1. Water: Drinking plenty of water is a direct way to increase your milk supply. Typically mothers who are breastfeeding need to increase their water consumption by one quart per day, totaling 2.5 to 3 quarts per day.
2. Oatmeal: Oats are a common lactogenic food. Start your day with a big bowl of oatmeal.
3. Fenugreek: Fenugreek can be taken in capsule (2-3 capsules 3x/day) or tincture form, and typically increase breast milk supply within 1-2days. Note: Fenugreek is often sold in combination with thyme—I recommend using the capsules of fenugreek alone.
4. Blessed Thistle: Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek work better when taken together. Blessed Thistle is also found in capsule (2-3 capsules 3x/day) or tincture form and is a galactogogue as well.
5. Mother’s Milk Tea: there are a variety of different herbal teas that help stimulate the production of breast milk. My personal favorite is “Milkmaid Tea” by EarthMamaBabyAngel. See earthmamababyangel.com
6. Brewer’s Yeast: aka ‘Nutritional Yeast’. 1-2 Tbsp/day added to food or water (it is bitter!!). Brewer’s yeast contains chromium, selenium and B Vitamins (except it does not contain B12). Brewer’s yeast is a natural food source that has immune enhancing, anti-oxidant, and wound healing properties.
7. Sleep: Sleep is essential to optimal health, and recovery post partum. Breast pumping offers a lovely solution to allow your partner to take over a feed and allow for you to sleep, recover and heal.
8. Breastfeed or Breast Pump more Frequently: Your body creates breast milk due to basic “supply and demand”. The more stimulation the breasts have, the more milk your body will attempt to supply. In the first few weeks post partum, I recommend breast-pumping 10-15minutes after breast-feeding, to bring in your milk, prevent painful engorgement and increase your milk supply to help your newborn baby grow!
9. Relaxation: Relaxing while breastfeeding or breast pumping is integral in how much milk your body produces. If you are pumping, try not to look and tally how much milk you are making during the process, so that your body stays nice and relaxed and your milk is able to properly let down.
10. Prescription Drugs: After speaking with your Doctor, you may decide that prescription drugs are necessary for your situation. However, make sure you check and understand all side effects before taking this route. The presence of an appropriate level of the hormone prolactin permits lactation to proceed normally. There are several prescription drugs that have been used to increase milk supply: Metoclopramide (Raglan), Domperidone (Motilium), and Sulpride (Eglonyl, Dolmatil, Sulpitil, Sulparex, Equemote).
Dr. Meaghan H. Woodruff ND, LAc