Increasing Your Breast Milk Supply

Breastfeeding can be hard. And it can be a lot of work to maintain your supply, especially if you have to pump for any reason! I’ve breastfed both of my children, and worked while breastfeeding both. You know what that means–I had to pump! It’s not something I enjoyed, but it’s what I chose to do for my babies.

The problem with pumping is that it’s not as effective at getting all the milk out of your breasts as a baby. So sometimes, my supply would start dropping some and I would get so nervous! Luckily, I had a good support system, telling me a lot of ways to boost my milk supply (and I had stored up some milk in the freezer before returning to work). Sometimes breastfeeding and expressing milk is painful! Read this article on relief from breastfeeding aches and pains.

Increasing Your Breast Milk Supply 500x648 Increasing Your Breast Milk Supply

Here are some ways (without medication) to increase your breast milk supply:

  • Water, water, water: Keeping yourself hydrated is key to keeping your supply up. I heard the suggestion to drink a glass of water every time you nurse your baby. As a rule of thumb, that’s what I tried to do–especially those first couple of months when baby nurses SO much.
  • Eat! Sounds silly, I know. But when you have a new baby to take care of, sometimes you don’t find enough time to eat. Remember, you are still solely providing nutrition not only for yourself, but for another human! I kept some healthier snacks by my common nursing spots. That way, I could snack on a granola bar or cereal bar while baby nursed. Sometimes, when I noticed a dip in supply, I’d realize I didn’t have a snack between meals or I’d have forgotten to eat breakfast. Eating was a very noticeable difference for me.
  • Oats: Eating oats–such as oatmeal or oat based granola bars–can give your supply a boost. Try these delicious Lactation Cookies.
  • Pump, even when you don’t have to: It is helpful to, if you’re able, pump on one side while your baby is breastfeeding on the other. If you can’t do that (I was never quite coordinated for that!), try pumping right after the baby finishes nursing. There is also a method of increasing supply called Power Pumping. This simply means that you pump for five minutes every 15 minutes for an hour.
  • Skin to skin: Spending some time snuggling up with your baby will help your supply. Try doing it often as it has so many benefits for baby and your milk!
  • Have a drink: Dark beer is known to give your milk a boost. Having one before you go to bed can be great for your supply. If you don’t care to drink, try purchasing some Brewers’ Yeast to sprinkle on your food.
  • Seek support and help A good support system is vital to being successful in breastfeeding. Make sure you’re around people who are supportive and helpful. Don’t hesitate for a minute to call a lactation consultant or your baby’s pediatrician for advice or to ask questions. Trust me, they want to help you be successful, too!
  • Enjoy these foods: These foods are said to give your supply a boost: asparagus, oatmeal, quinoa, fennel, flax, alfalfa and red raspberry leaf (just to name a few)!
  • AVOID these things: These herbs can lower your supply: sage, peppermint and wintergreen. Also avoid these teas: Comfrey tea, Sassafras tea, Ginseng tea, Licorice tea.

Have you been successful in increasing your breast milk supply? Please share your stories of success and any advice you have in the comments!

Please remember that this advice should not be substituted for that of a doctor and always seek professional help if needed.  Never substitute advice read online for that of a doctor or lactation consultant.

Want to read more about feeding your baby? Read this series on different methods of feeding baby:

Feeding Your Baby
Feeding Your Baby Breast Milk
Feeding Your Baby Breast Milk and Supplementing with Formula
Feeding Your Baby Exclusively Expressed Breast Milk
Feeding Your Baby Formula

Comments

  1. Hannah says

    Hi, i also take brewers yeast in a vitamin form 2-3x a day when i noticed my supply going down. also when nursing i drink ensure shakes to help since i cant eat enough sometimes especially in the beginning. i know alot of moms want to hurry up and lose that baby weight right after baby is born but patience is key! Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do to start losing that weight so you have to eat and eat healthy! You can burn hundreds of calories breastfeeding and believe me it works! im nearly 6 months prego with baby number 4 and breastfeeding made all the difference in helping me lose the baby weight with my 3 previous pregnancy.
    Good tips!!
    Best of luck to all mommies :)

      • Tanya says

        I used Fenugreek with great success too, however, after a couple of months I noticed that I was bruising easily and my bleeding time had increased(for simple cuts or scrapes). After running blood tests and such, my doctor correlated it to the fenugreek. She said that its a fairly common side effect. Just something to be aware of….

        Another thing that boosted my milk supply was my prenatal vitamins. I LOVED the Rainbow Bright once a day prenatals. It seemed like my supply went down every time I was stressed.

        • Darcy Webber says

          Fenugreek can also make you smell like maple syrup. I took it with my first and my breast milk,pee and armpits stunk.

          • Dee says

            Same thing happened to me with my first. I was walking around smelling like a giant bottle of aunt jemima!

        • Jennifer (Certified Lactation Counselor) says

          Fenugreek can effect some medication you take. Also, it will get into your baby’s system. You may find that your baby has runny stool or has the maple syrup smell too. So if you have a preemie, or a NICU baby, it is best to avoid Fenugreek. The best way to ensure a good milk supply is to encourage nursing within the first hour of birth and to feed on demand.

  2. Sara says

    I used fenugreek capsules that I bought at Wal-mart in the vitamine aisle…I think it was $5.00 for a huge bottle. I just took them 3-6 times per day when I felt like my supply was low! Warning: Makes EVERYTHING smell like maple syrup.

    • Sara says

      I too took fengreek for almost 10 months off and on. I took no more than 6 a day but NEVER smelled like maple syrup. I think I was the only one!.

        • Elisabeth says

          Beware of taking too much fenugreek if you have allergies. I took so much that I broke out in hives after a week or so. Although it helped my supply, I would itch all over (esp. my face), within half an hour of taking the fenugreek. I took pills and also bought the seeds and chewed them up!

      • Jessi says

        I took fenugreek and blessed thistle combined along with drinking water like a mad woman and power pumping and nothing seemed to increase my supply. I was forced to start giving my daughter formula and now that she is 10 months old, I am only producing enough to feed her in the morning and before she goes to bed. The only thing that worked for me was what my daughters pediatrician prescribed me. It was called domperidone and was only offerred at a family pharmacy in my town. It isn’t covered by any insurance because it is considered an old home remedy so it cost $85/mo. I wish I could have afforded to continue using it. Within a day or two I began seeing significant results, but whenever I stopped taking the pills, whether I continued pumping and feeding my daughter, the supply would eventually go back down again! :(

      • Ashley King says

        i take funugreek and i do not smell like maple syrup lol and i take 3 pills 4 times a day. i use to take 3 pills 3 times a day but that just didnt help for some reason, so i added another does and its helped a bunch!

  3. Jennifer says

    I take 3 Blessed thistle and 3 fenugreek capsules at least 3 times a day and as many as 6 times a day, as recommended by Le Leche League leaders in my area.

  4. Cassie says

    This is our 3rd baby. I’ve never had an issue with my supply until I go back to work. What worked for me is natural supplements suggested by my lactation consultant. You can use blessed thistle and/or fenugreek. The brand that worked for me is Motherlove (more milk plus). You can order from them online o search for a nearby supplier

    • Erin says

      Thank you for sharing! I think maintaining a supply while working is one of the hardest things about breastfeeding. Best of luck with your third pregnancy and beyond!

  5. samantha says

    i did a different version of power pumping. you want to be careful to not overdo it because before you know it you will become engorged and that can lead to mastitis. i pumped for about 5 mins. every hour about 6 hours a day for 3 days. it really boosted me up to making a full liter of milk a day! i was barely making a third of a liter just a few days before my power pumping. you might need to do a little more or a little less depending on how your body responds, but whatever you use to boost your milk, keep doing it for at least a few days. you can’t expect to see results after just a day. good luck ladies.

    • Erin says

      Great suggestion! I’ve heard a few variations of power pumping. It’s important to figure out what your body responds best to! Thank you!

      • Rebecca says

        what a great suggestion. I’ve had to mix feed my 5 month old since he was 3 months because my supply dropped. Its my first baby and I stressed out about the weight I had put on so i began dieting and running, and now I’m only making enough for the first feed and maybe the last feed if I’m lucky. I’m definitely going to try this starting today!

  6. says

    I totally agree on the water–I have to drink more than the recommended 64 ounces to keep my supply strong, and drinking that much also helps keep the skin on my hands from drying out. I’m in the bathroom as much as I was when I was pregnant, but it’s worth it! :)

    Also, Traditional Medicinals makes a really good Mother’s Milk tea that has worked well for me too.

  7. Kate says

    Just wanted to leave a note to other mother’s like me. I killed myself for 9 weeks after I had my daughter trying to get a milk supply (at one point I went 6 hours in between and only pumped 2 ounces). I took all the supplements I could find, tired all forms of extra pumping, and visited multiple lactation consultants. All I ended up doing was wasting those precious 9 weeks with my daughter, I was so sleep deprived, stressed out and busy will all the pumping that I never really had time to just enjoy her. So for some women it just doesn’t work and THAT IS OKAY, don’t kill yourself!!!

    • Erin says

      That’s absolutely okay! In fact, I had a guest writer write an article giving her daughter formula after trying to breastfeed! You can read the story in the Feeding Your Baby series linked above. No matter how you end up feeding your baby, you’re feeding and taking care of your baby and it’s okay!

      • Erin says

        That is so nice that you make that acknowledgement. I tried everything to breast feed my first and I just couldn’t do it, it got to the point that my daughter was dropping weight so rapidly that even my LC said she might need formula. My cousin, who breast fed two, reminded me that my job was to provide nutrition the source didn’t matter. It helped hearing that from her when all my breast feeding friends where basically telling me I just wasn’t trying hard enough. I know now it wasn’t me because I just had my second baby and she nurses like a champ.

        • Karyn says

          Definitely no shame in supplementing or having to switch to formula. My first baby boy we struggled with breast feeding and I pumped after going back to work but it just wasn’t enough. My husband had to start giving him formula while is as at work because I couldn’t bring home enough milk for a whole day away. Just had my second baby boy and he’s been nursing almost every hour! With the exception of at night, I really try to keep nursing him on demand since I am getting ready to go back to work in a week :(
          Will start pumping in this next week to build up my stored supply. Thanks for the increase tips tho, I will be checking these out if I notice a dip in supply.

    • Miranda says

      I completely agree! With my first son I did the same thing! This time around I realized it was ok to formula feed and breast feed the ounce that I produce, bt more important, enjoy my new baby! Mother love supplements help me maintain, but not increase.

