Are you trying to regain a healthy milk supply after conquering mastitis or dealing with nipple confusion for weeks? Whatever your reason, I’ve probably experienced the same thing myself while breastfeeding my two children. Here you’ll find all the best, natural methods for increasing your milk supply fast!
Reasons Your Milk Supply Slows Down
There are so many reasons breast milk production slows down. Here are just a few of the most common reasons for a low milk supply, which I’ve experienced first hand.
Clogged ducts. If you have any sort of injury to a breast, including cracked nipples, inflammation from tight bra or clothing or sleeping/lying on the breast too long, etc, that injury causes inflammation that can clog your milk ducts. Getting them unclogged before it turns into mastitis is critical!
Nursing Strikes. Sometimes for various reasons, like teething or latching issues, babies will go on what’s called a nursing strike. This is where baby refuses to breastfeed either on one breast or both. This can be worrisome for a new nursing mother, but don’t worry nursing strikes usually subside! Here are some ways to resolve nursing strikes.
Monthly Periods. Once your period finally comes back (nothing to celebrate, I know!), you may notice your milk supply seems to slow down quite a bit and baby might even start cluster feeding.
Your supply should naturally pick back up after any of these issues resolve. But if it doesn’t seem to increase quickly enough or for any reason you feel like baby still isn’t getting enough milk, I’ve found these ways of boosting my milk supply to be absolutely the most effective and fast!
Ways to Boost Your Milk Supply
1.Increase your water intake. It sounds simple, but it does work. Drink 8 ounces of water every hour without fail and you’ll notice an increase in milk pretty quickly!
2. If you don’t love water you can try Earth Mama’s Organic Milkmaid Tea. It contains several of the best herbs and galactagogues for milk production!
3. Nurse more often. If you’ve been dealing with clogged ducts, mastitis or cluster feeding a newborn, then you’re already doing this one, hopefully! Remember, milk supply depends on supply and demand so the more baby “demands”, by nursing, the more milk your body thinks baby needs. It can be exhausting, but this is so important for increasing your milk supply.
4. Eat food that promotes milk production. Treat yourself to nutty oatmeal cookies every day, like this organic lactation cookie mix on Amazon. Other lactation promoting foods include:
Fenugreek seeds-Inexpensive and fast acting! Be careful, these work really well! Make sure to back off once your supply Picks up your you’ll end up with an overproduction, which leads to clogged ducts!
Carrots-It’s the Vitamin A in carrots that make them a good food choice if you want to increase your milk supply.Carrot cake anyone? Yum!
Spinach-Full of amazing nutrients, this super food is packed with vitamins, iron and calcium to support healthy milk production. Here is a spinach packed smoothie!
Garlic-Swallowing chopped raw garlic pieces is the best way to consume large quantities of garlic and boost your milk supply. If you can’t stomach whole cloves, here’s an odorless capsule that will do.
Fennel is easily taken in the form of a tea and is well known for its ability to increase breast milk.
5. Nipple Stimulation. If you are dealing with a nursing strike, you can stimulate your own nipples with your thumb and forefinger for several minutes every half hour. This resembles baby suckling and that “demand” for more milk!
6. Ensure baby doesn’t fall asleep while breastfeeding and is not being lazy with her latch. Both of these issues can be resolved with a little extra attention. Plus, a lazy latch can cause clogged ducts quickly so pay attention to how baby is nursing. I learned to end the nursing session if my child’s latch started losing effectiveness.
7. Avoid bottles and pacifiers. For now, all of baby’s sucklings (“demand”) should be at your breasts! So take a time out from those until your milk supply returns. *Go with your gut here. Gradually lose the bottle when baby is nursing well.
8. Brewer’s Yeast-Packed full of vitamins and minerals, this is available in many forms–capsules, liquid, powder and pretty inexpensive too! Just search your desired form of Brewer’s yeast on the website linked above.
9. Blessed Thistle-This is one of nature’s best solutions for milk production and you can find it either in your local pharmacy or here (Amazon).
10. Pump as a last resort. If these methods aren’t working or it isn’t possible to follow them, you can pump after each breastfeeding session. Pump for 10 minutes on each breast in order to tell your body to increase the milk supply. Again, be careful here not give yourself an oversupply!
It’s important to keep in mind that your milk supply will rise and fall all throughout your breastfeeding journey. I always found that simply nursing more often, and for longer sessions, quickly helped to increase my supply and that’s why it’s my absolute #1 go-to method for any Mama struggling with a low milk supply.
I’d love to hear which of these methods most helped you! Leave it in the comments below!
If you’re dealing with cluster feeding as a result of a low supply, read this post which offers tips for surviving cluster feeding!
For more milk promoting tips, join the Facebook support group for BF moms like us and post your questions!
Good luck Breastfeeding Warriors!