Breastfeeding if I can do, you can do it too!
Now that I am almost 3 months in to breastfeeding my baby, I am ready to share what I did to boost my milk supply. Unfortunately my breast milk cup doesn’t runneth over. I know some moms who have a wonderful supply and others who have an oversupply which I can imagine is just as stressful as having a low supply. When I had Zoe, my milk supply was very low and due to that plus some emergency health issues my breastfeeding journey with her ended at 6 weeks. To say I was devastated is an understatement so this time around, I was determine to win at this breastfeeding challenge. I did tons of research, spoke to over a dozen nursing moms and prayed every night that my milk would come in.
When Baby E was born I felt confident I would be rocking and rolling with breastfeeding. They gave him to me as soon as they finished up my c-section and he immediately latched on. I was so happy I cried. Well hormones played a part in that too. Well my happiness soon turned to stress and borderline hysteria because my baby was losing weight pretty fast and there was barely enough colostrum. That led to some stressful and tense days including a nurse I had to dismiss and a huge blowup with The Hubs. More on that another time. But things turned around and by day 5 my milk was fully in and our breastfeeding sessions became a joy.
I have a rule about drinking a minimum of 100 oz of water per day. I stick to this and get even more on days I feel like I am dehydrated, extra tired or just because. Drink up.
Tip: Start your day with 2 cups of water before you indulge in anything else. Also, keep water at your bedside. I drink at least 2 cups overnight. The baby will be up anyway so bathroom trips are ok.
Helps with hydration and gives you a little flavor. Did it help boost my milk? I don’t drink it daily so I can’t say for sure but it is said to help.
I would say oatmeal is second on my list behind water. Oatmeal is known to boost breast milk. I love it and it serves as a great breakfast or even an evening snack. I add raisins, apples and blueberries. Sometimes I add ground flax. I tried it with brewer’s yeast and that was a NO! I’ll stick to the lactation cookies for that.
Mother’s Milk Tea
This is a close second to oatmeal. It may even beat it. Drink it. It says 3 times per day but I went down to 2 times per day within a week and now I drink 1 cup every 2 to 3 days.
Ok so depending on the country you live in, people will say to drink a beer to help boost your milk supply. I haven’t tried it but I know some moms that have. What I did instead was drink malta. I love malta and since it has similar active ingredients to beer I figured why not. Malta is a big calorie investment so if you try it, don’t go overboard.
I have the supplements but I don’t take them daily because the oatmeal and mother’s milk tea along with nursing on demand is keeping my supply to a level good enough for the boy to keep growing. At last weigh in he was 13 lbs so things are going well.
I read this somewhere so I packed it in my hospital bag and drank 1 small can each day I was there. I continued this at home for the first two weeks. Once baby boy had his second weigh in at 11 days old and he gained a wopping 14 oz in 6 days, I stopped. Now I drink pineapple juice if I feel like having something sweet to drink.
Skin to Skin
At almost 3 months in, I still love having skin to skin time with my baby boy. This really works. I think the whole milk let down when the baby cries thing is associated with this.
I pump every so often. I plan to ramp this up because the stimulation from pumping helps to increase your supply. If you are having issues with using an electric pump, try a manual one. I only use my manual pump now because it is the best thing ever. Try it.
Did you try any of these options to help with your milk supply? Let me know what worked for you.
Tricia HopeJuly 30, 2016 at 1:34 AM
I was told corn chowder was the best to increase my supply.Worked for me,but maybe I just relaxed!
M JJuly 31, 2016 at 10:38 PM
Really! I’ve never heard that one but seriously, what ever works for each of us. Breastfeeding can be so challenging.
ADAugust 1, 2016 at 4:21 PM
Fenugreek is amazing! Best advice I was ever given…
GenaOctober 23, 2016 at 11:54 PM
I use several of these tips. I’ve been problems with my suply from day one. Another tip you can bank on is don’t use any kind of hormonal birth control. Especially if one of the potential side effects is dehydration, like with the depotperevera shot. I’d get my shot and if I pumped after nursing I wouldn’t produce anything for a dull 24 hours. I mean to the minute.
M JOctober 24, 2016 at 12:33 PM
Wow, thanks for adding that tip. I think I will do an update because some of you lovely moms have left some great insight. I can’t take hormonal birth control due to a health issue so I had no idea. Hope you and your little one are doing well.
LeslieDecember 7, 2016 at 8:55 AM
Oatmeal is about all I need. It brought my supply back from the brink of extinction several times. I’m able to use instant too. I know s bunch of sites say it won’t work but if I eat a quick bowl in the morning and one at night it practically doubles my supply and I go back to having heavy, full, and leaky boobs after only 3-4 hours from them being completely emptied.
I might try the pineapple juice though. Oatmeal gets boring every day so some variety would definitely be nice for me lol.
M JDecember 8, 2016 at 3:34 PM
That’s excellent Leslie and guess what? Instant Oatmeal worked for me too. LOL. The pineapple juice was great and tasty. Good luck.
Janel Ann SmelserFebruary 6, 2017 at 1:37 PM
Thanks for this! So helpful!
Shi'dorMay 18, 2017 at 8:50 AM
I also heard to try pumping after each nursing session and nurse more frequently e.g. Every 2 hours instead of 3 and to pump even if the baby isn’t hungry.
Nova BabySeptember 9, 2017 at 3:19 PM
Shi’dor I heard that too. Also, 1800 calories in addition to consistently nursing the baby. Drinking malta can also support the calories and subsequent milk production.
Adah ChanelDecember 21, 2017 at 5:00 PM
I’m drinking Healthy nursing tea. Takes a couple weeks to work. My milk supply went from half an ounce to 2 ounces for both breasts. Work in progress. I drank 3-4 cups daily.
Veronica MitchellNovember 9, 2018 at 9:44 PM
I thought I don’t have milk until the 3rd day after I gave birth my breastmilk came and I was overjoyed! I agree with your list esp. with water. We should always hydrate ourselves since we’re breastfeeding. I also take moringa tea and it was magic because my milk supply boosted.
JuliaApril 25, 2020 at 1:05 AM
Need help with BM supply
Lynne HuysamenJanuary 6, 2021 at 4:23 AM
It must have been so scary when your baby was losing weight! I know I was always freaking out if I thought my baby was not getting enough to drink. In fact that is what was very much to blame with me having to give up breastfeeding my daughter at 6 months old because I was so worried she wasn’t getting enough milk that I started topping up her feeds with formula. It was a really bad move and I regret listening to that advice because the result was that my body stopped producing enough milk since she was getting milk elsewhere.