Tips for increasing your breast milk supply

Published: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Paige Miller
BS, IBCLC, Licensed Lactation Consultant

Embarking on the journey of motherhood is a transformative experience, filled with both joy and challenges. For many new moms, the decision to breastfeed is a beautiful and intimate choice that fosters a unique connection with their newborns. While breastfeeding is a natural process, it often comes with its own set of questions and uncertainties. In this blog post, we’ll explore a range of practical tips to guide and empower new mothers on their breastfeeding journey and on improving lactation. Whether you’re a first-time mom or adding to your growing family, these tips are designed to enhance your lactation experience and foster a strong and loving bond between you and your precious bundle of joy. 

The most important thing you can do is continue trying to latch. A proper latch is essential for effective breastfeeding. Ensure that your baby is latched on correctly, and experiment with different breastfeeding positions to find the most comfortable one for both you and your baby. Emptying your breasts frequently, and completely, signals your body to produce more milk. Whether you are achieving that by nursing OR by pumping, it is important to keep trying. Effectively telling your body that more milk is needed is the key to maintaining a robust and steady supply. If you must supplement with bottle feeding breast milk or formula, make sure you are still pumping.  

It is also important to increase your calorie intake. We recommend eating 500 additional calories than you normally do. These extra calories should consist of what we call, “good stuff”. This includes, but is not limited to whole wheat foods, protein, leafy greens, berries, etc. 

Adequate hydration is crucial in keeping your milk supply, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water is the primary component of breast milk, making up a significant portion of its composition. Staying well-hydrated is essential to produce an ample and nutritious milk supply. 

If you’re still not feeling confident in your milk supply, you can always try lactation cookies! Click here to learn more about lactation cookies and to get the recipe. 

There are many signs you can look for to determine whether your baby is receiving enough milk. Two big signs to keep an eye out for are weight gain and wet/dirty diapers. For more information about breastfeeding click here

Everybody is different, so not every tip is going to work for you! It takes trial and error, as well as patience to achieve your lactation goals. If you’re facing challenges despite trying various strategies, consider seeking guidance from a lactation consultant.  

NGMC’s Lactation Center offers breastfeeding information and guidance, including breastfeeding support, private outpatient consultations and support groups. These professionals can provide personalized advice and support to address specific concerns. Visit nghs.com/lactation-center for more information.