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How to increase breast milk. How to increase breast milk

Do you want to know everything about breast milk production?

We have answered all the most common questions about how to increase breast milk, the timing of secretion, and the factors that help increase lactation from the breast.


How to increase breast milk. How to increase breast milk
How to increase breast milk. How to increase breast milk

Breast milk production

The primary function of the female breast is to feed one or more babies at once.

Despite the false beliefs the shape and size of the breasts do not affect the production of milk in the slightest and from this it follows that all breasts are made to breastfeed.

The process of producing breast milk begins immediately after the expulsion of the placenta, at which time there is a sudden change of hormones in the breast body.

The emission of milk from the breast depends essentially on the secretion of hormones that give the signal to the nurse's body that the time has come to produce the precious liquid to feed the newborn;

the hormones in question are:

  • prolactin;

  • oxytocin.

Prolactin: lactation hormone

After childbirth, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease sharply and levels of prolactin (one of the hormones responsible for lactation) rise.

Prolactin is the hormone necessary for the production of milk from the breasts of the mother, in fact every time you breastfeed or squeeze milk from the breast the levels of prolactin rise rapidly in the breast blood activating the cells responsible for milk production.

This delicate mechanism occurs in all new mothers whether you want to breastfeed or do not want to breastfeed, in fact the to block breastfeeding pharmacologically you use a prolactin inhibitor.

Oxytocin and descent of breast milk

Once the milk is produced, the descent of the breast milk takes place

The success of breastfeeding depends essentially on the activation of the secretory reflex that causes the milk to descend from the nipples.

The secretory reflex of lactation is activated when the newborn begins to suck the nipples by stimulating the secretion of another important maternal hormone involved in lactation, oxytocin.

Oxytocin is responsible for the emission of the flow and the escape of milk from the tits since it determines the contraction of the cells surrounding the mammary alveolus causing the descent of milky secretion from the milk ducts.

Oxytocin like prolactin rises when the newborn begins to pacify the nipple during feeding but, unlike prolactin which needs more time to reach high levels, oxytocin has a very rapid peak causing its effects to be manifested already a few minutes after activation.

Mothers experience the increase in oxytocin because when they breastfeed the baby they feel the uterine contraction, the so-called uterine bites, as oxytocin also determines the contracture of the uterus.

Like prolactin alche, oxytocin can undergo changes in a positive or negative sense causing an increase or decrease in breast milk.

Stress, anxiety, pain and worry decrease oxytocin levels causing a decrease in milk production.

Conversely, the only contact with the newborn, smelling it, having a good night's sleep and relaxing arouse an increase in oxytocin and therefore greater milk production.

Drinking a hot herbal tea or indulging in a moment of well-being is useful to promote the production of milk.

When the production of breast milk begins

During the first hours after childbirth inside the mammary glands, the production of the first breast milk called colostrumisstarted, an extraordinary yellow secretion, produced in small quantities and precious because it is rich in nourishment.

During the start of lactation the newborn sucks colostrum and the sucking of the tit stimulates in the maternal body the increase in levels of prolactin which, as we have seen, is the hormone responsible for increasing milk production.

To promote milky whipped it is therefore essential to maintain high levels of circulating prolactin that rise only with the continuous and constant stimulation of the maternal nipple through the sucking of the baby or with the breast puller.

To have a good milk production it is necessary to attack the newborn already in the very first hours after delivery, if not even in the delivery room and do it continuously and constantly, whenever the newborn requires it.

Every time you breastfeed or stimulate the breast with breast pull the levels of prolactinrise, stimulate the production of milk by increasing the milk secretion.

Breast milk and stabilization of production

In order to stabilise milk production, it is necessary to establish the cycle of supply and demand that allows the production of continuous milk.

The newborn empties the breast, prolactin levels rise and the mammary glands produce new milk, the greater the demand, the greater the production.

If for any reason the newborn cannot stimulate the breast the lactation is inhibited then it is important to continue to stimulate the secretion of milk with the breast breast.

Prolactin levels rise more at night, in the absence of light and with rest, so mothers have the feeling that in the morning the breast is fuller, all thanks to the hormone prolactin.

How much milk does breast produce?

"How much milk does breast produce? Will I be able to feed the baby only with my milk?"

These are the questions that nursing mothers ask themselves, especially in the first days after giving birth after returning home.

Let us be clear.

Well, the breast is able to produce more milk than is necessary, and for this to happen it is essential to stimulate the breast from the first hours after delivery by frequently attacking the newborn to make it pacify from the nipple.

During the course of lactation breast milk will adapt its composition to meet the needs of the growing baby.

Amount of breast milk produced

Colostrum is the first milk secreted by the udder and is produced in very low quantities on average from 7 to 14 ml per feeding in the first 24 hours.

Colostrum is excreted in small quantities to allow the newborn to learn to ciucciare to the breast in a gentle and gradual way, also being very rich in nutrients the baby will not have any type of deficiency and it will not be necessary to offer other milk.

When the newborn learns to pacify correctly it stimulates the breast to produce more and more milk and after about 3, 4 days after giving birth there is the milky whipped, which consists of an abundant secretion of milk from the breast.

During the course of lactation the milk production is modeled to the appetite needs of the baby in relation to how much milk is killed.

On average the amount of milk produced remains constant from 550 to 1150 ml per day until the moment when weaning begins.

Time of production of breast milk

At lactation started a completely emptied udder at the end of feeding takes 2-3 hours to fill again with milk.

This data is confirmed by the fact that lactating mothers after about four hours without breastfeeding complain of pain and swelling in the udder.

To avoid a breast traffic jam it is good not to accumulate milk in the breast rather if the newborn skips the feeding better to manually empty the tit full of milk.

