How To Increase Your Milk Supply

As most of you know Penelope and I were gifted with the breastfeeding equivalent of the perfect storm.

It took us five months to be able to get Penelope to latch on and nurse.  And it was and is only comfort nursing, but I am extremely grateful for that.  By the time she was 10 months old and and gotten as efficient as she ever would, she was getting about 1-3 ounces directly from me, mostly at night, when she nursed in her sleep.

She is 27 months now and my milk is all but dried up now (I can still hand express a few drops, but it ain’t feeding a small village anymore that is for sure), but she still loves her nuh-nuhs.

I get asked a lot by readers, about what they can do to increase their milk supply.  It is not a quick answer, so a full post is the way to go.

Before I launch into how I increased my milk supply I want to make a couple of points.  A lot of women think they have low milk supply when they really don’t.  Please check out these sites here and here for more information about how to tell if your supply is truly low.

So while I appreciate those posts, because new mothers do tend to overreact, protecting your supply is very serious business.  If you get lazy and non chalant about it, your supply will drop.  So not only was I trying to increase my supply in the beginning, later, I was diligently, protecting my supply.

Very few women can not make enough milk. But it does happen and should be treated as real issue and given respect.  I can’t tell you how many times I mentally poo-poo mother’s I worked with that said they didn’t make enough milk.  But let me tell you, our breastfeeding experience humbled my a*$ and now when I a mother says that to me, I know it’s true.

On a good point, it is totally possible to increase your supply.  Even if you think you have tried everything.  If you are making even one little, itty bitty drop of milk, it can be increased.

I don’t want to tell you this to brag, but only to inspire, but I went from having to have a couple of women donate milk to me, because I was not able to pump more than what Penelope was drinking and had no back up, to filling an entire 7 cubic foot deep freezer of milk and being able to donate to several babies myself.

In the end, I pumped till Penelope was a little over 18 months old.  I pumped for a total of 1550 hours, which is a full 65 days.

I pumped over 15 thousand ounces, that is over 120 gallons. 

So my friends, anything is possible.

When I first started pumping I was pumping half ounce each breast each time I pumped.  By the time I was pumping 4 times a day, I was pumping 18 ounces in one sitting the first pump of the day and 12 ounces at each additional pump session.

Here is what I suggest to increase your supply.  These are all things I personally did and the results I saw from them.  And since I was pumping, I could track my results very accurately.  If you are nursing and pumping, the pump is not accurate, but if you are an exclusive pumper, you body gets trained very quickly into thinking that the pump is the baby, so me tracking my output from pumping was reliable.  And all this is extra stuff, it should be a given, that you are resting, drinking fluids, doing lots of skin to skin with your baby, following your babies cues and feeding them on demand.

I could probably ace the IBCLC exam after everything I have learned through this journey, but alas I am not a breastfeeding professional.  It is always best to seek out an IBCLC when you are having breastfeeding problems.

  • Lactuca Virosa.  This is a homeopathic remedy that works really good.  Way better than Mother’s Milk tea.  It was the first remedy I tried and saw increase within 24 hours.  This alone gave me an additional ounce each breast.
  • Mother’s Milk tea and pills.  I took a pill or drank a glass of tea at least once a day, I think it was probably two the three times a day in the very beginning.  I always taking this in conjunction with other things, so I don’t know how well it performs on its own, but I sort of viewed it as my baseline standard.  As long as I was pumping or nursing, I would drink that tea.
  • Sprouted Fenugreek.  Lots of women take fenugreek herbs, but don’t see a big increase or having trouble digesting it.  I experimented with sprouting it and eating it with meals and salads and saw a big increase.  I saw an increase of 1.5 ounces the very next time I pumped.  Blessed Thistle, and alphalfa are other herbs to try as well.
  • Domperidone.  Or as I affectionally call it, DomP. This is a prescription drug I highly, highly recommend.  If you have tried everything, and can afford it, this is your big guns.  It is not FDA approved for increasing milk supply, but let me tell you it works.  I took this for several months in the beginning.  I probably didn’t need to take it, but I was such a nervous wreck that Penelope would some how have an enormous spike in her intake and I wouldn’t be able to keep up.  It was normal, irrational, new mother fear.  You can get a prescription from an open minded Dr and get at a local, compounding pharmacy or you can buyt it online.
  • Good Nutrition.  The better I ate, the better my supply and fattier my milk was.  If your iron is low, this can effect your supply. So eating red meat, prunes, spinach and cooking with a cast iron skillet are all good ways to increase your iron stores.  Also, stay hydrated, it takes liquid to make liquid.
  • Oatmeal.  There is not any scientific evidence about oatmeal increasing milk supply, but it is an old wives tale. Some think it works because it increases iron stores.  I did see an increase when I started eating oatmeal for breakfast.  I would eat it with blueberries and a side of bacon.  I used packaged/instant at first and then started soaking my oatmeal overnight in water and a little whey to make them easier to digest.  You can also get oatmeal in some yummy lacation cookies, these cookies also have brewer’s yeast which is also known to help.
  • Sleep.  A couple of nights, before Penelope started nursing at 5 months, my husband would do an entire night shift and I would sleep upstairs to get some rest.  I figured well, I better take advantage of this whole bottle thing and get some rest.  It literally happened all of three times, but boy was my milk supply better the next day!  And I wasn’t pumping in the middle of the night anymore by this point, so it’s not like it was just an increase from being extra full from not pumping.  With rest, your body has more energy to make more milk, period.
  • Pump like Crazy.   That was the golden advice given to me in the first week of Penelope’s life.  I still think back to the day my friend dropped off the book Making More Milk, a recipe for Lactation Cookies and handwritten note that said just that.  She said the receptors for making milk in your brain are made within the first two weeks of your baby’s life. The more you pump in those early weeks, the better chance you have at protecting your supply for the long haul. Increase your pump session time.  I found that for me, the standard 15 to 20 minutes of double pumping, was not enough.  I started pumping 3o to 40 minutes, and later over an hour as I dropped pumps, to keep my total time pumping even.  This worked for me, in part because I have larger boobs and I needed that time to fully empty and thus send the messages to my brain to make more milk.

Once last note, if I had to do it all over again, I would have pumped less. Even if it meant having to supplement with a bit of homemade formula.  I look back and think about all those hours I pumped and how much life I missed out on, and how bitter it made me while I was in the middle of it.  I would have been easier on myself and given myself more of a break.  I would have not tried to be so damn perfect.

So if at the end of the day, if you have done everything you could, or as much as you can and or as much as you are willing, be kind to yourself.  Any amount of breast milk is a gift to your child.

If you have any questions or any other tips on how to increase milk supply leave me a comment below!

About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!


  1. I really like this post and I understand that your experience was challenging from the beginning. Nonetheless, a LOT of women with babies who do not have any problem latching start to compulsively worry about their supply. We need to trust our bodies. If the baby is latching properly just feed on demand. No time clock, no limits. Just feed on the demand. It is the most efficient way to keep up your supply. When pumping is a necessity because of latching issues or because mom goes back to work then we do have to worry a lot more. Simply because the pump is not as efficient. Therefore, your tips are great!! But I just get a lot of women worrying about supply issues when they do not really have to and it just adds stress which DOES affect their supply.

    • Totally agree!

      • How long after you reached your daily goal (in amount pumped) were you able to decrease the number of times you pumped per day?


        • Well, I always mainted total minutes. So even if I dropped a session, I added the minutes to another session. Which was so much easier for me, to pump during an entire nap, etc.

    • I completely agree about worrying too much about your supply. I failed at breastfeeding my son because I worried too much about him not getting enough because I couldn’t answer the pediatrician’s questions about how much he was getting (they were very against breastfeeding). Another important thing when dealing with supply issues is having a supportive and knowledgeable pediatrician, who has studied breastfeeding. Pediatricians aren’t required to take courses on breastfeeding, which I think is crazy because they are cutting our half of their knowledge about children. Great article!

  2. Kimberly says:

    I was really interested in the Lactuca Virosa you mentioned, but when I started researching into it, I have to admit even the Wikipedia entry is scary- it’s “similar to opium” and can have a sedative affect on baby?? What is your experience with this???

  3. Oh, how I wish I’d read this post when I was in the midst of beating myself up for not being able to let down while pumping. Still, I made it a year (though I supplemented with organic formula), and I have to say I’m damned proud of myself. Pumping is no easy task. Good for you for sticking with it!

  4. Cassandra says:

    1) has a list of all the foods, herbs, pills and techniques that can help increase supply, as well as information about many other issues, such as tongue tie, using a supplemental feeder, sensory issues, hormone regulation, special needs kids, etc. It is also a resource for emotional support and has several online discussion groups.
    2) Motherfood is the book that MOBI was based on, the author helps run the website. It is *invaluable* to mothers in general, but much more so for any woman who struggles to keep supply up – the author details how she struggled with insufficient glandular tissue (a very real, and very devastating issue that more woman than you would think are dealing with, including myself) but was able to use a special diet to build breast tissue during a subsequent pregnancy and support her supply with continued herb use. It’s similar to WAPF in that her research is based on many cultures across the world, of course focusing on whole, nutrient dense foods.

  5. Jessica says:

    Great post! I am 28 weeks pregnant with my third child and my other 2 are older (6 & 9). I struggled with low supply with both of them, but your info gives me hope! I’m curious about what kind of pump you used. I think I still have my old one, but surely there is new technology since then. :)

    • I used a Medela Pump in Style. Everyone says you get better output with a rented medical grade one from the hospital, but I did fine with a Medela Pump in Style.

