I realized I needed to share this as I get asked a LOT —

“What have you done to increase your milk supply, especially for breastfeeding TWINS?”

Let me preface this by saying one thing…

Some women’s bodies are built in such a way they will naturally produce more. I once had a lactation consultant tell me that some women honestly don’t have the ducts/breast tissue to produce breast milk.

So, please know that if you try everything and don’t see an increase — you are NOT failing. You are never failing. The fact that you are trying everything under the sun to produce milk for your baby/babies is such an act of LOVE.

Give yourself grace and know you’re doing all that you can, and that is ENOUGH! 

My mom once told me that the healthiest kiddo in our family is my youngest brother, Grady. And you know what? He was a formula-fed baby (primarily) as he was adopted from Korea at the age of 4 months. 

So, yes, while breast milk has many benefits, so does formula. And breastmilk or formula, FED and LOVED are all that matter in my opinion! 

Caveat #2: not everything that works for me will work for you.

In fact, I had another lactation consultant tell me that the one thing that I noticed made the biggest difference in INCREASING my supply can potentially DECREASE supply for some!

That being said, talk to a lactation consultant, your OB, or a pediatrician before trying anything too drastic! 

I’m here to simply share what has worked well for ME to increase MY supply and exclusively breastfeed my twins so far (now 6 months) as well as my other kiddos (until 9 months, 10 months, and 1 year respectively). I stopped with my first 2 early as I was about to enter new IVF cycles and was told I could no longer be breastfeeding. Thankfully, I had frozen milk to get them both to almost a full year on breast milk!

My best tip to increase milk supply: act early & control the controllable! 

I’m namely talking about controlling my nutrition, my water intake, and pumping. But let’s talk specifics...

1. Nutrition: This is numero uno!

You need ENOUGH calories (an additional 500/baby while breastfeeding) from your baseline — and this does not take into account your activity level!

You need the RIGHT calories (aka nutrient-dense). If you're consuming too few calories or you have a sudden drop in your caloric intake, your supply can suffer. Make sure you know how much protein, carbs, fats, etc. you need per day. This was huge for me — I had no idea I needed more servings than I was consuming (particularly fats and protein).

Thankfully, my nutrition program has a built-in calculator that incorporates breastfeeding to help me know exactly what I need each day! My program doesn’t count calories, but be sure you know what RANGE of calories you should be consuming based on your body weight and goal (weight loss or maintenance, or, perhaps, weight GAIN?) 

2. Water, water, water: H2O intake is critical! 

Keep water at your nightstand and bring it everywhere you go — SERIOUSLY. When I see a dip, I almost always realize I haven’t had enough water that day prior! Need some tips to get more water? Take a peek at this blog I shared! 

The goal for everyone is 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day and even more if breastfeeding! I typically get 80+ ounces a day!

3. Eat those galactagogues — foods known to boost supply.

I consume many of these daily including oats, spinach, carrots, garlic, chia/flaxseed, almonds, sweet potato, brown rice, salmon, and good fats/oils — YES, that includes peanut butter! But here are some of my favorites...

  • Oatmeal with chia seeds — there’s a rarely a day I don’t have oatmeal as I LOVE it, and both oats and chia seeds have been shown to boost supply. (Check out my favorite overnight oat recipes!)
  • Red and orange root veggies — Carrots, for example! These are a staple in my day — raw or roasted. Delicious and also shown to help boost breastmilk supply! 
  • Garlic — I toss garlic (fresh or powdered) on roasted veggies... like those carrots I mentioned above, which is a win-win! Garlic is another food shown to help boost supply.
  • Nuts — I have nut butter in EVERYTHING. My shakes. My oatmeal. On rice cakes. Honestly, it’s a great fat and delicious! (See my review on the best and worst brands!)
  • Seeds — Chia, hemp, and flax, which are all in my daily shake. These superfoods have been clinically proven to have lactogenic properties.
  • Ashwagandha — I didn’t realize this was a milk booster but also happens to be in my daily shake! Studies show it helps to decrease stress in the body which helps increase endurance and energy, all of which help keep supply up (we all know stress plays a huge role in our body’s health).

4. Feed frequently and pump early!

I pumped after every feed the first few weeks. My milk came in quickly and my supply rose. Now, I pump after the 1st morning feed only (usually 5-6 am) when my supply is the highest so I can stock up! Remember, it's all about supply and demand. The more they feed (or you pump), the more your body produces! Before they were sleeping longer stretches, this sometimes meant I pumped in the middle of the night — do what works for you (but also get sleep!)

5. SLEEP — Sleep is critical.

Stress can cause a dip in supply and lack of sleep is stressful on your body. Easier said than done, I know, but nap if you can. Take others up on the offer to do a night feed so you can sleep. Do what you can to be rested! 

6. Try different supplements... but ask your doctor first!

The 1st supplement I’d recommend checking out is FenugreekOregon’s Wild Harvest Fenugreek has worked incredibly well for me. I do 3 capsules 2x daily. That’s just my personal use, so chat with your provider if you need a recommendation on dosing!

But be warned — you will smell like MAPLE SYRUP (I’m not even joking, I swear — that is when you know you’re taking enough!) But this truly has been one of the things that has helped me SO SO much! I think I could do without most other things, and this is the one thing I honestly wouldn’t consider stopping, it’s helped me that much! 

The 2nd supplement is Moringa (check out this one I've taken), which my lactation consultant called the “hot” supplement right now for boosting milk supply— and guess what? It’s also already in my superfood shake I drink daily! 

I know I’ve mentioned my daily shake multiple times... but that is because it is PACKED with superfoods, antioxidants, and adaptogens that have all shown to have a profound impact on supply, and I just want to be honest about sharing with you what has worked for me!

Shakeology For Breastfeeding

If you’re interested in trying my shake you can order a 30-day supply here! And it has a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee (which is totally hassle-free!) so if you don’t love it you can get a refund!

7. Get yourself some Mother’s Milk tea.

I’ve heard other mamas swear by Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk Tea, and does it make a difference? I’m not entirely sure, but I love having it in the morning as a warm drink, so, might as well, right?! I’m a tea drinker, anyway! 

8. Try Mrs. Patels brand products! 

On occasion, I love using Mrs. Patel’s Lactation Treats, with Milk Water Tea (similar taste to chai tea and so good!), with some Munch Crunch Lactation Sprinkles! (Promise, not sponsored, just LOVE these things once in a while as a treat! Ha!)

9. Brewer’s Yeast (though, honestly wasn’t good for me!)

Brewer’s Yeast works well for many mamas (and they love to make lactation bites with it), but when I tried it before and I had some GI upset (apparently not uncommon). So, just use it with caution!

10. Try different lactation boosting recipes!

There are many recipe ideas for boosting supply (I haven’t tried these specifically, but they look great!): Note the key ingredients are oats, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed (as mentioned above as good galactagogues).

No-Bake Lactation Bites from The Baker Mama
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies from Rebooted Mom

Lastly, I should mention this... 

As a Health & Fitness Coach, I see a lot of moms who begin their postpartum journey and see a dip in supply… are you in the same boat?

Milk supply can decrease for several reasons, but often for women who workout it’s due to insufficient caloric intake OR losing weight too quickly.

Remember, you’re already burning an additional 500 calories/day breastfeeding 1 baby! So, when you add exercise, you must account for those calories.

Please read this blog for more info on working out while breastfeeding!

I’m happy to help you find the right plan for you as you begin your postpartum journey. Feel free to email me at shannon@shannonleach.com

Increasing milk supply while breastfeeding