      • kelsey says

        My son has thrush and I havnt been able to feed him for about a week because when I try to put him to breast all he does is scream and kick… which can be very frustrating after about 20 minutes. My pump was broken but I just got a new one. I really want to continue breastfeeding but my supply is way down. I am starting the mothers milk tea and am going to try to drink more water and eat more. I might try to power pumping as well. I’ve just been getting so flustered because I want to breastfeed him so bad :/

        I’m trying not to give up but its very difficult. I’m 18 and I don’t really have anyone to ask for help with thyis. Any advice would be great! Thank you

        • Gayle says

          Kelsey,
          I have a few thoughts for you. First, you are doing a great job taking care of your son! Next, if he is being treated for thrush make sure you are treated also. It is not uncommon for thrush to be passed back & forth between nipple & mouth. If he is fussing when you put him to breast it may be that he is getting frustrated that he is not getting milk fast enough, so try feeding him part of a feeding from the bottle & then switching him when he is partly satisfied. He may be more willing to stay at breast without you both getting frustrated. As he gets used to going back to breast you can switch him off the bottle earlier & earlier – it will be a process. Also, rest is as important as water – try to get more rest, do you have any help? Support is important too – can you make connections through your Pedi’s or Health Clinic’s office? Is there a new mom’s group in your town or religious organization?
          Best of luck & let us know how you are doing.

    • Nancy says

      I’m glad you said this, and I want to encourage you a bit… there is a real diagnosis out there called IGT (Insufficient Glandular Tissue) and it essentially means your breasts don’t have enough milk-making tissue to support a full feed all the time. I have this, and I’m on my third breastfed baby… who has formula supplements too. :)

      You’re right, don’t kill yourself! And for sure look into IGT. There is hope for us IGT ladies, in that with each pregnancy we produce more gladular tissue… thus more milk. It’s still hard sometimes and I have to do a lot more that the average nursing mom to keep my supply up, but I’m okay with it and it works for me. :)

      It just made me feel better to know that it was nothing I did or didn’t do that made it hard to nurse. Y’know?

      • Erin says

        Thank you for sharing! I have a co-worker who, try and try as she may, could not produce milk with either of her children. It was heartbreaking to her, but it is always reassuring to know there is a reason behind it and other women going through the same thing. Thank you so much for sharing!

      • Patti says

        I have IGT. I did not find out until my second baby but my first was so hard as I was determined to breastfeed and it was through a lot of tears on her side and mine that we gave in to formula(after she lost a pound from birthweight). I only made 1 oz with both sides combined no matter how long I went between nursing! I was thankful to find out it was not something I was doing wrong. Nothing I took to make more milk helped me. I was able to do formula and breastmilk for 3 months with my second baby! Now I am pregnanat with my 5th and with each baby I start out on the breast and then supplement with each nursing session. Thanks for this article!

      • Julie says

        I’ve never tried this personally, but have heard that taking Goat’s Rue will help increase your glandular tissue. It may be worth trying.

    • Rebecca says

      I’m not sure what its like for you ladies (where ever you are in the world!), but here in New Zealand there is A LOT of pressure on women to breast feed. Yes there is nothing as good as breast milk for your baby but formula isn’t BAD for your baby either.

  8. Heidi says

    I’ve had success increasing my supply by going back to side 1 after nurse on side 2. (AKA side 3; and occasionally even side 4.)

  9. Leslie Bruckman says

    Mother’s milk tea is a good one. Also, breastfeeding cookies! There is a recipe online if you google it. It’s really versatile. We made ours by adding dried cranberries, chocolate chips and coconut. You can add peanut butter, raisins, peanuts or other types of nuts… they are basically oatmeal cookies with brewer’s yeast added… plus they boost your calorie intake.
    For me, also trying to maintain constant breastfeeding until about 3 months old did the trick, too. Once we got to the 3 month mark, my supply was mostly established and breastfeeding became a lot more simple. Once you get to 6 months with a decent supply, it will become even more established.
    Also, remembering that if you are going to skip a feeding for ANY reason, you HAVE to pump to replace that feeding. Although not recommended, remember that subbing with formula tanks your supply even worse… because it fills your baby up with useless fillers and they end up needing to eat less often because it just hangs out in their stomachs for hours. One formula feed can cause you to miss 2 or 3 breast feeds, and that means you’ll lack 2 or 3 feedings come tomorrow… and thus begins a downward spiral into no supply at all. Each feeding you have or miss for the day, adjusts your supply for the next day.
    I think women also need to be aware of certain feedings issues that make it SEEM like they have no supply, when really they are fine. I personally, had a marathon feeder. He came out and ate for 4 hours straight. Then ate almost 6+ hours the next day. I thought I was going to die! But, breastmilk is quickly absorbed because it’s just so healthy for the baby… and they need to eat more often. The first 6 weeks with him was REALLY hard but I kept remembering how GOOD it was for him and ME! I was loosing weight left and right… also remember there are growth spurts! Your baby will eat so often and for so long, you’ll start to really freak out… “I’m not making enough, otherwise he wouldn’t be soooo hungry!” They last 3 to 4 days sometimes…
    Also remember that teething will make your little one grumpy and they’ll want to nurse more often then, also. Sometimes, teething and growth spurts happen at the same time, too.
    And then also… studies have shown that certain foods make your babies want to nurse more because it flavors your milk. Garlic has been the biggest offender. I’m not sure of the rest, but whenever I eat a lot of it, little man wants to hang out on the boobie all day.
    If you need anymore reminders of why you should work hard to keep your supply up, go stand in the formula aisle and remind yourself how much it costs! For a few weeks, I put the money that we’d be spending on formula in a jar… then I went and bought him a bunch of cute stuff and me some new “non-maternity clothes”!
    Hope all this helps. :)

    • Erin says

      Yes! We linked up a lactation (breastfeeding) cookies in the article! They are so yummy!
      You are absolutely right. I know some women stress about their baby’s feeding and not getting enough milk because they don’t “feel full” anymore. But, as our supply adjusts, we might not feel like our breasts have as much milk! Thank you for your comment!!

    • Rachel says

      Thank you for talking about how babies digest breast milk faster and always seem hungry. My son wakes up almost every hour to feed. His pediatrician was concerned about him not gaining back to his birth weight so I have started giving him formula after breastfeeding, now I’m going to use some of these suggestions and hope he will keep gaining without the formula.

  10. Taylor says

    I pumped for 6 months and fed my baby all the way to a year. I started out early on pumping every hour and a half. I easily pumped 15 oz each time I did. I always made sure to drink a bottle of water everytime i sat down to pump. I also tried to never miss a night pumping. I stayed on a strict schedule and just reminded myself that no matter how much i pump, as long has my baby was getting some breast milk it would be fine.

  11. Amanda K says

    My advise for keeping up supply, especially if you are pumping:
    1-invest in a good electric pump
    2-pump a few minutes after your milk quits coming, this lets your boobs know, “I didn’t make enough that time, so I need to make more for next time”
    3- WATER!! Like A LOT. I would drink 60+ oz a day. When we would visit either of our parents for the weekend (both 4 hr drives plus) I would not drink as much water because of the drive and because they wouldn’t have water as convient as I would keep it. After 3 days of this, my supply would almost cut in half, going from pumping 16 oz to about 8 oz. Then it would take about a week to get my supply back up (by adding extra pumpings per day and drinking even more water)
    4- If you want to exclusively pump from the start, have the baby nurse on you while you have the colostrum, then when your milk comes in, let yourself get a little engourged (you might have to give the baby a bottle of formula to hold them over) then start pumping. You should have a lot of milk at this point, so your body now thinks I need to produce this much milk every time. Then pump every 4 hours.

    I did this successfully with two children. I produced 50 some ounces a day.

    • Erin says

      Thank you for all your advice! It’s so important to share strategies with other moms so everyone can figure out what works for them. :-)

  12. Krista says

    Fenugreek and blessed thistle capsules. You can find then at Whole Foods or Walgreens. Take 2-3 of each 2-3x a day. After 3 days, boom! Your milk comes right in and maintains a great supply! The fenugreek does smell like maple syrup :)

  13. Norma says

    I’m so glad I came across this site. My third baby was born premature a month ago and I have to pump exclusively and have found things to be a real challenge pumping, going back and forth to the hospital and caring for my other two, husband and “oh yeah” myself. :) I will definitely be trying these suggestions because I want to ensure my supply is more than enough for my little “honey” while he’s in the hospital and long after he comes home.

    • Erin says

      Awww! I hope your little one comes home soon. Relax, rest up and take care of yourself! Pumping is such a challenge and I wish you the best in making it through until he is home!

      • Norma says

        Thank you Erin. I am sitting beside my little guys isolette right now preparing to pump. I am still producing less than before, but I know I need to keep up the increased pumping for a few days in order to see improvement. The lactation consultant told me to shy away from all of dietary supplements (fenugreek & teas) because he is too fragile right now. I believe we will have success.

  14. Mickale says

    Thank you for this. I ran across it on Pinterest (which I never do) and have been getting really discouraged with feeding lately. Our baby was born with a cleft lip and pallet so we are exclusively pumping. He is 2 1/2 weeks and I get right at 2 oz each time (20 minutes pumping). The hardest part is that is HURTS. I don’t even want to take a shower b/c the water hitting my nipples about brings me to tears. I am pumping on the lowest setting and am still just so sore. I am going to try to the power pumping tomorrow. So far I’ve just been pumping whenever he eats, every 2-3 hrs. I’ll probably call our lactation specialist about the soreness too. I don’t want to quit but I don’t know how much longer I can tolerate the pain.

    • Erin says

      I hope this post helps out some! I have a friend who expressed milk because her daughter was born with a cleft lip as well. I’m not sure how long she ended up pumping, but know that any amount of breast milk is great! You have to do what works for you and your son. Something you can do to help ease the nipple pain is to shower with a washcloth over your nipples or even a bikini top on. That will lessen the nipple pain in the shower. Maybe you will be able to increase your supply to a point where you won’t need to pump as often. I suggest checking out the Feeding Your Baby Exclusively Expressed Milk article linked at the bottom of this article as well. Wishing you the best and thank you for commenting!

    • TM says

      You may want to have a fitting for the breast pump horns. Many moms don’t realize they come in different sizes, and the standard size is often too small, which can lead to soreness. When I got fitted and increased the size, pumping was much more comfortable!

        • TM says

          A lactation specialist would be able to help fit you. Check with your local hospital, pediatrician’s office, or La Leche League to find one in your area. Most hospitals have one, I was fitted at a children’s specialty store.

    • Amanda Guthrie says

      Have you tried unsing Lanolin ointment? I had excruciating pain while nursing my daughter for the first month or so, but using lanolin on my nipples before and after nursing/pumping and also right before I got in the shower was a HUGE relief. It helps to heal any cracks or soreness and puts a barrier between your skin and the water. I also put it on right before bed so when I leaked my skin didn’t get so tender and sore from all the moisture. Hope this helps!