Differences in production between breasts

Differences in milk yield between one udder and another are not uncommon.

The difference in secretion is usually due to a different stimulation between the two breasts, for example many children show a preference of a tit and stick to it more frequently and more willingly.

The predilection for an udder is determined by many factors such as the number of pores from which milk comes out that is not the same from one nipple to another and usually babies prefer those who have a greater number.

To prevent one breast from being more swollen than the other, it is good to attach the newborn equally in both breasts in order to stimulate it adequately, especially in the first days after delivery.

There are rare cases when moms only breastfeed.

Decrease breast milk

There are factors that lower the production of breast milk and in particular inhibit the transition from colostrum to mature milk.

  • Smoke

  • Lactation inhibitor factor

  • Stress

  1. Smoking: a high consumption of tobacco leads to a lowering of prolactin levels in the first days after childbirth. Nicotine inhibits prolactin and therefore lactation.

  2. Lactation inhibitor factor or Fil, it is a protein contained in breast milk that inhibits the release of prolactin when milk is not removed from the breast. Basically when the breast is full of milk and is not emptied the protein is activated and blocks the production of milk waiting for the breast to be emptied. The rule therefore not to block the production of milk is never to fill the breast too much and therefore make frequent feedings especially in the first days after delivery.

  3. Stress such as little sleep, having a hectic life and not eating properly leads to a decrease in the production of oxytocin. Oxytocin is inhibited by stress so for new mothers it is necessary to relax and rest. A hot shower, an herbal tea or a good sleep dissolve the accumulated tensions and restore the hormonal balance favoring the production of breast milk.

How to increase breast milk

The production of breast milk can be positively influenced in order to promote a greater secretion of milk from the udder.

In order to increase milk production, it is necessary to encourage an increase in the levels of maternal lactation hormones such as

prolactin and oxytocin.

How to increase breastfeeding milk

  • Attach the newborn properly to the breast;

  • Increase the frequency of feedings;

  • Make long feedings and wait for the newborn to spontaneously break off from the nipple;

  • Breastfeed on request and breastfeed at night;

  • If there are long intervals between a feeding empty the breasts with the breast puller;

  • Relax and get enough sleep;

  • Feed properly.

A correct attachment of the newborn to the nipples allows you to efficiently stimulate the breast, an incorrect breast attack slows down milk production, since only an efficientsucking of the baby stimulates the milky sinusoids that are located under the areola of the breast.

The more you attach the newborn to the breast the more the breast is stimulated to the production of milk so an increase in feedings is the winning strategy to have plenty of breast milk.

The feeding must be long to allow the newborn to completely empty thebreast, then detach the newborn from the breast after ten minutes of sucking is wrong but it is necessary to wait for the newborn to spontaneously detach the breast before concluding feeding to or move to the other breast.

Night feedings are also very important, a too long interval between one feeding and another could decrease milk production because the breast body perceives the long interval as if the newborn needed less milk by slowing down its secretion.

The physiological decrease in milk occurs in the weaning period in which the newborn feeds not only on milk but also on solid and semi-solid foods.

If you expect too long an interval between feedings, extract the milk manually with a breast pull.

The production of breast milk is influenced by all those behaviors that make mom relax and make her feel rested and pampered.

Even the mere fact of taking a nap or taking a moment of relaxation while sipping a hot herbal tea contribute to increasing milk production.

Another element that determines the increase in the levels of oxytocin in the maternal blood is the newborn itself; its smell, its smile or simply the thought of the newborn make the hormone oxytocin increase by increasing milk production.

Finally, the feeding of the nursing mother must include all macro and micronutrients both for maternal needs and for milk production.

The diet of the lactating mother must include adequate portions of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates and foods rich in good nutrients and not junk food.

Last but not least, drink plenty of water and fluids to avoid dehydration.

Breastfeeding supplements

Opinions differ widely on the use of food supplements to promote milk production, because to date there are no data demonstrating real effectiveness or non-effectiveness in milk production.

However, it should be emphasized that breastfeeding supplements have a positive effect on maternal well-being, avoiding vitamin deficiencies that may arise with an incorrect diet.

Some supplements to increase lactation are enriched with natural galactogoghe substances used by our grandmothers to promote the increase in milk.

  • DHA;

  • Galega Officinalis;

  • Fennel;

  • Milk thistle

DHA and breastfeeding vitamins

DHA or docosahexaenoicacid, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid of the Omega-3 series that cannot be synthesized by the body and contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function,visual, growth and development.

DHA is mainly contained in fatty fish such as

anchovies, herring, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, sturgeon, trout and tuna.

Galega Officinalis is galattagoga and for millennia its properties have been exploited to increase milk production.

On the market there are supplements in pills with the dosed amount of galega useful to promote breast augmentation in breastfeeding.

Alternatively, the galega can be purchased at the pharmacy and used for the preparation of hot herbal teas.

Fennel, lactation supplements

Fennel is known to stimulate milk production in fact it contains anetole, a substance very similar to female estrogens capable of promoting galactogenesis.

Fennel can be consumed fresh, in herbal teas or in pills to be sure that the amount of anetulus is correct to favor the increase in milk.

Milk thistle

Milk thistle is the galactophore herb par excellence because it contains bioflavonoids and in particular flavonolignans,substances able to keep female hormones in balance, resulting in a constant production of milk.

In particular, milk thistle ensures that prolactin levels in the breast blood are constant so as to avoid the drop in milk.

For all breastfeeding supplements: click here

Well mom I hope to have answered all the questions about milk production, I remind you that for further clarification you can always write me in the comments, I will be happy to answer you.

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