Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tips for Nursing Moms to Increase Milk Supply

After having 3 bundles of joy, 2 of which I struggled in producing enough breast milk for them, I believe the famous quote we all know, could be re-written to say "The way to a BABY's heart is through their stomach". However, many mommies struggle in keeping their babies fully content in their feedings....thus leading to them heading towards the commercial formula aisle.

There can be a number of causative factors that will bring about a low milk supply. Stress, inadequate diet, lack of sleep, environmental toxins, imbalanced hormone levels, etc. HOWEVER, the good news is that you do not always need to figure out the cause in order to remedy the situation:

  • Some women find it helpful to increase a high quality vitamin intake-- NATURES SUNSHINE SUPER SUPPLEMENT is the one I have taken for the past 3 years. During my last pregnancy I increased the amount I was taking each day to combat fatigue, and even found it to be the answer for my hair that was falling out in clumps! (My body was calling out for extra nutrition as the clumps fell out as my symptom!) It also worked to increase my milk supply when I found I was headed down the same pathway of low milk volume as my other 2 previous babies.
  • Others get positive results by increasing complete proteins (beef, eggs, fish, etc), finding that their bodies are not getting enough nutrients to both heal/feed their body from the pregnancy and nourish another little life along with that. If you can only take SO MUCH meat as a protein, I enjoy this frosty milkshake as an added form of protein to my diet: LIFEQUEST PROTEIN SHAKES. The great news with this is there are no artificial sweeteners and it works as a good weight loss drink, beings only 5 grams of carbs per serving in the mix! (The chocolate is our family's absolute favorite!!)
  • HERBAL Teas that increase milk supply include RED RASPBERRY, FENUGREEK, MARSHMALLOW and "MOTHER'S MILK TEA" from Traditional Medicines.
  • Herbs that will typically bring about a substantial supply of breast milk are FENUGREEK and BLESSED THISTLE. Try taking one or the other, 3 capsules, 3 times a day for 3-4 days. Improvement should be substantial and within a few days. If not, then try the other one, and finally try them together if they don't work separate. When taken in moderation as above given, no side effects have been brought forth in studies, other than in some cases a maple syrup smell in the urine and sweat from those taking Fenugreek.
  • Changing your diet to a strict one of whole grains, organic vegetables/fruits, raw/organic dairy and grass fed/organic beef may bring about more milk.....but will for sure bring about a happier baby with the exsisting milk supply you have!

One of my friends who just tried some of this out was successful in drinking the "MOTHER'S MILK TEA" twice a day and taking 1 FENUGREEK CAPSULE with each meal. She recently wrote to me about her experience,

"In about 1 week, my production has almost doubled! I am amazed! Not only is (my baby) happier, but is sleeping better and I am able to store a couple feedings every day."

If you have tried all of the above in various combinations and find there has been no change, PLEASE CONSIDER a natural form of supplementation before using a commercial formula! A baby's digestive system can handle naturally designed nutrients much better than man-made. With my second child, nothing worked to increase milk production and she was such a big "snacker", so I supplemented with ORGANIC HALF & HALF from 3 months on. This contented her and she excitedly looked forward to her bottles of these between nursings! Organic half & half is natural and with the high amount of fat in it, baby will plump up nicely (our second daughter has the best muscle-tone & most natural body shape out of my 3--well nourished!!) ALSO, no worries about allergies like with regular milk.....the high amount of fat helps break down the proteins that babies cannot normally break down with just regular milk.

Doctors will "caution you" because they typically have gotten away from this idea with formulas coming around....but any grandmother or natural health practitioner will attest to using this in the past hundreds of years before formula existed. The babies years ago didn't get as many chronic and repeat ear infections like they do now days with formulas. I have a few other friends who did this and worked nicely as well.

God Bless, Ms. Salubrious

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******


  1. Great info as always, Hayley! I'm using fenugreek 2 caps with meals and although I'm not making enough milk to store any right now I am making enough to satisfy my little guy. I can tell if I forget to take some as he wants to eat every 2 hours as opposed to every 3-4 hrs when I do take it regularly. Hope the pregnancy continues to go well for you!!

  2. Hope you are feeling good these days! Boy, do I remember how I tried to make milk for my little guy. Some tearful moments wondering why I couldn't fill those bottles for him. I wanted to seriously smack those moms who bragged about gallons of their milk in the freezer!! He got used to drinking from a bottle early on because being premature the doctors wanted to get food into him since his weight dropped down to 4lb, 12 oz before we took him home. He nursed sporadically the first few weeks but he had trouble latching.

    I pumped for a total of 13 months to give him all I could and tried teas,oils,herbs with no luck. At 6 weeks I had to top off my milk with goat milk so he had enough. Very blessed he never had colic or even spit up much at all!

  3. Thanks for sharing Misty! It's nice to hear what works for others...thank you for the well wishes, doing good now :) Appreciate the thoughts!!

    OilGirl-God bless you for not giving up! You are truly a blessing for your little man. My first baby's nursing experience was very similar to yours with her not learning to latch on for a week...she lost a lot of weight as well. I overlooked Goat's milk in the posting, but neither of my girls liked it or stayed full from it....but THANK YOU for sharing this. Just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't work for other mommies! Thanks!!

  4. Hayley, great info. Just a little bit to add to it: There is a great tincture out there which is Fenugreek, Fennel, Anise and a few other herbs. It's by Herb Pharms and it's called Mother's Lactation Tonic. I noticed some help from that. Also, for women who have estrogen dominance issues, such as PCOS or Endometriosis, it is crucial to be using a good progesterone cream in order to combat the estrogen levels. And last thing I wanted to add is that excessive amounts of sugar will really depleat mom's milk supply as it affects insulin levels which in turn affects hormone levels.
    Sorry to hijack your post. I struggled in the worst way to make it to 11 months nursing my daughter and I never was able to nurse my son, so I did a fair bit of research on this topic.

  5. My baby got sick and refused to nurse for a week. I feel dumb now for not making more of an effort to pump, but since he was already starting to wean and my milk supply was already dropping off, it really killed the supply.

    We still nurse, but it isn't quite enough. I had hopes of increasing a bit, but he'll be on to whole milk in a couple weeks, and then I won't feel so bad. :)

  6. Thanks for sharing, Nikole, noworries about adding info, I appreciate it!!

    Dana, live and learn--no regrets since we all make them. You're an awesome momfornursing as long as you did!!!