Inside: Learn all the most effective ways to quickly increase your milk supply. Find more information about getting ready for baby here.
I’m currently nursing my 6-month-old baby and I’ve been struggling with how to increase milk supply since his birth.
I had the same problem with my first son and both times I desperately wanted to continue nursing, so between my two boys, I’ve tried countless ways to increase my milk supply.
This is a collection of the best tips that have helped me.
Obviously, each mom will be different and the supplements that have worked for one mom may not help another.
Above all else, listen to your intuition; you are most closely in touch with your body and baby and if you feel there is a problem, please seek the help you need until you find someone that can help you!
This post contains affiliate links to help better serve your needs. You can read my full disclosure here.
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How To Increase Milk Supply
I am not a doctor or lactation consultant. All the advice contained in this post is simply what has worked for me. I received help from both lactation consultants and my naturopathic doctor for ways to increase my milk supply. Talk to your doctor before you begin any supplements or dietary changes while nursing.
This tip is delicious because let’s face it, what new mom doesn’t want cookies?! There are many recipes out there for lactation cookies, but I like this one best.
Just remember that the odd ingredients, like brewers yeast, ground flaxseed, and coconut oil are essential to providing you the boost that you need, so don’t skip or substitute those ingredients.
Bonus Tip: I’m gluten-free, so I simply replace the flour in the recipe with GF Better Batter Flour and it turns out perfectly! Also, if you want a ready-made option you can try these lactation cookies.
Mother’s Milk Tincture
This tincture was created by my local naturopathic doctor so I can’t give a place where you can buy it too, but I think what makes this tincture so effective for me is the hops. I haven’t seen any other nursing supplement that has hops in it, but I notice a huge difference when I stop taking this supplement. The full list of ingredients in this tincture is fenugreek, fennel, hummulus (hops), dandelion root and raspberry.
UPDATE: I found a lactation supplement that does include hops, although I never tried it myself. You can see it here.
Drink Enough Water
Remember that you need extra water to support your body while breastfeeding. My doctor’s recommendation is to drink 1 oz per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs, shoot for 150 oz a day.
The easiest way I’ve found to remember to drink this much water is to carry a 32-oz water bottle like this one with me when I’m at home; this way I know that I only need to fill it up once or twice (depending on your weight) to get all the water I need in a day.
If you’ll be out and about, a 32 oz bottle is pretty big, so I like to carry something smaller and lighter like this top-rated water bottle.
This is a prescription medication that has the side effect of increasing milk supply through the increase of prolactin in the body. I always prefer to start with natural supplements before going to medication, but I was desperate to produce the milk my little one needed this time around without formula supplementation.
I got a prescription from my doctor and ordered it online, since it wasn’t available anywhere in my state. My doctor told me to wait about 4 weeks before the full results would be evident, but I wasn’t able to take the medication that long. Unfortunately, my little one became extremely constipated while I was on the medication. He was backed up to the point that he went several days without pooping and when he did poop he turned red, was straining and crying so I had to discontinue the medication.
Unfortunately, my little one became extremely constipated while I was on the medication. He was backed up to the point that he went several days without pooping. When he did poop he turned red, was straining and crying so much I had to discontinue the medication.
Although I didn’t have time to see if it would work for me, I have heard so many other moms benefit from this medication that I decided to include it on this list for you to investigate yourself.
Nursing on Demand
I’m sure as moms with suspected low milk supply you’ve heard this tip before but nursing as frequently as your baby wants does provide a boost to your supply. For me, the biggest benefit seemed to be in the first few weeks to months but I do know that if I currently go too long without out nursing then I experience a dip in production.
This tip is pretty funny since we all know that it seems impossible to get enough sleep with a newborn, especially if you have other children at home. I definitely see a noticeable difference in my milk production when I get enough sleep.
Just remember to try to take advantage of any offers from friends and family to watch your other children or help you out so you can give your body the rest it needs!
Milk Rich Tincture
This tincture by Wishgarden Herbs is a blend of several of the top milk-producing herbs including Raspberry leaf, Fennel seed, Fenugreek seed, Goat’s Rue aerials, Blessed Thistle aerials, and Nettle leaf.
Every single tincture I have taken tastes horrible, but it is supposed to get into your system quicker so I have always opted for them over capsules. When I rotate this tincture into my daily supplements I notice a slight increase in production, but not as much as some of the other tinctures in my cabinet.
More Milk Plus
Again, this supplement can be found in a capsule or tincture and I have taken both, but still stick with the tincture.
More Milk Plus has a smaller variety of herbs than the Milk Rich tincture, but for some reason, I seem to produce more milk while taking this supplement. I don’t know the exact reason, but I suspect that the herbs may be more potent in this supplement.
