Aside from the strong bond breastfeeding creates between mother and child, breast milk is the best food you can give your baby for the first six months of his life.
Breast milk provides the right mix of vitamins, protein and fat which is everything your baby needs to develop. In addition, breast milk also contains antibodies to protect and build up your baby’s immune system.
As such, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommend to breastfeed exclusively (no formula, juice, or water) for the first six months of your baby’s life.
There are also many health benefits for the mummies, such as lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer. So it is only natural for you to want to increase your breast milk supply.
How to know your baby is getting enough breast milk
The best indication that your little one is getting enough breast milk is through steady weight gain. However, note that losing some of the birth weight for newborns on their second and third week is normal.
Aside from that, a good latch and more provided breastfeeding pumps, an increase in wet diapers in a day, and your baby content after a feed are good indicators that you are doing a good job on your breastfeeding journey.
If you want to provide enough milk for your little tot and how to increase milk supply, we list down 5 ways to boost your breast milk supply. Do keep in mind that each mummy can have different breastfeeding experiences.
If there is a cause for concern, you can always seek professional help.
6 Products to increase breast milk supply
In addition, we recommend breast milk supply boosters that can help significantly increase breast milk supply and provide your child with the nutrients they need to grow.
6 Products to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Best Breast Milk Supply Booster For Vegan Mums
Every mum wants the best for her little one. With Mama’s Choice Almond Powder, mamas can experience an improvement in their breast milk supply while helping their babies’ brain development thanks to the added DHA.
This lactation drink mix is enriched with incredible natural ingredients known for their breast milk-boosting benefits. These include fenugreek, which is traditionally used for increasing breast milk supply.
Other beneficial ingredients include dates and katuk leaf, responsible for increasing the hormones that tell a mama’s body to make more breast milk.
Best of all, Mama’s Choice Almond Powder is proven effective, with four out of five breastfeeding mamas reporting that they have felt their milk production increase by drinking this regularly.
What We Love:
- The first breast milk booster that combines fenugreek and DHA
- Available in two flavours: chocolate and matcha.
- With DHA for baby’s brain development.
- No chemicals, no preservatives, no artificial flavours and colours.
Best Breast Milk Supply Booster For Quick & Easy Consumption
How to increase milk supply fast? This is the answer to that question — UpSpring Milkflow Fenugreek. It contains three natural galactagogues: fenugreek, blessed thistle, and anise.
They are responsible for increasing prolactin levels, a hormone that increases the mother’s milk supply. Fenugreek has been used for centuries as a galactagogue. But it can be bitter and hard to swallow when taken in its raw form.
That won’t be a problem because this supplement comes in a small capsule form. This means quick and easy consumption, suitable for busy and working mothers.
It also has a high concentration of Fenugreek Seed Extract in each serving, so you can take lesser pills for the same and/or greater effect in increasing milk supply.
In addition, this UpSpring product contains herbs that are naturally-sourced, have no artificial fillers, and are non-GMO. For busy mothers, take UpSpring Milkflow Fenugreek’s capsules two times a day and watch your breast milk naturally flow.
What We Love:
- Gluten free.
- No added fillers.
- Suitable for vegetarians.
Best Breast Milk Supply Booster For Energy
A breastfeeding mom always needs her energy and a steady milk supply to keep her little one healthy and happy. Hit two birds with one stone by taking this breastfeeding supplement.
Take the UpSpring Milkflow Fenugreek + Blessed Thistle Lactation Supplement Coffee Drink Mix instead of your usual coffee every morning, for both the shot of energy and increase in milk supply.
It contains fenugreek, an herb scientifically proven to increase breast milk supply in women.
Additionally, it contains Blessed Thistle, a herbal galactagogue that increases prolactin levels (a hormone that increases the mother’s milk supply).
What We Love:
- Zero sugar or calories.
Best Breast Milk Supply Booster For Physical Relief
Suffering from sore and painful breasts after feeding? This could mean your milk ducts are blocked and/or you could be suffering from engorgement.
Both are painful conditions developed from breastfeeding which can deter you from providing your child with the nutrients they need for development and growth. Look no further than LaVie Lactation Massager for a solution.
LaVie Lactation Massager is designed to increase milk flow and output, and relieve pain from breastfeeding. Its unique design has three features.
The first is the wide side used to improve letdown and soften the breast for latching. Second is the narrow tip, which works on stubborn plugged ducts that can lead to mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue).
The last is the scoop edge, to reduce engorgement (where the breast tissue overfills with milk, blood and other fluids) and move milk more effectively.
It is easy-to-use, travel-friendly and perfect for mothers who do not wish to take supplements.
What We Love:
- Longer battery life.
- Comes with travel pouch and travel lock function.
Best Breast Milk Supply Booster For Snacking
Mummies, got a sweet tooth? Snack on the healthy Munchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites as this is the ultimate answer on how to increase milk supply.
These delicious yet nutritious cookies contain ingredients traditionally used to support breast milk supply like oats, flax seeds, and brewer’s yeast.
Oats, known as lactogenic food (known to boost supply) are a good source of nutrients like zinc, magnesium, iron, and folate, which are all essential for nursing moms.
Oats are also a great source of fiber, which can help moms stay full longer and promote healthy digestion
Meanwhile, flaxseeds have estrogenic properties that can help nursing moms make more milk. Flaxseed oil provides healthy fats that are a healthy component of breast milk to promote a child’s brain development.
Lastly, brewer’s yeast is considered a galactagogue, a substance that promotes lactation in humans which is the hormone responsible for the increase in milk supply.
What We Love:
- Preservative free.
- Lactation consultant recommended.
Best Organic Breast Milk Supply Booster Option
Choosing to opt for a more organic supplement? Look no further than Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Women’s Tea to promote healthy lactation.
It is America’s number one lactation tea, and contains medicinal grade herbs. It has fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle which are all organically sourced.
These herbs have more beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, as compared to non-organic options. It may also be more suitable for people with allergies to food chemicals or preservatives.
More importantly, the herbs present in the tea are galactagogues, which increase breast milk supply by promoting lactation.
What We Love:
- Non-GMO certified.
- Caffeine free.
- Kosher .
Here’s a quick look on the prices of breast milk supply boosters you can try:
How To Increase Your Breast Milk Supply
To look on how to increase milk supply, here are 14 tips you can try out for you and your baby.
If you start to notice any serious complications, remember that it is better to seek help from a doctor as soon as possible.
1. Get enough rest.
We know that this sounds like mission impossible but it is vital that you take care of yourself as you breastfeed your baby. The best way to accomplish this is to get enough rest because tiredness affects breast milk supply.
When your baby sleeps, you should sleep too. Ignore non-crucial chores and prioritise sleep. Being well-rested will allow you to focus on your breastfeeding journey. This is especially important on how to increase your breast milk supply.
2. Nurse often.
The first few weeks after giving birth is a crucial time to establish milk supply. During this time, frequent, thorough emptying of the breasts sets and controls the level of milk production.
It is encouraged to breastfeed your baby every two hours. Your baby’s sucking stimulates hormones to help on how to produce an increase of breast milk. The more your baby demands milk, the more your supply will increase to keep up.
3. Express milk in between feedings.
How to increase milk supply when pumping? Here’s an answer. As not all babies require hourly feedings or some mums experience difficulties with latching, the use of a breast pump is highly recommended.
Breast pumps work by mimicking the sucking motion that infants do when feeding, which typically results in an improved supply of breast milk. Do pump between 8-10 times a day including through the night.
Purchase an effective breast pump for this purpose. Store your expressed excess milk in the fridge or freezer and it can be bottle-fed to your baby when you are at work or out of the house.
4. Massage your breasts gently as you nurse (breast compression).
Another way to stimulate breast milk production is by massaging your breast gently when you are both breastfeeding and also when not feeding.
Massaging your breast while nursing can help hind milk let down more efficiently.
In the first 3-6 weeks, babies will often fall asleep at the breast when the flow of milk is slow, even if they haven’t gotten enough to eat.
Breast compression helps to continue the flow of milk once the baby starts falling asleep at the breast, so the baby gets more hind milk.
5. Avoid pacifiers, bottles, or formula supplements.
If possible, all of the baby’s sucking needs should be met at the breast. If you use a pacifier, make sure that it isn’t used as a supplement for nutritive sucking.
Babies who are full of formula will nurse less often. If you need to supplement with formula, try to pump after feedings to give your breasts extra stimulation.
6. Eat a balanced diet with extra calories a day.
All breastfeeding mothers should make sure she eats the right amount of food. The right diet should include foods rich in carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.
If you are hungry and also want to learn how to increase breast milk supply, get fruit instead of junk or fast food.
You should also eat more than what you usually eat because breastfeeding requires an extra 500 calories daily.
A breastfeeding mother should not yet think of going through a weight loss program or getting on a restricted diet for it may affect breast milk production and leave her feeling drained of energy.
7. Create a breastfeeding diet menu.
Besides maintaining a balanced diet, there are some traditional food and herbs that are believed to be helpful on how to increase breast milk supply.
These are called galactagogue. Herbs such as Fenugreek (Methi) are used by Indian mums across the globe to help increase breast milk production. It is easily available from health food stores in the form of tablets.
Some women do well on just one tablet three times a day, while others need to take more.
Fenugreek is also available as a form of tea or you could mix the powder with milk for drinking. Indian mums also rely a lot on turmeric powder and Turi leaves, which can both be bought at Teka market.
Chinese herbs Dang Gui and dates are designed to nourish the body, clear blockages and in the process, improve your milk supply.
Filipina mums swear by malunggay, a popular plant grown in the Philippines. You can find it in speciality Filipino stores in Singapore.
In a study of actual pregnant/nursing women conducted in Ospital ng Makati, it was found that those who took malunggay supplements before and continued after giving birth showed an earlier onset of milk and a greater volume of it.
