It can be challenging to figure out how to produce more breast milk, so it’s important to know what your options are. There are a lot of different things you can do, most of which center on a healthy breastfeeding diet, eating certain foods or avoiding others — basically being healthy AF so your little munchkin can fatten up and get as much of that liquid gold as possible. But it’s not just about food. If you’re looking for a few tips on how to produce more breast milk, we’ve got the goods right here. Check out these tips, and you should be able to increase your breast milk supply in no time.
1. Nurse as frequently as possible. If you are worried about your milk production, it is important to keep nursing. The more milk you remove from your breast, the more likely your body is to produce more milk. Additionally, make sure your baby has a good latch and is nursing effectively.
2. Don’t supplement with bottles. Feeding your baby solely from the breast should help signal your body to make more milk.
3. Don’t offer your baby a pacifier, either. That way, all your baby’s sucking needs are met by you alone, and her sucking powers will likely boost your milk supply.
4. Try pumping. Sometimes, if your baby is not completely draining your breasts at each feed, it is important to pump out all the excess milk (after you nurse your baby). Think of it as pressing the reset button.
5. Drink lots and lots of water. Y’know how you get so freaking thirsty while you’re nursing? Well, one of the keys to an adequate milk supply is being adequately hydrated, and well rested.
6. Enjoy some lactation cookies. Typically made with lactation powerhouse ingredients, such as Brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, and oats, these cookies are a seriously delicious milk-boosting treat. Even if you’re not into chocolate chips, there are tons of yummy variations out there that are sure to increase your milk supply.
7. Eat oatmeal. As mentioned above, oats are great for stimulating your milk-making hormones, as well as lowering cholesterol; they also contain antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re not already into oatmeal, grab a bowl!
8. Drink Mother’s Milk Tea. This herbal tea, which has a strong fennel and anise flavor, contains several herbs (called galactagogues) used to promote breast milk, most notably fenugreek. It is thought that fenugreek exerts an estrogen-like effect in the body, subsequently boosting the hormone prolactin which may trigger milk production.
9. Take a Brewer’s yeast supplement. Similar to fenugreek, brewer’s yeast contains plant nutrients that may exert estrogen-like effects in the body that lead to milk production. Brewer’s yeast (or nutritional yeast) can be taken in pill form (but it’s also really yummy on popcorn!).
10. Snack on nuts. High in good fats, nuts are a protein-packed snack that boost serotonin levels which in turn helps regulate lactation. At the top of the list is almonds, preferably raw (so as not to contain all the salt and oil of store-bought roasted nuts) or even almond milk.
11. Take garlic with your meals. Another galactagogue, this aromatic onion relative is thought to increase breast milk when used in moderation. I’m a massive garlic fan, but for those who aren’t, try encapsulated garlic pills.
12. Add some alfalfa sprouts to your salads. Yup, another galactagogue. But not only that, in addition to bumping up your breast milk production, alfalfa sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals and taste great in a salad or on your favorite sandwich.
13. Crunch on some sesame seeds. They’re a great source of calcium and also believed to help you produce more breast milk. Although it’s easy to grab a sesame seed bagel, it’s better to eat the seeds unhusked (outside shell removed), so think tahini or hummus.