Looking for a The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding?
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I recently took the Milkology breastfeeding course and was blown away with how much I learned. My favorite section by far was called “Mastering You Milk Supply” which went into great detail on how to increase and maintain your milk production. I would highly recommend this course to any breastfeeding mama! Here’s the link to sign up.
How to Increase your Breastmilk Production
So about a week away from Jay and I’s first day trip without Emmy, I realized I didn’t have enough breast milk stored up for grandma to feed our baby girl. I needed to re-stock my freezer stash stat, but when I tried to get back into my pumping routine, I quickly noticed things were not producing the way they used to. I was only getting 1-2 ounces at times.
I can’t say I was shocked, but I was definitely bummed . I knew that breast milk was a supply and demand market and I had definitely decreased the demand lately. I was honestly tired of pumping (mostly washing the pump parts!) and had been slacking. So I started doing some research and some serious pumping.
48 hours later I was well on my way back to the good ol’ days of pumping 6-7 ounces each time! My milk-makin’- mission basically consumed my life for those 2 days, but once I got going again it just kept on coming.
H2O makes liquid gold, mamas! DRINK MORE WATER! I’m sure you hear this alot, but it’s true! Breast milk is 88% water, so if you aren’t drinking at every feeding, your body will soon get dehydrated! A normal person should drink 64 ounces of water a day. But us breastfeeding mamas need closer to 100 ounces of water!
Make sure you are doing this in the easiest way possible. I noticed that it is much easier for me to drink this amount when I have a straw. So I went out and bought a large reusable 16 oz. water bottle with a straw. I find myself able to literally GULP water alot easier than if it was just in a cup. I am able to finish and refill my water bottle easily 4 times a day, but really have to push myself to get those last two re-fills in. I’ll be honest, I don’t make it happen 7 days a week, but when I do, I can tell a difference.
If you need some extra help tracking you water intake, be sure to grab the free printable below!
Let There Be Milk
The name speaks for itself. Let There Be Milk is all-natural drops that increase breast milk production. I did 3 servings on the first day and 5 servings the second of my milk makin’ mission (a serving is one full tube of the liquid). I had not tried this product prior to my production dropping and was floored by the results. I woke up after day one and my breasts were SO FULL!
After two days of taking the drops, I was filling the bottles when pumping. Seriously, I cannot say enough about how much this product has made milk production easier for me in general.
Just a heads up, if you try this, the taste is STRONG! Like really, really, strong! I think it may be the thistle? I use the dropper to put it WAY back in the back of my throat (not directly onto my tongue) then quickly wash it down with some water. A small price to pay… but totally worth it! (GOOD NEWS! Let There be Milk now comes in capsule form for those who struggle with the taste of the liquid drops! Hallelujah! Find them here.)
I have to say I am not surprised that it sells out, it’s a wonderful product. While I have not personally tried any other products, I have found one that seems to have the same ingredients as Let There be Milk (all it’s missing is the marshmallow extract). It’s called Motherlove More Milk. They have a few different kinds of drops, but be sure to get the one with the goat’s rue support (this one).
Mother’s Milk tea
A fellow new mom, who I consider very wise when it comes to all things baby, shared her love of Mother Milk Tea with me just a few days after my daughter was born. In the beginning I was producing so well that I didn’t see a need for it. But as soon as I noticed the decrease in production I went straight to the store and bought it. The ingredients, such as fennel and coriander, all promote healthy lactation.
The taste of the tea isn’t my favorite. I add a small bit of honey and it makes it just right. I drank this every morning while I was on my milk making mission followed by lots and lots of water! Be sure to not have more thank 1 cup a day since too much can make your baby gassy.
This is one of the products on my High Milk Supply Must-Haves list. Even after I successfully increased my milk supply, I continued to take it. It’s convenient and inexpensive (this brand is really popular) I started taking 3 capsules a day and continued to do so throughout breastfeeding to maintain supply.
oatmeal, carrots & Hummus, Spinach salads
That’s the recipe for success! I basically ate these things all day for those 2 days and it definitely did what it was supposed to. I would have oatmeal every single morning for breakfast, snack on carrots and hummus, and eat a spinach salad at some point during the day (it was a good excuse to go to Salata). You can also try this recipe for a yummy chocolatey oatmeal alternative! There are a few other foods that can help increase your milk supply:
- Beet leaves
- Sweet potatoes
It’s also important to make sure you aren’t eating foods that are known to decrease milk supply (anything with peppermint, sage, spearmint). You can also check out this quick results lactation smoothie recipe. I tried about 13 different recipes before coming up with the perfect combo for increased milk production!
Are you working to build a freezer stash? Check out the post on how I pumped over 400 ounces in 30 days!
You need those electrolytes! I drank alot of Smart Water when I was pregnant with Emmy to help with the leg cramps and it worked wonders. Who knew the same thing would help with breast milk production?! Try to drink at least 20 oz a day! It’s also a nice little mix up from the endless amounts of water you need to drink! Rumor has it the red Gatorade works the best but I’ve always stuck to the blue and it gets the job done.
Your breast pump is probably already one of your closest friends. You’re about to get alot closer. Like hanging out every hours for at least 20 minutes. That was my routine. After I fed baby, I would wait about an hour to an hour and a half and then I would pump for at least 20 minutes. If the milk stopped coming, I waited at least 5 minutes to stimulate the next let down. I would do this after EVERY feeding of the day during those 48 hours.
At first, this wasn’t very encouraging. I was getting 2 ounces total. But by day 2, I was pumping 5 ounces total in the morning and was up to 6-7 ounces by that night. I stopped this process around 8 P.M. and would get a few hours of sleep and them wake up around 3 A.M. for a pump session. This one was my favorite session because I would literally FILL the pump bottles. 10 ounces minimum!
Another general rule of thumb I would always follow was to pump WHILE feeding Emmy during our earliest feeding session in the morning. Morning milk is very rich and high in protein so babies will eat less at this time. Since I’m feeding the baby, the let down comes much quicker and seems to be more intense than when it’s just me and my pump. I usually get about 6 ounces during her 10 minute morning feeding off of just one breast. It takes some juggling to get baby set up and the breast pump going but it works wonders.
A few other fun tips: always try to be close to your little one while pumping. It definitely helps your body get into mom mode and encourage production. And think positive thoughts! No two mama’s are the same and it may take more or less time for you to get back to where you want to be. But stick to it! That little human who refers to you as mom is the best motivation in the world!
If you found this article helpful, show Swaddles n’ Bottles some love and follow on Instagram! I love connecting with other breastfeeding moms and will follow you back!
After the two days I was able to get enough milk stored up for baby girl. The weekend trip was a ton of fun for Jay and I! Here’s a fun family photo of us before we left to hit the road! We were headed to Texas A&M for a football weekend if you can’t tell from the Aggie ensembles.
I am not a medical professional and information shared on this blog should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your medical provider concerning any issues you have regarding you or your baby.