How I Increased my Breast Milk Supply

How I Increased my Breast Milk Supply | Califoreingers.com

Breastfeeding and Pumping Struggles

I decided to write this post in hopes that it could help other moms that are struggling with their breast milk supply.  I found breastfeeding and pumping with my first daughter to be very difficult, and it was probably the hardest part of motherhood for me.

Over stressed and full of Anxiety

It was stressful not knowing when your baby would wake up crying out of hunger. Or trying to do errands and hoping that your baby won’t need to eat during the middle of your shopping, or rushing to get home because you are the only food source they have. Even though I had a small stash of frozen milk at home, we tried not to use it unless it was for an emergency because I wanted to save as much milk as I could for when I return to work. My breastfeeding journey was tough, but I am thankful I was able to make it through the first year.

Something had to change

Fast forward two years later while pregnant with my second, I found myself thinking about the times I would accidentally spill my breast milk and would burst into tears. This wasn’t something I wanted to stress about with our second child. Thankfully with a lot of prep and research, I was able to learn how to pump to maximize my milk production properly.  Here’s what I learned.




My pumping process

Get the correct breast shield

First thing you need to do is to measure your nipple with a ruler for the right breast shield size. It is so important to get the size that best fits you so pumping will be comfortable and productive.  Pumping with the wrong size shield will quickly become painful, and you will produce a lot less milk.

Prepping

I put the heated packs over the breast shields before pumping. I’ve noticed that my breasts will empty a lot faster and I produce about half an ounce to an ounce more milk with the heat packs. Starting the cycle at 70 and vacuum on low for about 2-3 mins or until the milk comes out. Then I change the setting cycle to 54 and vacuum to my highest comfortable suction level (every person will be different).

During

I massage from the top part of my breast towards the nipple. It’s especially helpful doing breast compression on areas where I have plugged ducts. I massage the entire time for about 10-20 minutes until my breasts are empty and soft. Then I change the cycle to 38 and vacuum to my highest comfortable suction level for about 3-4 minutes until the milk stops. During this cycle you will get more of the fatty milk so it’s important to also do breast compressions to get every last bit of it.

Other Pumping Notes: 

    • I prefer to pump with a nursing bra instead of a pumping bra. It’s faster to put the breast shields on top of the nursing bra for support and it’s much easier to massage my breasts during pumping
    • I bag freshly pumped milk in 3-4 oz portions and freeze them right away. You can also freeze 1-2 oz bags just in case your baby needs a little extra milk.

Why keep a schedule?

breast_milk_supplyIt’s more convenient to know how much free time/sleep we have before the next feeding. And exactly how much milk our baby drank throughout the day. We also like that our baby doesn’t wake up crying out of hunger with our set feeding schedule. It’s quite the opposite, we pick her up sleeping, and continuously wake her up to finish the bottle. She sleeps 22 hours a day because we think she is always so full. 

If you are nursing your baby, you can nurse on demand and pump after your morning feedings to start storing some milk. Your pumping time will be shorter since you breastfed your baby. Try your best to empty your breasts as often as you can to begin producing more milk since babies don’t completely drain your milk supply.

My feeding/pumping schedule

First 6 weeks

We were feeding our daughter about every 2 ½ hours to bring her weight up.  Which came out to 9 feedings a day (2-2 ½ oz per feeding)

    • 6:00 am (husband feeds, and I skip this pump to sleep in)
    • 8:30 am
    • 11:00 am
    • 1:30 pm
    • 4:00 pm
    • 6:30 pm
    • 9:00 pm
    • 11:30 pm (husband feeds)
    • 2:30 am

Week 7

Our baby is doing great, so we decided to stretch out her feedings to about every 3 hours with 8 feedings a day (2 ½ – 3 oz per feeding)

    • 6:30 am (husband feeds, and I skip this pump to sleep in)
    • 9:30 am
    • 12:30 pm
    • 3:30 pm
    • 6:30 pm
    • 9:00 pm
    • 11:30 pm (husband feeds)
    • 2:30 am

These schedules work best with my husband’s work time and our pick up/drop off schedule for our oldest daughter. You can adjust to what works best for your family.

Should you pump exclusively?

