasts more often to make more breast milk. This may also help you track how much milk you are producing. The breast milk pumped can be saved for the baby and you can build a supply so the baby can be fed even if you aren’t around.
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, April 27). What to eat while breastfeeding your baby. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 17, 2023