8 Things I Did To Increase My Breast Milk Supply

First-time moms often find the idea of breastfeeding both exciting and overwhelming. In my experience, despite reading countless articles and watching tons of videos on YouTube, I found that I was really unsure of what to do when the time finally came for me to actually start breastfeeding. Things were not what I had expected. The baby was not latching properly and there was no milk coming out of my breasts. I thought that breastfeeding came as second nature and I was confused as to why it didn’t come naturally to me. I felt frustrated and disappointed at myself for not knowing how to increase my breast milk supply.

In spite of my initial frustration, I still pushed myself to keep attempting to nurse. I was actually being pressured by the hospital staff (which didn’t help me emotionally) but I was getting a lot of support from my family (which boosted my morale, helping my breastfeeding journey be a tremendous success, eventually).Because of this,  I was able to help my baby latch properly, and after a week, my milk started flowing. I had struggled with low milk supply so it surprises me that until now (more than 18 months), my baby is still nursing from me.

So what did I do to increase my breast milk supply?

I kept breastfeeding.

The more my baby demanded for milk, the more my body produced breast milk. Although it came to a point that it was already necessary for my baby to take formula before my milk came in, I never stopped attempting to nurse. We latched every two hours and my baby would suck what little milk I had. But we never stopped trying. Eventually, the need for milk formula lessened because I was able to successfully increase my breast milk supply, and my baby has been feeding on my milk ever since.

back to menu ↑

I stayed hydrated.

I always had a water bottle by my bedside so I would drink water several times while nursing. Drinking lots of liquid helps produce breast milk; besides, you might also notice that you get thirsty a lot when you are breastfeeding. I highly recommend having a nice, tall insulated water bottle by your bedside so you won’t need to get up and refill your bottle too often. Here are some good brands that would keep your drink hot or cold for hours.

Best Insulated Water Bottles to keep you hydrated

🏆 Editor’s Choice

32oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Extra Three Lids ~ Straw, Flip and Carabiner Caps ~ Double Walled & Vacuum Insulated, BPA Free

$23.99 $34.99

Other product recommendations

back to menu ↑

I ate lots of vegetables, especially the green, leafy ones.

Although there seems to be no known scientific conclusion on the effects of these vegetables on breast milk production, in my mind they seem to have helped increased my milk supply. Actually, these vegetables do contain phytoestrogens, which researchers suggest stimulate the milk glands. Besides, these vegetables are healthy, and their nutritional benefits could be transferred from mother to child through breast milk.

back to menu ↑

I took breastfeeding supplements such as moringa capsules.

Moringa, just like fenugreek, are said to be very effective in increasing breast milk supply. Many mothers swear by it and most lactation consultants highly recommend it. Honestly, I believe that a combination of all these things that I did – and not just the moringa capsules – resulted in the increase of my milk supply. But there’s no harm in trying them out; here are some of the recommended brands of moringa capsules available.

Moringa Capsules Recommendations

🏆 Editor’s Choice

150 Capsules Made From Certified Organic Moringa, Also Known As Malunggay Capsules by Perfectly Natural Herbs

Editor's Note: Moringa is rich in green nutrients and antioxidants and is known to increase breast milk supply.


Other product recommendations

back to menu ↑

I tried drinking lactation tea.

I was a big tea drinker even before I got pregnant so drinking lactation tea was not a big deal for me. Especially since my lactation tea was homemade – lovingly prepared by my husband – made from boiled moringa leaves. However, if moringa leaves are difficult to obtain, there are several lactation teas available commercially. Here are some of the more popular brands.

Popular Lactation Teas Available

🏆 Editor’s Choice

Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Tea, 16 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)

Editor's Note: With the combination of different herbs such as fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle, you're not just increasing your milk supply, you're caring for your body too.

$22.74 $23.94

Other product recommendations

back to menu ↑

I ate lactation cookies.

The key ingredients of lactation cookies are oats, brewer’s yeast, coconut oil and flax seeds – food items that are believed to help improve breast milk production. Just mix these ingredients, add chocolate chips, bake for a few minutes, and you’ve got yourself a snack. Whether they do work in increasing milk supply or not, I don’t really mind … these cookies are yummy!

If you want to make your own lactation cookies.  Here are 6 must-try recipes.

back to menu ↑

I pumped milk to stimulate production.

It wasn’t really necessary for me to pump frequently because I am with my baby all the time. I just pumped occasionally to ‘jumpstart’ the breastfeeding session. However, when my milk finally came in (but my body was still adjusting), I had to pump to keep the milk flowing. Supply and demand, as they say. Eventually, the baby had more than enough milk to consume so we had to store my pumped breast milk in the freezer. There are several kinds of breast milk storage containers available but I recommend those bag types with air-tight seals so you could keep milk fresh. Check these out.

Keep your breast milk fresh with these

🏆 Editor’s Choice

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags With Convenient Pour Spout and Patented Double Zipper Seal, Ideal for Storing and Freezing Breastmilk, 100 Count, BPA and BPS Free

Editor's Note: Large milk storage, secure seal system and reinforced side seams, you are sure that your precious milk are properly collected and stored.

$9.17 $10.79

Other product recommendations

back to menu ↑

I (tried to) get more rest.

Once I had an ample supply of breast milk stored in the freezer, I had my husband and my mom help me with the feeding. That way, I was able to relax, replenish my supply, and take my long-overdue bath. A tip that I learned from the hospital staff is that when feeding a newborn from a bottle, use a medicine dropper to avoid nipple confusion. We did try that technique for a month and when we switched to a regular silicone nipple later, the baby did not show any sign of nipple confusion at all. Just choose the best nipple suitable for your baby’s size and his or her feeding style.

Product Recommendation

Breastmilk Bottle Set

Medela Breastmilk Bottle Set, 5 Ounce, 3 Count

$12.79 $14.62

So I guess this covers everything I did in order to increase my breast milk supply. I know, it takes a lot of effort, but try not to stress out. Stress can also cause a delay milk production so just relax and take it easy. Be patient. If all else fails, try to see a lactation consultant who might be able to help you. Remember, you are not alone in this breastfeeding journey so it is always better to seek help rather than to stop trying.

Being able to successfully increase my breast milk supply was one of the most fulfilling moments of my life. I finally felt the joy of breastfeeding!

Photo by shingleback on Visual Hunt / CC BY

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply