How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly When Breastfeeding

There are many reasons we want to make sure we can maintain or increase our milk supply when breastfeeding, being back to work, pumping. Here are quick ways to get your milk supply up. Dr. Heather Alaniz Kelly Mom Blog Breastfeeding Breathe. Physical Therapy and Wellness, Women's Health Physical Therapy Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Physical Therapy for Moms

How do I increase my milk supply?

I often get this question from my clients who are nursing mothers.  The question I always want to ask them is why do you think your supply is low? 

If your baby is gaining weight on breast milk alone then you do not have a problem with milk supply. 

The following are NOT signs of low milk supply: 

  • Baby nurses frequently and/or for long periods of time
  • Baby increases length of time nursing
  • Increased fussiness (this could be in the evening or daytime)
  • You don’t feel a let down or have leakage from your breasts
  • You get very little or no milk when you pump (the amount of milk you pump is not an accurate measurement of milk supply). 

If your baby is not gaining weight or losing weight, then it is important to work with your pediatrician and see a board certified lactation consultant. 

However, there are many reasons we want to make sure we can maintain or increase our milk supply especially if we are planning to return to work or be away from our babies for periods of time.

So how can we do this?

  • Milk supply is all about supply and demand, the more you nurse or pump the more milk your body will produce.  Therefore, try increasing the frequency and duration of breastfeeding or pumping, make sure your baby is nursing efficiently and has a good latch, and offer both sides during a feeding session. Adding pumping sessions between nursing sessions can increase supply as well.
  • Additionally, getting enough rest,  water, and nutrients to support the extra calories your body needs to produce milk is so important.  This is not the time to go on a diet and/or significantly reduce carbohydrates because this can cause a decrease in milk supply.  A moderate amount of exercise can be good for supply but too much can cause a decline.
  • Finally, you can try a galactogogue. What is this?!  A galactogogue is a substance that increases milk supply.  Herbs that do this include fenugreek, blessed, thistle and alfalfa. There are also foods that are thought to help increase supply; the primary three foods you will find in lactation recipes are oatmeal, Brewer’s yeast and flax seed. 

This is my favorite recipe that includes all three:

Again, always consult with a certified lactation consultant and work with your pediatrician if you feel like your baby is not gaining or is losing weight.  And whether you breastfeed for 3 months, 3 years, or not at all, the most important thing is that your baby is fed!   

Breastfeeding pain? Back pain or tension and stiffness from nursing? We can help! Click here — or call 515-255-3932 / email to schedule a consultation.  Virtual appointments available throughout Iowa.

Breathe. is a three-clinic holistic physical therapy practice in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Iowa City / Cedar Rapids area specializing in dry needling, dra, pants peeing, women’s health, pregnancy/postpartum pain and recovery and pelvic floor dysfunction. Learn more at

*Disclaimer: This post is educational and not medical advice. Please consult your medical provider for information specific to your needs*


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