  6. Carolina says:

    Great post! Just curious…about how many ounces did Penelope drink from the bottle per feeding? Did you ever see any increase?

    • Per feeding changed a little as she got older. As a newborn, she was only taking in 1 to 2 ounces a feeding. Gradually it increased to 4 ounces a feeding. But she never went past 24 ounces in a 24 hour period, her whole first year. I think feeding her liquid egg yolk, instead of cereal, as her first food, helped keep her full and she never required more milk.

  7. Thanks for the post! It definitely is enlightening. My aunt is a Lactation Consultant, and here are a few things she told me to do:

    1– eat oatmeal. I also ate it for breakfast and I think it worked.
    2– cluster pumping– this is a 6 day event. The first day, you pump for 10 mins, off for 10 mins, pump for 10, off for 10, continuing the cycle for 1 hr. Do it around the same time each day for 3 days straight. Days 4, 5, and 6, you do that hour long pump fest 2 times a day, morning and evening. I noticed a difference by day 2.

    **Rest– I also did a day where I went to bed early instead of staying up until 1-2 am to pump, and I’ll tell ya, the rest did me and my milk supply a LOT of good.

    **If anyone is having any issues, you can also seek out a LC. They may also have ideas for you too. They are there to support you and help!

    I only breastfed for about 6 weeks with my daughter, and now my son is almost 8 months old and still goin strong. Most days he gets just breasts in the morning and I pump throughout the day, its been crazy busy around the house lately and I can keep a better eye on my milk supply this way. It also puts my mind at ease because I know exactly what I’m producing and when its low or high. :)

  8. Great post :) I struggled with BOTH of my girls even though they were both great latchers, no tongue tie, nursed on demand. I dried up by 6 weeks with my first born and ended up finding WAPF a month later and started making her formula :) She is healthy as any other kid – only been sick 2 times and she is 3! I was more educated with my second born on MY nutrition so I ate way better than with my first but I STILL struggled with barely a supply. I supplemented with homemade formula, pumped every 2-3 hours even getting myself up in the middle of the night if she wasn’t up to pump. I took a great supplement my lactation lady suggested. By the time she was 2 months I FINALLY was making enough to feed her myself for pretty much a whole day and then she was all BM by the end of that month. I worked my butt off pumping and eating…I looked at it like my job. My family though I was crazy. I was SO jealous of handfulls of friends of mine that nursed SO easily and ATE LIKE CRAP. Why was it so easy for them?! But I worked and worked and I was able to feed her :) I recently heard of Insuffiecient Glandular Syndrome – have you heard of it? When I read of it – it sounds just like me but it is not well known about. I follow The Crunchy Convert on FB and she openly talks about her IGS and breast milk supply. I’m hoping to learn more before we decide to have another baby :)

    • Thanks so much for sharing. I do know about IGS, I read about it in that book I mentioned Making More Milk. I know what you mean about being jealous, its so hard not to let the jealously consume you.

    • Cassandra says:

      Hi Renee, I think you’re referring to Insufficient Glandular Tissue, it’s not a syndrome but a physical condition. I highly recommend the book Motherfood if you want to learn more before having another baby. There is also a support group on Facebook dedicated to women dealing with chronic low supply and IGT, with some very knowledgeable and kind ladies:

  9. Thank you for this post! I found your blog through pinterest and I am now following you through facebook. My son is almost 8 months old and I am still nursing… I have to pump at work (which is no fun). I am hoping to make it a year. I am super jealous of your freezer, I have NEVER been able to pump enough not to have to get him formula. Oh well, at least he is getting something. :) That’s what I tell myself.

  10. Thank you so much for your posts on breastfeeding/pumping, they have helped more than you will ever know! I found your site about 2 weeks ago (from pinterest about crock pot freezer meals!) on a day I was going to stop pumping (@ 6 weeks), thanks to your story and some of your links, I am pumping now! It sure is a full time job, but I am trying to keep it going. I have been to 5 LC with no luck getting the back on the breast, but we are still trying! The LCs have not been helpful with the pumping aspect, so again I say “thank you” for the support. I was wondering what type of bags you use to freeze your milk? Some days I have a little extra I would love to freeze to freeze for the days I am having to supplement. I will also be trying some of your tips to increase my supply (fingers crossed).

    • That is so awesome Amy! Go you! Some of the best advice I ever received was to never quit pumping on your worst day. Always keep going one more day, sleep on it and see you feel the next day. That kept me going when I so wanted to quit. Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help in anyway I can.

    • I use freezer bags made by Lansinoh, they are easy to find at most supermarkets, targets, walmarts, etc. I have never had a drop leak from them!

    • For anyone reading this later- when pumping while at work with my daughter, I would store the milk in the medela bottles in a fridge/ cooler, and then when I got home I would pour the milk into the “milk tray” by sensible lines. I freezes the milk in long skinny “ice cubes” that fit perfectly into a bottle to defrost, and they are each an ounce. Once the tray is frozen you can transfer the “cubes” into a freezer ziploc bag with the date. I only ever froze milk this way, so I can’t say for sure, but I imagine it’s more economical than buying tons of those little milk bags.

      Good luck!

  11. Laura Bickmore says:

    I agree, it is a great post. I wish I had known a few more resources when my lil’ one was born. My boy was born with cleft lip and palate and was never able to suck – so it was up me to and a pump to make sure he got what he needed. That being said, he still only got half mommy milk and half formula. Looking back, I would have pumped and pumped more in the beginning, and then not worried so much later. That probably would have boosted my supply.

    But It got to the point where even though I was pumping 5-10 times per day, 20-40 min per session I could still only produce half of what he needed. It seems a waste of much needed relax-time now.

    I set aside a stash of milk for his pre-op and post-op food and am glad I could do that, but I think I should have tried to relax more – because even if you have to supplement with formula, it is OK, and you can make sure to give your babies other kinds of good foods when they get older.

    • Thanks so much Laura. I am apart of online support group for women who exclusively pump and a LOT of the women there have babies with cleft lips and palates, I have learned so much from them. Lots of love to you.

      • Laura Bickmore says:

        Thanks. :) Right back at you. And now I know who to ask if our next baby has similar issues.

      • Kristin says:

        What is the name of the support group you are a part of? My baby boy was born with a cleft palate three weeks ago and I would love to be able to talk with some other moms that are going through the same thing. Thanks for your help!

  12. I had problems with all three of my babies, the last one I tried all the herbs and such. Just two months before I became pregnant with my fourth child I discovered I had celiacs disease and the lack of nutrient absorption to my body was probably the reason for the whole low milk supply. We shall see…I have five more months left in this pregnancy. Already though I can feel a change in my breast from the lat three pregnancies :)

  13. jessica says:

    This post is a God send. Thank you so much. In the beginning did you pump at night? If so, did you continue pumping at night, how often did you pump in the beginning? I’m exclusively pumping for my little one and I could use all the help I can get!!!

    • In the very beginning I pumped twice a night, basically I was pumping every 2 hours in 12 hour period for the first 6 weeks. I was trying to mimic newborn behavior as much as possible. I would also do cluster pump sessions in the evening, pumping every 20 minutes for 2 hours. As she got older I dropped pumps. I can’t remember when but I think by the time she was 3 or 4 months old I had dropped all my middle of the night pumps and pumped right before bed and first thing when I got up. Let me know if you need anything else. Best of luck!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Fantastic post. I struggled through breastfeeding (and pumping once I went back to work) and made it 5 months before I gave up. I got discouraged with myself early on because my daughter was not gaining weight (honestly, she’d got a week or two without gaining an ounce). It also took my daughter almost 6 weeks to get back to her birth weight (but I’m fairly certain there were other problems in play there as well). I thought I had tried everything I could to up my supply, but I had not. I also had a friend who is a pharmacist discouraging every supplement I tried (he’d say “It’s not safe” or “It hasn’t been proven to work” etc. etc.). THEN I went back to work and would pump 4 times a day and get so little breast milk and became even more discouraged. Finally, after pumping 4x in a work day, and getting less than 1 total ounce between both breasts, I was just done. I gave up. I had never been more disappointed in myself – I had wanted to make it 12 months, and at 5 months, I was closer to not even starting than I was to my goal. I heard the word “failure” in my head every time I made a bottle of formula.
    I’m a lot more at peace about the whole thing now. I realize now that I was never a failure, and that I did the best I could at the time. My daughter was fed, regardless of whether it was formula or breast milk. My daughter is 13 months and and is happy and healthy – and that’s the best thing. I won’t lie though, if we have another kid, knowing all of the experiences I went through before – pregnancy (HEARTBURN), delivery, and everything else, the idea of going through breastfeeding trials and tribulations gives me the most anxiety about any of that. I plan to be better prepared next time. This is a post I will definitely come back to in the future.
    (Sorry if I rambled. I realized once I started typing that telling my story, for the first time to anyone, was pretty darn cathartic.)

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am beyond thrilled that this blog is a place women feel safe enough to share their stories. It sounds like you encountered many “boobie traps” as the Best for Babes foundation calls them. And you are right, you did the best you could with the information and resources you had available to you, so be kind to yourself. lots of love.

