How To Produce More Milk For Your Baby
Despite giving birth like a boss, getting your breast milk to come in and keep it flowing can be very challenging for many women. If you choose to breastfeed or pump, then knowing how to increase your breast milk supply fast is necessary to ensure that you have a smooth breastfeeding journey.
The first few days after birth are equal parts awesome and terrifying. You are basically recovering from what feels like being hit by a bus and learning to take care of a tiny new human. You also need to feed your baby. Constantly.
Body parts you didn’t even know existed are hurting. You are running on such little sleep that you’ve thought about Googling whether dying from exhaustion is a real thing. No wonder breastfeeding can be challenging!
Moms should get a “free wine for life” card immediately after giving birth. Seriously.
Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned pro, your milk supply can take a nosedive at any time for so many reasons. That is why it is so important to know exactly how to increase your breast milk supply fast.
Keep these drinks on hand for when you need help with your milk coming in or to give your supply a boost if you start to notice a drop.
Now, let’s start making some milk! Okay, that sounded better in my head.
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Me, the first time I attempted to breastfeed.
How to Increase Milk Production
The process of giving birth is stressful enough. Now couple that with torturous sleep-deprivation, having a straight-up panic attack every time your baby cries, and being deathly afraid of that first postpartum pee or poop. You might not be totally ~zen~. As a result, your milk might come in slower than expected.
When your breast milk does come in, you need to know how to maintain your supply so that you have one less thing to stress about and can instead focus on bonding with your new baby. Before jumping into how to increase your breast milk supply, we have to understand how our bodies make milk.
Essentially, breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more you feed, the more milk your body will make, right? Sounds simple enough.
Well, not exactly. Your milk supply will increase and decrease several times within the first 12 weeks until breastfeeding is well established, and can continue to fluctuate for as long as you choose to breastfeed.
Numerous factors such as stress, diet, hormonal changes, and even lifestyle changes can cause breast milk supply to drop. That is why it is so important to increase your milk supply as soon as you notice it decreasing.
When you spot the signs that your milk supply is decreasing, don’t panic! There are many ways to increase your breast milk supply production naturally at home. You might not be getting as much milk as you want but that doesn’t mean that you can’t quickly increase your supply. In fact, some of the methods and drinks mentioned below might even help you increase your breast milk in one day!
How To Increase Breast Milk Supply Fast
The best way to ensure that you are making enough milk is to keep feeding or pumping. There are foods you can eat and supplements you can take to increase your milk supply but none of that will work unless you are asking your body to produce more milk. Seriously, do not stop the flow! This is especially important until your supply is established.
I highly recommend pumping between feeds, even if your baby is breastfeeding like a champ. You will have yourself a nice little freezer stash before you know it.
Even if your baby doesn’t take a bottle, breast milk can be used for literally everything. Does baby have a rash? Rub some breastmilk on it. Pink eye? Breastmilk. Cradle cap? You know the deal. They call it liquid gold for a reason.
How To Increase Your Milk Supply When Pumping
The more you signal your body to make milk, the more milk your body will start to produce. You can always scale back once your supply is established but pumping frequently is a great way to prompt your body to produce more milk.
Just trust me on this one, get yourself a manual hand pump and pump between feeds. I promise you will not regret it. It is probably the best thing I did during my entire breastfeeding journey. You can even throw it in your bag and pump on the go.
I recommend this Phillips Avent Manual Breast Pump to all my new mom friends. It is a MUST-HAVE, people.
Will you feel like a cow? Yes. Will you care? Not one bit.
This breast pump is life-changing. I got more milk with this manual pump than with my electric pump and that thing was a beast!
If you are exclusively pumping, I cannot recommend the Spectra S2 breast pump enough. An electric pump is great if you are pumping multiple times a day or if you power pump a few times a day. I used this pump probably more than a thousand times and it held up remarkably well.
I exclusively pumped for 11 months since the day Leo born. He was a premie and had trouble latching. This breast pump was a life-saver.
I was devastated that I couldn’t have a longer breastfeeding journey with Leo but I am so grateful for having this pump and for being able to provide Leo with my milk for as long as I could. It is very user-friendly and powerful. The price is well worth it.
This Haakaa Pump is also absolutely essential for nursing and pumping moms. I cannot recommend it enough! This pump is a gift from the heavens. You basically attach it to your breast while nursing or pumping on the other breast.
For example, if your baby is feeding on your right breast, you would suction this pump onto your left breast. Same idea if you are pumping manually on one breast.
