How to increase and maintain your milk supply

increase milk supply

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Our bodies are pretty remarkable, to say the least! Not only can they grow a baby but they know how to produce the most nutritious food for them once they are born. MILK! Check out how to increase milk supply while breastfeeding and or pumping.

My breastfeeding journey didn’t go quite as planned. I hoped to be able to exclusively breastfeed my baby but we encountered some problems along the way and due to my baby having a pretty severe tongue/lip tie.

If you are wondering if your baby has a tongue tie check this article out to help you know how to tell and what to do.

How to increase breastmilk

The pump now became my new best friend. Thankfully I didn’t have too much trouble with supply but I was able to implement some great tricks that helped maintain my supply once I got it to where I wanted it.

I was roughly producing between 40-50 ounces per day and was able to build up a good freezer stash.

7 Tips to increase your milk supply

Whether you are breastfeeding your baby full time and just pumping to increase milk supply or if you are exclusively pumping, using the breast pump can be a great tool in increasing milk supply and also keeping it up.

1. Don’t stress about it

This may seem silly but it is actually pretty powerful. When we are stressed, the hormones our body releases when stressed can definitely have a negative effect on your milk supply.

Try to eliminate as much stress in your life as you can and try to be relaxed while pumping or nursing.

2. Drink lots of water

This is crucial. Staying hydrated will really help your milk production. When you are breastfeeding or pumping often you are draining your body of fluids so it is very important to replenish it with plenty of water.

This is something that will literally increase your supply within a day, but you have to make it habit because as soon as your water intake decreases your supply will too.

Mum tip: Have a bottle of water with you every time you nurse your baby or pump. This will remind you to drink each time you are breastfeeding/pumping.

3. Supply and demand

The more you drain the more your body will make. If you are breastfeeding, make sure that your baby is nursing often and also draining the breast well.

If you are pumping, try to get a good consistent schedule, so that you are emptying efficiently and your body has the urge to keep producing.

Also, make sure that your baby has a good latch and that your breast pump is a good fit. This will help make an effective nursing/pumping session with adequate milk removal.

4. Fuel your body

Milk production is hard work for your body! It is important to reward it well and eat plenty of good food to fuel it. Eating a good healthy diet will really help you maintain your supply.

Smoothies are a great way to pack nutrients in while also staying hydrated and enjoying a delicious treat.

I found it helpful to eat often, I was always hungry while pumping. So listen to your body and don’t deprive it of the fuel it needs to make the liquid gold for your little one.

A good prenatal supplement can enhance your milk supply and is the perfect fuel for it.

Although it is important to be taking a good quality food-based prenatal vitamin rather than a synthetic one, ensuring that your body can actually absorb and utilize the vitamins.

Here are the supplements I took during both my pregnancy and while lactating.

5. Fennel essential oil

Fennel has many great properties and is a great choice for milk production.

It is important to choose a good brand of essential oil that is safe to ingest as well as using it topically. I used DoTerra’s fennel essential oil. 

You can take it internally by using veggie capsules or you can apply it topically straight onto the breast.

It is a good idea to mix with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. When applying, try to avoid the nipple area. Use for up to 10 days.

6. Heat

Using heat can be an effective way to help stimulate a letdown. Taking a hot bath or shower can help you relax and make your nursing/pumping session even better.

You can even use a heat pack and apply it during your session. I tried both of these options and saw success in my milk production.

7. Pumping app

We all have our phones with us nowadays, so why not use them to our advantage.

Downloading an app to help track how long you nurse/pump for and recording your output can be really beneficial.

There are so many apps out there to choose from and it probably just comes down to personal preference but I chose MyMedela App.

This app was great because it allowed you to be able to track multiple things such as breastfeeding, pumping, bottles, diapers, sleep, weight, etc.

Increasing and maintaining a good quality milk supply is not always easy. It can cause a lot of frustration and can be physically draining. Hopefully, these simple ways can make the process better and less stressful for you.

Any other tips you have tried that have helped your milk supply? I would love to hear!

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How to increase breastmilk supply
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