7 Tips for Boosting Your Milk Supply During Pregnancy

pregnancy milk supply

A friend of mine is expecting her second baby (a boy!) in a few months and is nervous about trying breastfeeding again. When she tried breastfeeding her daughter four years ago, she experienced difficulty with a low milk supply—something she believes is hereditary, as her mother also struggled with a decreased milk supply. This time, she is trying to get a jumpstart on boosting her milk supply while she’s still pregnant and asked me to do some research for her.

Is it possible to increase milk supply while still pregnant?

Here’s what I found:

  • Make sure your prenatal vitamin includes the proper amount of calcium.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine (which you should be doing anyways, but if you’re anything like me, letting go of that morning coffee is mighty difficult).
  • Stay hydrated! It’s perhaps the simplest, yet most effective thing you can do during your pregnancy. Don’t go crazy, but just drink enough to keep your urine clear and avoid thirst.
  • Swap up your breakfast with some good old-fashioned oatmeal—some mothers swear it boosts milk production.
  • Or try these common foods listed by Baby Center to boost your supply—just be sure to check if they are safe to eat during pregnancy.
  • Ensure that you breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after birth—the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you breastfeed within one hour of birth to get your milk supply established.

Also be sure to log your breastfeeding when the baby comes, because often times, mothers think their supply is low when it’s actually adequate. Just write how often your baby is nursing and for how long, along with wet and poopy diapers down and take it to the pediatrician for his check-up. The doctor will be able to determine if your baby is in need of any additional supplementation based on your baby’s growth chart.

And as always, be sure to talk to your health care provider before trying any of the tips listed in the links above.

Do you have any tips for increasing your breast milk supply during pregnancy? 

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Photos courtesy of article author via jjbrusiephotography.com

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7 Tips for Boosting Your Milk Supply During Pregnancy

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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16 comments

  1. Kelsey says:

    I tried literally everything – including oatmeal – my supply has just gotten worse to the point where my baby is getting formula about half the time now. At least he’s healthy and growing but I never thought I’d have this much trouble getting my supply in (he’s 3 months old now).

  2. Moyo says:

    will start with the oatmeal and get it running till baby comes.

  3. Licia says:

    Renting or buying a breast pump is the best way to get your milk to come in and stay in strong if you’re worried about low supply. It really makes a difference, even if you only pump for 20 minutes a day. I found I actually had to stop pumping unless it was my son’s normal meal time because I boosted my supply enough that it was actually starting to squirt him in the face.
    Another tip for those times when the child is getting ready for a growth spurt and it feels like your body hasn’t quite caught up to his new appetite (ie 2 weeks old, 5 weeks old, almost 2 months old, and again really big at 5 months), Drink a root beer. I don’t know how it works but even one can of root beer would boost my supply for the next 48 hours and make it not quite as uncomfortable during those ‘hungry’ baby phases.
    And the oatmeal and plenty of water help too- because they ensure that you get all the fluids and nutrients you need in order to make milk.

    • Sara says:

      not necessarily. I blame pumping on having had a low milk supply. my daughter was given a bottle at the hospital, found out how much easier it was, and ended up not wanting to nurse. I pumped-only for four months, but there is none of that bond of producing specifically for a baby, only for a machine in a boring room at work. I think there was maybe one week where she didn’t get formula supplements before I gave it up.

  4. Bri says:

    Great article. I love oatmeal with real fruit! I hope breastfeeding goes good with me and my baby girl!

  5. Alishka says:

    I tried breast feeding with my first but the pain of his latching and a lack of milk was daunting.
    I got a hospital-rented breast pump (more powerful than store-bought) and within days, I was getting 18-20oz every few hours that I pumped. I didn’t change my diet and I don’t eat oatmeal.

  6. LIZ says:

    very good tips tnx so much

  7. Kari says:

    I thought I was having supply issues with my second. He would scream and cry after nursing. Even though he was 9 lbs when born, he dropped to the zero percentile quickly. Turned out he was tongue-tied and not able to nurse well. Just something to throw out there since this is something that can be hereditary.

  8. Caitlyn says:

    I was told you have to eat a certain type of oatmeal. Im not sure but im going to read up on it

  9. Alanna says:

    Oatmeal is good stuff. And of course that hydration is so important.

  10. Cait says:

    Breast feeding didn’t go great the first time hoping it goes better the second time around.

  11. Let’s hope that this oatmeal works out. Because I really want to breastfeed

  12. Dominique says:

    Can’t wait I’m on that oatmeal

  13. ErinF says:

    Ooh, good stuff. I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal–wanted to stock up on it for after birth since it’s a galactagogue, but it’s tasted so good throughout this pregnancy! Also make sure that your pediatrician is familiar with the difference between formula-fed and breastfed babies… their growth peaks and plateaus at different times, and often perfectly thriving breastfed babies are diagnosed with failure to thrive, leading to unnecessary supplementation, negatively affecting breastmilk supply!

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