I currently pump exclusively because I find it easier on me with having two kids. I typically pump 25-30 mins for the first two morning feedings.  Mainly because that’s when I produce the most milk. All the other times I would pump for 15 mins or less. It also gives my husband a chance to feed the baby, and you can tell he enjoys their quality time together. Plus I get to have longer stretches of sleep since I can sleep right after my last pump at 11:30 pm and I can skip the 6:30 am feeding to sleep in.




Pumping Supplements I use to Increase my Breast Milk Supply

Lactation Supplement

https://www.legendairymilk.com/collections/all/products/bestseller-bundle 

First off, you should follow Legendairy Milk (@legendairymilk) on Instagram. They have a wealth of information that you may find useful and sell the best supplements that will help you increase your milk supply. I started with the best seller bundle. To test them, I tried each product separately for 10 days (2 tablets 3 times a day) to see which one produced the most milk.  I also purchased Lactivist and tried it for 10 days (1 dropper full 3 times a day) after finishing the bundle pack.

Results

      • Milkapalooza – I didn’t see much of a change
      • Liquid Gold – I noticed my milk was thicker and my milk supply had increased
      • Pump Princess – I produced the most milk with this product, but my milk was not as rich as the Liquid Gold
      • Lactivist – My milk supply dropped dramatically after I finished the Pump Princess, but it did make my milk very rich. Note: the taste is unpleasant.

I decided to repurchase the Pump Princess to bring my milk supply back up and to continue with the Lactivist. Now I produce large quantities of enriched milk =)

You also have the option to build your own bundle.

https://www.legendairymilk.com/collections/all/products/build-a-bundle 

Every person is different, so I would recommend trying out their products to see what works best for you.

Lecithin

https://www.legendairymilk.com/collections/all/products/organic-sunflower-lecithin

If you are overproducing or your baby isn’t eating enough to empty your breasts, this will help with the milk flow and plugged ducts.

All the Items I Use for Pumping

Nipple Ruler

https://amzn.to/31mp5t6

I use this to measure my nipple for the correct breast shield set. 

Hot or Cold Breast Pack

https://amzn.to/2GUG5Ps
I use these warm packs to start my pumping.

Pump

https://amzn.to/2Kjaqci
Game changer! This pump is so much better than my old Medela pump. It has a hospital grade suction, portable, quiet, and less painful. I think it’s worth the extra $40 dollar to make it portable but if you’re on a budget, the Spectra S2 is exactly the same pump but without the portability. 
https://amzn.to/2YQGzjD

External Charger for Spectra 2 (pink)

https://amzn.to/2GSs057
If you already own the Spectra 2 and want to make it portable.

Extra Pumping Set

https://amzn.to/2TapgVv

Breast Shield Set

https://amzn.to/2YNcYn6
Make sure to measure your nipple for the correct breast shield set. The Spectra comes with the standard flange set of the 24 mm and 28 mm. For me, the 21 mm was the best fit.

Duckbill Valves + Silicone Diaphragm

https://amzn.to/2GTCNMb
https://amzn.to/2YHz6U7
I replace these every month to maximize my milk output. I did notice an increase in my milk supply. 

Nursing Cover

https://amzn.to/2Ywjrrh
I use this when I pump in public

Silicone pump

https://amzn.to/2H5ckeX
I used this when I did nurse. My daughter would go on one breast and the silicone pump will on the other to catch the milk. 

Digital food scale

https://amzn.to/2KkRkms
Accurate way to measure out the milk for the bags.

Breast Milk Bags

https://amzn.to/2Tlu2zL 
They never leak. Make sure to leave some room for the milk to expand when it freezes.  
https://amzn.to/31l9h9T 
These bags stack nicely. Best to remove all the air before sealing. 

Nursing bra

https://amzn.to/2YQjgT8

Reusable nursing pads

https://amzn.to/31qYZ8r

Disposable nursing pads

https://amzn.to/31sUpGJ

I hope this helps increase your Breast Milk Supply

breast_milk_supplyMy little one turned seven weeks, and I already have 125 milk bags stored in the freezer. It is such a relief to not worry about my milk production. No more crying over spilled milk or trying to ration my supply to make it last. With a happy and well-fed baby, our family is doing so much better this time around. Getting plenty of sleep and spending a lot more quality time together. I hope that these tips will make your breastfeeding journey enjoyable and will give you one less thing to worry about.

In addtion to this post, Califoreigners.com has other baby inspired content on the site including some family friendly places to go, or even travel tips about traveling with a baby.

Disclaimer:

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

About Author

Trang

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.