  15. Wow, this was my life 2 years ago!! I couldn’t effectively breastfeed with my first child (lots of booby traps) and I so ended up exclusively pumping for 13.5 months!! I didn’t end up with such a freezer full by the time I was done, only a couple of bags, but I read all over the internet about how to exclusively pump and try to get the most out of my pumping sessions. I totally know what you mean about feeling like you could be an LC after such an experience! Thanks for sharing your info!
    And one more thing — I just had my 2nd child 4 months ago and our nursing experience has been completely different. For one, he was a bigger baby; secondly, I saw an LC right away and wasn’t separated from him after birth for a LONG time; and thirdly, after all I had been through with my 1st, I knew my body could make milk and I wasn’t embarrassed to ask for help or questions like I had been. I got super discouraged early on with my 1st and sort of gave up (although pumping for over a year is hardly “giving up”) so I was determined to make it work this time and it did!

  16. Thank you for this post! I stopped pumping at 11.5 months. In the end I was getting barely an ounce or two 3x a day. The time that it took for that little milk was frustrating especially when baby was wanting so much more. Looking back, I think I was selfishly tired of always pumping!!

    On another note, did you have a pump that you loved? I bought a pump from a friend and wished I had a brand new one that worked at full strength. For the next baby I would like to be better prepared!

    • I used a Medela Pump in Style. And ps. that is why I stopped at 18 months too. I was just done. I needed more time for myself.

    • I would suggest trying different pumps if possible – I have an avent that works awesome for me, but my Medela swing that I had with my first didn’t work very well, and the hospital grade medela I tried was no better. I think the cups that medela makes just don’t fit me as well. (I will mention that several of the nurses I spoke to LOVED specific medelas – one loved her pump in style but not the hospital grade one, another loved the hospital grade but not her pump in style.) I tink it all depends on the person.

      • Oh good point! I totally agree. I also bought bigger and angled flanges from a different company and that made a huge difference in my comfort level. And the more relaxed and comfortable you are while pumping the more milk you get!

  17. Thanks for the article! It always made me want to be ugly to people I knew that talked about their freezers full of milk & how they had so much stored milk–I struggled with my first and ended up having to supplement formula but made it to 8months of being able to give him some breast milk everyday! I’m now trying to nurse twins & had high hopes that i would produce more milk this go around but needless to say I had same problem. I took fenugreek, blessed thistle, moringa, and ate lactation cookies. One of the biggest instant increase I noticed was drinking one beer at night–seemed like 10minutes later I would feel full & babies seemed more satisfied. However I do not like beer but finished off the 8pack over few weeks. When started back to work babies were eating 3-4oz from bottle & I was only pumping maybe 2 oz! Pumping at work q4hrs gives me 3-5oz each time–the babies however eat around 40oz while I’m gone total! I started solely pumping just prior to going to work because seemed boys were never satisfied after nursing–when I discovered how much I was pumping in comparison to how much they were requiring in bottle! I was told solely pumping wouldn’t produce as much milk as babies nursing by several people so now I’m worried I’ve messed up my supply!

    • My pleasure, I hope some of these help you! There are a couple of other tips for exclusive pumpers to increase supply. Like pumping for several minutes after your last drop (use olive oil, if you nipples start to hurt), use hand compressions as you pump to get more milk out, pump longer and in closer intervals for a couple of days, they are call power pump sessions and for like 48 hours you would pump every 20 minutes for 20 minutes. Good luck!

  18. Thank you so much for your posts on pumping. My 2 month old has always been a difficult nurser, and we just returned today from nearly 2 weeks in the PICU due to respiratory problems. He wouldn’t nurse at all while we were in the hospital, so I have been pumping the whole time, and I hate it! My nipples are bruised, and he just today latched on again for the first time, although to my dismay it seems he has picked up his old problem habits. After reading your posts, I feel like I can conquer this problem. In fact, while we were at the hospital trying to get him to latch, I kept telling my husband “It’s OK – the boob is a happy place,” as I bottle fed him while he was snuggled on top of the boob. I am going to read every last post you have, as each one gives me motivation not to give up!

    • This is such a great comment! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to witness you telling your husband that the boob is a happy place! I am rooting for you in Florida! Let me know if you need anything.

  19. Joscelynne says:

    Thank-you for this post. When I had my daughter and she wouldn’t latch on, I felt like a failure. I pumped exclusively with her for 7 months (and had a huge supply in the freezer, like you), but could not find ANY info or literature about other women like me. My second daughter was a better latcher, but created scabs from sucking so hard, so, again, I pumped for 9 months with her. I wish I had read this earlier, 2 years ago when I’d had my daughter.

  20. I was an EPer for 17 months. I did many of the things you suggest, and while I didn’t have a freezer FULL at the end of that journey, I did have roughly 600oz which I was so proud of considering that I never had to give my daughter formula (not that there’s anything wrong with it, it just wasn’t something I wanted to do), and only had to use a few bags of donated BM the first week that I was EPing. My problem was never low supply, but rather UNDIAGNOSED Raynaud’s Syndrome. I was ‘diagnosed’ with having thrush pretty much non-stop for the first 11-12 weeks of my daughter’s life. But after trying EVERY homeopathic remedy, medical treatment, a COMPLETE diet change, etc and NOTHING helped I finally gave up on nursing after a particularly bad night where I was screaming and crying while my daughter was latched on, I was sweating profusely, shaking uncontrollably and unintentionally squeezing my poor girl’s little head. I was in SO MUCH pain and it just wasn’t worth it. Because of having a fairly traumatic c-section birth I REFUSED to ‘fail’ at breastfeeding too, so I decided right then and there that I WOULD pump exclusively, and I did. I’m so proud of myself, but looking back I don’t know how I did it. It scares the CRAP out of me to think that I might have to do it again when I have another baby. Granted, I’ve done lots of research on Raynauds and have found a medicine that Dr. Jack Newman recommends to treat it. So, I’m hopeful that if I have that caliber of pain the next time around, that I will be able to get the rx I need, and it’ll work so I can nurse direct from the tap. While I didn’t have ‘low’ supply, I was CONSTANTLY stressed about my supply and was practically drowning in the amount of water I’d drink every day, fenugreek i took, oatmeal I ate, etc etc. HUGE kudos to you for doing it for so long! I know first hand how difficult it can be (and lonely!), and I give huge props to anyone who sticks it out.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, I had never heard of Raynaud’s Syndrome before. I just looked it up and I think you would really benefit from taking Protandim. If you click on the ad button on the left hand side it will tell you all about it. It would work in conjunction with the medicine Dr. Newman recommends.

  21. I heard about Domperidone in my New Mom’s Group and asked my OB/GYN about it because I really wanted to take it. She YELLED at me that I was NOT to take it at all. She emphasized the risk of heart attack and said “absolutely not”.

  22. I am breastfeeding my 5 month old and he seems satisfied when I am home with him and feed him, but I also work 3 days a week and I can’t pump as much as he drinks at daycare. The extra supply I had is quickly being used. I would like to try the lactuca virosa and I was wondering what dose/how often you used it? I can’t seem to find a recommended dose for increasing supply. Thanks for your blog, you are an inspiration to all moms!

    • I can not remember the dosage, let me talk to the IBCLC that recommended it to me and I will get back to you. And so glad you like my blog!

      • Hi! I was wondering if you found an answer to this because I’m in the same situation as Bonnie! My little guy eats sooo much and I only have 3 more bags in the freezer :( I’m taking a TON of fenugreek pills and eating oatmeal and pumping 5 times a day, in addition to feeding him 3 times… I’m drinking lots of water and eat pretty healthy… I’m just looking for more options to feed my 5 month old!


  23. Wow, I cannot believe anyone struggled as much as I have. I’m nursing my 4th child as I type this and she’s going to be 11 months in two days. It’s been a struggle with her as well but not nearly as much a struggle as with my third child. My third child had a weak suck and I lost my milk supply after 2 months. I was too naive back then to seek help right away as my first two children were nursing champions and I figured I was a breast feeding professional by the time the third baby came around. What a surprise and horrible disappointment that turned out to be. I pumped for two months, around the clock every 2 hours for 20 minutes at each session, sometimes longer in my desperate need to increase my milk. Each breast gave me drops at each session and the teas, blessed thistle, oatmeal, water, fenugreek was my daily consumption. Nothing worked. I can relate to the feeling of bitterness and now regret for putting so much into my desperate need to increase my milk because as I look back now, I lost two months of my baby’s life. It is still a blur even 5 years later. Of course I had no choice but to supplement with formula and as many mother’s know, the more you supplement, the less you make anyway and since I wasn’t making much anyway, it was just all a nightmare all the way around. This time around with baby #4, my maternal instincts combined with my vivid memories from the ordeal with my third child prompted me to seek help from a certified lactation consultant when my baby was only 3 1/2 weeks old. Since we owned a scale to monitor her siblings weight, my husband and I began weighing our infant every day. The first week after her birth when the scale barely moved or not at all, I knew something was wrong and the lactation consultant affirmed that indeed my baby was not taking enough from me. Supply was not an issue (yet) but I knew from experience it could be until we could identify why my baby wasn’t taking enough. So, I began pumping after every nursing session, switch nursing her three times on each side, taking an herb called Goat’s Rue to increase and maintain my supply, eating oatmeal, breast compression. I vowed not to make myself a slave to the pump, not to lose out on life with my infant. Since she’s the last baby, I truly wanted to savor each day…but I wanted to breast feed very badly. My lactation consultant introduced me to a supplemental device called SNS (Supplemental Nursing System). I supplemented initially with 1 oz at each nursing session only after I switched nurse 3 times because my baby was only taking about 3 oz from me by the time she was 6 weeks old and by then she was officially diagnosed with a weak suck. The difference between she and her brother before her was that she was taking just enough where her sibling was hardly taking any. That is why I lost my milk with my third child and why I haven’t lost my milk with this one. I envy those women who can pump large amounts of milk at each session. With me, with this baby, I’ve been able to pump 3-4 oz at the first of the morning pump but pump much less throughout the day and I have three other children to care for so I cannot afford the time to be a slave to anything. Some days I worry she isn’t getting enough from me so I’ll supplement her to see if she wants anything “extra” but when she refuses that reassures me that she is fine. I weigh her once a week now instead of daily and the pediatrician says she’s just a petite little girl, not to worry. My lactation consultant referred me to a speech therapist to have my baby’s mouth looked at. No tongue tie, everything checked out fine except her lingual frenulum was a little tight but not tight enough to require surgery. Speech therapist said it would stretch with age, showed us some exercises to help stretch it “naturally,” and sent me on my way. Most of the time I think my baby is just lazy, plain and simple. She likes the breast, thinks it is a comfy place to hang out. That is what my lactation consultant said too. In any case, I’m not giving up on breast feeding any time soon. I have my rented hospital grade breast pump sitting on my kitchen table like it’s a part of the family. I pump to ensure my milk supply doesn’t disappear but I have to admit that it’s coming up on one year of pumping and I’m getting tired of doing it. It’s becoming a chore I don’t enjoy so some days I don’t pump and then I feel guilty for not doing it. It’s a crazy cycle! But I’m still breast feeding and at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