This pump catches your letdown from the other breast and you end up collecting all precious milk! Every last drop! MIND = BLOWN!
How To Increase Milk Naturally At Home
The second best way to ensure that your breastfeeding journey is a success is by getting in touch with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant aka an IBCLC immediately after giving birth.
These consultants are legit and will do anything and everything in their power to help you breastfeed, including squeezing your boob like a lemon to ensure your milk is coming out. Trust me. I know that because they did it to me and I was grateful for it. File that under “things nobody tells you before you have a baby”.
They will also check your baby’s latch and give you so much valuable knowledge to set you up for success. They are literal heroes.
Get in touch with one ASAP if you need help with your milk coming in.
If you have already worked with an IBCLC and you are emptying your breasts frequently but still not producing enough milk, no need to worry. One of the best ways to boost your breast milk supply fast is by having super hydrating drinks filled with ingredients that will help increase your milk supply.
Staying hydrated is EVERYTHING when it comes to breastfeeding. Your body needs a lot of fluids to make milk. Not staying well-hydrated can decrease your supply significantly.
I know this is obvious but I will say it louder for the people in the back. You need to drink TONS of water when breastfeeding. You need to drink water like it is your job.
When I was exclusively pumping for Leo, I actually googled if I could die from water intoxication because I was drinking so much water.
I know drinking water can become a bit tedious. What helped me increase my water intake was getting a cute water bottle that I loved and actually enjoyed carrying around.
I love this water bottle, especially in Rose Gold or Ombre. In fact, I need this water bottle in my life, and I’m not even breastfeeding anymore.
I’m also obsessed with this Beast Tumbler that is perfect for cold or hot drinks (such as lactation tea). It even comes with two smoothie straws and a straw cleaner! Btw, love the blossom color!
In addition to drinking all the water, you need to ensure that you are consuming the best drinks to maximize the amount of milk you produce.
Drinks filled with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, protein and lactogenic herbs can significantly increase your breast milk supply quickly.
The following drinks have been beneficial for lots of moms (myself included), but you will have to experiment to see which drinks work best with your body.
Now, what are these magical milk-making drinks, you ask? Say no more.
10 Drinks to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply FAST
I know what you’re thinking. What does blue Gatorade have to do with increasing my milk supply? Well, the color doesn’t matter as much as the electrolytes in the drink. I think some moms just prefer the flavor of the blue Gatorade but you can try any flavor that you like. Some of the moms I’ve spoken to even said that their breast milk had a blueish tint after drinking a lot of blue Gatorade, so there’s a fun little experiment!
There is no scientific evidence that Gatorade boosts breast milk supply but a lot of moms swear by it. I was a chronic under-producer and had trouble maintaining my supply daily. If you are as desperate as I was, then drinking a bottle or Gatorade a day might be worth a shot.
Although breastfeeding should not affect electrolyte levels, I felt like my body was working very hard to make milk. I would wake up every day completely drenched in my own sweat. I’m guessing that sweating profusely might have affected my electrolyte levels just a tad.
I think that is why so many moms swear by Gatorade. Perhaps their bodies are lacking electrolytes, and Gatorade just provides them with that extra boost to help increase their breast milk supply. I noticed an increase in my supply after drinking Gatorade and I continued to drink one bottle every few days to help maintain my supply.
No cool superhuman blue milk though. *Womp womp*
Grab a pack of Blue Gatorade here and if you do try it, please let me know if your breast milk turns blue. I need to know.
Body Armor Lyte
Body Armor Lyte provides the same function as Gatorade. This drink is also designed to hydrate and replenish your body with electrolytes. A lot of moms prefer this drink to Gatorade as they find that it tastes better and provides better hydration and leaves them feeling refreshed and energized.
The low sugar calorie option is also fantastic for moms wanting to cut down on their sugar intake. The drink is made with natural sweeteners with only 20 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving. It is caffeine and preservative free while also having 2.5x the number of electrolytes than other sports drinks. Apparently, the Peach Mango flavor is the bomb!
The reviews for this drink are so good. I’m definitely going to stock up on these for baby number 2 and even just for my very rare visits to the gym.
Promising Review: Staying hydrated after I had my little girl was so hard. I had no appetite and would forget to drink water in my exhausted state- not good for milk supply! I love that these are delicious and I can grab one quickly to stay hydrated while breastfeeding. Peach mango is my favorite! I love them so much I will be subscribing.
Get a pack of the Peach Mango flavor here and let me know if it tastes as good as people say!
