I had my supply totally tank twice. Once was after my baby’s illness and once was after mine. Both times I was able to get my supply back up and eventually was back to breastfeeding and pumping as usual, but it did take some work. In this blog we’ll talk about how to increase your milk supply.
The first time my supply dipped was when my baby Everly was around three months old, and she had an ear infection. For several days in a row she was just not nursing well. She would only nurse for a few minutes at a time, and I knew she wasn’t getting enough. I finally ended up defrosting some milk from my freezer stash and bottle feeding her for a feeding. She gobbled it down. I think somehow nursing with the ear infection was somehow more painful to her than taking the bottle. I pumped after she had her bottle, and I noticed my supply was way down.
The second time my supply dipped was when I had a stomach bug. I was so sick and I knew I was incredibly dehydrated. I was still trying to breastfeed but Everly (now 4 months) was getting frustrated and when she would nurse I felt like no milk was coming out. I had my husband feed her some milk from her stash for a couple feedings. When he did, I tried to pump and did not get much.
In both of these instances I had to work to get my supply back up. However, learn from my mistakes! There are a couple things I could have done better to protect my supply:
- If your baby is not nursing well or is on a nursing strike, you may need to pump after feedings to protect your supply. Breast milk is supply and demand, so you need to tell your body to keep making enough milk.
- If you are sick, it’s fine to have someone else feed your baby from your stash but do try to pump every time you miss a feeding. I skipped some and it made getting my supply back harder.
Now, if your supply has dipped, here are some things you can do to get it back up:
- Pump for 10-20 minutes right after nursing your baby. This will tell your body to make more milk and it shouldn’t interfere with your next feeding. You can do this after just one feeding a day or several until you get your supply back up.
- Breastfeed more often. While you are trying to get your supply up you may need to breastfeed more often than you usually do. This will help your baby get enough milk and will naturally increase your supply.
- Power pump. For a day or two you may want to try doing a power pump. A power pump is usually 20 min of pumping, 20 min off, 10 min of pumping, 10 min off, and 10 min of pumping, 10 min off. So a total of an hour. You’ll likely have to give a bottle for a feeding if you power pump as it’ll clean you out.
- Drink and eat enough! Your body needs the fuel to make milk.
- Try lactation supplements. Lactation drinks and foods can be helpful while you’re trying to increase your supply. I really like the Boobie Latte drink. You can use code “Madison10” for 10 percent off.