  24. Hi there. I have family that is on Dom in Canada and swear by it too. What online websites do you know about? Some of them seem shady. Any ideas would be great.

    • I was thankfully able to get mine from a compounding pharmacy. I am not sure about the online retailers, but you are right, some of them are shady. Let me do some research and get back to you.

      • Thanks. My doctor says that it is very hard to get a compounding pharmacy to fill it anymore bc any dr writing a script for it nowadays (and the compounding pharmacy then has to report it to the FDA) then gets a call from the FDA. So dr’s are unwilling to do it. This was what other dr’s had told my primary care physician. My ob told me that she used to prescribe it but hasn’t since 2004. She thinks the inability to use this med for bf’ing is mostly about our litigious society and dr’s afraid to put even a hair on their toe close to the line. Canada doesn’t have the tort system we do. If you find out more info on the websites pls letvme know.

  25. Excellent post! Found you from Pinterest. I am a mama with way too much milk that pumped to donate. There is one resource I would love to reccommend from Mama Rose’s Naturals called Nursing Mama ( ) .

    Other ideas for pumping mama’s is to have a blanket or piece of clothing their baby has worn and smell it when you are pumping. It signals something in your brain and is proven to help you let down more milk. Also, DO NOT watch the amount of milk in the bottle. (There are some mama’s that love watching but most! find the pumping to be stressful and then get stressed when they see not as much as they want coming out.)

    • Good point! In the beginning of pumping I would watch every. single. drop that came out. Finally I started browsing the web and stopped paying attention and I swear that got me more milk! It also got me into blogging! If I had to look at my Facebook news feed one more time I was going to stab someone, then I started blogging to keep me busy while pumping!

  26. Thank you for the great post! I look forward to your answer on the Lactuca dosage / how often. I ordered some already but am not sure how much / often to take it, especially as it is 200c potency.
    A bit off subject but I want to recommend a tincture I have taken multiple times to heal mastitis – its amazing and I know give it as a gift to all pregnant friends! It’s called Happy Ducts and is made by Wishgarden – hard to find in stores but can get online. It usually takes 1-2 ounces per mastitis bout to clear it (plus nursing, rest and warm compresses). It has been the most effective way for me to avoid antibiotics and I always make sure I have some on hand.

  27. Stephanie says:

    I am an IBCLC and this is good advice! Great post!

  28. Ahh this was my life 2yrs ago as well! I wish this information would’ve been available then. I may have made it longer than 5m :( I am now nursing a 2w old preemie with success but am concerned I will run into the same issues again. I have a question….You mentioned alfalfa. Do you by chance know if that’s in its sprouted form or powder? It’s also known to help with allergies & mine are severe but all allergy meds deplete my supply so I’m very interested in the possibility of killing 2 birds with 1 stone!!! Thanks for your info!!

    • I don’t think I mentioned alfalfa, but I did sprout fenugreek seeds and eat them and saw a good increase from eating fenugreek sprouted verus powder in pill form. Best of luck! Let me know if you need anything else.

  29. Kristie says:

    Thanks for sharing your story!! I just had my 4th, and while she nursed better than the other 3, it was still a major struggle. I did have to work thru alot of guilt over having to supplement, but with the schedules of my other kids ( 17, 9, 6) I simply couldn’t devote serious time to pumping exclusively. I just wanted to share an fyi about freezing breast milk. My sister also had a baby close to the same time as I did, and BF. She had worked her supply up to storing quite a bit of milk, but found that when she thawed it out, it seemed to have spoiled. What she didn’t know is that some moms have a protein in their milk that causes it to separate when frozen. It isn’t spoiled, but has a very nasty taste, as the fat separates. Her little one refused to drink it, and she had to throw a whole freezer full out. All she had to do was heat it up slightly before freezing it to prevent the separation. She had worked closely with a LC with both this one and her last child, with many issues worked thru, but this was never mentioned. She has been so discouraged, as she overcame so many obstacles to increase her supply, and had almost 3 mos. of milk stored up, planning to wean soon. But now, she isn’t sure what to do. I guess this is rare, but should be mentioned, as it has a simple fix. Just check your milk a few days after freezing, to make sure that doesn’t happen. Some separation normally occurs, but this affected the smell and taste of the milk.

  30. Bridgette says:

    Just found your site. Enjoying it alot so far. I am a new mom of a 14 week old named Charlotte. We had a terrible time at the beginning with nursing. She lost over a pound in her first 4 days of life. 7lb 4oz to 5lb 15oz. Long story short it started rough, but I was determined not to give my little lady any formula. So I pumped and nursed round the clock. I slept maybe 3 hours a day. I am back to work now, :( noticing that my supply has dropped in half recently. Went from 24 oz a day pumped at work alone, plus another 9-10 at the end of the night, to 12 oz at work a 4 at night. So finding this has been encouraging. My method this week was pump more and finially today Friday, I got 17 oz at work! We will see how tonight goes. I am excited to see what the lactation cookies do as well as the supplements. Charlotte’s a hoss and eats 20 oz a day at day care, plus nurses AM and PM from me. But, I have to make sure I keep storing enough milk to feed her while I am at work. So, thanks for the additional sites, tips, help, and recipes. I look forward to exploring your site more.

  31. Torie Pearce says:

    In what form did you take the lactuca virosa. Was it in pill or liquid form? How many times a day did you take it? I have just started taking Mother’s love (more milk plus). I started taking it two days ago, but am still only getting around 6.5-7 ounces when I pump and that is usually only in the morning. I am dying to build up my milk supply so that i am able to store milk. Let me know what you did!

    • I got into those little sugar pills. I can’t remember what I took exactly, but the dosage was on the bottle and I took the max amount. Good luck!

      • Torie Pearce says:

        Where did you buy the sugar pills? Did you take all your supplements at the same time? Once you started implementing the supplements how long did it take before you noticed a huge increase in your milk supply?

        • I bought them from a local shop. Let me see if I can find them online. Yes, at times I took them all together, especially in the beginnings when I was going gang busters. Then I gradually weaned off all of them once my supply was established. It depends on the supplements, but you should see an increase in 48 hours for most.

  32. I know this post is hella old but I got to reading on your blog and got sucked in! SO can I add something – Coconut Water. Good God that stuff is the nectar of the gods. I read, because my supply was a little “iffy” because my son spent two weeks in the NICU and all I had was a pump every 2 hours. But once he got home he wasn’t as “efficient” as the pump (a tad lazy since he was used to being fed witha tube or a bottle) so my supply quickly dropped off like real fast. BUT I read that real pure coconut water was the way to go and that women in Papa new Guinea drink it to help their supply and it’s so hydrating! so just thought that would add to your list of things…especially if people aren’t comfortable taking pills and what not…great post!

  33. heather green says:

    I am taking the Domperidone already but I am going to try the others as well… My question is, did you do everything you listed together or separately? My daughter will not latch either. I bought a nipple shield and she is able to latch but after doing this exclusively for just a few days my supply dropped dramatically and her acting as if she was not satisfied made since. I am better able to track the amounts by pumping. My daughter also likes the breast for a way of comfort more so than actual feeding. It takes a lot of work. I am trying to increase my supply so I can have some in storage since her 2 yr old sister has special needs and I am constantly having appointments for her and can not always bring my 13 week old to the doctors offices with me. I am only making 4 ounces each side (or less) and she is frequently just slightly fussy afterward as if she is wanting more.

    • 4 ounces per pump is pretty good. I never gave my daughter more than 4 ounces at a feeding the whole time I was pumping. Your milk is fatty enough. In the beginning I was doing everything at once. Then I gradually weaned off everything as I established my supply. You may want to look into an SNS if you need to supplement, it will keep her at the breast. Best of luck to you.

  34. heather green says:

    Sorry, meant 4 ounces each PUMP. I wanted to ask WHERE can I find the Lactuca Virosa tablets? I have found the powdered on Ebay but figured I could buy the empty capsules… But then I am always afraid of getting too much.