Apparently, though only proper and frequent feeding can really stimulate milk production and maintain supply, malunggay as a galactagogue facilitates the process for a new mother.
For other mums, their go-to dish is oats. Although there are no scientific studies that indicate that eating a serving of oatmeal a day can increase breast milk supply, there is no harm in consuming this superfood.
Oats are easy to prepare, a good source of iron and great for slowly releasing energy to the body.
Popular Asian dishes and ingredients on how to increase milk supply fast:
- Green papaya and fish head soup
- Pig trotter soup
- Black bean chicken soup
- Fish maw soup
- Red bean soup
- Lentil soup
- Brown sugar and sesame soup
- Rice porridge
- Frog legs porridge (“tian ji" porridge)
- Red date longan tea
- Chicken essence
- Meals containing seafood (the 5 lowest mercury seafood are shrimps, canned tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish)
- Green vegetables like spinach, kale, wheatgrass, collards
- Other vegetables like carrots, asparagus, bitter gourd, potatoes, radish, garlic, artichokes and raw papaya
- Tapioca pearls
- Chickpeas (chana dahl or hummus)
- Japanese seaweed
- Chia seeds
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts and dried figs
- Lactation cookies (ensure it consists one of these ingredients; rolled oats, brewers yeast, flaxseeds or fenugreek)
8. Drink plenty of fluids.
Fluids does not necessarily mean water. It can be juice, milk or soup. Drinking lots of fluids will help you replace the fluids lost in breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding mums should be drinking at least 2 liters of fluids daily. Some mothers may need to drink more water each day when breastfeeding is well established.
According to the Singapore Health Promotion board, “88% of breast milk is water. Breast milk volume increases from as little as 50 ml on the first day, to as much as 750 ml a day, when breastfeeding is well established.
So, the most critical nutrient needed for the production of ample breastmilk to meet a suckling baby’s demand is water.
Many mums in Singapore swear by drinking milo, coconut milk, soya milk, alfalfa drink, barley green drink and red date tea on how to increase breast milk supply. There are some cultures who believe that drinking beer also helps to increase their milk supply.
While beer has malt which can increase milk production, alcohol may also cause slow letdown for some mothers. The bitter taste of beer may also turn off some babies. So do proceed with caution.
9. Foods to avoid (Milk killers).
A number of mums on theAsianparent breastfeeding mums group lists the following as milk killers for them – Chives, cabbage, pig’s liver, fruits like tamarind, guava, watermelon, mangosteens, san cha herbs like mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, spearmint, peppermint and parsley.
Chinese herbs like dong guai mei/dong guai tail/American Ginseng is also known to be a milk killer.
The Singapore Health Promotion Board also suggests staying away from strong flavours in food such as garlic and onion, which are also known to cross into breastmilk.
Some babies, sensitive to the changes in breastmilk flavour, may decrease intake.
10. Continue to take prenatal vitamins.
It is also important that you get the necessary nutrients your body needs as you nurse your baby. One way to do this is to continue to take multivitamins or the prenatal vitamins you took while you were pregnant.
When nursing, you need 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Unless you’re an avid dairy eater, it can be hard to get that much calcium from food, so your prenatal vitamins can help in that area.
11. Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine.
These are substances you should avoid while breastfeeding because the toxins can get to your milk and to your baby’s body. Remember that whatever you take also goes to your baby.
Alcohol is best avoided as it does pass through to the breast milk and can affect a baby’s alertness and ability to suckle.
Caffeine may trigger restlessness in the baby, so it is advised to keep it to less than 200 mg daily. Mothers who smoke produce less breastmilk than who don’t smoke. It has also been reported that nicotine has a direct effect on babies, including causing vomiting, diarrhea, an increased pulse rate and restlessness.
12. Avoid or lessen exposure to stress factors.
Research indicates that extreme stress can decrease breast milk production. So keep away from stressors or to at least lower your exposure to them. If it is the household chores that cause you to stress, then hire a maid whether part-time or full-time.
Have a baby sitter come once in a while. Find some time to relax. Assign tasks to your husband or to another family member.
13. Placenta encapsulation.
The custom of consuming the placenta is centuries old and practised most often in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is believed that eating your placenta has all sorts of benefits, including reducing postpartum depression and increasing milk supply.
However, there is no scientific evidence that ingesting your placenta has any health benefits, but there may be a placebo effect. Placenta encapsulation costs between $300-$355 in Singapore. You can learn more about it here.
14. Ask a breastfeeding lactation consultant.
If you have followed some or all of these steps and nothing seems to work, then consult a lactation consultant on other ways to increase breast milk supply.
They can also help identify latching or other problems. In Singapore, lactation consultants charge between $55 to $160 per session. Charges depend on whether it is a home visit or an in-hospital visit.
We hope this helped inspire you in continuing your breastfeeding journey.
A lot of mums have a question: how to increase milk supply when pumping? Here’s the answer: Electric Breast Pump: Top Brands Reviewed For Every Use and Budget