Mother’s Milk Tea
Mother’s Milk Tea is a favorite among moms for many reasons. This tea is full of herbs known to increase breast milk supply. The three most important herbs in this tea are fennel, fenugreek, and blessed thistle. These herbs are natural galactagogues, which is a substance that promotions lactation and increases the flow of breast milk.
Women have been using these herbs for hundreds of years to boost their supply so it’s no wonder that this tea is so popular for breastfeeding moms.
The only issue I have with this tea is the taste. I didn’t hate it per se, but I didn’t love it either. It tastes like sweet licorice. I enjoyed the taste more when I drank it over ice with some honey.
I drank the Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Tea and took fenugreek pills the entire 11 months I exclusively pumped for Leo. Whenever I didn’t drink the tea or missed taking a dose of the fenugreek pills, I would notice a drop in supply.
Despite the taste, I would drink this tea again if I have another baby as I did notice a boost in my supply with this tea when I was pumping for Leo.
Promising Review: It’s been a week now and I am up to 8 oz off of one breast a session. I must say going from 2 oz I was scared I was going to loose my milk but this stuff is a life saver!
Starbucks Pink Drink
If you are addicted to Starbucks like I am, then you will be happy to know that there is a drink on their menu that breastfeeding moms love! The Strawberry Acai Refresher also known as the “Pink Drink” has been making waves in mom groups because it apparently helps boost supply.
The hype about this drink started a few years ago in a Facebook support group for breastfeeding moms and has taken off ever since. Some moms even claim that this drink helped them produce ten times more milk! Impressive!
So, what makes this drink so special? The drink is mixed with coconut milk which has, you guessed it, electrolytes! I am sure you could just drink straight up coconut milk or even make some yummy chia pudding with coconut milk for the same benefits, but there is something so satisfying about this drink on a beautiful spring day (or any day, really).
Sip on it while you’re out and about running errands. If you’re going to grab a drink from Starbucks anyways, might as well try this one. You will be hydrated, loaded with some extra electrolytes, and have a cute pic for the ‘gram. What’s not to love?
I found out about the Pink Drink toward the end of my pumping journey which I was pretty bummed about, but this is still one of my favorite Starbucks drinks. Will I be trying this beautiful, delicious, and refreshing drink with baby number 2? You bet.
Protip: You can make a dupe of this drink right at home! It’s so easy and apparently tastes a lot like the real Pink Drink!
Homemade “Pink Drink” Recipe
- 1/2 cup of Ocean Spray WhiteCran-Strawberry Juice (you can freeze the juice in an ice cube tray to get a slushy consistency)
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
Combine juice and coconut milk, top with frozen pureed strawberries and enjoy!
Pink Stork Lactation Tea
The entire Pink Stork line of products are extraordinarily good. The company was founded by a mom of five. Yes, five! After having five kids, I think she knows what she’s doing.
All the Pink Stork products are completely organic and come in sustainable packets. The lactation line is especially good and the reviews are outstanding.
A lot of moms love this tea because its filled with galactagogues such as fennel, fenugreek, and blessed thistle.
I really like this tea because the herbs are also soothing for baby and may even help calm a colicky or gassy baby which is a BIG DEAL! Trust me. Happy baby = happy mama!
This tea is perfect for moms who need to increase their breast milk supply while also soothing their babies tummies.
Try the Pink Stork Lactation Tea and let me know if it worked for you! The teas come in two flavors, Smooth Vanilla, and Herbal Mint. You can also get a calming tea that helps with stress and anxiety. How nice is that?
Promising Review: This tea is truly liquid gold!!! My milk production is extremely great! I have tried other products, however, this is my first choice and the only one I would highly recommend for milk production. It also tastes great!
You can also try the True Milk Breastfeeding Support supplements which come in capsule form. These supplements contain the most organic herbs than any other supplement on the market.
The herbs in the supplements actually make your milk sweeter and taste better so baby will want to nurse more. More nursing = more milk! AMAZING!
I literally want to have another baby just so I can try all the Pink Stork products. They are seriously that good.
Coconut water is a game-changer for breastfeeding moms. Not only is coconut water very hydrating but it is also filled with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals which can help boost supply. I always tell my expecting friends to drink coconut water as soon as they get pregnant because there are so many benefits for both mom and baby that come from drinking coconut water.
Coconut water is rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin C and Lauric acid. So much goodness in one bottle!
Coconut water can also help promote brain and bone development in your baby along with boosting your and your baby’s immunity.
