Motherhood 5 years ago

How to Increase Your Milk Supply

I feel like it’s been nonstop since I had Colette.

Between helping Chloe transition to having a new little sister, to moving back into our house, it feels like life has been going a mile a minute! Some of you might remember my Instagram stories a few weeks ago where I talked about my struggles with breastfeeding and how I was able to increase my milk supply. I got so many requests for a post about it, so here it is!

But first, here’s a little backstory. When I first had Colette, I thought jumping back into breastfeeding was going to be easy since I had already done it with Chloe, but it wasn’t easy at all. It took a few days after Colette was born to produce milk, and not too long after, I developed something called mastitis. Mastitis is caused by a clogged milk duct or even a bacterial infection and causes your breasts to get inflamed and it’s very, very painful. In just one second your breasts can become rock hard, but you can also get the chills and a fever.

After I experienced that, my milk supply dropped immediately when there wasn’t even that much to begin with. I had to supplement with formula for a few days because I wasn’t producing enough milk to feed her. FYI- I’m totally for formula and I think it’s a fantastic alternative to breastfeeding.

So on this post on IG, I asked all of you guys for any tips to increase my milk supply. I was overwhelmed by how many tips I got from my fellow mommies and tried a few. Here are the tips that worked for me:

1. Breastfeed Even When You’re Not Producing

I know it can be frustrating for you and the baby, but it really helped. Colette was fussy because she was sucking, but nothing was coming out. Basically, your milk works on supply and demand and the more you put your baby on your nipple, the more it tells your body to produce milk. I would put Colette on my breasts as much as possible, even though it was painful through the mastitis- I just had to push through.

2. Pump after Feeding

I wasn’t doing this in the beginning because it’s so much work. To go from feeding for 30-40 minutes to immediately pumping for another 20 minutes after is really time-consuming. But, it was more likely to increase my supply because it would tell my body to keep producing milk. I would pump for about 10 minutes on each side for about two weeks and I was able to see an increase in my supply. I’ve been using this pump here!

3. Legendairy Milk Pills

My girlfriend came over one day and told me about Ledgendairy products. I’ve always been skeptical about putting pills in my body and to be totally honest, I’m not the best at taking any types of pills in general. But when I asked for tips on Instagram, so many of you suggested these pills so I was convinced. They have many different products but I started taking the ‘Liquid Gold’ pills and within a week of taking them I saw an increase in milk supply! Keep in mind that I can’t say it was JUST the pills because I was also pumping heavily while I was taking the pills, so it’s a combination of everything!

4. Mother’s Milk Tea

I’m a big lover of teas and in my new kitchen, I have a huge drawer dedicated to just teas! Part of how I unwind after a long day is to drink some Mother’s Milk tea as opposed to the traditional chamomile and Allen makes me a cup every night! Again, I can’t say this tea is the sole reason for my increase in my milk supply, but it has helped! The Mother’s Milk tea is made with a lot of herbs that are traditionally used for ‘galactagogues’ which is basically milk-making aids. Herbs like fennel, anise, coriander, and blessed thistle are all used to help boost milk production.

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5. Eating A Lot

I know it sounds obvious, but for some people, it might not be. Not just eating a lot, but eating things that are high in protein, calcium, and iron. Every culture has different ideas for what to make for someone who’s breastfeeding. In Korean culture, Seaweed Soup aka “Miyeok-guk” is a mainstay. It’s high in calcium, iron, fiber, and iodine which is all great for a baby’s development. In Chinese culture, they swear by chicken feet and bone broth (which I haven’t really come around to eating just yet).

I’m also always snacking throughout the day because when you’re breastfeeding, you’re constantly hungry so you need to nourish your body and need to encourage your body to lactate more. There are so many articles online about eating oatmeal to increase breastmilk supply but the fact is: I HATE oatmeal and don’t have time to make it.

So, I’ve been snacking constantly on Gr8nola! Gr8nola is an easy alternative and great way to get oats in your body without being boring like oatmeal. You guys probably recognize Gr8nola by now because I’ve been snacking on it for the past 2 years. I literally have a bag of Gr8nola in every room in my house because I’m constantly eating it everywhere!

I hope that this post has helped you mommas out there- especially if you’re a new mom! I know breastfeeding is not for everyone, but stay strong and push through! If you’ve chosen not to breastfeed or if you can’t produce milk, there’s nothing wrong with that and you have to do what’s best for you, your body and your baby! 

Feel free to leave any tips down below if you have any tips for increasing your milk supply! 

Photography by Karla Ticas