Increasing Breastmilk Supply

So, you are doing amazing momma – great job! But maybe some stress has crept into your life (stress up, milk production can go down). Maybe your schedule has changed, or you had to decrease your feeding sessions or pumping sessions. Maybe you just want to do a super boost to your supply. There is so much flying around the internet when it comes to boosting milk supply.

I want you to know these things may work for you but the only scientifically shown way to make more milk is to MOVE the milk. How do you move the milk?? (Hint: cue the let down) 

Here are 2 strategies that increase milk supply by moving the milk

  1. Take a day– or even better, 2 or 3, and find the latest Netflix series, get topless, and snuggle with your babe for hours on end providing an all day boob buffet (doesn’t sound so bad does it!). Prioritizing breastfeeding over other responsibilities will reduce your stress – this is creating more let downs AND emptying the breasts, which means more milk production.
  2. Power pumping – which is using your breast pump frequently over a short period of time to create as many let downs as possible (the same idea as option 1, just sans the baby). You may be thinking ‘great balls of fire’ my boobs are already overworked and now you are using the word ‘power’? It’s not as intimidating as the name suggests! 

Well here is the low down on power pumping:

  • Over one hour: pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes.

  • Start with one session per day. If possible aim for up to 3 sessions per day until you sense that you have increased your supply. 

It is also important to know what can decrease your breastmilk supply? The following can put a damper on milk production:

  • Supplementing with formula instead of feeding breastmilk 

  • Taking certain medicines (like estrogen-containing birth control)

  • Feeding baby or pumping less than you have done previously (like if you are skipping a pump session at work)

  • Pumping for longer than 20 minutes a session instead of pumping more times each day

  • Increasing pump suction strength to more than is comfortable 

  • Putting baby on a strict feeding schedule

  • Early night weaning for sleep training

As for water intake, there is no need for a camelback. However, it is definitely important to make sure you are drinking enough water to thirst. (and you will certainly be way more thirsty). You want to be hydrated as much as possible since your body is working hard to feed your baby. But, remember it is ALWAYS helpful to move the milk to help increase your supply. 

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day and I can’t wait to check-in with you again. For more information on increasing your breastmilk supply, follow check us out on Pinterest for how to’s and cheat sheets.

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Emily Sylvester

Emily Sylvester is the Founder & CEO of Mother of Fact. As a Licensed Registered Dietitian, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Mom of 3, she's helped thousands of families in many low/middle income communities feel confident and supported in their feeding journey. Her mission is to eliminate the deficit of equitable breastfeeding & formula feeding help for all households & healthcare systems.
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