Milk It: 6 Expert Tips to Increase Milk Supply

Any new mom knows what you mean when you use the term “supply”. We talked to one of New York City’s most sought-out lactation consultants, Leigh Anne O'Connor, IBCLC, about how to increase your breast milk supply. Below are 6 tips on how to get that supply established and keep it going strong.

1. One in, One out "The number one way to make milk is to remove it from your breasts. In most cases your baby is best at removing milk. The next best thing is to use a quality breast pump to remove your milk.  Word to the wise-a hospital grade pump almost always makes significantly more milk than a personal-use pump.”

2. What’s your frequency, Kenneth? “It is important to nurse frequently in the early days to establish your supply.  This early foundation is important to lay down a solid supply. Once you establish your milk supply it is easier to bring it back up if it begins to diminish.”

3. Hydrate “If you get dehydrated you may make less milk. Listen to your body – a lactating woman will feel thirsty before dehydration sets in!

 So drink up!  Keep a glass of water near by.”

4. Call in the reinforcements! If your supply is low there are galactogogues (say that three times fast) you can take to build up your supply. These are foods, herbs and drugs that can enhance your milk production. If this is the case it is important to work with a professional who is familiar with the right dosage and to evaluate your baby’s nursing and/or your pumping.  Some herbal galactagogues are malunggay, shatavari, Goat’s rue, blessed thistle. A popular and effective prescription is domperidone. 

5. Eat your Wheaties Well, actually, eat your oatmeal.  Oatmeal is a great food to make milk.  This may be tied to the release of oxytocin in the brain when oatmeal is consumed,  which stimulates milk production.

6. Good night moon, goodnight bra. “Don’t wear a bra to sleep.  It can compress the breast tissue and inhibit milk production or cause plugged ducts. During the day make sure your bra is not too tight for the same reasons.”