  35. Cristina says:

    I am currently an exclusive pumper for my 9month old(baby #3)…he nursed at first, but wasn’t latching right & was only getting fore milk and not gaining weight (and tearing the crap out of my nipples!!). When I started pumping and bottle feeding he started gaining weight right away. (baby #1 never latched & I pumped for 5 months…when I stopped because I didn’t think I was getting enough, baby #2 nursed from birth and I only pumped when away from him, but I thought I lost my milk supply at 7 months) SO…I am ecstatic that I am still producing so much milk. When he was about 6 months, I thought I was losing my milk. I have tried a few of the things listed above. At 9+ months, I am currently pumping 3x a day & getting 6-7 ounces per side each time. So I am so excited that I still have anything and now your post has inspired me to try to get more milk….I start back to work in 2 weeks….so it frightens me….but, I am going to try to increase it.
    One other thing I have done was reflexology on my feet….the guy massaged the top of my foot in a circular pattern across the base of my toes towards my big toe…seemed to work almost instantly.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!!!

    • So happy to hear you have a great supply and can only pump three times a day! That is still really hard and takes up a lot of time, but it is much better than 6 to 8 times a day. And how cool about te reflexology! I have been an LMT for over 11 years, and I know a little bit about reflexology, but would love to know what the specific point is called, if you happen to see him again!

  36. Im partially breastfeeding my 7.5 mo daughter, working full time and pumping 2-3times in office. I have been pumping only when I was back to work when my girl was 4mo, only managed to bring home the amount that would only make less than two of her feedings, and the rest of her milk needs is coming from formula.
    I had been over obsessed (and stressed out, upset, disappointed with myself, and whatever u can call inthose baby blues days) over the whole breastfeeding,and breastmilk things, since she was born. Practically not because I succeed but because I cant fully provide her with breastmilk. “increase milk supply” had been my favourite search keyword in google.
    I have been trying not to beat myself up too much and started to enjoy more on how other aspects of her growth.
    Reading your post really touched and inspired me to keep being positive, and i like the “anything is possible”!
    My question is, is it still possible to increase supplyafter 7months plus? Recently i noticed my pumping output dropped slowly, but I still hope to provide her until 1yr++. Do u know any moms experience this and successfully boost up the supply, or relactate, and how did they do it.? My wish last time was Im able to drop the formula one day. I want to believe this can still happen.

    • Something I was told early on that gave me a lot of hope, is that your body needs to only be making one drop of milk to have an increase. In fact, even if you dry up completely it’s possible to relactate if you work hard enough. How long are you pumping? I would try to do some dry pumping for a few minutes after each session. Only when you have been completely emptied does your body send messages to your brain to make more milk, if you leave some in your boob, your body thinks you need less and makes less each time, thus a slow and steady decrease. I would also try to do some cluster pumping. Pump every 30 minutes for a 24 to 48 hour period and really start sending signals to your brain to make more. Take some sort of herb every day. Let me know if you have any other questions. And you are right, even if your baby just gets one bottle of breast milk a day don’t beat yourself up. I wish I had stressed less about breast milk and just enjoyed my baby more. You don’t ever get this time back.

      • In office i would be pumping 15-20mins per session. At night i have not been so successful to add another pumping session. Every time i woke up wanted to pump, i was worried my baby would also woke up hungry.It happened a fw times that i need to stop the pumping because she cried straight away. Wondering how would u do the night pumping?
        Hmm i think i want to try cluster pumping. Does it mean every 30mins i pump for 30mins, for the whole day? Thanks for the advise! :)

        • Ok, yeah I would increase your pump sessions at work if you can. If you have your own office you can get a hands free contraption and be able to type and talk on the phone just fine. And with the all day cluster, I would do 10 minutes of pumping every hour (outside of your normal pumping times).

  37. Margarita says:

    Hi! I really enjoyed reading this post. I am a mother of three and it is until this last baby that I try to be fully committed to breastfeeding, only it is so difficult having a 4 and a 2 year old. I try to breastfeed as much as possible but lately he seems so hungry. I dont know if I made the mistake of giving him and extra two ounces of formula about a half hour after each feeding. It just seems like he isnt getting enough milk, since he just nurses about 4 minutes on each side. Your last paragraphs really made me feel less guilty about the whole thing. Thank you.

  38. Great post :) I’m trying to increase supply for a very tiny 9 month old. I’ve been supplementing after each nursing session but I’m hoping to not have to and wanted to try Lactuca Virosa. I clicked on the link you provided but it’s no longer available at Amazon. Any other suggestion on where to find it? They have it in other forms on Amazon (drops maybe?) What is your suggestion? Thanks so much for the post, seems like you’ve helped many women!

  39. Thank you for this post. I found it on Pinterest. I have a four month old (she is my third child) and about 2 months ago we moved and my supply dropped dramatically! I’ve been struggling since and I’ve really gone back and forth about whether or not its worth the stress its causing. Its hard for me to get much time to pump because I have three kids under 5 and we are still getting settled in our new house, but I *always* pump at least twice a day and get about 4 oz each time. One thing that I’ve particularly struggled with is that since I’ve introduced the bottle (currently she is probably getting more formula than breast milk I would guess – her night feeding is the only time I dont have to supplement with at least some bottle feeding) there are times she wont breastfeed because she just wants the bottle. And then there are times that she will want to breastfeed and gets frustrated because I dont have enough milk for her, but she doesn’t want a bottle. Any advice? Also, would you suggest trying to focus on gaining back feedings one at a time (like pick one particular time of day) or just to have her breastfeed as often as possible? Its been a real struggle for me and honestly its a little embarrassing. I feel like less of a woman to not be able to feed your own child! Thanks again…Katie

    • Hi Katie. Have you ever tried a supplemental nurser called Lact-Aid. It is much better than Medela’s SNS. I bet if you used that and increased the flow of liquids your baby would stay on the breast and not want the bottle. And the increased time on the breast would send more messages to your brain to make more milk! Be sure to check out my other breastfeeding posts about how to get baby back to breast. They are a little hard to navigate, because it is so much information, but they are FULL of good information. And let me know if you have any questions. :)

      • I haven’t tried that – that is a good idea. Thanks again, I really appreciate it. You better believe I’ll let you know if I have questions. ;)

  40. I am a brand new mommy of a 4 week old. I just began pumping and am only doing it once or twice a day. I am lucky if I get an ounce on both sides each time. Is that normalfoot just starting out and with. Y son being so young? I just don’t know when to pump as I am nursing every 2-3 hours. Do I pump right when I finish feeding my son or when? My husband is worried that if I am pumping and nursing that the baby isn’t getting the volume he needs when I nurse. I will be going back to work in about 4 weeks and really want to get my supply started and get some put in the freezer. It would also be nice so my husband could feed him once in a while if I need him to. Any advice I could get would be great! Thanks!

    • Yes, it is normal to only get that amount when you are establishing your supply and baby is very young. Also, women who are successful at nursing sometimes have a hard time with the pump and training their body to let down to the pump in addition to the baby. I would pump right after you nurse, on the same boob. So that way you are not “taking” any milk from the baby and you are also completely emptying your breast (which is what sends messages to the brain to make more milk). Do this after every feeding, particularly in the morning when your supply is naturally higher and you will start to build your freezer stash. After a couple of weeks, you could also start pumping on one boob while you nurse on the other. This is tricky to logistically accomplish, but you will get the hang of it and will get much more milk out for the pump because you are also nursing baby. Hope that helps, and let me know if I can help in any other way.

  41. Thanks for sharing your journey. I too have had difficulties with nursing. My 5th child is now 6 weeks old and I’ve done things a little differently this time. With the other 4 they lost weight for two months, and despite trying every recommendation given, I still ended up supplementing heavily. They were all exclusively on formula by 6 months. I’ve done all the dietary changes, reglan, domperidone, fenugreek, blessed thistle, and pumping between feedings around the clock. I’ve had LLL leaders and LC’s tell me over and over again that how much I pump is no proof of how much baby is actually getting. I don’t completely buy it though. I’ve never produced more than 12 oz in a 24 hr period.
    This time I started giving extra from the beginning. Just 2-3 oz total a day. I wanted to see if the jaundice that all my babies have had was a contributing factor. So we tried to flush it out quickly. I was very optimistic as she seemed satisfied, her suck seemed stronger, and she didn’t lose as much weight. But somewhere along the way we got more formula dependent. And now i don’t know what to do. I’d like to try the Lactuca Virosa. I’ve never heard of that before. I just don’t really know how to eliminate the supplemental bottles now that she’s used to them. She still latches well. But when the milk is gone she will not nurse any longer.
    I know you’re not a certified expert or anything, but any suggestions?

    • Hi Rachel, it is incredibly likely that you have what is called Insufficient Glandular Tissue. If after 5 children you’re still not able to produce enough milk to not need supplementation and no amount of lactogenic foods, herbs, or medications helps, then nothing you take is going to help. All of that stuff only helps increase the output from the glandular tissue you have, but if you don’t have much tissue to begin with, it won’t make a difference. The book that Stephanie links to, Making More Milk, has some basic information about it. That’s the bad news.

      The good news is that you are absolutely not alone in this. I have it and the numbers of other women discovering they have it are growing. While there is next to nothing in the way of medical information about IGT, there are growing communities of women struggling with this who are happy to help you with their own experiences and give support. You can check out to begin with and there are other groups on Facebook that I know about.

