These are ways you can increase your milk supply if you are exclusively pumping like I did.
From my experience of exclusively expressing milk (and occasionally supplementing with formula), I have found a number of tactics to improving milk supply.
Here are my top tips to increase milk supply if only pumping
1. Definitely eat oats and grains. I would say that these are the number 1 foods that helped to increase my milk. Consider having something like porridge for breakfast, snacking on flapjack and try these awesome lactation boost brownies.
Some other foods that can increase supply are fennel seeds, meat, poultry and garlic according to What To Expect.
Still, in my opinion nothing beats oats and grains for increasing milk supply.
Related Post: Lactation Boost Brownies To Increase Milk Supply
2. Drink plenty of water. Again, I noticed quite quickly that by drinking lots of water I was increasing my milk supply.
3. This seems obvious but make sure you have a good quality breast pump. Not all breast pumps (and brands) are effective and some are not worth the money. I had nothing but good experiences using a low cost, Lansinoh manual breast pump (see image below).
4. Express during the night. I was also told by my lactation specialists that expressing during the night is key to increasing milk supply. Whenever I did this my milk increased. I also did my own research and found that expressing between 1-4am was the best time as this is when prolactin levels are highest as explained by La Leche.
5. Express more frequently or “power pump”. Even if it’s just for a period of 2 or 3 days, try expressing every 3 hours during the day as this can be a very fast way to increase your milk supply.
6. Replace valves in the breast pumps whenever suction starts reducing. It’s a good idea to have a surplus of valves in your kitchen. You do not want to be using a breast pump with little suction as this will make your milk supply quickly reduce.
7. Express for at least 20 minutes at a time (10 minutes on each breast) and try to fully empty the milk in each breast.
8. Get as much rest and sleep as you can. Just try to relax as this can help to increase milk supply. Also, I recommend you put on a comedy while you express as this will be a light hearted distraction from thinking about milk.
9. Try being in close proximity to your baby. If this is not possible then try thinking of your baby when expressing milk. This naturally helps with milk let down.
Those are my top 9 tips on ways to increase milk supply if you’re exclusively pumping. Be sure to check out my story of how I expressed milk from birth to 10+ months here.