I swear by coconut water for everything. I was drinking coconut water every day when I was pregnant and when I was pumping. It left me feeling so hydrated and hydrated while keeping the morning sickness at bay.
Lots of moms swear by coconut water as their secret weapon for breastfeeding. Since there are so many benefits for mama and baby, I think this drink is a must-have in your fridge at all times!
We drink Vita Coco Organic Coconut Water at home and have it constantly stocked in our pantry. I even give coconut water to Leo now when he has an upset tummy or is running a fever to help him cool down and stay hydrated. It’s the best.
UpSpring Baby Milkflow Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle Powder
UpSpring offers breastfeeding moms several lactation support supplements. One of their most popular supplements is the Berry Breast Milk Booster which has a blend of natural herbs such as fenugreek and blessed thistle. The product is all-natural, very hydrating, and is It comes recommended by doctors and lactation consultants. You can mix in the supplement with sparkling water, fresh juice, or a lactation smoothie if you want to switch things up.
The company claims that this supplement is ideal for moms that are pumping, returning to work, and want to maintain their supply, or for any moms who want to boost their breast milk supply. The supplements come in single-serve packets that are perfect for busy moms, and come in a variety of flavors such as Chai Tea Latte and Chocolate!
The reviews for this supplement speak for themselves and it apparently tastes delicious! I would definitely try this if I have another baby. Let me know if you try this supplement and if it works for you!
Promising Review: This product is amazing! Being a stay at home mom who exclusively breast fees, it has its challenges. I really try to get out of the house and be on one spot all day. Of course some days are better than others when it comes to my supply with a growing baby! I love the UpSpring milk flow! When I feel my supply drop due to stress, lack of sleep, not enough water, etc (you know, being a human and all.. it happens) I just reach in for a packet and sure enough it’s a great jump start. Usually takes a day to two to come back in full swing after about 3 packets. I wouldn’t take this product every day, but for mom’s like me it’s great for when I needed some help every now and then. I definitely recommend this product! Worth it.
Beer – yes, beer!
Well, technically the secret ingredient to help boost breast milk supply is the brewer’s yeast found in beer, not the beer itself. However, a lot of moms choose to drink a glass of beer and have reported a boost in their breast milk supply.
If you decide to drink beer or consume any alcohol while breastfeeding but want to ensure that the alcohol has left your breastmilk, then I highly recommend these alcohol test strips. They are easy to use and give you accurate results in two minutes. Just put some breast milk on the strip and take the guesswork out of drinking and breastfeeding once and for all!
If you don’t like beer or would prefer not to drink alcohol then you skip it altogether take brewer’s yeast in powder or pill form instead.
Brewer’s yeast is a fungus that is used to brew alcohol and making bread. It is a very popular supplement because it is loaded with protein, minerals, amino acids, iron, and B vitamins. The nutritional benefits are likely helpful for boosting breast milk supply. Although there is no scientific evidence proving the correlation between consuming brewer’s yeast and increasing breast milk supply, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from moms who swear by this stuff.
Brewer’s yeast is actually quite good for you so even if it doesn’t boost your supply the way you expected, it might be worth a try as you will be giving yourself and baby extra nutrition. You might also see a boost in your energy levels as brewer’s yeast is known to combat fatigue and help alleviate baby blues. Brewer’s yeast also helps nourish skin and hair, lower blood sugar levels, helps lower cholesterol, and can even help fight off nasty colds. Not too shabby!
This Brewer’s Yeast Powder for Lactation is perfect for breastfeeding moms. It is debittered so probably won’t gag while trying to drink it. Yay! If you try it, let me know what you think!
You have probably heard how important protein intake is for yourself and your baby when you are pregnant and nursing. Most doctors recommend consuming a minimum extra 25 grams of protein a day when pregnant and nursing.
Your body uses protein to produce breast milk and as a result, you need to consume 20% more protein when breastfeeding. Protein is necessary for your baby’s development and you need to fuel your body with enough protein to ensure that you and your body are getting the nutrients you need.
However, if you have an aversion to meat or are tired of the same protein sources and want to switch things up, then protein shakes can be an easy way to get your protein count up and boost your milk supply.
Before diving into a delicious shake, you have to remember that not all protein shakes are safe for nursing moms. Look for a shake that is low in heavy metals, has artificial sweeteners and additives. A quality, organic protein is your safest option.
I recommend the Baby Booster Prenatal Protein Powder to all my nursing moms friends. The shake actually tastes good, it has 20 grams per serving, and it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners or preservatives. The natural ingredients enhance the taste as there is no chemical aftertaste as with some protein powders.