      The remedy Stephanie talks about may still be worthwhile to maintain the supply you do have, but genereally speaking homeopathic remedies should not be taken long term. Since you’re not going to see a full supply from anything you take, I would stick with a safer herbal suppplement or domperidone to maintain your supply as you work on keeping your baby at the breast. If you can, I would invest in an SNS or Lactaid nursing system that will allow you to supplement at the breast. This blog is a great resource for information about nursing with an at-breast supplementer long term.

  42. I just stumbled across this website. My daughter just turned 1 and and is still breastfeeding every 2-3 hours even at night. She hates whole milk. She will only drink water and breastmilk, but she’s a good eater. My concern is that she’s on the small end, although her weight to height is proportional. Her pedi doesn’t seem too worried about it, but I wonder if drinking milk will help her growth. Any advice?

    • If you are still breastfeeding (which is awesome! good job!) I would work on beefing up your nutrients in your own diet. The quality of breastmilk is directly related to what you eat. So if you are not eating enough nutrients (or absorbing enough nutrients because of junk food consumption and/or poor digestion) then your milk does not have it. You can only give what you have. So if you want your milk to be more fat and nutrient dense, I would take a look at my free ebook, the MBL Guide to A Conscious Childbearing Year, and my eCookbook to learn about all the ways you get healthy and increase your nutrients. If your diet is perfect, then maybe it is a transfer issue. She may not be effecient at getting milk out of your breast for some reason. Also, fyi, nursing every 2 to 3 hour at 12 months is perfectly normal. Hope that helps!

  43. josophyne says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    My daughter just turned 7 weeks old and ever since her birth I have been struggling with milk supply. So far I’ve tried fenugreek, mothers milk tea, and lactuca virosa. I’ve seen a little increase after taking the lactuca virosa but not much. At my checkup today I inquired about domperidone and she said I would unlikely find it in the US. Where were you able to get it? I am so desperate to get my supply up!!!

    You really have given me hope that it can be done!! I was on the verge of giving up too many times but couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    Thank you,

    • josophyne says:

      Oh, my doctor did prescribe me reglan (I think that’s what it’s called) but said I would only be able to take it for two weeks. I just started that today so I am waiting to see how that does. This was supposed to be in place of the domperidone I was unable to get.

    • I will try to find the online link for you, you have to get it from an overseas online pharmacy. It’s super expensive, but works!

      • josophyne says:

        I found a motilium which I guess is the generic for domperidone. I was hoping to get it quicker but I can be patient, I have reglan in the meantime! Thank you again!!

  44. I’m at a loss. The first couple weeks after my son was born I pumped 8-12 ounces every 2 hours and now, at 5 weeks later, I’m barely pumping 1-2 ounces every 2 hours. My son has had a latching problem since birth and eventually just flat out refused to nurse so I’ve been exclusively pumping and bottle feeding him breast milk. He eats 3-4 ounces every 2 hours so I definately can’t keep up. I’ve been supplementing with a friends breast milk for now but I’m sure that can’t last forever. Pumping doesn’t work, fenugreek didnt work, and I don’t know if I can get domperidone here. I don’t know what to do. Help? Please?

    • Hi Kristan. So sorry to hear you are having trouble, my heart goes out to you. I was just looking back at some newborn pictures of Penelope and I am smiling in all of them, but if you look really close you can see how heartbroken I was to have to pump. I would go through the post again and see if there is anything else you haven’t done, until you can find out about getting domperidone where you live. If you can’t get any of the other supplements, the biggest thing you can do immediatly is pump more. Like pump every ten minutes for two hours, then take a half hour break and do it again. And every time you pump, pump for at least 5 minutes after the last drop of milk comes out. Lube your nipples with olive oil if it starts to chafe.

  45. Keesha Doss says:

    Wow! Thanks for the great post! My lil son is a whopping 15 months old and I’m still nursing. I feel like I’m producing less but i can’t tell cuz i never pump. i feel the milk let down less these days. i feel like i produce very little in the evenings. i want to continue until he’s two if i possibly can. I’m a stay at home mom, which is prob the only reason I’m still breastfeeding . i think this article and all the comments helped me a lot! Thanks everyone for sharing your personal struggles and triumphs. :)

    • That is wonderful you are still nursing, keep up the good work! I did notice that I felt my let down less as she got older, even though I was pumping the same output of milk.

  46. hi srephanie, great information. My dd is 7 weeks old and i have been ep since she was 1 week old. i have been consistently pumping 50+ ounces in a 24hr period for the past 3 weeks. She only takes 20 a day so i am freezing a ton. I pump 8 times a day and 20 mins each time. Can i drop to 7 pumps or even 6 and continue to see the same output?

    • Hey Caitlyn, so sorry to hear you are having to EP. Have you checked out my other breastfeeding difficulties posts? I have a ton of archived information about how to get baby back to breast. But to answer your question. Yes, you could probably drop a pump and get the same output. I think I was down to four pumps a day before I started seeing an decrease. But every woman is different and there is not exact answer to this. It’s all a big experiment. Worse case scenario you have to add the pump back in. I would try to wait another two weeks though. The first three months are crucial (first twos are the most important) to establishing your supply for the next couple of years. That said, sleep and taking care of yourself is important too. So if you do drop a pump, drop one at night so you can get more sleep. Let me know if you have any other questions, I am always happy to help.

  47. I am in the process of relactating and I’m not getting but a few drops when I pump…should I continue to pump even when I’m not even filling up the bottle? It’s discouraging when there is nothing there : ( How long will it take for my body to increase milk production?

    • Good for you! Yes, pump even if nothing is coming out for a solid 20 to 25 minutes if you can bear it. Use coconut oil or olive oil as a lubricant so your nipples don’t get hurt.

  48. Thank you for this post! My questions are more along the logistical aspects of increasing supply while pumping…which other readers hadn’t really asked. I am curious about how you stored your milk as you increased your supply. What I mean is, if I am pumping less than an ounce after breast feeding, how should I store this? Do I freeze many bags of little bits of milk, or do I store a bottle in the fridge and then add to it until it’s an amount for a feeding, say 2-4 oz? My biggest issue about pumping is how to collect and store milk most effectively and safely. My other curiosity was how you collected all of the milk once you started to get your supply that you wanted. Did you have to stop and switch bottles? How many bottles do you have and we’re you constantly washing pumping parts and bottles? :).
    Thanks for elaborating on this because it’s been a roadblock for me to increase my supply. My baby is 8 weeks and I was producing way more than I needed at first so I pumped all the excess but now I am only feeding him what he needs. I am returning to work soon and know that I will be going through my stash unless I figure it out. Thanks so much!

    • I would use one bottle all day until it is full and then put the days worth of milk into a milk freezer bag and freeze it together, so you are not wasting bags, they are expensive! And be sure to check out my post on how I store the bags flat like bricks to save space!
      Yes, once I got really going and had a great supply, sometimes I would have to switch out bottles mid-pump session. Then I would combine all the milk from that session so that one bag didn’t have more hind or fore milk in the bags.
      And oh yes, I was washing pump parts and bottles A LOT. In one of those links is a post I wrote about how many hours I spent pumping and how many were just straight up cleaning. It was insane. But it was worth it for my sweet girls health. I always told myself that it was her birth right to have that milk. It wasn’t her fault she had health issues and couldn’t get it out, she was still entitled to it and I would have done anything to give her the milk she deserved.

      • Thank you! I was hoping your answers were going to be these…means I was on point! I am a new blog follower now! :)

        • Welcome!

          • Hello Again! I found this post again after needing some inspiration. Still nursing/pumping and my son just turned one. It’s dropping off a lot, and I’m constantly on the fence about weaning or keeping going…since he’s a good eater and bites me (too) often! The benefits outweigh the inconvenience and hassle, and I am inspired to continue. And, I am looking for a new doctor who can be more supportive of my crunchy choices. :)

          • Awesome!!

  49. Thank you so much! That was wonderful information.

  50. Thank you for wordsnof encouragement and your advice. We named our girl Pinelopi, almost the same. : )

  51. My lo will be 7 months on usually the 30th… But the 28th this month anyways. She has had to got
    To the doctors to get weighed since November and has lost ounces on 3 visits. She was 7 lbs 14oz when born
    And just made it to 13 ounces. I’ve tried many things and am getting really frustrated. The only reasonshe
    She has gained this last weight is because she eats a big bowl of rice cereal twice a days and
    About 6 jars of b
    aby food including baby meat. I know o am not making enough
    Milk and it has to be something medically with me. I had pros 4 years ago and was told I couldn’t have
    Children and I’ve had 3 since then. Thyroid problems run in my family so
    I am quite concerned and am in need of some tips. I nurse all the time.. and probably some
    Pumping tips!

    • I would definetly look into upping your nutrition. lots of protein from grassfed animals, lots of animal fats, butter, lard bacon grease, cut out the grains, so your body actually absorbs what proteins and nutrients you put in. Raw, full fat milk, cod liver oil supplements, etc. Just focus on you eating good and your breastmilk will start to get fattier and more nutrient dense. And def give some egg yolks to your babe! That will fatten them up faster and not do any damage to their digestive system like the cereal does.

  52. CARMEN ROSA says:


    • CARMEN ROSA says:


    • So glad to hear that! Yes, as long as you have milk coming out it is possible to increase.

      • CARMEN ROSA says:

        Thank you so much for your prompt response. Can you give me some suggestions in increasing my milk supply?

