You know when you are in a support group online and each week a different person asks the same question that you wish they’d used the search button for…?
“How do I increase my milk supply?” – I’ve seen it a million times and answered it about half that. I’ll lay it out for you…
Drink your water! Plain and simple. Hydration is a must for milk supply. Get a medium-sized reusable water bottle. Carry an extra bottle of water in that diaper bag. Run through a drive-thru and get a nice large water with a sexy straw. (I say sexy because I tend to have a hole in my lip and spill water on my shirt… needless to say, I like straws)
Pump after Nursing
You need to empty those ta-tas if you want your body to fill them up again. If your sweet baby only wanted a snack and not a full meal, you should pump after feeding.
What if my baby doesn’t go back to sleep after the snack? How do I pump and entertain her/him? That’s where my favorite pumping cups come in. The FREEMIE! I loved my freemie. This milk-saving hands-free solution is the best thing ever. I would’ve pumped so more often and more milk if I had a Freemie with my first daughter. Even the bras with the holes in them for traditional flanges don’t provide the same freedom of not having milk sloshing in heavy bottles attached to your front. The Freemie fits right in your bra. Learn more here… Freemie
One of the most important things you can do to increase supply is to increase demand. You need to trick your body into thinking the baby needs more milk. Get your pump, large glass of water, and if you can, a quiet calm place to pump. Pump for 20 minutes, then rest for 10. Pump for another 10 minutes and then rest for another 10 minutes. Pump for one more 10 minute session. Do this 3 times a day for at least 3 days.
Combine power pumping with the following suggestions and you’re golden! The most important is demand (nursing and pumping). You will no doubt lose your supply if you are not getting milk out of the boobs. You will also not make more milk if you are dieting or not drinking liquids.
Macros / Calories – FOOD!
You need fat. You need protein. You need carbs. Don’t cut one of those out. Don’t completely take out carbs trying to do the Keto diet. Don’t cut out fat because the liars that made the “food pyramid” told you fat is bad. Fat is good and tasty! My favorite meal for milk supply is nachos! Yummy, gooey, cheesy nachos. The chips, beans, cheese and chicken or beef provide the absolute perfect combo of fats, proteins, and carbs to maximize milk production. Drink 3+ glasses of water and slap some sour cream on them bad boys and you will be engorged like you are freshly postpartum.
You’re not eating for two when you’re pregnant. You’re eating for 2 when you’re breastfeeding. Remember that. Don’t eat just carbs. Don’t eat just fat. You need it all.
Another popular suggestion is Gatorade. I’m not going to say this is a bad idea because even the biggest water lover on the planet needs some flavor from time to time. If you need some flavor to your hydration, get the G2 variety. You don’t need the sugar of the original Gatorade.
I’ve heard oatmeal boosts milk supply. Though, just like my nacho rule, I think oatmeal only helps when you pair it with fat. I only like oatmeal in the form of a soft, gooey cookie and fortunately it masks the flavor of the brewer’s yeast and ground flax seed I add to them. I’ll share my recipe for the yummiest, milk producing, oatmeal cookies very soon.
Beer…? Heck yes, beer!
Contrary to what you see reality stars doing by pumping and putting strips in their breast milk to check for alcohol levels, you don’t need to pump and dump. Just like your body metabolizes alcohol, so do your boobs! I once had a very hoppy beer at a German restaurant when I was almost all dried up. The next morning my boobs were so full they hurt!
Not good suggestions…
Clif Bars – I’ve seen Clif Bars suggested as a way to increase your supply. Please don’t… Are you camping? Are you hiking? No. You’re sitting around bonding and snuggling your sweet baby. Don’t get me wrong, Clif Bars are tasty if you’re running errands and starving or about to run a marathon but these will not help your supply. You don’t need 250 calories, 40g of carbs, and 21 g of sugar! There’s only 5g of fat in there and again, what did I say above? You need fat!