Moms want to boost their breast milk supply for many reasons:
- To address an issue with low milk supply.
- To boost their milk supply so that the extra breast milk can be saved and frozen for later consumption, such as after mom returns to work, school or military duty.
- To pump extra for a mom suffering from low milk supply
- To return to work with the highest supply possible (because breast milk supplies almost always go down after a return to work or school.)
- To pump extra to donate to or sell to a milk bank
How To Boost Your Breast Milk
Take herbs that boost breast milk – there are 23 lactation herbs that are believed to boost breast milk and you can research them here for the purpose of making your own blend or you can order a professionally created herbal breast milk booster, such as Lactiful’s Supply Max. This product has 8 milk-boosting ingredients and comes with a guarantee to boost your breast milk or you get a complete refund. It’s worth the try because a 2012 study showed that 75% of moms who took Lactiful Supply Max increased their milk supply.
Boost your breast milk through frequent milk removal – it doesn’t matter if that removal is from a breast pump or a breastfeeding baby, but milk removal must frequent. Breast milk production is a supply and demand system and your body wants to match it’s breast milk production (the supply) to the exact amount of breast milk that’s needed (the demand). As long as your body thinks it’s meeting the demand, it will keep the milk production the same. So an easy way to boost your breast milk is to increase how frequently the milk is being removed. You should add extra breastfeeding sessions or pumping sessions or both so that no more than 2 or 3 hours is passing from the start of one session to the start of the next. See more about boosting breast milk through frequent milk removal.
Boost your breast milk through complete milk removal – if breast milk is being left in the breast for long periods of time, it signals the body that it is producing too much milk. The body wants to produce exactly as much milk is needed so when it “sees” milk is being left in the breast, it will reduce production. Conversely when breast milk is being completely removed (and frequently removed) the body will see this as a sign to boost your breast milk production.
If you are breastfeeding you can completely remove the milk by starting baby on one breast, and when active breastfeeding stops, switch the baby to the other breast. Again watch for active breastfeeding to switch to comfort sucking then switch back to the first breast and after baby finishes that breast switch one final time to the second breast. Alternatively, after baby has actively breastfeed from both breasts, you can boost your breast milk by pumping for an additional 10 minutes. Be sure to pump the entire time even if no milk is coming out. This extra stimulation tells the body it needs to boost your breast milk supply.
If you are pumping, be sure to continue to pump for 5 to 7 minutes after the milk stops flowing. This extra pump time will ensure that the breasts are fully emptied and signal to the body that it needs to boost your breast milk production. For complete instructions, see our article on boosting breast milk supply through complete milk removal.
You may also want to see the 11 ways to increase milk supply.