        • CARMEN ROSA says:

          sorry last question…your blog mentioned that you started to pump/increase your milk when your little angel was 5 months and before that you were getting donated breast milk etc…did I read that correctly? thanks again :)

          • I started pumping when she was about a week old. I got about 20 ounces of donated milk from two different friends when I had no extras (I was pumping and then feeding it to her and had absolutely nothing in reserves, so I put the donated milk in the freezer as my just in case). I pumped for a total of 18 months, because even when my daughter finally latched on and started nursing at 5 months, she was never effecient enough for me to stop nursing.

        • Do every single thing I list in the post. :)

  53. I stumbled upon this post while looking for information on how to increase milk production while pregnant. My 9 month old has begun weaning herself after I had several bouts of mastitis. With my first child, low supply combined with inverted nipples, a skin condition that causes cracking, mastitis, and my son’s sleepiness and inability to latch pretty much doomed us from the start. I was able to pump 12 oz a day for about 10 months. At 5 months I trained him to nurse for comfort. Determined to have a better experience with my daughter I attended LLL meetings, met with doctors who specialized in breastfeeding, and several lactation consultants beforehand. They said my first experience was what they would call a “lacktastrophe.” All of them sincerely hoped the supply wouldn’t be an issue this time. My daughter was born and was a breastfeeding champ. And then her weight fell and kept falling. We never hit an upswing despite all I was doing to increase my supply (the only thing that seemed to work for me was moringa). My pediatrician husband, who yes has had several breastfeeding courses, said we couldn’t let it continue past the 4 week mark as our daughter was clearly getting weaker, and so supplement we did. I eventually got to the point where she only needed about 3 oz of supplementation a day, but I was so angry because this time my baby knew just what to do. In the next year or so I would like to have a 3rd child. Now that it seems low supply is truly an issue for me I am wondering if there is anything that can be done beforehand to increase supply? I am at high risk for pre-term birth so supplements are probably out. Any ideas on something I might be able to try?

    • I would really focus on your diet. Check out the book Naturally Knocked up or my free ebook for more information about foods for fertility and breastfeeding.

  54. melissa says:

    im so sad that i only just finally found your website. ive been struggling/crying/ready to give up since my son was born. ive tried a few things here and there [fenugreek, blessed thistle, exclusive pumping, only breastfeeding, pumping every 2 hours... you name it]. im re-energized after reading your blog and was wondering – can i still increase my supply even now after my son is almost 4 months old? he is getting about half breast milk and the other half is organic formula. i work and pump about 2.5-3 oz every 3 hours – but its not nearly what he is able to drink in a day… im going to also try pumping for longer sessions and see if that helps!! thanks again for your words – this has been the absolute most challenging thing i have ever been through and i really want to make it work!

    • Oh yes! As long as there is still one drop of milk you can increase your supply, and technically you can increase it even if there is not a single drop of milk! Adoptive mothers establish a milk supply from nothing all the time.

  55. Sarah Williams says:

    Thank you for this. Just what I needed today. I have been exclusively pumping for my now 5 month old since birth. The first 2 months of her life were heart wrenching for me, someone who always envisioned breastfeeding her baby. She had bad jaundice in the hospital and my milk hadn’t come in so the doctors highly encouraged I supplement so the first thing she ever got milk from was a silicone nipple. I too, have flat nipples, and the nipple shields never worked for me. I need had my milk “come in” like I hear so many people say. Even if my LO latched to the nipple shield, she wasn’t getting hardly any milk and so would get frustrated and quit sucking – so I’d give in and give her a bottle because her weight was going down. I visited multiple lactation consultants, took all the herbs, oatmeal, teas, even Reglan! Nothing worked…finally…at 8 weeks, I found out why. I had retained placenta! By the time they removed it, my supply went up some but not a ton. After supplementing with formula and breastmilk for the first 2 months, I’ve been able to pump and exclusively feed my daughter breastmilk since then. But now my supply is waning again and I’m about to give up. Sometimes I think I can be a better, more doting mother if I’m not constantly worried about when to pump, how much I pumped, etc. Thanks for your help, thought, and insight. It’s just nice to know we aren’t alone :)

    • Wow, thank you so much for sharing! Lots of love to you! Whatever you decide that is best for you, will be best for your baby. Your doing great!

  56. Hi, Great to find your website. I am a mom to an almost 5 months old cute girl, who was in the nicu when she was born, so she got used to the bottle. I exclusively pumped from the beginning, and want so much her to take the breast, but each time I try she fusses and cries so much that I give up, she is like discussed by my breast. do you think that it’s too late to breast feed? I read that your daughter started nursing at 5 months, how did you accomplish that? Thank you so much for answering.

  57. Christi says:

    Hi! How much Lactuca Virosa did you take? Pellets? Pills? Where did you buy it? Can you explain…. I’ve tried so many things, even domperidone and I’m trying to boost my milk supply. I am exclusively pumping over 20 ounces a day but that’s not keeping up with my son. (He was a poor nurser… I tried for 9 long, hellish weeks to get him to nurse with lots of help and nothing worked.) I also want to see if I can increase my supply to have enough to store. Thank you!

    • I think I took 4 pellets twice a day for about a week, it was post partum haze, so I honestly can’t remember but there should be some dosage information.

  58. I tried to read all posts to make sure I did not miss anything. My question is I am still nursing my 1 year old and want to increase/keep up my milk supply. The lactation lady at the hospital said it may be to late is this true?

    • Not true at all. If you have one drop of milk left it can always increased. Women who even have no milk at all can eveb relactate or force lactation even if they have never made milk before (example moms who adopt and induce lactation or moms who use a surrogate for pregnancy and then nurse their baby).

  59. follow you on instagram. been wanting to try Shaklee forever! Yay giveaway!

  60. Rachelle-Ann says:

    Good day Stephanie,
    I’m so glad i found this article. Im going to try some of the advice given, My baby is just 3 weeks but she refuses to latch on so im forced to exclusively pump. I just sent you an email asking for the link to the exclusive pumpers yahoo group. I need all the help i can get. Thanks a lot

  61. Thank you for this, I’m trying to pump for twins and needed this reminder to stay well. So nice to read something so non judgemental.

  62. Hey! I loved your blog and plan to follow your tips! I am a first time mom to a beautiful 4.5 month old. I am working full time night shifts. It’s a rotating schedule I work 2 nights in a row and then have 2 nights off. I work every other full weekend. I pump every 3 hours throughout the night and strictly nurse while I am home. The past 2 days Cheyenne has seemed I satsified after nursing and like she isn’t getting enough. I worry my milk production is decreasing. How do I increase my supply with pumping and nursing. Cheyenne was nursing all over the place sometimes every hour, 2, 1.5, 3, 2.5 so I started her on a schedule feeding her every 3 hours (since I pumped every 3 hours while I work I figured this would keep my supply up). I try my best to nurse her and then pump so that I “full back up” before her next feeding. Sometimes I feel as if my breasts are empty and not full. Is this normal? I am adament about breast feeding for the first year. I have some milk frozen (136 ounces) bit now I’m at the point where I am taking out more milk than I am pumping back at night. It makes me nervous I’ll have to supplement. Any tips, suggestions, things I could do to increase production and freeze more milk?

  63. Rachelle-Ann says:

    Where online can i buy Domperidone.?

  64. my sister is having a hard time. She BF her oldest daughter for two years, till she found out she was expecting her 2nd child. 2nd is now almost 6 months and since saturday her milk supply has went from abundance to nothing…(1 oz combined from both sides) she has tried all the natural things, and I have suggested her calling her dr for Domperudone. Can anyone help??

  65. Thank you for your help and insight! In what form and where did you get lactuca virosa? Thanks!

    • In the traditional homeopathic white, sugar pill form. I got it from a mother’s boutique in my home town, but you can get them online at Amazon. The link should take you to Amazon to be able to buy it.

  66. Good Morning,

    Just curious where you reccomend purchasing Domperidone online? And what type of dosage is typically used?
    I am haveing #2 next week via Cesarean and really want to breastfeed this time around as I had a horrible experience with #1 as my milk never came in.

    Thank you again for all your wisdom i love ready your blog!

    • I actually had a good amount of my stash given to me from a good friend of mine who bought it to induce lactation for her twin girls that were born via surrogate. She stopped pumping after awhile but still a lot and gave the rest to me. The Dom P that I bought, I got from a local, compounding pharmacy. I never bought online, but I know people do that, I think it just has to be from an international pharmacy. I can’t remember the dosage I took, but I remember it was the full amount at the very beginning and then I slowly weaned myself down once my supply was up and established and then weaned myself off completly after a bit.

  67. I have had problems with my first two getting to latch but by my third one I knew what to do I ate right I drank right I always had water milk or juice in my hand. I truly could not keep production up I pumped after each feeding and my son was on for an hour still hungry so I had to put him on formula. then about two months later there was nothing left Now I am pregnant with #4 I want to breastfeed till at least a year

  68. My daughter (now 19yo) wasn’t interested in eating for her first 4 or so days on the planet… not in the hospital, not at home. I was very concerned about losing my supply and whether she was going to thrive. Fortunately, our (both pro-breastfeeding) pediatrician and OB offered the feedback “RELAX!, she’ll eat when she’s ready”…. Alas, she did eat (small quantity) on day 4 and went on to be a perfectly competent little feeder! She ate fairly often, but in small quantities.

