Struggling with low supply is a common issue… trust me, I’ve been there! But there are actually a few remedies you can try to boost your supply (or even break through to your oversupply!) Here are 4 ways to increase supply while breastfeeding and the problems to avoid.
1. Increase Supply With Pumping
Many moms look to pumping when they want to increase their breast milk supply and no wonder! This is a great way to increase your supply if you do it correctly.
For example, power pumping is a great way to increase supply gradually. Power pumping is supposed to mimic your baby cluster feeding, which typically happens when they are going through a growth spurt and need more milk. By pumping more frequently within a set amount of time each day, you can see an increase in your supply!
A power pumping session might look like this:
- Pump for 5 minutes
- Take a 5-minute break
- Continue this rotation for 20 minutes at a time
Just remember, power pumping can take anywhere from three days to four weeks to truly increase supply… so be consistent and trust the process!
If you plan to pump in order to increase your supply, your priority needs to be setting a pumping schedule. Increasing your breastmilk supply takes consistency and patience, so sticking to a set schedule every day will lead to better results! Whether you are exclusively pumping or doing a combination of pumping and nursing, make sure you pump at the same time(s) each day!
2. Use Your Time Wisely
While you’re setting a schedule, make sure to think about the times when adding in a pumping session could be really beneficial!
For example, I like to use my drive to and from work to pump on the go. By turning your commute into a mobile pumping session, you can effortlessly add it into your daily routine!
Additionally, adding a pumping session during the night has been proven to give you more milk output! A study discussed on KellyMom explains that prolactin (the hormone associated with your breastmilk supply) shows higher levels at night than during the day!
Lastly, another time you can add in an additional power-pumping or pumping session could be during your baby’s nap. Find a comfy spot, grab the remote, and use this quiet time to start increasing your supply!
3. Increase Supply While Nursing
It’s also possible to increase your supply while nursing!
One of the best ways you can do this is by nursing on demand. Allow your baby to nurse whenever they want to and let your body naturally increase your breastmilk supply to keep up with them.
You can even try pumping and nursing simultaneously to tell your body to produce more milk during these times.
Another helpful solution is adding in a lot of skin-to-skin and close contact with your baby. Simply babywearing around the house while you are getting work done is a great way to have that close contact!
If you need some help mastering these techniques, I offer lactation services where we can discuss your individual struggles and I can share advice and guidance on how you can pump and/or nurse to increase your supply!
4. Try Supplements to Increase Supply
There are a few supplements that I would recommend, but obviously, always check with your doctor for recommended dosage amounts, if they are allowed with your current medications, and if you have any concerns!
Also, remember that supplements do not replace pumping or nursing sessions. They may aid in milk production, but you can not solely rely on them to increase your supply.
Calcium and magnesium supplements can work together to help keep your supply steady throughout your period. It’s pretty common to see a dip in your supply during this time!
Another supplement that I absolutely love is Moringa! I had crazy results after I started taking this and used it for the first four months of my breastfeeding journey. It’s a natural herb that not only increases your breast milk volume but also gives you tons of essential nutrients. If you want to learn more about Moringa, you can check out my reel.
What To Avoid When Increasing Your Milk Supply
If your goal is to increase supply, then consistency is key! This won’t happen overnight. Make a plan, stick to your schedule, and you should slowly start to see results.
It is also possible to pump too much! Avoid power pumping for an hour straight because this can really damage your breast tissue and make matters worse. Take those 5-minute breaks as mentioned above and don’t overdo it!
Additionally, using a supplement does not replace a pumping or nursing session. Although they can be extremely helpful (in my personal experience), you still need to keep up with what you are doing to see results!
Overall, if you are still struggling with your breastmilk supply, we should chat! I offer lactation services where we can talk about any questions you have and I can share some tips that will fit your personal lifestyle.
My Personal Experience Trying to Increase Supply
When my son was a newborn, I struggled to get through nursing sessions during the first ten days. I was nursing on demand and letting him cluster feed, but he still wasn’t gaining any weight!
It was on day ten that I consulted with a pediatric dentist for a ruling on a posterior tongue tie. He actually had a lip and tongue tie that made breastfeeding extremely painful. All of these issues led to mastitis and a procedure to correct both ties, but I ultimately made the decision to switch to pumping and try to boost my supply that way.
This did not come easily, though… It took a lot of work and dedication on my end. The first pump I tried was not giving me the results that I was looking for. I was having a hard time responding to it and I was still struggling with low supply.
So I switched to the Baby Buddha pump, did lots of skin-to-skin, power pumped daily, and started taking Moringa. After a few weeks of doing all of this and staying on schedule, I actually started to see an oversupply by three to four months postpartum!
Everyone’s personal experience is different, but I know that making those few changes completely changed my breastfeeding experience. I kept telling myself to “stay consistent and be patient.” If you need to create a pumping schedule that will work for you so you can start to increase your breastmilk supply, I’d love to help!
The Small Changes Add Up
If you are struggling with a low supply as I did, don’t give up! There are so many ways that you can increase your supply and continue breastfeeding your baby. Start with small changes and give it some time… you will start to see success!
For example, sticking to the basics can make a huge difference. Drinking plenty of water, staying calm, avoiding stress, and maintaining a healthy diet are all small actions you can take that can lead to big results. And if you are unsure of which changes need to be made or how to implement them, don’t hesitate to book a session.
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