    • calicokitty says

      my nurse suggested warm tea bags sitting on ur nipplea like bandages to help ith soreness. it felt soooooooo good! lol

  15. says

    I’ve heard that Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Milkmaid tea is helpful and for me-I’ve never been successful at pumping-BUT I’ve started drinking raw dairy recently and suddenly I’m super full again. My baby is 16 mo and still nurses fairly often.

    • says

      Hi Alaina, where did you read to not eat oatmeal? We highly encourage any breastfeeding mom to up their oatmeal intake to help with supply issues. It is not only healthy, but will help with your supply.

  16. Marie says

    So glad I found this post! I have a 4 week old and have been exclusively pumping since she was 3 days old. She struggled with latching and it was determined that her tongue was “too short” to keep suction… leading to major blistering on my part!
    I have hit a plataue of only pumping about 6 ounces at each sitting. Excited to try some of these suggestions to increase my supply before returning to work.

    However, I do have a question…. when increasing supply by so much (I saw a few say they were able to pump 16oz at a time) does it lead to more problems with engorgement? I mean, if you are able to increase the milk by that much, do you have to pump more frequently? Once returning to work, I am going to be on a tight schedule to pump… little nervous about making TOO much, and not being able to pump.

    • Erin says

      I am only speaking from experience here, but when I returned to work and had to pump on a schedule, my supply kind of adjusted to that schedule. I would pump right before work started and on two breaks during the day. It wasn’t necessarily the same times I was nursing from the breast before going back to work and I felt engorged the first day or two. But, after that, I rarely got engorged. Hope that helps!

    • Sarah says

      Has she been assessed about the tongue tie to have it clipped? It can cause other problems besides with nursing. My daughter was the same way.

  17. Lillian says

    Hi, I’m currently pumping for my newborn (no latching) how long does a pumping session usually take? I usually pump about 15-20mins each session…i wonder if I can go longer tho…is it possible to pump “too long”?

    Thanks

    • Erin says

      Sometimes, I would be able to pump several ounces in 5-10 minutes. Other times, it would take 20 minutes to get the same amount of milk. I usually jump pump until I’m not getting any more milk! I don’t think there’s any real right or wrong answer to how long is too long. Maybe some other ladies will have some more input!

      • LG,RN says

        The lactation specialist I worked with said to pump 10-15 minutes per side or a total of about 20 minutes if pumping both breasts at the same time. Also that babies in the beginning should be nursing 8-12 times per day and if not you need to be pumping to keep supply up . Also mothers milk tea worked for me and keeping hydrated and snacks, also staying low stress…that was the hardest part!!

  18. Dustynn says

    Mickale, I too pump exclusively for my daughter and I have found that applying lanolin before each time I pump REALLY helps with the soreness! These are great comments. Thanks everyone!

  19. kacie says

    so does crystal light water or koolaid or the country time lemondade powder mix count as water? I absolutely hate drinking water!!!! I need something with some flavor

    • says

      haha! you sound like me! YES absolutely! You can flavor it any way you would like, water is just the healthiest. You can even add fresh fruit to help with the flavor or just add your mix-ins! Either way, up the fluid intake! :)

    • Carol says

      Is aspartame still in crystal light? Wouldn’t do it. Passes freely into breastmilk. 92 side effects reported to FDA. Anything with a PKU warning is code for aspartame.

  20. stacy says

    I am curious about drinking raw milk. If it would help my supply then I would go back to drinking it. My Dr advised against drinking it when I got pregnant but don’t know if I could start it back up now. I try nursing, but she just doesn’t get enough so have to give a bottle and pump. I pump like crazy but usually only get 1-3oz each time and she’s 10 weeks old and is going to need more! Going to try some power pumping sessions and see how that works. I take fenugreek but also going to check out the brewer’s yeast and blessed thistle.
    thank you for this article!

    • Erin says

      I have also heard not to drink it while pregnant, but I’m not sure the reasons behind it. Hopefully brewer’s yeast and blessed thistle help boost your supply!

      • Bianca says

        I believe it is advised not to drink raw milk because it is not pasteurized. However if you have been drinking it before pregnancy, I think it would be okay to continue to drink it throughout the pregnancy (don’t take my word for it, as I am NOT a doctor!)… I think if you have been drinking pasteurized milk it is recommended not to begin drinking non-pasteurized during your pregnancy because your immune system is a lot weaker. (I got so many infections while I was pregnant, I was taking a new antibiotic every month!)

          • Tania says

            NOOOOOO – raw milk can have listeria in it and that can cause you to miscarry – you can also pass it on to your baby….

            I know I’m an interloper but I was browsing the forum looking for advice and I had to comment!

  21. Jenny says

    Any tips for lopsided milk production? I make enough milk, but I make 3 times as much on my right side, so my breasts are super uneven. Thanks for this article. The dark beer is a new idea I’ve never heard of.

    • says

      Jenny, One of our Facebook fans replied with this:

      “My second child was a preemie, so I wasn’t able to nurse- I had to pump exclusively. The lactation consultant at the hospital suggested incorporating as much oatmeal as I could possibly stand into my diet, and making sure that I pumped an extra 3-5 minutes on the breast that was “behind”. After 3 or 4 days, I was producing 12-14 ounces from each breast “

  22. Bryanna says

    Jenny, I’m a former maternity RN and suggest nursing during all feedings starting on the side that you notice has a lower production. Baby will be hungry when latching on this side and will have a stronger suck. The body will signal the brain to start producing more milk. It is very normal for a baby to have breast favoritism causing this…it usually starts out subtle but becomes noticeable as time passes. Hopefully this will help. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, babies will end up nursing strictly from one side. My only other suggestion, after nursing you can also pump on the low side…this will have te same brain stimulating effect as starting the baby on that side as well. Good luck!

    • Jessica says

      Capacity still may be different on either side – we are rarely symmetrical, and the physical structure of the breasts may be different. It is important to stimulate adequately in any case, though.

  23. Molly says

    Great article, excited to try some of this stuff. My son just turned 1, and I’ve been lucky to never have too many problems with low supply – until we went on a road trip last week. He was so distracted the whole time that he barely nursed – once we got home he wanted to pick up right where he left off, but my body wasn’t cooperating so well! I wouldn’t mind starting to wean him, but he won’t drink from bottles or sippy cups very well and I’m too worried about him getting dehydrated.

    • Erin says

      I noticed when we travel, my son nurses less as well! He’s a toddler now, as well. I think there is way too much going on to be bothered with nursing! haha! Good luck building your supply back up and let us know which methods work best for you!

  24. says

    My supply really went down after my doctor put me back on birth control. I was NEVER told that was a side effect, and I wish that I would have known all these amazing tips then, but I’m saving it for next time!

    • Christa says

      Did your doctor out you on traditional BC pills, or progestIn only pills? The “mini pill” is less likely to decrease your supply than those with estrogen.

  25. Trish says

    I have a few friends who swear by pineapple juice! Or eating lots of fresh pineapple. I had never heard of that, but one friend said it brought her supply completely back after she became septic after the birth of her son and was in the hospital for a while trying to recover. She just drank as much as she could and ate a ton of pineapple for about 2-3 days and her supply came back in abundance.

  26. Alishia says

    I took a short trip away from my six month old and to make sure my supply stayed up I took fenugreek in pill form and Motherlove in liquid form. I also drank a ton of water.

  27. Sara says

    I have tried herbal supplements and the best one for me was “mothers love” brand it contains all the herbs that are known to boost your supply.

  28. Lynn says

    I’m an ex-pat in South Africa, and all lactation consultants, peds, and gynes recommend jungle juice. There are variations on the recipe, but it is http://familytreasures.co.za/2010/01/jungle-juice/ The one that increases production is the blackthorn elixer, and the rest helps with dehydration. The ingredients can be found on Amazon or at most healthfood stores.

  29. Celia says

    I had a postpartum hemorrhage and spent two days in the hospital which affected my milk supply. I’ve tried everything. I started with a.combo of fenugreek, blessed thistle and alfalfa capsules three times a day. When that didn’t work I went to shatavari which is an indian herb. That helped a little and I would recommend it for anyone having trouble with the other herbs. I also think a hospital grade pump is the way to go if you can afford the rental. I think this is a great article and I’m going to try to integrate oats into my diet and try the ensure. I never seem to be able to eat enough.

    • Erin says

      Great advice! I have heard people suggest renting a hospital grade pump, thank you for bringing it up! I noticed an absolute difference in my supply if I didn’t have my morning oat granola bar for a snack. :-)

  30. Mickale says

    Hello again! This post has been so helpful. I saw my OB yesterday and she confirmed I have nipple thrush. It is so frustrating. Oral meds, ointment, saline soaking, lots of grapefruitseed extract, probiotics and pumping is still painful. Hopefully it will improve soon. I have also developed blisters. Fun stuff. I have started taking “more milk plus” but cant tell if it has kicked in yet. Getting about 3oz total per pump every 3-4 hrs. Tried every 2 and the pain was too much.

  31. Leslie says

    I used fenugreek seed and I was able to breast feed my son till he was 13 months. You can buy the all natural herb at any health food store. Some grocery stores carry it too. Around five dollars a bottle.

  32. Stacie says

    What is the best way to re-establish my milk? I haven’t been breastfeeding since May because of having the Essure procedure & having to take birth control pills until it healed fully. Taking the pills has stopped my supply but I’d really like to re-establish & continue breastfeeding my 5 month old son. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

    • Erin says

      I am not sure, but I have a friend going to school to be a lactation specialist. I will check with her. I know that trying to get your baby to nurse (even though there might not be anything there) would probably help stimulate some milk production. Do you think he would suckle if you put him to breast? My (not professional!!) advice would be to put him to breast every time you can, try power pumping once a day and maybe try some of the methods listed above to help out. But I will check with my friend to see if she has any better advice. Best of luck!

    • lulu says

      Hi Stacie, i’m the friend Erin mentioned and to reestablish supply that has dried up it can be tricky. If you can still hand express a few drops that is a good sign but even if you cant it can be done however there are no guarantees.

      You’ll need to definitely put baby to breast to see if he will even latch again because if he has nipple confusion from bottles it will be harder. If when your milk starts coming back he still cant latch well its one of the few instances that i would recommend a nipple shield to assist.

