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15 Effective Tips to Increase Lactation Supply in a Week

All first time moms please remember: your milk takes anywhere between 3-5 days to come in once the baby is born. Just because the baby is here doesn’t mean your breast is ready to produce milk yet. It is all about supply and demand, and as weird as that economic term sounds, it is… TRUE. I felt like an AI machine throughout the process. You must teach your body and it will meet your baby’s expectations. Don’t forget there is work involved! But rather than having to figure out where and how to start, you can follow my 15 tips to get you going on your breastfeeding journey.

Breast milk plus formula

Keep formula in your house from DAY 1. Yes, I know you’re thinking the title of this article says breastfeeding and point number one is about formula. Well, let me tell you something ― while your body is learning to meet your baby’s needs, your baby, who has just entered this world, also has to grow at a steady rate. Essentially, if your milk has not come in yet, that doesn’t mean the little one has to starve. Unfortunately, a lot of women look down on other women, and lactation consultants are no exception. But mommy, you know what is best for your child. After nursing, if your baby is still fussy, do not hold back on top-ups! That little human cannot talk, nor can it understand your strategies for breastfeeding. They have a weight criteria that they need to meet after one week of birth so if your milk hasn’t come in, top feed your babies so they don’t fall behind on weight gain. I am a fan of this formula - Earth's Best Organic Baby Formula. If you are pumping after each feed (don’t do this if your baby is on a growth spurt or cluster feeding), then you can offer that milk to the baby after you nurse them the next time. This will eliminate formula dependency. However, I always kept formula in my house in case of emergency. What if I wasn’t well or my nipples were in pain?

Start breast pumping

Get a breast pump before your little one is here. We highly recommend you pump after each feeding cycle from day two or whenever you get home from the hospital (please don’t tire yourself at the hospital). PUMP for 15 minutes on each side.

Get a good breast pump

Most mothers are eligible for a free breast pump through their insurance. Please check with your insurance company before buying one. If you aren’t eligible for a free pump, I recommend this manual pump which is very reasonable. And if you don’t have a pump, hand express. If you are looking for a hospital-grade breast pump at a reasonable price, I highly recommend ​Spectra S2.  

Empty your breasts

Empty your breast after each feeding by hand expressing. Rule of thumb: if you want to make more milk, then you need to make more space. The misconception that your breasts will grow and can accommodate 12-13 ounces of milk at a time is rubbish. You need to make more room after every feed. That’s how your body will learn to make more milk. Hand expressing is a quick way to do it, if you are too exhausted after nursing and don’t want to hook yourself up to a pump.

Hand express while breastfeeding

Your day-old baby might know how to suck, but has not yet gained much power to suck efficiently and effectively. Therefore, the whole concept of emptying the breast is flawed for the first few days. If you hand express while breastfeeding, you are not only emptying your breast, but you are also giving your baby the milk that they could not suck out, which will help them develop more interest in staying at your breast. But remember: over-exhaustion combined with stress to meet demand can sometimes leave bruises on your breasts. That is why I highly recommend using some coconut oil or Earth Mama Nipple Butter as a lubricant. You can also apply a Mighty Bliss Heating Pad on your breasts right before nursing to give you that quick spa therapy before the sucking storm. And remember: your baby thrives on your energy so if you are calm, then the baby will be, too.

The next few tips are recommendations for accessories, such as the best nursing stations, pillows, bras and tops.

Set up a good nursing station

A nursing chair will give you a comfortable place to feed the baby. Nursing chairs are broader than regular chairs and much more comfortable for mom. Most nursing chairs have a rocking or gliding feature that soothes babies. Life Momma’s recommendation:

Buy a good nursing bra

Your breasts are changing because they are responding to hormonal changes and accommodating the actual milk. Since you’ll have so much activity going on in that area of your body, the last thing you want to is to be uncomfortable. Strong support, yet easy access for the baby is a win for me. Life Momma’s recommendation:

Best Nursing Bra

Best Nursing Bra

Get a good nursing pillow

A nursing pillow is very important. Your body just went through a roller coaster ride during pregnancy, then birth, and is now navigating its postpartum state. Take a break and stop holding that baby while nursing. Take advantage of the support provided by a nursing pillow. Life Momma highly recommends {xxxx} pillow because of its multifunctional features. 

