As a company that helps mothers with low milk supply we get the question, “How do I make more breast milk?” all the time. This article is an attempt answer that question in about 500 words.
How Making More Breast Milk Works
Generally speaking our bodies want to adapt to the stresses and hardships we place on them. If you live in Alaska you get used to cold winters, if spend a lot of time on a boat you’ll get your “sea legs”, if you lift heavy weights your muscles will grow stronger.
It’s this adaptability of our bodies that we can use to when we want to make more breast milk. In a very real sense we have to put a “hardship” or a “stress” on our milk production in order to make more breast milk.
Here’s how to do that.
To Make More Breast Milk, Create A “Hardship” For Your Breast Milk Production
That’s right. If you want to make more breast milk, you’ll have to create a hardship for your current level of milk production. If there’s no hardship or stress, there is nothing for the body to adapt to so I’ll just keep making the same amount of breast milk.
To make more breast milk we have to create a hardship for your current milk production. We do this in two ways:
- Increase the frequency of milk withdrawal
- Increase the completeness of milk withdrawal
Step one in creating your “hardship” is to increase the frequency or number of times you remove breast milk. Whether that is through breastfeeding or pumping doesn’t really matter. What matters is that more times per day (and night!) you remove breast milk. If you’re currently breastfeeding and/or pumping 6 times per 24 hours, increase that to 8 times per 24 hours.
Step two in creating your “hardship” is to increase the completeness of breast milk withdrawal. You do this by pumping after each breastfeeding session and completely empty both breasts (and even continue to pump for a few minutes after no more milk is flowing) or if you are exclusively pumping to continue to pump for several minutes after no more breast milk is flowing.
Doing these two things will create a hardship for your breast milk supply and your body will try to adapt by making more breast milk. But there are a few other things you can do to help your body adapt. Read on!
Other Things That Can Make More Breast Milk
Once you’ve created your hardship, there a few additional things you should do to help your body to adapt (meaning make more breast milk). They are:
Eat an adequate amount of healthy calories: your baby needs a lot of calories to thrive and grow and those calories come from you. Breastfeeding takes about 500 additional calories per day above what your body needs. Moms who are aggressively dieting usually don’t have enough calories available to make breast milk. Be sure you’re getting amount of healthy calories.
Get enough rest: breast milk regenerates the fastest when we sleep and getting as much rest as is possible with a baby in the house is very important to making more breast milk.
Herbal supplements can help your body make more breast milk: In a 2012 observational study 75% of the women who took Lactiful Supply Max – an all natural herbal supplement – boosted their milk production. The average increase in breast milk production was 14.8 ounces of additional milk produced each day by each woman. Not bad at all. See more on Lactiful here.