      You need to start doing lots and lots of skin to skin time, go topless and wear him in a carrier like the ergo, boba, or sleepy wrap/moby. also pump every 1.5-2 hours for at least 15 minutes each side.

      you have the benefit of being on birth control actually because the change in hormones when you go off it will kind of simulate having given birth and will assist in getting production back. on top of that though i would recommend a medication called domperidone, mothers who have low milk supply or mothers who are adopting and want to lactate use this very effectively and i have used it myself. Its not available in the US but you can order it from new zealand via the information on this site: http://www.lowmilksupply.org/domperidone-obtain.shtml
      there is another medication used here that your doctor would recommend however i would strongly urge against it. Its called Reglan and has serious side effects in post partum mothers including but not limited to permanent facial ticks. I only tell you this in case you ask your doctor about it as well so you can be prepared.

      add in some mothers milk tea, some herbs listed above, some patience and support, and you could likely have your milk back in anywhere from a few weeks to 2 months. It will be well worth it, i had an issue that caused low supply and had to stop breastfeeding at 5 months, i have thought about relactating but i could never get my son to latch and donated breast milk worked just as well. I wish i had tried earlier and always regretted waiting so long to learn about/consider it.

      I wish you the best of luck and if you need any help/support along the way Erin has my email for you :)

  33. Amberae says

    I noticed someone mentioned using domperidone which was recommended to me. I had issues with my supply from the beginning and I tried everything. I used every herb and ate lactation cookies and all other foods that could increase milk supply. I power pumped hours and hours. My dr prescribed reglan to me. Do not take reglan!!! It made me feel so crazy! So finally I took domperidone because I was desperate. Domperidone is not supposed to effect your baby but it did affect my son. He was a good sleeper until i started taking domperidone. He started waking up all through the night with what seemed to be stomach cramps. So just beware, regardless of what research says its can affect your baby! I am not the only one, I found another mother who had the same experience. My son slept fine immediately after I stopped taking it. He didn’t have any more stomach issues.

    • says

      Oh wow! Thank you SO much for sharing your experience with us! That is good to know in case any moms are experiencing this side effect or to be aware that it can happen!

  34. Brittany says

    I have also tried Fenugreek and it works well for me. I also heard that instead of drinking beer, you can drink A&W Root beer straight from the tap. Meaning it must come from a restaurant that brews it there. The bottled or canned will not work. Because the brewers yeast has been deactivated through the canning and bottling process.

  35. Allison says

    I have a 1 month old baby girl. She is obviously growing, but I just never feel like I have enough milk unless it’s been 3-4 hours. She seems to get upset if she nurses with only 2 hours or less in between (it takes a lot to get her to stay latched on), which makes me think I don’t have a good enough supply. She also sleeps a lot (duh), but it is very hard to wake her every 2 hours to eat…she just doesn’t want to wake up no matter what I do! So when this happens, I pump, but I usually only produce 1.5oz on each side. Is that enough? I drink a ton of water and am taking fenugreek pills. This is my 2nd child, and my 1st weaned himself at 6 months because I could not keep my supply up no matter what I did and he would just get upset at the breast. I do NOT want this to happen again! What would you recommend?

    • Allison says

      I feel I should also mention that she usually only wakes up once during the night, and since I am very full, only drinks from one side. I pump the other side one she’s finished, but never get more than 3 oz. It should be more, right?

      • Erin says

        Pumping isn’t a good gauge of how much milk you’re producing. Some people just don’t respond well to the pump. One mom might get .5 ounces where another one gets 2 or 3 ounces. Since your baby is a month old now, your supply is probably leveling out, so you will feel “full” less often. I’d love some other people to chime in here, so I’m going to reach out to our Facebook fans for feedback as well. Here’s my opinion, which shouldn’t be substituted for medical advice as I’m not a professional- I would stop waking her to eat every 2 hours and let her nurse on demand; whether that’s after 1.5 hours or 2 or 3 hours. Nursing on only one side is fine, I did that with both of my children! The best way to gauge whether you’re producing enough milk isn’t from the pump, it’s from wet and soiled diapers. As long as she is having 5-6 wet diapers in a 24 hour period, she is getting enough. Also, you might find a breastfeeding support group in your area. Many of them will even do weekly weigh ins for you, if that would help ease your mind. Hopefully I’ll get some more feedback from some of our other followers. Thank you for your question!

      • Erin says

        I thought of one more suggestion-I read to let your baby suckle/use you as a pacifier during the first few months, especially, to keep your supply going. It’s okay if she’s nursing for comfort and is drifting to sleep while she nurses. That, too, can help with supply.

        Here are some of the responses from some other readers:
        She should try Organic Mother’s Milk tea. I thought my newborn wasn’t getting enough, now my milk actually leaks out if I don’t feed her quick enough.
        Try talking to a professional – a lactation counselor. You CAN do this.
        Nurse and pump a million times a day! I used to do this thing called “power pumping” pump for 10mins stop for 10mins and repeat for as long as you can stand it! doing that every day for boosted my supply like crazy!
        A pump is not a true indicator of how much milk you are actually producing. I’ve nursed two babies for 12+ mos and was never able to get a single drop with either one! Also, your breasts will never “feel” full after only 2 hours. Your breastmilk actually changes in caloric value as your baby grows. So even though she is getting older, doesn’t mean she will need more milk. That only applies to bottle fed babies as their formula never changes ingredients :). You should be drinking half your weight in water – so if you weigh 140 lbs, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water per day, at a very minimum.
        Hope that helps! If you’re still struggling, I would HIGHLY suggest you contact an IBCLC or a leader with Le Leche League. Good luck!!!!

  36. Jodi says

    I don’t usually respond to things like this, but I went through the exact same thing with all my girls. It seemed like around four months they wanted so much more milk than it felt like I had. I made the mistake with my first daughter, due to lack of good advice, of trying to supplement with bottles of milk and water. I felt horrible when she would carry on – -like I was starving her. I learned with my second and more so with my third daughter , that around 4 – 6 months they want to nurse more often because they are becoming more aware of the world and in turn not nursing for as long or as much because they’re distracted. In consequence they want to nurse for shorter amounts of time and MUCH more frequently – it is maddening sometimes, truthfully one mother to another, nursing every two hours at five months. It seems to last only a few months and them they go back to nursing like usual around 6 to 8 months. I just wanted to let you know my experience because a lot of mothers I’ve talked to have gone through the same thing. Some, like me with my first daughter, were disappointed in themselves because they felt like they couldn’t produce the milk. The most important thing is to not be so hard on yourself. Do the best you can and enjoy every bit of it. You’re both healthy – you’ll work out what’s best for you and your baby whatever that may be. A happy Mommy is a good Mommy. Just believe in yourself and love yourself and the rest will come naturally! Best of luck!

  37. Rachel says

    With my last baby I took fenugreek and it messed with my blood sugar level. My blood sugar would be in the 60’s even after I ate. That is a side effect. It also messes w your blood coagulation. So I you are on a blood thinner it will enhance the effect of the blood thinner and your blood can become too thin. I discovered all this after some research. I stopped taking fenugreek because of the blood sugar problem. I eventually stopped beeastfeeding after 3 months because it became too stressful and I found I wasn’t even enjoying my baby. After I stopped my life improved greatly. I didn’t have good pumping conditions at work.. I was basically in a storage closet standing in the corner hoping nobody would walk in. I’m sure that contributed to my decrease in supply. Currently I am beeastfeeding my second child and go back to work in a week. I am hopeful this time though because I will have time to pump and a good place to pump in. Hopefully it goes better this time!

    • Kyra says

      This might also have to do with the fact that fenugreek prohibits other oral medications from absorbing into your system…

  38. Angela says

    I had to do a lot of pumping at first because of inverted nipples feeding my son at the breast was quite painful. I would try putting him to the breast but just never could stand it long enough to give him a good feeding, so ended up pumping and bottle feeding primarily for the first couple months or so…. it got easier though and now he is 8 months old and i have been primarily feeding him at the breast for about 4 months or so i think? Even after i started feeding him at the breast i would pump both sides just after feeding him to up my milk supply…. i was quite the dairy farm for awhile there, i had to tone it down because i would get so engorged so fast! One thing i’ve found to make ALL THE DIFFERENCE to me is the Lactation specialist from the hospital told me to try taking Lecithin……. I take one (21 GRAIN LECITHIN) every morning…. it seems to help my milk flow much better, otherwise it kind of feels “stuck” in there and when i cant get the milk out it lowers the production. If i forget to take it one day, about halfway through the day i will notice a difference in my milk supply & flow! I swear by it!!!!! Also i got an itchy rash from the Lanolin and the lactation specialist said there is wool in it and thats probably why….she had me just use olive oil on a cotton ball instead, it worked great, plus way cheaper than Lanolin!!

  39. Jlc2223 says

    I exclusively pumped from 3 weeks to 15 months with my daughter. I wanted to add that breast massage during the pumping session is very helpful. Especially in the last few minutes because it helps release the hind milk and stimulates more production if supply is low. Massage in circular motions from the outside of your breasts down towards the nipple. This was helpful to avoid clogged ducts too. I also drank non-alcoholic beer when my supply was low. 1-3 non-alcoholic beers a day for 2-3 days, plus extra pumping would bring my supply back with a vengeance. I pumped on a schedule, every 4 hours for 10-20 minutes per session and was easily producing 55-65oz a day.

  40. Alana says

    I nursed my little boy for 13 months. I had to go back to work when he was just 8 weeks old and so had to pump. He stopped wanting to nurse at all at 4 months but it was important to me that he continue to get breast milk so I had to make sure to pump extra and keep my supply up. It was difficult but I never had to supplement with formula and my LO and I benefited greatly. When my supply would start to dip I would follow many of the tips listed here, but there is also a supplement called Fenugreek (available at Super Supplements) that aids in milk production that helped me quite a bit. If you use this product, don’t be alarmed, it will make your milk, the baby’s urine and possibly your urine smell like maple syrup. :) but there are much worse things you could smell like and if it works, it’s worth it! Your wee one is worth it! Nursing is definitely a labor of love but just keep trying:)

  41. Jessica says

    By the time my babies are 6-8 months I feel like I cannot satisfy them and usually end up weaning. My baby right now is 8 months and I definitely feel like I am nearly empty!!! Of course I have no way to measure it and the rare occasion that I try to pump I either get nothing (after trying for 15 minutes) or maybe 2 ounces. My baby doesn’t seem to be starving (in mannerism or weight) so I have to believe he gets more than that in a feeding. I keep going back and forth, to wean or not to wean…. It even seems like it is taking longer for my milk to let down when he nurses :( I’m not sure the best route to take since there are so many things recommended. I did see someone mention IGT, I have never heard of that – how would one know if they had it?