Best Design

Most Comfortable

Shop for good nursing tops

Nursing tops layer well under your top or dress. When you need to feed, you can easily pull the top layer up, lower the flap, and conveniently feed the baby, all without feeling exposed. Nursing isn’t easy so get the right gear. The right gear will help encourage you to keep breastfeeding.

Best Nursing Tank

Best Nursing Top

Find the best breastfeeding & pumping positions for you and your baby

While at the hospital, please ask for a lactation consultant to visit you. This way they can watch you feed and provide tips on nursing. Most hospitals provide a free lactation consultation. You can also see a local lactation one. But remember: while your lactation consultant will educate you on different latching techniques, some babies just won’t latch. 

If that’s the case with your baby, the “Diva Position or Laid Back Breastfeeding Position,” will come in handy: 

  1. Throw some pillows (I had a pile of 5-6) under your back so that you’re provided with enough support for your head, neck, shoulders, and back when reclining. 
  2. Bring the baby to your breasts so he or she is facing downward at your breasts. 
  3. Then get the baby to open its mouth and lock them to your breast. 
  4. Please take the necessary precautions to ensure the baby can breathe properly through his or her nose.
  5. After the baby masters their latch, follow the same instructions as above, but while feeding sideways. The diva position simply takes advantage of gravity because once the baby is face down, they have no other option but to suck! Ding, ding, ding, we have a WINNER!!  
Disclaimer: Life Momma is not a certified lactation consultant service. Please consult a certified lactation consultant or your doctor before using the Diva/Laid Back Position. Ensure you are taking the required safety precautions while feeding your baby

Take a nursing vacation

Yes, that’s what I call it, except the destination for me was my couch or my bed. Babies go through growth spurts and cluster feeding after week two. In layman’s terms, this means that your baby will be feeding nonstop. The last thing you should do here is keep the baby off your breast or supplement with formula. Yes, nonstop feeding sounds hard, and it is. But I want you to repeat after me: "I got this and my baby and I will get through this together". SAY this again and again! It is a matter of a few days. I felt like an AI machine as it doesn’t take long for your body to learn what is expected of it. I recommend making your spouse and other family members aware of growth spurt periods. You will need help with chores and support from your partner during this period. 

Children don't just get milk from breastfeeding, they get our energy too -Stephen Gaskin   

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Find recipes for increasing lactation

Boost your milk supply with the many easy to follow lactation recipes out there, recipes that you can prepare at home. Here is one recipe, we really like from Medela.

Shop for lactation supplements

I have compiled a list of my favorite lactation supplements to help you on your breastfeeding journey.

PureMom Organic Breastfeeding Supplement: 

It contains fenugreek seeds, fennel & milk thistle which play an essential role in boosting the supply. Fenugreek seeds can have opposite affect on some women so watch for it.


Motherlove More Milk Special Blend: 

Fenugreek seeds, fennel are great, but nothing compares to this. It is expensive but it works wonders

Mother's Milk Tea:

If you like your lactation supplement in form of team this is a great option. Highly recommended by lactation consultants.

Increase your water intake

Increasing your water intake will not only help you produce more milk, but will also keep you hydrated. Don’t you feel thirsty during a workout and don’t you replenish your electrolytes? Well, it’s the same when nursing. You burn anywhere from 200-300 calories while feeding/pumping so please support your nursing workout by drinking water! Rule of thumb that worked for me ― I drank a quarter of my body weight in ounces. So if I am 156 lbs, then I tried to drink a minimum of 39 ounces of water for my body.

Stay calm

This might mean something different to every mom. For some moms, it might be listening to podcasts or binge watching Netflix. I listened to music while nursing wireless headphones were a lifesaver. Please don’t be hard on yourself. Watching your favorite show will not interfere with baby-bonding time. Always remember, if you are mentally happy, the baby will be, too, so you have to find what makes you happy, and relax!

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