How can I increase my breast milk supply? Breastfeeding

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baby being breastfed
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Wish you were producing more breast milk? Moms and experts share tips for increasing your supply.

Don't Rely on Herbal Meds

"Some women try taking herbal medications (called galactogogues) and foods to help increase their milk supply. There's no definitive evidence that any of these strategies work, but it is clear that the most important step in increasing milk supply is making sure that milk is being removed effectively and regularly from the breast." -- Sahira Long, MD, medical director, Children's Health Center at Anacostia, part of Children's National Health System, Washington, DC

Nurse as Often as Possible

"The key to increasing milk supply is nursing as often as you can. The more nursing a mother does, the more milk her body will make due to supply and demand." -- Skyler Gardner RN, BSN, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Use a High-Quality Breast Pump

"Breast pumps are not created equally and everyone responds to them differently. Invest in a good one!"

-- Leigh Anne O'Connor, IBCLC, lactation consultant in private practice, New York, NY

Add in Pumping Sessions

"Add in short pumping sessions once or twice a day (about 10 minutes of pumping) to help increase supply and save and store breast milk. It is important to stay well hydrated, and to drink water often, as dehydration can impact a mother's milk supply." -- Emily Silver, MS, NP-C, certified family nurse practitioner, co-owner of Boston NAPS, Boston, MA

Take a Nursing Holiday

"Stay an entire weekend in bed and just nurse constantly."

Feed and Pump at the Same Time

"I usually feed the baby on one side and pump on the other. I store any breast milk I don't use. It helps keep my supply up."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.