    • Carrie says

      The best gauge really is weight gain and if your baby seems to be hungry after you’ve fed. It is totally normal to feel empty all the time by that point because your body is making the exact amount the baby needs. My guess is that there is no way you would have been able to breastfeed this long without supplementing if you had IGT. If you noticed, the one commenter said her baby lost a pound from birthweight!! And also, as stated above, pumping is NOT a way to gauge how much milk you’re making. I would definitely stick with it and not worry a bit! :)

  42. Alyssa says

    I drink Hot Chocolate and eat Yeast Rolls. Yeast rolls work great, I can have a let down within 10 minutes of finishing my roll. I have 1 with every meal, add some butter, honeybutter, or cinnamon butter for different flavors! Chocolate, believe it or NOT, help as well. Hot chocolate is a very relaxing drink that helps give you happy hormones, those happy hormones, along with relaxing will help you to let down and help your milk come in, it also speeds up your digestive system to JUMP START the process. When you nurse, u tend to get constipated bc your body prolongs the digestive process to make sure you and baby get enough calories, so by jumpstarting your digestive system and keeping things moving along, you will feel better and be able to eat more- thus giving your milk a better chance at producing. Also, adding Almonds into Oatmeal cookies will give u and extra boost of iron, more milk with that iron!

  43. Jackie says

    My baby is 8 months old and we are struggling with low supply. This baby is #4 and I have had supply issues with all the others as well. My other 3 took a bottle and were fine with formula so I quit nursing to alleviate the stress. Baby #4 will NOT take formula. So I am trying desperately to get my supply up. I have been power pumping the last couple days after reading this post and also made the lactation cookies. I also take fenugreek 3 times a day, drink 1-2 cups of mother’s milk tea, eat oatmeal for breakfast and 96 oz. of water a day. I am becoming very discouraged. My baby pulls away crying every time he eats. How long should it take to boost the supply? My husband thinks we should push the formula so I can stop stressing. Need some encouragement.

    • Erin says

      Is there a lactation consultant you could meet with or a doctor who could talk to you? Sometimes a lactation consultant can help ease your worries, fix latch problems or problem solve with you as to why your baby is unhappy. I would continue feeding from the breast as much as possible and I’m sure you’ll start to see an increase soon! But I think it’s important to figure out why your son is crying during feedings and a lactation consultant is best to help you figure that out. Please let us know how things progress for you!

  44. Gerri Vaden says

    I thought I would mention my story on here as I did not see it mentioned as of yet. I was one that had PLENTY of milk when through a box of disposible pads a week. However when my son was born (He was my second Child) after about a month it just seemed that even though he ate alot and was gaining like he should he just was not satisfied. I had read an article about Marshmallow Root and how it helps to put fat in your milk. I started to take it in Capsules(if I remember right I took like 4 of them 2 or 3 times a day. Within a couple of days he was resting better and completely satisfied. When he was 3 months old he looked like a sumu wrestler he was so chubby. I did not feed my children any food until they were a year old, they only had breast milk. They are very healthy children. A few years after I discovered the Marshmallow Root, My Sister-in-law had a premie baby at 6.5 months. They told her that they do so much better if they can have breast milk. I told her about the Marshmallow Root. Right away she started taking it. At the same time there was another lady that had a baby also only about 6.5 months along. She too gave breast milk. With in about a month they were able to take her son home. And within a few month he grew and caught up to babies his age. The Doctors were so suprised at his progress. The other lady was not able to take her baby home for several months and even years later her child had that premie look. My Nephew never had that look after a very short period of time and he is a very healthy boy. I would recommend that any and all nursing mothers take Marshmallow root.

    • Carrie says

      I wonder if this is the answer for me! My pediatrician told me a story… When he was a kid, his mom would always know when the boys had been chasing the milk cow around the pasture because the milk they got from her wouldn’t have hardly any cream! He said, “This is your 3rd baby. You have a LOT going on. The stress and the go-go-go of motherhood will just take the fat out of your milk.” My baby was 3 months old at the time and hadn’t gained an ounce since 2 months old. Adding pumpings and feedings just stressed me out more. At 4 months I finally chose to supplement to simplify my life. When she was 8 months old, life had calmed down, I was less stressed, (and with the help of Le Leche League) and I was finally able to go back to breastfeeding without supplementing. My 4th baby was super chubby at 1 month old but at 3 months, stopped gaining weight and looked almost malnourished. I felt it was the same problem. I make enough milk, but not quality milk! I supplemented him just a bottle or two a day until I weaned at 13 months. I am pregnant with my 5th now and have been thinking a lot about how to solve this problem! SO… If I could take a supplement taht would just increase the fat content, I think that would make the most sense! If anyone else has some information or has taken Marshmallow Root, I’d love to hear about it!

    • says

      WOW!!! Thank you so much for sharing that!! Like Erin, I had never heard of that either!!! Thank you so much for sharing that. I already shared it with a mommy group I belong to!

  45. Sharpemother says

    RAW MILK boosts milk supply within hours! I have always struggled with milk supply issues with all of my first 4 children, and then I read somewhere that raw milk (not store-bought milk) will boost your milk supply overnight. So when I gave birth to my 5th baby (almost 2 months ago) I found a local farmer who was willing to sell me a few gallons of raw milk every week and I started drinking! (I grew up on a farm and drank raw milk all the time, so I am not afraid of drinking it raw in the least.) Let me tell you, it makes my milk rich and within hours of drinking a full glass I see a huge difference in my supply. The letdown is so strong it hurts, and I always have leftovers! ;) I’m even able to cut calories and lose a bit of weight, and my milk remains rich and plentiful. There are so many people out there who drink nothing but raw milk, so if you can find these liberty-loving folks you should be able to find a farmer who will *discreetly* sell you raw milk. :) Oh, and when I don’t make it to the farm for a week or two my supply diminishes quite a lot, my milk gets weaker/waterier, and my baby doesn’t sleep as long or as deeply. It makes a huge difference for me.

  46. Katie says

    The reason raw milk (and juice, soft cheeses, ect.) should be avoided during pregnancy is because of bacteria such as listeria, which is killed during pasteurization, and is dangerous for the fetus. But if you ask a dairy farmer I’m sure they drank it during pregnancy w/ no problems! Of course it’s better safe than sorry. After the baby is born it is safe to go back to raw milk. I’m pregnant w/ my 2nd now and I’m lactose intolerant. The bacteria/enzymes in raw milk makes it digestable for me and I miss it! With my 1st I drank soy milk so I’m very interested to see how raw milk effects my production. I went back to work @ 3 months and had to supplement @ 6 months but my daughter still breastfed for a little over a year so I have high hopes for this time as well!

  47. says

    Thank you for this great info! I also found that Fenugreek seed worked pretty well. Pumping before bed (even if I only pumped a tiny bit) helped me as well. I always seemed to wake up fuller in the morning. It was tough to do though, I always wanted to just skip it to go to sleep!

  48. Meghan says

    My son is seven months and I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. With her, I was only able to make it 11 months (my goal was a year) and that was only because I was able to freeze so much milk at the beginning.

    Over the past couple weeks, but most noticeably this week, my supply has gone down by a couple ounces at each pumping session. I know it’s probably because he’s started on fruits/veggies/rice cereal (at 5 months), but I feel like he eats from me just as often. This is basically the same thing I went through with his sister. I have not changed my diet and try to drink as much as possible. Why does my supply go down when it should be going up as he ages? Does anyone else ever had this problem later rather than sooner? Thanks in advance!

  49. Alisha says

    When I was nursing and pumping for my twins, nothing bumped up my supply like going to the neighbor’s for an unterrupted nap. It’s tough sometimes with babes but a great nap, even just20 minutes, does wonders.

  50. says

    Brewers Yeast and 6-9 Fenugreek pills a day really helped me. I would make a smoothie each morning with 1 frozen banana, milk, ice, 1 heaping handful of fresh spinach leaves, a handful of other frozen fruits, and 2 heaping tablespoons of brewers yeast really helped bump my supply up a few ounces.

  51. Elisia says

    my baby wasn’t gaining weight in the beginning and i was told to switch to formula. After leaving the pediatrician’s office in tears i called our local la leche league consultant and she said “the more you nurse, the more milk you make!” (obviously a bit different if you need to pump), so for a week I nursed my 4 week old every 2 hours and let her stay on as long as she wanted. It was a tough week, but she gained a pound that week and things have been good ever since!

  52. says

    Traditionaly in India when mothers deliver, they eat a savoury ball(the size of a golf ball) made with fenugreek among other things.Every morning after a massage with a glass of hot milk. And this is the reason I believe, to increase milk flow.Our modern world is just figuring it out what our old traditions and customs were already practicing. When I was pregnant, my sis made those and sent them for me and what can I say… my son would latch on for an hour at times!! Not kidding.

    Recipe for methi laddu

    Here’s the recipe for methi ladoo

    Methi seeds : 125gms :
    Dry roast. Cool. Then powder.
    Soak the powder in ghee(clarified butter) while u get other things ready.

    Dried Dates : Handful
    Almonds : Handful
    Dry roast and powder.

    Dink (gondh) (optional) : 100 gms
    fry in ghee.

    Rava : 1/2 cup : dry roast

    Wheat Flour : 2 cups : roast in ghee

    Dried coconut : Handful : dry roast

    Sugar Powder : 2 cups

    Khus Khus (Poppy Seeds) : 100 gms : dry roast

    Dried ginger powder (optional) : 2 tsp.

    Put all the above ingredients in plate and shape into ladoos.

    Note: You will need lots of ghee to shape them into balls. I love ghee but as its very fattening, you can have a spoon or two of the powder (prepared using the above method) followed by a glass of milk.
    All the goodies without the fat calories from ghee! :)

    Also another imp thing that we have to have is Dill & Fenugreek water.

    This is how u make it …simply soak 5 tsps of fenugreek seeds and 5 tsps of dill seeds in 10 glasses of water overnight. Next morning boil it with the seeds and bring it down to a 5 glasses, cool and drink a cup after u warm it, can add sugar or honey to mask the flavour, or even some ginger,in the mornings and throughout the day.
    You can make whole lot and bottle it and put it in the fridge as well.Helps with gas, bloating,digestive system.
    I was lucky I didnt have to face any of whta u ladies are going thru….my heart goes out to u all.Good luck!!