    I was continually concerned and began pumping to stimulate my supply. As it turned out, she thrived BEAUTIFULLY and became a plump little toddler. At age 2 she thinned out. TO THIS DAY, she eats small quantities. As a fully grown 19 year old, she is now 5’6″, 105 lbs. She’s healthy, trim and eats small micro meals throughout the day.

    When my son was born a couple years after her, he latched on within minutes of being born and ate everything I could produce. He is now 17 years old, 6’4″ and weighs over 200 pounds. To each his own, as the saying goes!

    As a vigilant and loving parent, concern is natural. Occasionally, physical problems DO crop up and need to be addressed. But it’s also true that a WIDE range of normal exists and if everything is fine, enjoy the process!!

  69. I’ve haven’t been producing enough milk for baby I had to intraduce a supplement I really didn’t want to but doc said it was the best thing . Baby is now 3 months and I’m trying everything to get my supply up , emotionally this is the hardest thing , I really just would love if my baby was on my milk . I have been pumping every two hours and I’m getting about half ounce each boob so together it’s one ounce or slightly under. I have been taking natural herbal remidies that u have mentioned also I’ve been on DomP for a month on Tuesday and I’ve been taking one till 3 times a day the second week I took it I noticed I got almost a full ounce from each breast but I wasn’t getting that consistently , like every third or fourth time I would pump. Thence supply decreased and back to getting half ounce , how much DomP where you taking ? Was your results like this ? .. I would love to talk to my doctor about it but I had asked for DomP and he wouldn’t give it to me and insisted I just use formula and said that my milk was not enough and there is no way I can up my supply . So thinking my doc was right I used formula for 1.5 months as baby needed his nutrition . Then I did researching online and found about herbal and DomP so I went to emerg and they felt so bad for me as I was just spilling out my emotions , they gave me it but they said I couldn’t keep coming back to fill my perceription or a follow up , they doc didn’t know much about DomP but I’m stuck here I would really like to hear from you on your consumption , thanks so much.

    • Hi Kristen. So sorry to hear you are having a hard time. Not being able to produce enough milk can be so devasting. But remember there is not such thing as perfection in general and especially when it comes to mothering. You are doing great.

      I can’t remember my exact dosage, but my doctor was much more open minded and gave me specific miligrams and instructions to follow. So I just went with his script instructions. It worked very well for me, and eventually once I established my supply I weaned myself off (you don’t want to quit cold turkey). Have you tried pumping more? Like every twenty minutes for twenty minutes for a 24 hour period?

  70. I just found your website and loving it!!.I have 3 months old daughter and I am at home full time.But still want to start pumping and storing .If I pump I will get 6 oz in total from 2 breast and that milk want to store for later use.After pumping nothing much is left and for next feed I dont have milk in my breast.So what can I do so that I can breastfeed my baby when around and she can have my stored breast milk when i am not around…I have tried feeding her from my breast than pumping and than for next feed i dont have much milk .What should I do to stock up milk..Plzzzz help!!

    • Can you only pump/feed on one breast? So if you fed her on your left breast, after feeding or even better during, pump on your right. Or pump after you feed her and you extract what’s left over after a feeding. Your body and brain will catch up eventually. Emptying the breast is a good thing. Only then does your body send a message to your brain to make more milk.

  71. Hello Stephanie,

    I just found this page and I am glad I did :).
    I have one question, is it still possible to increase milk supply when you didn’t really start trying after the baby was 4 weeks old?
    My baby is three months old now and I had to start supplementing when she was 4 weeks because she was not getting enough. She had lost weight and was crying all the time she wasn’t attached to the boob.
    We only got her to latch with the nipple shield (which we have been able to wean her off of) and the Dr thinks that might have caused some of the issues with my supply.
    I have been taking fenugreek, mother’s milk tea and blessed thistle three times a day for about 2 months and pumping every two hrs at work and every time after she nurses at home but have not seen an increase. I get about 1oz (give or take) every pumping session at work and just drops the times I pump after she nurses.
    I am also dealing with recurrent plugged ducts so I am not sure if that is part of why I do not see an increase in supply.
    Any suggestions are appreciated. I would really like to be able to get her full with just nursing one day :)

    • As long as you have one drop of milk coming out of your breasts, it is possible to increase the supply. Yes, nipple shields have been known to decrease supply, I recommend using them only in an absolute emergency and to be highly vigilent the entire of use to make sure baby is actually getting milk out. A supplement called Letchin is helpful for recurring plugged ducts. Also do daily massage of your breasts, especially during pumping. Starting high at armpit area and moving towards the nipple. Helped all the clogged milk to get unstuck and move toward the nipple.

  72. Thanks so much for this blog! My lo is 2 weeks Wednesday and my supply seems to be less than with my first. I understand it could be fine and I’m just paranoid but I want to help my supply as much as possible. Two questions though, where and what brand of the lactuca virosa did you use and should I just pump after each breastfeeding? I did for the first time last night and only got 2 oz and feel I wasn’t full enough for her next feeding. I try to do every 3 hours but she’s such a sleeper it’s hard sometimes and go 3 1/2 hrs. This bad?

    • It depends on if you are feeding your baby both boobs or one. If just one, then pump on that same boob to make sure it is fully empty and sending the neurochemical messages to the brain to make more milk. If you don’t completly empty the breast, the brain doesn’t know to make more milk. Not sure of the LV brand, I will have to look it up. I would alternate boobs, so that you feed with right side, then completly empty with pump, then have the left full for next feeding. Sleeping can be a red flag for lots of things, not getting enough milk is one of them (allergies to what is in breast milk is another), so do your best to feed her every hour if you can. It will help with supply too.

  73. Hi Stephanie,

    I am currently breastfeeding an 18 months old toddler. I am a working mother. I pumped every working day every 3 hours since my baby is 3 months old. Lately mu pumped milk have decreased slowly. Before this i used to get total of 12 oz per day (at office), and now i just get 5oz per day. I’ve never skip pumping session at the office and drink a lot of water (minimum 2.5l).. Cut the story short, i have never change my routine since my baby is 3months old. But the milk i get is still decreasing. I have tried fenugreek, milk tea, power pumping etc. Nothing works!
    I have noticed that i get less and shorter Let down reflex (LDR) over time.
    Is there anything that i can do to increase my milk supply again?
    I really really hope that i can breastfeed my daughter for a longer period of time.
    I’ve also considering to take the Domperidone, but afraid it comes with side effect.
    Can u advice?

    • Yeah, once you hit the 18 month mark with pumping that is a pretty average time women start to see a decrease. It is just so much harder to keep sending the correct neurological messages to the brain to keep making milk when it’s not a baby taking the milk out. Have you tried the other things mentioned in this post? How’s your diet, sleeping habits, nutrition and hormones doing? Those things make a huge difference too.

  74. Angie Fowler says:

    Hey! I absolutely love this blog and post. I have learned so much already and would love some more advice.
    I am 35 weeks preg with baby 2 and am sooooo hoping to be able to nurse this baby much better than my first born.
    My first was very difficult to produce for. He was 10 days early, immediately latched on with skin to skin and nursed. I couldn’t really tell if he was getting much the first few days. The first about 6 weeks were rough. He would always want to be held and never look satisfied. He went down to the 5% in weight and I was forced to supplement. I pumped after feedings as well as feeing with a bottle. I also tried the sns during the first 6 weeks and after. I told myself I would not give up nursing or pumping. I took fenugreek and my doc gave me reglan without much increase. I would get anywhere from 3-4 oz total at each pump, maybe 5-6 in the mornings. This lasted for 6 months and by 3 months he was exclusively bottle fed with both formula and breast milk. I saw LC often for help and got him weighed before and after each feeding. It showed he was only getting about an ounce and a half from each breast which was not cutting it for him. Once I started supplementing he gained weight and was a much happier baby.
    I say all this because I would LOVE things to be different for baby number 2. I’m wondering what I can do now to help. Shroud I got ahead and start some of these supplements? I’m trying to really not stress about it and thinking positive but I really hope I don’t have IGT. My breasts haven’t increased in size that much however my areoles have gotten darker. I would really appreciate any advice as it is one of my dreams to exclusively breast feed my baby!

    • Hi Angie, thanks for sharing. I so hope things go differently this time around for you. It’s hard to give a quick answer and really help, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things. I’d love to hear more about your story and give you some personal one on one help if you want, check out my client services page:

      • Thank you so much. I emailed you a few days ago and haven’t heard back yet. I would love to talk to you more about it nd possibly schedule a time on the phone. Thanks again!

        • Ok, cool. Sorry for the delay, I don’t have much child care this summer with school out, so computer time is greatly reduced, but I will get back to you as soon as I can!


  1. [...] First, I recommend reading this article. She also struggled with breastfeeding and shares some tips of what she did concerning breastfeeding. Her article pretty much sums it up in my opinion. [...]

  2. [...] of sweet potato porridge I ate when I was struggling to breastfeed, trying in vain to increase my supply. However, all those oats did not only not increase my supply one bit, but they took a terrible toll [...]

  3. [...] exclusively. She has a lot of good advice and articles on increasing and maintaining supply.…r-milk-supply/ Hoping some of these help you as they are helping me right [...]

  4. [...] exclusively. She has a lot of good advice and articles on increasing and maintaining supply.…r-milk-supply/ Hoping some of these help you as they are helping me right [...]

  5. […] what is normal when it comes to pumping output, please read THIS ARTICLE.  I also think that THIS ARTICLE has helpful tips for increasing your milk […]

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