So the thing about breastfeeding is that for some new moms, it comes so naturally, whereas for other women it definitely takes a lot of work. And as someone who falls in the latter category, naturally I’m so passionate about this topic.
Because of my experience, I’m here to tell you of all the breastfeeding hacks that I was able to amass from trying so dang hard to get my milk supply up! Yes mama, you can increase your breast milk supply!
And just to let you know, I was producing 20ml of breast milk from power pumping BOTH breasts at the beginning! I had postpartum hemorrhage and lost a lot of blood so my milk was basically nonexistent. Now I can proudly say that I exclusively breastfeed and meet the milk demand of my baby!
Here I’ll talk about foods to increase breast milk supply (ie. breastfeeding snacks). I’ll also tell you tips on how to increase milk supply when pumping as well as some home remedies to increase breast milk, so that you’ll know exactly how to increase breast milk instantly!
Get a breastfeeding cart
Invest in a bar cart in order to keep all the things you need in one place. Trust me, this is the best breastfeeding tip: a breastfeeding bar cart is so worth it! This is especially in the first few weeks postpartum when you can’t move too quickly because you feel like your organs down there are going to fall off!
If you have a two storey home, you can keep all your stuff in a breastfeeding basket or a small storage box that can easily be carried up and down instead.
Legendairy Milk Breast Milk Supplements & Stickers
Next on our list of breastfeeding tips: supplements! If you are wondering how to increase breast milk supply quickly, invest in supplements that are made specifically to increase breast milk supply production. I mean, I hate to be biased, but truthfully, Legendairy Milk saved me so much! It helped me to increase breast milk supply quickly.
I have ordered most of their supplements but haven’t gone through all of them just yet. I’ll list below the ones I’ve tried and how they work for me, and will update this post once I’ve tried them all.
However, I think I should note that even if something works for me, doesn’t mean they will work for you! Legendairy milk also says this, and that’s why they have so many different blends. You really have to try and see which ones work for you.
Also, I am located in Canada, and if you are located outside of the US, it takes a long time for the package to arrive if you order from Legendairy Milk. My suggestion is, order as soon as you can! Even better if you’re still pregnant and haven’t delivered your baby yet! That way you will have the supplements you need as right when you need them.
The products that I’ve used and have had a positive effect (increase breast milk supply):
- Pump Princess
- Liquid Gold
The products that didn’t really have an effect on me:
I am also currently taking Sunflower Lecithin and I can tell that my milk flow is much less thick if that makes sense. In other words: it works!
Also, I have to add on here that you should also get the breastfeeding stickers that has the milestone stickers (1 week, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year). Nothing is more satisfying than reaching that milestone and earning the right to use the stickers for the milestone you’ve reached!
Momcozy – Portable Breast Pump
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to go out and invest in an electric breast pump, especially if you are serious about breastfeeding. Probably the best way to increase breast milk supply is by pumping. Especially in the early days when you are trying your hardest to build up your milk supply. You can of course invest in a manual breast pump (I’m not talking about the haakaa, I will talk about that momentarily) but you will quickly lose interest if you have to manually pump and not to mention tiring out your hands from constantly pumping!
However, I know that many breast pumps out there are super expensive, and you are tied to a wall most of the time too! That’s why my number one recommendation for a breast pump is hands down the Momcozy breast pump! It costs only $65 and is completely portable! You don’t even need to buy a bottle separately because it comes with a collection cup already!
The only other breast pump I’ve used is the Philips Avent Breast pump, and I gotta tell you, I like the Momcozy one much better because of how portable it is. By using a wearable breast pump, you don’t need to purchase a hands free pumping bra because this breast pump will fit in your regular nursing bra.
At the beginning of your journey, postpartum, you will probably not have much need for a portable breast pump, but honestly it makes all the difference once you’re moving much more and also when your husband goes back to work! It’s also perfect if you are planning to pump at work!
Drink bone broth soup!
