If you’re not making enough milk for your baby, you may want to increase breast milk production fast! There are tons of methods for boosting milk supply, but some of them take longer than others. Here are 8 things you can try to increase milk supply in one day.
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How long does it take to increase milk supply?
How long it may take to increase your milk supply depends, in part, on the method that you try.
For example, some methods, like power pumping, can take a week or more to work.
However, there are other options for increasing milk supply within one day, like breast compressions and oatmeal, that are discussed in detail below.
Remember that milk removal is the most important factor in milk supply
One important thing to note is that breast milk production is a system of supply and demand.
Removing more milk from your breasts tells your body that your baby’s demand has gone up, which in turn can result in your body making more milk.
This means that doing these methods not only can help you pump more milk over the next 24 hours, but over the long term.
But keep in mind that no lactation cookie or trick is better than nursing or pumping to remove milk regularly. Milk removal is the most important factor in milk supply.
How to increase breast milk production fast – 8 ways
Here are 8 ways to increase your milk supply in the next 24 hours, in order of how quickly they may work.
1. Hands on pumping – do breast compressions
“Hands on pumping” means massaging your breasts while you pump, which can help you push more milk out of your milk ducts. Doing this one thing can help you pump more milk at your next pumping session!
How do you do breast compressions? Basically all you need to do is just move your hands around on your breasts and squeeze. Make sure to switch sides every so often so that you don’t focus on one side and get lopsided.
A hands-free bra can make it easier do to breast compressions – more info on which pumping bras are best for breast compressions here.
2. Get multiple letdowns
When you’re pumping and milk stops flowing out, do you stop?
If so, see what happens when you keep pumping for an additional 5-10 minutes. In most cases, you can get a second (or third) letdown of milk that may give you up to 1/4 -1/2 of what you pumped during the first letdown.
If you’re finding it difficult to get your milk to letdown again, some things are you can try are manually switching back to letdown mode (the quick, light phase that the pump starts with), trying hand expression, or vibration. (More details and ideas here.)
3. Warm compresses
Using a warm compresses, like a warm washcloth or Booby Tubes before pumping may help you pump more milk.
Why does this work? From Rachel’s Remedies:
A rapid rise in skin temperature increases blood circulation to the targeted area, and increased circulation is what encourages healing as well as stimulation for faster let-down and increased milk flow.
Be careful not to burn yourself, and avoid using warm compresses for over 5 minutes if you’re suffering from engorgement, as the heat can exacerbate the swelling.
Many people find that they pump additional milk after eating oatmeal.
I did an experiment a few years ago and found that I pumped an additional 1-2 oz of milk on the days that I ate oatmeal for breakfast. I usually saw results in the next pumping session after eating the oatmeal.
Any kind of oatmeal will work – instant, old fashioned, steel cut, etc. Aim for a full serving, however that is defined on the box or bag.
I personally don’t care for plain oatmeal but found some great overnight oats recipes that tasted a lot better.
It’s common to hear that drinking water helps boost milk supply – in fact, I did a survey of exclusive pumpers a few years ago and asked what methods they thought helped them increase supply, and drinking more water was the #1 response.
(Some limited research has been done on this, and it has been inconclusive. I think the key is probably to keep yourself from getting dehydrated versus drinking tons and tons of water.)
How much water should you drink? There are no evidence-based numbers to point to, but I would suggest filling up a water bottle and bringing it with you to each pumping session. Try to stay ahead of your water intake so that you don’t ever get thirsty.
6. Lactation cookies
Lactation cookies contain galactogogues (substances that help increase milk production). Common galactogogues in lactation cookies include oats, flax seed, and brewer’s yeast.
7. Skin to skin with baby
Skin to skin contact with baby shortly after birth has been shown to increase maternal milk volume, so if you’re looking for natural ways to increase milk supply, this is worth a try!
All you need to do is snuggle with your baby. Usually baby will be wearing just a diaper while you wear nothing on top, and you can cover yourself with a blanket if it’s chilly.
8. Nursing teas
Like lactation cookies, nursing teas have galactogogues to help increase milk supply. Some common ingredients include fenugreek, blessed thistle, and fennel.
The galactogogue dosages in nursing teas tend to be on the lower side, so the manufacturers generally recommend you have several cups per day. It’s an easy choice if you like drinking tea!
(If you don’t like drinking tea, another option is to mix it with Gatorade for a Lactation Lemonade or “Lactorade.”)
Other (slower) options for increasing milk supply
In addition to these quicker options for boosting milk supply, there are also some methods that can take a bit longer. These include:
- Power pumping (also called cluster pumping) – Pumping on and off for hour (20 minutes on, 10 off, 10 on, 10 off, and so on); this can take about a week to see results.
- Adding a pumping session – Pumping more frequently can also help increase milk supply. This can also take about a week to work.
- Domperidone – Medication that requires a prescription and can be hard to get in the United States. It is generally effective within 3-4 days, but may take up to 4 weeks.
(More info on all of the methods of increasing milk supply here.)
Have you tried any of these options for how to increase breast milk production fast? What worked for you, and what didn’t?
Stressed about establishing or increasing your milk supply while exclusively pumping? Always worried there is something else you should be trying? Check out my milk supply guide here (use code SUPPLY for 10% off)!References
- Bonyata, Kelly, IBCLC. “How does milk production work?” https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/milkproduction/
- Hurst, N., Valentine, C., Renfro, L., et al. “Skin-to-skin holding in the neonatal intensive care unit influences maternal milk volume.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9210077
- Ndikom, CM; Fawole, B; Ilesnami, RE. “Extra fluids for breastfeeding mothers for increasing milk production.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24916640
- Newman, Jack. “Domperidone.” https://ibconline.ca/information-sheets/domperidone/
- Rachel’s Remedy. “How Moist Heat Increases Breastmilk Supply.” https://rachelsremedy.com/blogs/blog/how-moist-heat-increases-breastmilk-supply