  53. Casey says

    I LOVE this site!! So glad I came across it. I have been stressing out for the past few wks. I do not feel “full” anymore. My son is going on 6 months. I HATE pumping!! I am keeping up with him but just not making any extra. Maybe I should start pumping more just to increase it. I want to make it to at least a year. How do I know if I am decreasing, that is my major question?? Any signs or does it just go away? I feel like I am doing EVERYthing wrong!! My son is not sleeping well at all. He wakes up 4-6 times a night. He eats each time then will fall back asleep. I am exausted. I am not eating properly because I forget. I am not drinking enough water. I drink hardly nothing. When I first had him I was doing great because I wanted to establish good supply..well I did bc I was overflowing with milk..ended up with 2 clogged milk ducts. Very painful. So now I am leveled out I guess? bc I do not feel full ever.Each time I pump I only am getting like 1 oz to MAYBE 2 oz. Is this normal?? I also only have a single pump, so IDK if that is my issue with pumping.

    I probably sound crazy rambling on! I am going to try the cookies..do they work pretty well? I tried fenugreek, did nothing for me but make me smell like maple syrup. Lol. Thanks for ANY advice you give me..

    • says

      You are so cute! We love that you LOVE this site! Thank you. While Erin can probably chime in more about your questions, I can tell you that the lactation cookies did help me. I ate at least 5 a day because like you, I found myself not eating as much as I should have. If I can suggest you start trying to increase your fluid intake as much as possible as well as your calorie intake, that should help too. Possibly eating oatmeal at some point in the day. I always noticed an increase in my supply after eating it.

      But most importantly, take a DEEP BREATH and try not to stress! <3

  54. says

    I had my daughter in June and have been breastfeeding since the time she was born. My midwife informed me of this supplement called Nursing Blend that I could order online and take in the place of my prenatal vitamin. Well I thought I would give it a try, so I ordered a two month supply. I received it just before she was a week old. I take one capsule in the morning and one in the evening. I was pumping right after she got done eating and every 2 hours betweek feedings. By the time she was 3 weeks old I had 50 4oz bags of breastmilk in the freezer! She started daycare when she was 9 weeks old so I was able to send some of those bags to daycare. She is now 3 almost 4 months old and I have close to if not more than 300 bags of breastmilk in my freezer (I actually ran out of room in my freezer so I am storing some at my parents house to). She also told me about a Nursing Blend tea that I could drink but I tried the capsules first and they worked so I just stuck with them.

  55. Taryn says

    I usually do not comment but I want to thank you for all of this wonderful information. I returned to work 3 days a week and while there I have no access to pumping where I know this is illegal I also need my job to support my little one. I am usually there for 6 hours each shift! My son eats every 2 hours so i am missing 3 feedings! He is gaining weight very well but i notice after my three days of work he is not satisfied. I am not really sure what to do but now I have some great tips (I am not just worried about being to full at work and not being able to pump). After my three days of work it usually takes me about 2 days to get my supply back up. If anyone has any advice please feel free.

  56. Lauren says

    For anyone out there struggling with supply or IGT, I would highly recommend an at-breast supplementer if you decide or need to supplement with formula. It was a lifesaver – DD spent more time on the breast and I believe it was the biggest help for my very small supply – approx 12oz/day – and got us through to 7 months.

  57. Ivy says

    Something that increased my supply was NOT stressing out and sleeping enough! When I’d worry about stupid things like “Is my baby eating enough?” Or, “OMG I didn’t mail out those thank you cards” My milk supply would go down.

  58. Gina says

    I didn’t make enough milk with my first two babies (tried fenugreek and it didn’t work but realized later I wasn’t taking enough!). With baby number three I took six fenugreek capsules per day and I never had to supplement for an entire year! It was awesome. I didn’t realize I smelled like maple syrup until I weaned and stopped taking fenugreek and suddenly realized my pee smelled like pee again and not a sweet smell anymore. :)

  59. Sumiyeh says

    I was fortunate enough to nurse three babies for 17 months, 27 months and 28 months (in their birth order). I was nursing my first baby when I got pregnant with the second, so I felt that I needed to wean the first. I used large amounts of sage in my cooking for about 3 days to naturally dry up my milk. Moral of this story? SAGE WILL DRY UP YOUR MILK!

  60. Marissa says

    Love this website! My daughter is 8 weeks and I feel like I am keeping up with her. I started taking the fenugreek supplement about a month ago and noticed a difference after that, I started taking 6 and now take 8 as I just started going back to work 3 days a week and noticed a small decrease. I also drink a TON of water and can tell the drop off in milk if I dont drink at least 4 liters a day. I’ve thought about adding in an alfalfa supplement, anyone have experience with trying that?

  61. Amy says

    Great article! I had trouble keeping up my milk supply and it was a lot of work, but I’m so glad I did it! It’s nice to have all of these tips in one place, but I have a few more suggestions. Fenugreek is an herbal supplement my lactation consultant recommended, they sell it on Amazon and at health food stores. I was told to take two capsules twice a day and it worked wonderfully. The tip about the foods is great, too! I had trouble fitting in all those foods and found lactation cookies to be a great help! You can make your own (I tried both of these recipes http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html?m=1) and received these as a gift (http://www.milkmakers.com/).
    Hope these tips can help someone, too!

  62. Hayley B says

    I’ve started taking fenugreekand brewer’s yeast 3x pet day, but don’t see a change. How long before you saw an increase in supply? I drink lots of water. I try to drink while I nurse and after. I work and pump three times per day in a 9- hour work period. This includes my lunch hour. Then I nurse at night at least three timesbefore morning. I just want to make sure I’m doing everything to increase my supply.

  63. Bethany says

    Does anyone have any information on how to increase supply after having a clogged duct or mastitis? I’ve been breast feeding and pumping for 11 months and usually got at least 4 oz from each breast now i only get maybe 2 oz. Does the above info work or is there something else for this situation?

  64. krista says

    i was wondering if anyone else has had any issues with intraductal papillomas….. i didnt have any with #1, but with #2 i had to quit nursing him at 5 months because of them. now we are going to be having #3 in january and i am hoping to nurse with her, but i am a little worried about having problems again.

  65. Erin says

    Thanks for the helpful info here. We have two biological children (who I breastfed for 10 and 8 months) and we are in the process of a domestic infant adoption. I’m considering trying to breastfeed our adopted baby (for health and bonding purposes) and I’ve heard it’s possible. Does anyone have any experience with or advice for breastfeeding an adopted baby? Thanks!

  66. callan says

    I breastfed my son for 3 days before switching to formula. Too stressful taking care of a newborn plus my 17 month old daughter. He had a lot of health issues and was hospitalized for 2 weeks in his first month of life. Doctors wanted him on breast milk, but I was completely dry. After 4 months, I started my relactation journey. What helped me most was lots of water, the natural herb fenugreek, and massaging while pumping. It took 2 1/2 months, but I am proud to say my son is exclusively on breast milk now, and perfectly healthy

  67. Hannah says

    My little girl is 7 mo old. I work 4 days a week and off weekends. 3 days out of the week she is solely breastfed exclusively. During an 8 hr day at work, I produce 8-9 oz. I pump right before work (3-4 oz) or nurse her, I pump at lunch time and then in the afternoon. I get home and nurse her and pump once before bed (2 oz). I eat oatmeal everyday. I tried fenugreek and it was unsuccessful. I took 4 tablets every 3 hours 3 x a day. I drink tons of water, and eat a healthy well balanced diet. I am able to meet her needs but I wish I had extra. My freezer stash only has 30 oz. At the end of the week. Throughout the week we use about 15 oz of it and then on Fridays I freeze my pumped supply to make 30 oz. Am I doomed to not not make anymore? At 7 mos of breastfeeding is this my established supply?

  68. Leanne says

    wow i wish i had something like this to read when i was breastfeeding, my milk supply was very low to the point that my baby girl ended up in hospital seriously dehydrated and under weight, i ended up stopping as i was terrified it would happen again! Maybe in the future if i decide to have another baby i will follow all these steps! Thank you :)

  69. Brenda says

    Thanks for the great list! I pumped exclusively with my little guy for 10 months before switching to formula. (He had an “uncooridnated suck” which I physically could not handle.) Words cannot describe how frustrating and stressful pumping can be! To all you mommies out there doing it: you are doing a great job! And your baby appreciates it! I had supply issues as well and took fenugreek like it was going out of style. It worked very well! Also, I didn’t mind the maple syrup smell… it was much better than the stinky b.o. I would have smelled like with all the sweating I did (a side effect of c-section meds)! Pumping can be hard on your boobie skin, so I used a little bit of olive oil on the pump horns/funnels where my skin cam in contact with the plastic and it help alot. It is not harmful to the baby, so you don’t have to worry about washing it off. All the best to you ladies! However you decide to feed your little one, enjoy this time, it goes so fast!!

  70. Danielle says

    We went on vacation when my daughter was seven months old. A few months before I started working on building up a stock pile for grandma to give baby while we were gone. After she nursed I would pump for 5-10 mins on each side. I would also be sure to nurse or pump every 2 hours. Eventually I could get 8-10 oz per side. I had like 200 oz stock piled for our vacations.

  71. K.Buter says

    Fenugreek seed capsules & Mother’s Milk Tea!!! Consuming both throughout the day on a daily basis helped me maintain my supply. WATER, WATER, WATER!!! I try to drink as much as possible _every_ time I think about drinking, or that I should drink water. An additional 300 calories or so a day above my normal/usual intake. I don’t shy away from fats either. They seem to help.

  72. Natalie says

    I used More Milk Plus by Motherlove and it worked wonders for me. More Milk has Fenugreek plus some other natural ingredients. Moreover, it doesn’t have the maple syrup smell. II produced more milk than using Fenugreek alone. I can be a bit pricey though, I recommend Amazon.

  73. Esther says

    You can also try “More Milk Plus”. You can buy it online. It helped me so much when I battled PP Depression and never ate. But beware, it tastes awful. So maybe try some of the other options first!

  74. Diane says

    My son was preemie and unable to breastfeed. I pumped from day one and tried everything to increase my milk supply (lactation consultant, more milk plus, nursing tea, fish oil tablets) but still only managed to pump half of what my son needed to eat each day so I supplemented with formula.

    One trick I learned – I was able to pump 25% more milk if I stood up while pumping rather than sitting down. It was really tiring – but I was so happy to find a trick that was free and helped increase my milk.

  75. Morghan says

    Two of the most helpful tips my grandmother shared with me are to drink a lot of milk myself and to use malt. You can mix malt in milk or my favorite, a milkshake! Every time I have a malted milkshake my supply doubles for the next Dayish!

  76. Marina says

    Another great thing is Organic Mother’s Milk tea. It contains both fenugreek and blessed thistle. These are two great herbs for increasing milk supply. I suggest a cup a day for good measure. This tea is available at Target and Kroger for about $5.00 a box and well worth it.

