When you’re not making enough milk for your baby, you 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 9 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 takes to increase your milk supply depends on the method that you try.
There are some faster options for increasing milk supply within one day – like breast compressions and oatmeal – that are discussed in detail below. There are other methods – like power pumping – that can take a week or more to work.
In addition, some ways of increasing milk supply require some lead time before you can get started. For example, if you can’t find fenugreek or brewer’s yeast in your local grocery store, you may need to order it and wait a few days. However, most of the options discussed below can be started immediately.
One other thing to note is that consistently doing these methods not only can help you pump more milk over the next 24 hours, but over the long term. 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 can cause to increase its supply. The more milk you pump, the more milk your body will make.
How to Increase Breast Milk Production Fast – 9 Ways
Here are 9 ways to increase your milk supply in the next 24 hours, in order of how quickly they 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.
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 an 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 (use code PUMPING15 for 15% off) before pumping can 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 women 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. – and it’s good to 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.
5. Hydration – Drink Your Water!
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 of this, and it has been inconclusive.
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 galactaogogues in lactation cookies include oats, flax seed, and brewer’s yeast.
7. Skin to skin With Your Baby
Skin to skin contact with baby shortly after birth has been shown to increase maternal milk volume, and 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 “Lactorade.”)
9. Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle Capsules
Many women find also herbal galactogogues to be helpful when taken in capsule form.
One small study found that “women perceived herbal galactogogues, especially fenugreek, to be effective in enhancing their breastfeeding adequacy.” In the study, the women that found fenugreek (sometimes taken with blessed thistle) increased their milk supply noticed a difference between 2-48 hours.
Other (Slower) Options For Increasing Milk Supply
In addition to these quicker options for boosting milk supply, there are also some that can take longer. Some of 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?
- 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