Promising Review: I drink this every morning and sometimes again at night. I LOVE it!! I add sunflower butter, ice, a banana and mix it with milk for extra calcium. Keeps me full all morning and gives the baby lots of nutrients.
If you prefer to skip protein powders, there are hundreds of clean protein smoothie recipes online and they taste so good. The recipe below is simple, easy, and delicious.
Homemade Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Protein Shake Recipe
- 1/2 cup of organic almond milk
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 whole banana
- 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats (finely ground to powder consistency)
Combine all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Garnish with banana slices and a few sprinkles of oats and enjoy!
Btw, oatmeal helps to boost breast milk supply. I was eating three to four oatmeals every day when I was exclusively pumping. This smoothie has oats and protein so it’s win-win! You can also add a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast to further enhance the milk-making properties in this smoothie.
I make this protein shake almost every day and even give one to Leo. He absolutely loves it. Such an easy way to get more protein into our diets and it tastes so good!
Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies
Remember how we talked about the importance of nourishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals while breastfeeding? Well, fruit and vegetable smoothies might just give you the nutrition boost your body needs to increase your breast milk supply. Lactation smoothies exist for a reason. They are a quick and easy way to fill up on the good stuff and help get your milk flowing in no time.
Load up your smoothies with healthy fats such as avocado and Greek yogurt and up the nutrition content even more by adding granola and chia seeds. Spinach and flax can help boost milk supply as well, so go crazy!
Make your smoothie extra creamy and cool by skipping the ice and using frozen fruits like bananas, strawberries, peaches, and blueberries.
Smoothies are not just good for you, but they are also amazing for your baby. All the goodness and nutrition you consume will be passed onto your little one. A good smoothie will also keep you full and satisfied for a long time. Trust me, getting hangry while breastfeeding is a real thing. Your body is using a lot of energy and burning a lot of calories to produce milk. Staying nourished and hydrated is the best way to ensure that your body has the tools it needs to produce breast milk.
I made the smoothie recipe below by accident one day because I only used the recipes I had on hand. It had quickly become a household favorite and I get requests to make it all the time. It is one of my favorite smoothie recipes and makes me feel like I’m having a Piña colada on the beach!
Green Lactation Smoothie Recipe
- 1 and 1/2 cup of spinach
- 1 frozen banana
- 1-2 cups of frozen pineapple
- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Garnish with a slice of pineapple or some fresh fruit and enjoy!
You can also drink this smoothie and fantasize that you’re on a tropical beach somewhere, while, in reality, your baby is literally destroying your house behind you. It works like a charm for me!
Final Thoughts on How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Now that you know about the 10 drinks that will help increase your breast milk supply fast, which one will you try? Remember that our bodies are different and everyone will have different results. It’s all about trial and error. No wonder which drinks you try, remember that feeding your baby frequently and staying hydrated is essential to producing breast milk. Also, try to pump frequently until your supply is established.
The initial work and commitment to breastfeeding can be very hard, especially in the early stages of breastfeeding. Once your supply is established, and your milk is flowing abundantly, you will feel so good knowing that all the hard work and effort you’ve put into producing milk is paying off.
I still have so much guilt for not being able to produce more milk for Leo when I was exclusively pumping.
I regret not working harder on his latch so that he would nurse directly.
There are so many things that I wish I could change about my breastfeeding journey as a first-time mom.
I thought I was such a failure and let myself become overwhelmed with guilt every day because I felt like my body I couldn’t do what it was meant to do.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Leo is a healthy, happy, thriving little boy and it didn’t matter how he was being fed in the end.
Looking back now, I realized that I was not a failure and I tried my best to feed and nourish my son.
I think it’s extremely important to start a conversation about how sometimes our bodies don’t perform the way we expect them to do.
Your milk doesn’t come flowing immediately after giving birth.
Breastfeeding is hard. Pumping is hard. Being a mom is hard.
It’s all very challenging and we need to step back and realize that it’s okay to go at our own pace, change course if necessary and ask for help.
Let me know what you’re going through.
What food or drink is your go-to when you notice a decrease in your breast milk supply?
Do you have a secret to boosting breast milk supply? Let me know!
Are there certain foods you eat or any supplements you take that have helped you increase your breast milk supply?
Have you noticed a difference in your supply after pumping between sessions?
I hope that you share your experience with me and I would love to hear about anything you would have done differently or anything that you did throughout your breastfeeding journey that you’re really proud of.
You’ve got this, mama.