Tips and Strategies for Boosting Milk Production: How to Get the Results

Many new mothers often wonder how they can maximize their milk production. Whether it's due to a supply issue or a desire to increase breast milk, there are various strategies that can be employed. While some methods might work better for certain mothers, there are universal tips that can benefit everyone.

Effective Approaches

One effective approach is nursing frequently. This stimulates milk production and ensures that the baby receives an adequate supply. Crucial to this is ensuring the baby latches on correctly, as an incorrect latch can decrease milk production. Other recommendations include staying well hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet, and getting adequate rest. Herbs and supplements like fenugreek and blessed thistle are also beneficial.

Factors Influencing Milk Production

  • Demand and Feeding Patterns: More frequent feedings can boost production. A lactation consultant can assist in establishing a feeding schedule.
  • Diet and Body Composition: A mother's weight and diet impact milk production. A balanced diet with ample fluids is key.
  • Health Conditions and Medications: Certain conditions and medications can affect milk production, requiring consultation with healthcare providers.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Smoking and alcohol consumption negatively impact milk production. Reducing intake can enhance production.
  • Breast Surgery and Birth Control: These can affect milk production and should be discussed with a doctor.

Strategies to Enhance Milk Supply

  • Frequent Breastfeeding: Ideally 8 to 12 times per day, ensuring proper latch.
  • Using a Breast Pump: Pumping after breastfeeding, including double pumping, can enhance production.
  • Skin-to-Skin Contact: This stimulates hormone release, encouraging milk production.
  • Diet and Hydration: A balanced diet and staying hydrated are essential.
  • Herbs and Supplements: Fenugreek and certain medications can increase supply.
  • Power Pumping: A method involving cycles of pumping and resting.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

  • Diet: A balanced diet is essential for lactating mothers.
  • Stress: Minimizing stress through relaxation techniques is crucial.
  • Breastfeeding Support: Seeking help from lactation consultants or healthcare professionals.
  • Breast Surgery: Discussing past surgeries with healthcare providers.
  • Positioning and Latching: Ensuring the baby is correctly positioned and latched.
  • Supplementation: Consulting healthcare providers for necessary supplementation.
  • Medication Side Effects: Discussing impacts with healthcare providers.
  • Tongue Tie: Assessing and addressing tongue tie in babies.

Seeking Guidance from Medical Experts

It's beneficial for mothers to seek advice from doctors and lactation consultants, especially those with existing medical conditions or challenges. Consulting with experts can provide tailored strategies for both milk production optimization and individual health concerns. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) offer evidence-based recommendations for maximizing milk production.

Questions? Email Jack Newman at, or Edith Kernerman at or consult: Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding (called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers in the USA) or our DVD, Dr. Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding; or The Latch Book and Other Keys to Breastfeeding Success; or L-eat Latch & Transfer Tool, or the GamePlan for Protecting and Supporting Breastfeeding in the First 24 Hours of Life and Beyond.  See our website at  To make an appointment email and respond to the auto reply or call 416-498-0002. 

Handout, Protocol to Increase Breastmilk Intake May 2008
Written and Revised by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC 1995-2005
Revised by Edith Kernerman, IBCLC and Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC © 2008

 This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission,
on the condition that  it is not used in any context that violates
the International WHO Code on The Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes


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