We hear it all the time: “How do I increase my milk supply?!”
I want to start off by saying that the only true way to increase your milk supply is to increase the demand for milk. Breastfeeding is very much a supply and demand system. The more milk that is removed, and the more often the breasts are “emptied,” the more milk your body will be signaled to make. Proper breastfeeding practices and frequent, effective breast emptying will lead to even more milk being made.
However, there are great products that - when used in conjunction with proper breastfeeding and/or pumping - can help promote milk production. Our snacks, smoothies, and drinks are packed full of ingredients that support lactation.
Staying properly hydrated (drink to thirst!) and keeping your energy levels supported (think yummy snacks!) are two key factors in keeping your body in prime milk-making form. For more in-depth information on snacks and hydration, check out our post What Should I Eat While Breastfeeding?
For mamas looking to increase their supplies, power pumping can help remove more milk, which tells your body to produce more milk. Of course, if you are a pumping mama, you always want to maintain a consistent pumping schedule. But power pumping takes it to the next level.
Through rapid pumping on-off cycles, it mimics cluster feeding - the frequent nursing your baby does when they are about to hit a growth spurt. When you power pump one to two times per day, you create an artificial high demand for breastmilk and send your body the message to increase milk production.
It can be hard to find the extra time in your day. Between taking care of the kids, yourself, work, and the house, there is hardly a spare hour anywhere. Here are some ideas that may help enable you to power pump:
- First, invest in a hands-free pumping bra and a pump with a battery pack
- Pump during your commute
- Pump during your lunch hour
- Wake up an hour early
- If you are a night owl, pump late at night after everyone is in bed
- Explain to older siblings about pumping: this is mama’s pumping space and time
- Allow older siblings to help set up or turn on the pump - explain the process to them
- Ask for help if it is available to you
- Attend a breastfeeding support group
- Watch videos or look at photos of your baby to encourage the milk to flow
Typically, your body will produce the amount of milk that your baby needs. Some babies breastfeed more often than others. Some babies breastfeed longer durations than others. Some may take one breast per feeding; others may take both breasts. Sometimes it seems like baby is doing nothing but nursing - all. day. and. night. long.
None of those instances are an indication of low supply. Every mama has a different breast storage capacity - this is NOT determined by breast size - which will affect how often and how long their baby will nurse.
The good news is, your baby instinctively knows when they need to nurse and how much milk they need to take in. As long as you are feeding on demand, pumping properly when away from baby, and making sure any caregivers are using proper bottle feeding techniques, your milk supply will be sufficient.
If you are wanting to increase your supply, try power pumping for a few days. It may take a couple days for your body to adjust but keep at it. If you are looking for some supply-boosting support and yummy snacks with milk-making ingredients, try our Milky Mama Starter Variety Pack.
If you have worries regarding your supply or other breastfeeding issues, please attend a local breastfeeding support group (Come join us at Milky Mama Breast Friends if you are in the Rancho Cucamonga area!). Another option is to book a private consultation - virtual or in person - with Milky Mama or one of our International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. More information on getting breastfeeding help here.