One of my top secret breastfeeding hacks exposed! According to Naturally Loriel, bone broth is one food eat to increase breast milk supply! It is so nutrient dense and can provide so much nutrients that you may need as a breastfeeding mom! If you are wondering what to eat to increase breast milk supply, try having bone broth. Birth Eat Love has a super easy recipe to make bone broth! Honestly bone broth is one of the most natural ways to increase breast milk supply.
Related Post: The Cutest Nursing Necklace For Your Babe
Power pump & wake up in the middle of the night for pumping
If you are wondering how to increase breast milk in one day, try power pumping! Personally I hated power pumping, especially in the beginning when baby would wake up to feed every couple of hours. It basically meant my breasts had no break from breastfeeding and pumping. But honestly, it’s one of the best pumping hacks and helped me increase my breast milk supply!
Even though yes it sucks, and is one of the most annoying breastfeeding tips out there, I still 100% recommend power pumping if you are wondering how to increase breast milk supply while pumping. Lansinoh has a great article on why power pumping is so great at increasing milk supply: basically power pumping signals the body to make more breast milk because the breasts are being emptied constantly. This is the recommended interval for power pumping:
- Pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10
- Pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10
- Finally, pump for 10 minutes
As for waking up in the middle of the night, again, it sucks, but doing the middle of the night pump, especially in the first 12 weeks is so beneficial to increasing your breast milk supply. Mom Loves Best says is so well: prolactin levels are high at night so taking advantage of this time to pump will help with increasing your breast milk supply. And just think of it as the time you have to catch up with all your Youtube subscriptions!
Try breastfeeding in wrap
One of the things I highly encourage you to do is to learn how to use a baby wrap. It is a life saver when it comes to being able to do things around the house especially if your baby doesn’t want to be put down. But in addition to this, you should also learn how to breastfeed in a wrap!
Let me tell you, the day I figured out how to breastfeed in a wrap, I felt like I discovered a gold mine! It frees up so much time just sitting around not being able to do anything because I’m breastfeeding, plus even though it’s tiring, I consider the time carrying baby my workout for the day. Win-win-win!
The boba wrap is my favourite wrap to use when carrying my baby and also while breastfeeding. Incidentally they have a great article on how to safely breastfeed baby in a wrap!
Water and Drinks That Increase Breast Milk Supply
This should be one of the no-brainer breastfeeding tips, and you will automatically do this anyway when you’re breastfeeding because breastfeeding makes women sooooo thirsty, all the time! But in case you are wondering what drinks help produce breast milk, the very first one is water! Warm water seems to work the best for me when trying to increase my supply.
Of course, drinks filled with electrolytes are also very good at increasing breast milk supply. So in case you needed the reminder: drink your water! And plenty of it too! This is one of the easiest ways to increase breast milk supply!
If water is a satisfying answer for you, then gatorade and powerade are great drinks to try that is known to increase breast milk. Looking for a more natural, healthier choice? try coconut water!
Get a breast massage
For new moms asking themselves “How can I stimulate my milk supply?,” this one is for you.
At the beginning, when your milk is just starting to come in, it’s super helpful to do breast massage to help remove the milk from your milk ducts and encourage breastmilk production.
Dont stress too much
Everyone says this, but honestly it’s true. Don’t stress about making enough milk. If you are absolutely adamant that you want to nurse your baby, that’s awesome! But don’t put too much pressure on yourself because stress may inhibit breastmilk production.
Next on the list of breastfeeding hacks: eat breastfeeding snacks! There are so many breastfeeding snacks in the market right now, but I specifically ate breastfeeding snacks from Amazon in the first few weeks postpartum and I noticed that when I would eat it, I was able to produce more milk. I don’t eat breastfeeding snacks anymore, but it’s definitely helpful at the beginning.
There are also many recipes out there that shows you how to make your own breastfeeding snacks. My favourite are the no bake lactation bites by Baker Mama because it’s got ingredients that are known to help increase milk production AND it doesn’t need to be baked! Super easy, and if you are a new mom, you know that nobody got time for baking!