Checking for Lip & Tongue Tie
With both of my sons, I had intense pain, cracking and even bleeding while nursing. I saw about 7 different lactation specialists between my two boys.
I suspect both of them had lip and tongue tie, although only my 6-month-old was diagnosed with the condition.
If you think your baby may have lip or tongue tie, check out the symptoms here.
Correcting lip or tongue tie can greatly impact the comfort of nursing and also the amount of milk you produce. I immediately (like 1 minute after the procedure) had pain relief, although it did not produce a noticeable increase in my milk supply like it did for other moms I know.
More Milk Special Blend
My number one recommendation for a quick acting and effective way of boosting your milk supply is this amazing supplement.
This tincture has all the same ingredients as the More Milk Plus, but it also has Goat’s Rue added to it. The blurb on the bottle says that this tincture is effective for women that did not see a change in breast size during pregnancy.
Even though I did have an increase in size, I still see the largest increase in milk volume while taking this supplement. In fact, during the early weeks of using this tincture I had mastitis a few times which I think may have been from a combination of using it too frequently and my baby not emptying out the breast completely, so learn from my mistakes and take it as directed.
I sincerely hope that one or more of these methods will be able to help you increase your milk supply! I know firsthand how hard breastfeeding can be.
UPDATE: Despite my best efforts, I’ve come to realize it was time to wean my baby from nursing. It was a painful decision, but I now know it was best for us as a family. You can read all about my thoughts and feelings on weaning early here.
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Friday 9th of August 2019
Thanks for this post! I have had 3 of my 5 newborns (always at 12 weeks) get constipated!! My first one that experienced it went 18 days without pooping! The doctors kept telling me it was "normal" but I knew that wasn't true! Sure enough, we gave him an enema and TONS of poop came out. The poor little guy had to be on Miralax till he was 2. I thought it was a fluke but since then, I have had 2 more children stop pooping (currently my 13 week old) but Im not letting it get out of hand like the first time. I suspect that my milk supply must drop and they get slightly dehydrated (although they still have plenty of wet diapers). I have also tried "all the supplements and cookies" and nothing has really seemed to make a difference. I am trying to make sure to eat lots of healthy fats (eggs, raw dairy, butter, coconut oil, etc) this time around and will check out the More Milk Special Blend. Thanks!!
Saturday 10th of August 2019
You're so welcome! Nursing can be such a difficult thing to figure out. I wish the babies could just talk to us!! I hope the More Milk helps you or you find something that works for you. Best of luck :)
Tuesday 24th of July 2018
I also struggled for the first 6 months with breastfeeding. I had my daughter's lip and severe tongue tie corrected but still couldn't keep up with her demand (I had to supplement with formula and pumped BM to fill her up so nursing was A LOT of work, but a lot of love too <3 ) What I found to be MOST effective in boosting my supply was simulating growth spurts. Yep! You know those days when baby would seem to never be satisfied and feed every hour (or so)? Did you notice that within 48 hours you had more milk? If yes, then this will work for you except you will need a good strong breast pump, preferably a double sided one. Ask for someone to give you a hand with baby the day you plan to do this so that you make sure to nurse your baby or use the pump every hour for at least 8 hours. Alternatively, I also took veggie pills. Called Sea Vegetables. The pills had a healthy dose of chlorophyll and personally I felt a greater boost with this pill than with any of the other prescription or herbal remedies out there. Good luck mamas!!
Wednesday 3rd of May 2017
Thank you for sharing! I had great luck with Fenugreek. Everyone has a different journey, as long as the baby and you are healthy and happy that's really all that matters Xxo
Wednesday 3rd of May 2017
You're welcome! It's interesting how some things work for some people and not others. And, you're totally right too-I wish I was as wise as you were!!
Saturday 22nd of April 2017
Breastfeed exclusively because it’s supposed to be a feedback system. The more milk is demanded of your breasts, the more they should produce. You can also stimulate a greater “need” for breast milk by using a breast pump after each feeding. Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. I’ve boosted my supply through these remedies. I have also used healthy nursing tea that tastes good and boosts supply as well.
Tuesday 31st of January 2017
I just recently had my second son and this is my first time breast feeding. My supply was great at first but now it's slowed down so I'm gonna have to try some of these things to see if anything helps!!
Tuesday 31st of January 2017
Oh, how frustrating! I really hope it does help you. I'm not sure what may have happened to cause your dip in supply, but there's also things like skipping night feedings and supplementing with bottles that can contribute to it as well. That definitely made a difference in my supply. Let me know how this works for you. Fingers crossed!!