  77. Donnetta says

    Hey brown beer at night works really well for me. But it seems sometimes my body get use to it then I will have to tablespoons of brewers yeast in a tall glass of orange juice. Both work as long as I switch it up here in there. Your beer is east is kinda gross but if you drink orange juice fast it’s not too bad and it really helps a lot. If you get the dance powder it is disgusting. But if you get The powder that’s kind of flaky it’s not bad at all. Best wishes everyone and happy Breast feeding :-)

  78. Kirstin says

    My daughter is now 8 1/2 months and I’m still breast feeding. In the beginning I ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast and drank a non-alcoholic beer every night with supper. I hate beer so I would mix it with lemonade (aka a radler) or iced tea to make it palatable. Now that I’m no longer her main source of nutrients I’ve noticed a decline in milk, so BEFORE her morning feeding I pump (because pumping AFTER was yielding only a 1/2 oz). I have enjoyed breast feeding immensely and plan to do it with our subsequent children :)

  79. Laci says

    I loved reading this and all of the comments! When I nirsed my first son I absolutely loved nursing! We both just fell right into it! Of course I had the sore nipples at first and I used prescription nipple cream (Dr. Newmans) which I swear by and totally recommend. He nu rsed on one side each feeding and even though it was suggested to do both sides he got all he needed from one anf never fell below the 95% in height and weight. I ate as much oatmeal as i could and as many forms as i could every day. When I had to pump at work I always pumped about six ounces on each side! I was always so proud of that. Not sire at what age but eventually my milk did seem to decrease and I eventually was prescribed Reglan because I refused to stop nursing. It was amazing for me although I know many women do not wish to take medication. Other than that I nursed until just about 12 months with no complications. I am now nursing my second child who is almost 3 months over three years later and it has not been as great of an experience. Both of my children were born “tongue-tied”. I noticed it on my oldest on my own and real ly haf to push to have the frenulum clipped

  80. Laci says

    In the hospital before discharged. With my second they noticed and announced at delivery but still did nothing for about a day so nirsing was painful and he couldnt latch on prperly until it was fixed. With this child breastfeeding has seemed more difficult and more painful. The worst part has been having plugged ducts. I had the first ever a few weeks ago and was totally miserable. It was so painful and I felt so sick. My OB/GYN was obviously not very familiar ith breastfeeding when I called her and suggested I go to an urgent care place and see a general surgeon. I went to the local breastfeeding clinic and was given some suggestions and told to take ibuprofen and lechtithin supplement. After about a week it finally went away. Now I have another on the other side and while I don’t feel as sick it is just as painful. Both sides seem to always feel bruised any time I hold my baby close. My child also experienced severe colic and just recently found out he has heartburn amd maybe a little bit of reflux. After starting Zantac he seems a lot more at ease and nursing as seemed much better. He is gaining great at 15lbs and only 2mo and 3wks so I will continue because I know how great it is for him!

  81. Chrystal says

    I breast fed all three of my kids. With my first I had little success with an expensive pump and could only express a couple ounces every few hours. My 2nd and 3rd I rented a hospital grade pump and had HUGE success! I kept to a strict schedule and pumped every 4 hours (except at night when I would get whatever sleep I could and was able to express 6-10 ounces PER breast every 4 hours!! I highly recommend the hospital grade pumps (they are about $1500-$1800 to buy so its cheaper to rent! They make a huge difference, do both breasts at the same time and adjust for comfort! I’m planning on donating my extra milk with my next baby! :-)

    Oh also, I only brought the babies to breast until my full milk supply came in (about 2 weeks) then bottle fed the breast milk! For my busy life, it was the best way for me!

  82. Jess says

    Breastfed both of my children 2 years each. I’m not a drinker, but the beer worked best for me. Fixing to deliver my 3rd and you can bet there will be a six pack in my fridge at some point…. Just gotta keep my husband away from them. Lol

    • Yvonne says

      cuz ur not pumping milk when ur pregnant, ur pumping milk after u hav ur baby & ur not pregnant anymore. lol sorry that was just kinda a no brainer

      • Michelle says

        Sorry I don’t finish my sentence. It also says not intended for nursing women. That’s why I asked because all these posts say to use it to increase milk.

        • Hannah says

          It’s most likely because there’s limited research on using it during nursing. A lot of nursing teas say the same thing.

  83. Nicki says

    I had this problem around 6 months when work stress & worry started interfering with my milk production. I found a combo that brought it back up significantly for me. I was only producing about 2oz each breast when pumping when I was 4-5 ea before. I also found that I was no longer becoming engorged over longer periods of time & had less milk to express. I did read, if you’re baby is gaining weight, they are getting enough. And it’s true that baby can get more out than a machine. I drank a lot of Mother’s Milk tea (helps with hydration as well), pumped after every nursing, tried to fed little more frequently (every 3 hrs instead of 4) & took Fenugreek. 3-4 per day.
    This combo brought my supply back up within a week to where I was actually engorged again- which meant lots of extra milk!!! Another big key is to try not to stress about it. Relax & enjoy your sweet baby!

  84. Yvonne says

    Also Fenugreek helps alot, its an herbal capsule. When i became stressed when my bf broke up with me my supply went down & i was really disappointed in my self so i did some research & asked my nurses up here in the NICU & they said o yes its amazing. & it is. I have a baby in the NICU & i wasnt able to hold him til 10 days after he was born. he was born @ 27 weeks. so while we r in the nicu i have to use medela symphony cuz it builds a milk supply when u cnt have ur baby close by. yes drinking lots of water, milk, eat good healthy home made meal help. i have my oatmeal every morning, not a fan but its for my lil man :)

  85. Arissa says

    I love that there are moms helping other moms out there. You ladies rock! I had breast cancer with my second child. I was only able to nurse on one breast with my third. It was a struggle but brewers yeast was my lil helper.
    Also not to stress over nursing. It will affect you supply and your infant. Do what works for you and your baby. Don’t compare, and no it’s not always easy.

  86. says

    ASI Booster tea ( a kind of nursing tea) works on me. It contains fennel, fenugreek, alfalfa, moringa, and anise.I have a low milk supply about 5-20 ml, and now i can pump up to 60-80 ml. Not bad :D

  87. Corey says

    I recently stopped producing milk about a month ago. My daughter only wants breast milk and im running low on my stored supply. Is there anyway possible to get my milk to produce again?

  88. Morgan says

    This is probably the best/most accurate article I have seen on increasing milk supply! The second bullet point about eating is SO true. I know everyone is anxious to shed their baby weight, but that will come. Great article!

  89. Bernadette says

    I increased my supply easily bc baby ate every 2hrs on the dot for 6wks so my body got used to a hungry baby, so even when she started spacing out feedings, I pumped in between to keep up my supply! Pumping while baby feeds is also very helpful!

  90. Taire says

    You can purchase mothers milk tea at GNC to help boost your milk supply. You can also try fenugreek supplements. Both are homeopathic ways to help increase your milk production. Make sure you are able to nurse or pump about 1-2 hours after taking the supplements. I agree with the article too about eating and drinking. I feel nauseated and worn out if I pump and don’t eat immediately before or after.

  91. Liz says

    Also, relax and get the rest you need. Don’t be afraid to pump exclusively nursing doesn’t work. I haven’t had the drop in supply like many working moms have had because I have been pumping the whole time. And they scoffed at me and said it couldn’t be done. My baby is almost 10 months and has had mostly breast milk even when nursing didn’t work for us.

    Most of all, do what’s best for your family and don’t worry about comparing yourself to your friends or letting people judge you.

  92. Jen says

    I took fenugreek natural capsules. When I could not find the capsules where I am living I bought fenugreek (methi) seeds (commonly used in Indian cooking) and soaked them overnight to soften. I washed a handful down with water in the morning and by the evening was a full cow again!

  93. Karen says

    Just curious if anyone has ever experienced milk supply loss with subsequent children. I have had six babies and have stayed at home with all of them so working was not my issue. The first four, I literally was an overproducer with very very fat babies. The last two though, have been tiny babies. I truly feel like I have lost my supply by a ton. I don’t understand what could have happened. I have had my thyroid checked and it was fine. I am 35. I don’t know if age could be the cause?

  94. Alisha Cook says

    I have a 2 year old & a 4 month old I struggled with my 1st with breast feeding until he was 8 months old. Now with my 2nd I am struggling with a low milk supply and he is only 4 months old :( I feel like I have failed because I cant keep up with his growth spurt :( PLEASE any help advice to increase my milk supply naturally that is safe for me & my baby asap would be GREAT because I am so stressing over it thanks

  95. Lindsay says

    When I had my daughter I was so frustrated because she wouldn’t latch, soi ended up pumping which at first was a pain, but as time went on it worked out better for our family. I drank over 70oz of water and only ate healthy food and I had received 8oz glass. Bottles that fit with my pump and for whatever reason once I started pumping into those bottles I was able to between 16 and 24 oz (I am not kidding about this) each time I pumped. I would have to have extra bottles to switch to because the first ones would over flow. By the time my daughter was 9 months I had an entire deep chest freezer and normal fridge freezer full of frozen milk. I quit pumping after 9 months and had enough stocked up to make it until 3 days befor her first birthday! It was crazy!! But I’m so glad I stuck with it.

  96. Rosa says

    My baby is 2 months old and I have been struggling with my milk supply for over a month I tried fenugreek and only gained weight I wouldn’t care if it also made more milk but it’s not working. I want to stick with it but I need some help

  97. victoria long says

    Too much water can deplete your potassium and other water soluable vitamins and minerals thus reducing the fat in your breast milk leading to a baby that does not gain weight adequately.
    Rule of thumb is roughly 1 oz of water per 2 pounds of body weight per day for mom.

  98. Gabrielle says

    Hi, my little one is 5 months old and has been solely breastfed. I think the stress on keeping my milk supply has been more apparent now because he is getting more active. My best solution was to not stifle myself from eating because your still eating for two. And of course lots of water, but breastfeeding actually helps with the weight loss, so didnt stress on what I was eating at times. But still kept it healthy. Think happy thoughts of your baby as well while breast pumping and stay relaxed found these tips helpful

  99. Jessica says

    Beer doesn’t increase your milk supply. Studies have shown that babies don’t like the taste of beer in the milk, so they drink less, which makes you feel fuller, thinking your milk has increased. This may also be the case with some of the remedies mentioned such as dill juice, or grape juice, or anything that has a very potent flavor.Just something to think about…

  100. maureen says

    I’v tried raw almonds and oatmeal to increase my milk supply, and Iv found that they both work. I also pump a lot and nurse frequently. Though i’v haven’t need to take any supplements, I will keep it in mind if I’d need too… such a great idea! I will pass this on to my friends who are nursing!