Add moringa powder in your oatmeal
I love adding moringa powder to my oatmeal. Oatmeal is well known as one of the foods to increase breast milk supply, but did you know about moringa powder? In the Philippines, moringa has been used for generations to help new moms with increasing their breastmilk supply. Adding a teaspoon of moringa powder in your morning oatmeal is an awesome way to help increase your breast milk supply and get more milk!
Keep a stash of nursing pads
Once your milk comes in (and even when it’s not fully in production yet, you may find that your breasts are leaking at the most inopportune times. Some women swear by reusable breast pads because they are more environmentally friendly and also more economically friendly, but honestly, I have to say the nursing pads from Lansinoh are my favourite. These nursing pads are disposable but it doesn’t leave your breasts feeling wet when they’re full and it doesn’t leave the breasts smelling of milk, if that makes sense.
Please just make sure to change them every so often because you don’t want to wear them until they are absolutely full – the gel that keeps you dry may escape and go on your breast– which you don’t want baby to ingest.
Have hydrogel pads handy
Starting to breastfeed is hard. And painful. If you are in the midst of getting used to breastfeeding, you may find that you almost want to give up because of the pain. I would highly suggest that you power through it, and if it gets too painful and sensitive, use these Hydrogel pads from Ameda!
Using hydrogel pads is one of the best breastfeeding hack for sore nipples. They are lifesavers and helps your nipples feel so much better, especially if they are raw from breastfeeding. Keep a pack in hand, especially if you are just starting your breastfeeding journey!
Use a lanolin balm
Along with the hydrogel pads, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend a lanolin cream to put over your nipples when you are done pumping or feeding. Lanolin balms are also one of the best breastfeeding hacks for sore nipples. It’s safe for baby, so you don’t have to wipe them off, and it is going to feel so good especially when you are feeling extra sensitive. This is a great breastfeeding hack for the early days of breastfeeding of new moms.
Ok, so I know this one is a sensitive topic, so I want to preface this by saying: please, do what feels right for you. There are instances when cosleeping is definitely not an option, and I don’t want to pretend to be an expert in the topic, so I will leave you with these resources that may help you make your decision on whether or not cosleeping is the best decision for you and your family:
- Experts have finally acknowledged how common co-sleeping is, despite all the warnings
- How Cosleeping Can Help You and Your Baby
I will say this: When I learned to breastfeed while side-lying, I was able to get good rest at night, baby cried less and me, my husband and my baby were all in a good mood in the morning. This is one of my favorite breastfeeding hacks I can offer as it heped maintain my milk production without losing too much sleep.
Learn about latching
The next most valuable breastfeeding hack on this list is to learn about latching. When you’re a first time mom and latching hurts every single time, you start to wonder if your baby has a lip or tongue tie. This is definitely what happened to me when I was first starting out, even though now, looking back at it, it may have only been because my body was still getting used to breastfeeding.
I never took a breastfeeding course, so I ended up searching for answers online for everything. Breastfeeding was so painful and my baby looked so uncomfortable nursing that I looked for every resource out there on how to properly breastfeed. Honestly, nothing really helped much. That is, until I saw this video on Legendairy Milk’s instagram:
This was honestly a godsend. I only wish I had watched this when my baby was younger (she was almost 8 weeks when I saw this video) but even at 8 weeks, after I followed the guidance in the video day after day, my baby corrected her latch and she was able to nurse comfortably shortly after. Now she’s an expert!
As a side note, some people swear by using a nursing pillow, but I find that when my daughter was learning how to breastfeed, using a nursing pillow did not allow her to latch properly, and afterwards, it just became a nuisance using a nursing pillow. That’s just my advice though, take it with a grain of salt!
