#1 Increase Breastfeeding / Pumping
Probably the best way to increase milk supply is to increase the number of times each day and each night that you are breastfeeding or pumping or both. Here are some specifics:
- After each breastfeeding session: pump for an additional 10 minutes
- Try to breastfeed or pump every two hours and no more than 3 hours.
- Add a bonus pumping session right before you go to bed.
#2 If you have to supplement, use an SNS System or give a bottle in the correct way
If your milk supply has dropped low enough to need to give a supplement (breast milk or formula) to your baby, be sure you are using either an SNS System (the preferred choice) or are giving bottles in the correct way. See SNS System.
#3 Speak with Someone Knowledgeable
One of the best ways to increase milk supply is to seek professional help. Contact a local lactation consultant for personalized ways to increase your milk supply. She can also determine if your baby is getting a good latch and is breastfeeding effectively. Also contact your La Leche League Leader, and attend La Leche League Meetings. Support from other breastfeeding mothers can be invaluable during this challenging time.
#4 Take an Herbal Supplement
One important way to increase milk supply that works for 3 out of 4 moms is to take the herbal supplement for increasing milk supply called Lactiful Supply Max. Detailed surveys show that 75% of moms see an increase in milk supply in 14 days or less with Lactiful Supply Max.
#5 Skin to Skin Time
One of the simple ways to increase milk supply is to have skin to skin time with your little one – take off your shirt, and your bra and get baby all the way down to his diaper and then hold him upright against your chest. Your body will keep baby warm, but you can use a blanket around his back if you feel more comfortable. This skin to skin time actually encourages your body to make more milk. The smell of your milk, and proximity of your breasts also encourages baby to nurse more often.
#6 Sling Feed
While you go about your day, keep your baby in a sling, positioned such that your baby is just inches from your bare nipple. You want to encourage as much spontaneous nursing as possible. Some babies even prefer to nurse in this way.
#7 Nap Your Way to Success
Napping with baby will give your body the rest it needs to make more milk. In this busy world, and with the possibility of multiple children this can be very difficult. However, Prolactin (the milk-making hormone) levels rise whenever you sleep. Even a short nap causes the prolactin level to rise. Our bodies heal and regenerate while we sleep. This is probably one of the most luxurious ways to increase milk supply. Just be sure to take your baby to bed with you to breastfeed during nap time.
#8 Breastfeed Where It Is Relaxing
Achieving good letdowns has a psychological factor, so being relaxed when breastfeeding (or pumping) really helps. Create an atmosphere that is helpful for breastfeeding. Find a spot that you really enjoy sitting – or create one. It should be free of distractions, quiet and peaceful, where you can really focus on your baby and your love for him. Try playing some relaxing music for the both of you. Before you start, take some deep breaths to calm yourself and help your body to relax. This will help you to trigger faster, stronger, and more let-downs. Going to a different room in the house may be particularly important if there are people in your life that are not supportive of breastfeeding, or that you are not comfortable breastfeeding in front of. It’s also important if you find while breastfeeding that you are looking around the house and thinking of all of the things you need to get done, and this is stressing you out you need to try to ignore this feeling and remember that breastfeeding is a temporary situation that once finished, will be gone forever. One of the simple ways to increase breast milk supply is to simply sit back and enjoy this special time in your life.
#9 You, Baby and Your Breasts – for the Entire Weekend!
A fun way to increase breast milk supply, if you are able, is to take the weekend to spend in bed with baby and just focus on spending time together, relaxing, and nursing. Look at it as a “baby-moon” and take a vacation at home with your baby! Maybe even spend the entire time with your shirt off, so you can freely snuggle, and nurse as often as baby feels the urge. Bring yummy snacks and fun drinks and some things to do. It’s ok to watch tv, or read, or do some hobbies. Taking this time (although not practical for all moms) can often lead to more frequent breastfeeding, and more rest for both mom and baby. It can help strengthen bonds that may have been weakened by frustrations at the breast from low milk supply, and can really be one of the terrific ways to increase milk supply.
#10 Let Go of Other Responsibilities
Understand that the most important thing at this time in your life is to breastfeed your baby and to take care of yourself. Trying to do too much takes away from the focus you need to put into breastfeeding your baby. Being successful with breastfeeding is much harder if you are stressed, tired, agitated, overworked, run-down and negative. So get some help while you focus on this most important thing. Have your partner and relatives help with cooking, cleaning and laundry. Have a babysitter watch your older children. Take time to enjoy a long hot shower. These things make all the difference and are important ways to increase milk supply.
#11 Use the Power of Your Mind (Mommy Mind Tricks!)
Visualize throughout the day your breasts filling with milk. See it vividly in your mind. Then just before nursing, visualize your milk flowing down and pouring out to satisfy your baby. While breastfeeding, focus on your baby’s face. Let that image fill your mind while you softly stroke and caress your baby. Try to practice your Mommy Mind Tricks for 2 minutes each hour.
The 11 Ways To Increase Milk Supply
Some are easy, some are hard, some are free, some are not, some are fun and some are work. The more of these 11 ways to increase milk supply you practice, the more your chances go up for increasing your milk supply and getting the breastfeeding relationship or success with the breast pump that you’ve been wanting. Stay positive and believe in yourself. You can do this!