Increasing Milk Supply

There is no bigger mind F***k in life than milk supply. It’s so important to distinguish whether you actually have low supply or if it’s perceived low supply. It’s so easy to doubt if you have enough every time your baby wants to nurse more frequently when in actuality, there is another explanation like your baby is going through a growth spurt or teething or suddenly is more efficient at nursing.

If you have determined that you have low milk supply or you need to build a stash, the most effective way to increase your milk supply is to increase the milk removed.

This can look like extra pumping, using a milk collecting device like a haaka, power pumping, etc. Increase the amount of skin to skin and nursing. Once you are nursing/pumping 8 times per day, then you can look into taking lactation supplements. If you are not stimulating your body with nursing or pumping 8-10 times per day, supplements will not help.

If your baby is supplemented, make sure you pump every time your baby takes a bottle… even if you just nursed in the same feeding session. You still need to signal to your body that your baby is eating somewhere else.

If you are pumping and your output is decreasing, make sure your flange size is correct, try replacing your pump parts (specifically the membranes/duck bills), try hands on pumping, try hand expressing before pumping, try using warmth or vibration before/during your pumping session. Try playing with the settings on your pump. If you see your milk slowing, you can switch your pump back to stimulation mode and see if that can bring on a second letdown.

If you are newly pumping or are pumping at work, try to look at pictures and videos of your baby while pumping. Try to cover your bottles (either use baby socks over the bottles or wear a nursing cover) so you don’t stress about the amount you are producing while you are pumping. Try to relax when you are pumping. You can even do a quick meditation app for a few minutes before pumping.

If you want to build a stash while nursing, try to start 2-3 weeks before you need to leave your baby. If your baby feeds only on 1 side, feed baby on side 1 and then either pump on the other side or use a haaka. If your baby feeds on booth sides, feed on side 1 then while baby is on side 2, pump side 1 or use a haaka. Then pump side 2. Try pumping in the morning after your first nursing session when you have extra milk volume.

Lactation Supplements

Lactation supplements work differently for everyone and there are so many out there. That’s why you have people swearing by all sorts of random things like blue gatorade, oatmeal, body armour. We are all different and respond to different things. So if you’re ready to try some, get a few and see what works well for your body. Try some that include fenugreek and some without. Some respond really well to fenugreek while others find their babies to get very gassy and they smell like maple syrup. 

If you have a dip during or right before your period, try taking a daily magnesium/calcium combination supplement when you ovulate (often 2 weeks before your period) through your 3rd day of your cycle. If you are still irregular, you can start taking it 10 days after your first day of your period.

Moral of the story…the more milk you remove, the more milk you will make. Try not to stress. Reach out if you need personalized help! You’ve got this!