Power through it
I am not sure if this can be considered one of the breastfeeding hacks, this is just my advice. If you could, just power through it! The pain is like no other, and when you are still recovering from giving birth, it may be frustrating that you’re hurting just about everywhere you used to get pleasure from (LOL I had to say it haha!) but trust me, it’s so worth it mama! Just the bond you will make with your baby and the sweet smile your baby will give you while nursing when he/she is older will make all the pain worth it, I promise!
Purchase a nursing cover
The best thing about breastfeeding is that you can basically feed baby anywhere without lugging around water and formula to mix milk for baby! And if you are planning on breastfeeding, you will definitely run into situations when you have to feed in public.
If you are comfortable nursing without a nursing cover, more power to you mama! But for the ones like me who are not so brave, investing in a few nursing covers will help tremendously! Practice using it at home so that you don’t have to fiddle around outside with using it!
Another thing that’s so great about using a nursing cover: It can help baby focus on feeding once they get to the distracted feeder stage!
Use a haakaa for letdowns
If you are planning on building a milk supply, I urge you to please purchase a Haakaa for yourself. I love using my haakaa on the other breast while feeding baby on the other breast, and once baby triggers a let down, the haakaa can catch the let down on the other breast. The best thing about it is that there’s literally just one part that you have to wash and sanitize, and for that reason, I reach for my haakaa much more often than my breast pump.
Another great thing about the haakaa is it can help with clogged ducts! Just put warm water in your haakaa and a bit of epsom salt, make sure the nipple is submerged in the epsom salt water, and suction out the clog! It’s magical and mesmerizing to watch!
Related Post: The Best Nursing Dresses For Breastfeeding Mamas
Switch from breast to bottle constantly
If you want to have a few hours away from baby every now and again, you may want to make sure that baby is used to feeding from both you and from a bottle. Once baby gets used to the nipple, it is so difficult to get them back on the bottle, so maybe every other day, make sure to make it a point to give a bottle to your baby at least once.
Try giving frozen milk to baby when u first freeze
Once your milk supply is established, you may find that you now have excess milk to freeze for your milk stash! But before you go ahead and build that milk stash, make sure that you freeze your first bag of milk, and then take it out of the freezer to feed to baby. You may find that baby will drink the milk, no problem. But you may also find that your milk smells soapy or foul, and in that case, you might need to scald your milk before freezing.
Scalding is a lot more work than just freezing your milk, so whether you continue to build your stash is up to you, but at least you know early on whether your baby will take your milk or not. Trust me, you don’t want to be building that stash only to find that your baby will have none of it!
Freeze milk right away if it’s for stash
If you are looking to store breast milk, don’t leave it lying around for too long. Especially if you figure out that you have high lipase in your breast milk, make sure that you freeze it right away if the milk you’ve expressed is intended for your milk stash. This slows down the breakdown of the fats, and helps preserve the quality of your milk, keeping more of the nutrients intact.
Once you get through the first 3 months of breastfeeding, your supply will hopefully stabilize and your body will know how much milk to make for your baby. Most of the pain that comes from breastfeeding (sore nipples) have also mostly subsided by now.
However, another issue that comes up around this time is that you may find yourself with a distracted feeder, which means your nursing baby will most likely latch and unlatch multiple times because they want to look at all the things that catches their attention. Well if that’s the case, then you may want to invest in a breastfeeding necklace. This post has a roundup of the best breastfeeding necklace to wear to keep the attention of your distracted baby.
Nursing bra & nursing dress/top
Comfortable nursing bras, nursing dresses and/or a nursing tank are a breastfeeding mom’s best friend. Trust me, you will live in these, so you would want to invest in comfortable ones. The great thing is, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and doesn’t have to look tacky either! Go to this post for a roundup of the best nursing bras (this is where I got my favorite nursing bra!), and this post for the best nursing dresses.
How to breastfeed in public
This one is a more practical breastfeeding hack. Make sure you practice how you’re going to breastfeed in public so you don’t fumble around and are confident in feeding your baby. This makes all the difference, trust me! The Little Milk Bar has this awesome video on how to breastmilk in public without a cover without feeling too exposed.