  101. Barbara says

    Please help me I am a first time new Mom to preemie newborn twins. They were in the NICU for a whole month but I kept a strict schedule of pumping milk for them and visiting them everyday. I was pumping anywhere from 4 ozs to 10ozs every session, then the twins came home and my supply has dipped horrifically low. I put them to the breast as often as possible, and i supplement each feeding with a bottle feed to make sure they are eating enough. But now when I pump I am only getting 1/2 oz to an 1oz and am worried that my milk supply will not go back up. Three days ago I started taking, brewer’s yeast, Fenugreek and blessed thistle, 2 each 3x’s a day; but have not seen any results yet, am I taking enough? Plus I am drinking lots of water and eating and power pumping (tried 3 different methods since the milk supply droppped) please help me i really would prefer my babies get as much breast milk as i can get back, and really cannot afford formula.

    • says

      If you’re concerned about a supply issue, see a lactation consultant! I do know that if your babies are gaining weight and wetting their diapers regularly, then you do not have a supply issue. Your breasts will react differently to a pump than to a nursing baby, and so even if you don’t produce much when you pump, that is not necessarily an indication of what your babies are getting. The best way to increase your supply is to nurse, nurse, nurse, which is probably what you are already doing with two little ones to feed! I follow The Boob Geek on Facebook, and she always shares some great info about breastfeeding, and she breastfed twins, too! I’m pretty sure she shared an anecdote about French wet nurses in the 17th century nursing SIX babies at a time. Our boobs are awesome! :)

  102. says

    I’m assuming another person already mentioned this in the comments…but “nursing on demand” should be at the top of any supply-increasing list. Also, under-supply is often over diagnosed, especially when it’s self-diagnosed! It’s important to remember that you do not have an undersupply if your baby is gaining weight and wetting diapers, even if you have a hard time pumping much volume. Your breasts react differently to a pump than to a nursing baby, and some people will always have a hard time pumping much. But again, this is not an undersupply issue.

  103. Melissa says

    Fenugreek pills helped me overnight! You can find them in some grocery stores and also in health food stores.

    • Melissa says

      Fenugreek is found naturally in syrup… and that’s just how you will smell, sweet and syrupy. It activates your sweat gland, which is what your mammary glands are.

  104. Crista says

    For those that don’t get good results from fenugreek (I am one of those women) Goats Rue is the absolute best! It’s very hard to find, but it is amazing. Best thing you can use without a RX. I have used it with great results and a friend of mine has used it along with several other herbs to relactate.

  105. Shayna says

    I took fenugreek and it two things for me: (1) made me smell like maple syrup and (2) completely dried up my supply. I had issues and as was suggested fenugreek. Unfortunately, I got a rarer side effect. :(

  106. Angela says

    I have struggled since the day my daughter was born. At first she would not latch so i decided to be an exclusive pumper. I kept getting mastitis, NOT fun by the way. Eventually we worked and she started nursing. My supply had always been lower than i wanted our felt comfortable with. I have tried every food i have heard of to try to increase it. I have tried the beer..it worked the very next pump but after testing it had to dump it and the next pump was back to the same level. I got really sick with fever and almost dried up…the only thing that has helped me is being prescribed Reglan. The ONLY thing. I know is not natural but I’m still nursing at 10 and a half months because of it. I did have a small success over Christmas when i was home a lot more off of work and we nursed often because she was ina growth spurt. The thing i have learned is to not stress about it. I also agree with making sure you drink plenty and eat plenty, definitely makes a difference.

  107. Elana says

    Ok, here is my issue: My son is 3 mo old and I have been exclusively breast feeding. I thought we were doing amazing, no latch issues, seemed to be gaining weight, and had tons of wet and poopy diapers. So you can imagine my surprise when I went to the Dr for his 2mo appt and found out he only gained 2lbs since birth. The Dr gave me a week to see if I can get his weight up a little more… He gained 3 oz… Which was enough for her to allow me to continue exclusively breast feeding. My concern is that he won’t gain enough weight. I am feeding on demand, taking fenugreek 3x a day, drinking mothers milk tea 3x a day and pumping in between feelings. Is it possible that my milk just doesn’t have the far content it’s suppose to? Can I do something about it? I really want to continue breast feeding I couldn’t do it with my daughter (now 6).

  108. Elana says

    Here is my problem: I am on baby #2 and exclusively breast feeding. I thought we were getting along great, no latch problem, adequate weight gain, tons of wet and dirty diaper, and an incredibly happy baby. We I took him in for his 2 mo appt I was shocked to find out that he had only gained 2 lbs since birth. The Dr gave me a week to try and get his weight up but kept hinting that supplementing might be necessary. I left there totally discouraged and brokenhearted. In 9 days he gained 3 oz, but it was enough to satisfy the Dr. I am still exclusively breast feeding but I am worried about him being little. My supply is great, I take fenugreek 2x a day and drink mothers milk tea 3x a day. I am feeding on demand which is about every 2 hours and pumping right after feeding and in between feeding. He is sleeping great at night. Is it possible for my milk to have a low fat content? If so is there anything I can do for that? With baby #1 I was unable to breastfeed and I really want to keep it up with my son. Any ideas?

    • Erin says

      Elana,
      Is the doctor worried about his weight gain? I will post your question to our readers and ask for more input! If he is satisfied, happy and having wet diapers, it sounds like you’re doing everything right. According to Doctor Sears, breasted babies should gain 1-2 lbs a month for the first 6 months (http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/breastfeeding/faqs/how-much-weight-will-my-breastfeeding-baby-gain). I am not an expert, but if you are still concerned, please meet with a lactation consultant. I will share any responses we get from our readers as well! Keep up the great work!
      Erin

    • Erin says

      Elana, here is some advice from one of our followers:
      Pumping right after you feed the baby then pumping in between might be too much pumping. You have established a great milk supply, now it is time to ensure that your little bundle is getting all of the fatty breast milk he needs. Feed him from one breast per feeding, burp and put him back to the same side. Then offer the second breast at the end of the feeding. Start with the second breast the next feeding. By letting the baby fully empty the first breast you are making certain that he has access to the good fats that work their way into the milk towards the end of the feeding. Breast massage can also help work the fats into the milk from the lining of the ducts. I’m happy to answer questions or provide further assistance. I’m not an IBCLC but am a CLC and have helped many moms and babies with breastfeeding. I’m also still breastfeeding my 22 month old little girl!

  109. Rakim Robinson says

    My wife had hard time providing milk for our 1 month year old and contemplated formula. We tried a few remedies but everything was so time consuming. I work full time and she is currently working on her masters while working part time. We then found out about Milky! herbal tea drink and her supply begin to increase within 24 hours. She likes to go and its very accessible in terms of its usage (you only take 2 bottles a day) and it beats brewing tea and drinking 6 cups or taking pills that taste like chalk. To my surprise it worked.

  110. Annette says

    I have had problems with all my babies, and used with varying success many/most of these suggestions. However, happy to say that my 16 month old, third child is nursing on demand. Recently read information on using essential oils on Natural Living Mama. Please take a look, as I would totally try this myself, if I thought I needed to supplement still. It is easy, inexpensive, and she has used the oils with success. Just another tool in the shed :)

  111. etiffany says

    I am exclusively pumping because my daughter was in the nicu for 15 days after birth, however I use a hand pump..do you think this is detrimental to my supply. I have definently noticed my supply lowering and gettinf scared please help!!!

  112. Carrie Hankes says

    I had a LOT of problems breastfeeding my baby. If you have PCOS, make sure you see a lactation consultant because that can interfere with your supply. One thing that was suggested to me after the fact is if you are pumping, try having a picture of your baby or something that smells like your baby to get the milk flowing. I hope that helps!

  113. Amanda says

    I had truly low supply because of an infection, and had to supplement, I learned about an SNS (Supplemental nursing system) which allowed baby to continue nursing while getting formula/pumped milk through tiny tubes attached to me – instead of a bottle after nursing. We were finally able to no longer use formula after this, and have been EBF since 2 months, baby boy is now 6months and 75th percentile, doing great. I even am able to pump extra when he “snacks” and have a freezer stash. Nothing else worked for me but nursing, pumping, and power pumping.

  114. Susanne Watson says

    I am bookmarking this because I have finally decided that my blog will be about my journey to IBCLC. :-) Glad I clicked over to your blog today! :-)

  115. Lori says

    This subject may have already been discussed here but wanted to mention an article I saw recently about milk supply that said if your body won’t make much milk for your baby, there is a good chance you are prediabetic and don’t know it. I tried to nurse my 4 girls but never could make enough milk. It was a big deal because one of my girls refused to use a bottle and was diagnosed with failure to thrive at age 1. I felt just awful that my daughter would only nurse, she was so hungry at night but it was like after a couple of minutes, there was nothing left for her. I tried everything including professional pumps to increase my supply but could only fill a few ounces with each try so I knew it was my body. The prediabetic idea makes sense she I did have gestational diabetes with one pregnancy. I was recently diagnosed with high blood sugar and am now on Metformin which is used to treat people with type 2 diabetes.

  116. Linnea Smith says

    I had a production dip (half) a couple months after returning to work. It surprises me that no one really mentions the pump itself. I tried everything I could find in research, lactation consultant and pediatrician suggestions, power pumping, tea, fenugreek capsules, oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, flax seed, warm wet compress, hand expression…Nothing was working. I couldn’t understand. I had gone from overproducing at 3-4 months to under-producing by half. I had found a crack in my insurance provided pump and had it replaced under warranty. I noticed a little improvement. Finally after a week or more of having to dip into my freezer supply daily, my husband suggested renting a hospital pump again. Within 1 day, I had doubled my production while at work. DOUBLED. It may cost a little more, but if you are really struggling, give a hospital pump a try. You should notice a difference pretty quickly.

  117. says

    Thanks for getting such helpful information out for breastfeeding mothers! It’s amazing how difficult something so normal can be sometimes.

  118. Nikole says

    All these comments and suggestions are so helpful! My son is one month old and I absolutely love beat feeding. I’m not having any issues with it yet but haveto to work in two weeks :-(. I try pumping in between to build up back up supply with little luck. I’m trying the fenugreek so we’ll see how that goes. Thank you ladies for all your suggestions!

  119. says

    Being employed full time the breast pump was my salvation, while it was trying at times, I was not breast fed as a child and grew up with different allergy problems and was always sick. I did not want my first born to go through the same thing. Your food suggestions have been a great help! I believe my milk production has been higher than normal.

    Thank you for this great article any nursing mother or mother to be should take advantage of your suggestions.

    Angela

  120. Charisma says

    I was wondering what good pumping schedule is. I know it is an approximate but i will be nursing and pumping for storage. Keeping these tips in mind when is the best time for me to pump? Right after nursing? in between nursings?

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