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Having more milk is a constant concern for breastfeeding mamas, and was for me with my first baby. I’ve made lots of milk now after breastfeeding three babies for over a year each (almost 2 with my third!). I used some very specific milk-making supplements that really helped me produce a lot of milk, even while losing all the baby weight.
You can make more milk when breastfeeding by using natural supplements to help increase your milk supply for your new baby. Many mamas are concerned that if they don’t make more milk, their baby will lose too much weight in the first few weeks, but by stocking up on natural supplements to increase milk supply, you can make lots and lots of milk, even as a first time mama. First, let’s go over how to know if you even need to make more milk.
How do I know I need to increase my milk supply?
Understanding a low milk supply is really important, before you jump in and buy a bunch of milk-boosting supplements. Here are the best ways to know if you need to make more milk:
- Baby’s wet diapers: usually by the 4th day after birth, your baby should have two or more dirty diapers. The colors will change from greenish black and sticky to yellowish in these few days. Refer to this article for more details on how many soiled diapers your baby should have.
- Demand: baby should be wanting to nurse 8-12 times per day. More is fine, and if your baby wants to breastfeeding more, let them. If baby wants to breastfeed more, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t getting enough milk. You are probably making plenty of milk, but baby wants to be comforted.
- Poor weight gain: this is going to be one of the biggest ways to tell if baby isn’t getting enough milk. It is normal to lose some weight in the beginning, as baby adjusts and learns to latch and feed. Your pediatrician will advise you on if your baby has lost too much weight, or isn’t gaining enough weight.
The Best Supplements to Increase Milk Supply:
Milk Dust is a protein powder to help boost your milk supply, as well as reduce sugar cravings. It is amazing, with loads of milk-boosting ingredients, including fenugreek, which is the supplement that worked the best for me with all three babies. Because it also provides many essential nutrients to help with postpartum depletion (which can be a factor in low milk supply), it supports nutritional needs that also help boost milk supply. I HIGHLY recommend this protein powder because it is made specifically for postpartum mamas and tastes so yummy!
This tea works really well, and you can find it at many grocery stores. It is full of galactogogues like fennel, anise, blessed thistle and fenugreek. All of these combined had a great affect on my milk supply, and I had it with some almond milk and stevia to make it sweeter. It does have a black licorice taste from the herbs, so capsules like these ones work great too! That way you don’t have to deal with taste in any way.
Majka Chocolate Lactation Bites (fenugreek free):
Not everyone has the same results with fenugreek. Majka, as I mentioned in #1 is a great nutritional supplement in powder form with no fenugreek, and they also have these amazing lactation bites. These lactation bites are awesome snacks for breastfeeding mamas to make more milk. They are full of awesome ingredients that will boost your supply, without having to do anything but eat them! No blending or mixing, and they are very, very satisfying!
Eating a healthy diet:
Eating nutrient-dense foods is so important for breastfeeding. I loved eating a lot of protein shakes, fruit, salads and protein-rich dinners. Oatmeal and sweet potatoes are wonderful foods to start adding to your diet to ensure you are eating foods that will help you make more milk.
Raspberry Leaf Tea:
I don’t have as much personal experience with this tea for milk supply, but I did take it to balance hormones at one point before getting pregnant, and before labor to strengthen my uterus. It has many hormonal benefits, which is what controls your milk supply production. Your hormones are working on balancing out and reacting to not being pregnant anymore, so this tea is a big helper there. Of course, I’ve also included this in my Milk Dust, which has a unique formula including many herbs to increase milk supply.
Other ways you can make more milk, without supplements include:
- Night nursing: adding more feedings during the night can help boost your supply, give baby more milk and get both mama and baby over the supply hump. I co-slept with all my babies, so this was an easy one for me, and I think it really helped keep my supply high.
- Use pacifiers sparingly: and what I mean by that is try nursing for soothing, rather than the pacifier a few times. This doesn’t allow for as much free time, but it keeps your demand up, which brings your supply up.
- Wear baby as much as possible: the hormones and skin to skin help increase oxytocin, which is the key driver in milk supply. By keeping baby on your chest, the pheromones work well and continue to drive the “cuddle” hormone.
- Take a break from bottles: if you are using bottles, and noticing a drop in supply, definitely take out a few bottle feedings if you can. This will help you boost your production back up, keep baby latching properly and in the end, help you pump more.
- Pump more: if you are away from baby or heading back to work, you can add in nightly, early morning or driving pumping sessions. My sister pumped in the car on the way to and from work. This enabled her to multi-task and keep her supply in demand. Remember demand is key!!
- Drink lots of water: pure water is important to keep your body hydrated, and breast milk is made of lots of water. Your body needs water to function, heal and produce, so make sure you are drinking lots.
In order to make more milk, mama needs to focus on taking care of herself, just a little bit.
I’ve found that making my protein shakes has offered me the most benefits both for my milk supply and health. I love that protein shakes are so fast and easy (I can make them one-handed!), they are. They pack in tons of nutrients, especially if you have an awesome protein powder like Milk Dust, Majka or this one is awesome too.
I have a lot of times on making more milk for new breastfeeding mamas, and here are a few other posts that I hope will help you in your breastfeeding journey!