10 Tips To Boost Your Breastmilk Production

1. Start as early as possible
ELO, early latch on or in Indonesia known as IMD (inisiasi menyusui dini) is the best way to start breastfeeding and filling the supply earlier. But there’s no fuss if you didn’t have the chance to perform it right after the labour. I never have one with my three labours, and still manage to have enough supply of breastmilk. The key is to start as early as possible, although not as early as an hour after labour.

With my last baby, I started 2 hours after labour. And it surprised me that by the third day, I get a full breast. Usually, day 3 was when the supply just starts to flow.

Note: don’t think about the supply yet. Just start nursing. Your baby won’t necessarily need breastmilk until at least 2×24 hours. When s/he cries, s/he needs to nurse to bond to you. Crying is not always about hunger.

2. A good latch on
At your first times nursing your baby, quantity is not the issue. Babies brought their own food supply from the womb that will last until day 3 of their life. So stop worrying about how much milk you can produce, and whether baby is crying because of hunger. Force it out of your mind, if you can’t stop thinking about it.

Focus and concentrate on learning how to latch on. The faster you can master this, the bigger chance your supply can reach year two. Good latch on also mean less pain. It minimizes cracked nipples and swollen breast because milk-ducts are less likely to get blocked.

3. Have a rest
Yes, this sounds like a luxury for a new mom, moreover with another child around and no assistant. But when somehow you manage to steal an hour or two to get some cozy sleep without any disturbance from your baby or child(ren), you will get a fresh spirit for the rest of the day. A good mood means good breast milk supply.
Try to hand over your baby to the father, or maybe your mom when visiting.

4. Eat more
Producing breast milk needs a lot calories. 500 calories are burned each time you nurse. So you definitely need adequate replacement for the lost calories to make sure that breast milk is produced in the same pace as the demand. During breastfeeding phase, you will need more nutrition than in pregnancy. Your appetite may be doubled or tripled during breastfeeding. It is quite normal, but you should keep monitoring your body weight, especially if you are the type that gains weight quickly. It’s going to be quite an effort to lose the weight back to pre-pregnancy weight.
Protein-rich foods, either animal-based or vegetable-based, usually helps to maximize breast milk supply. Try to put some nuts (kacang panjang, kacang hijau, kacang merah, buncis), in your daily diet. Or you can mix them with red meat, white meat, or seafood. Just make sure that your baby doesn’t have any allergic reaction to them.

5. Drink more
Breast milk. Liquid matters. So you definitely need a lot of liquid intake to keep them flowing. When you feel your production is slowing, try to drink a lot of water. Try two or three litres per day. Referring to point 4 about protein-rich intake, try drinking cowmilk (actually any animal-milk will do) to boost. For some mom, warm liquid also helps to ease them reaching LDR (let down reflex).

6. Nurse more
Breastfeeding is about demand and supply. If you get it emptied often, it will get filled often.
Direct nursing, gives stimulation to reach LDR, and in turn it will help produce more breast milk. Ignore the empty feeling at the breast. Feeling empty doesn’t mean it is really empty. By keep giving ‘empty’ breast, it will send the information that it needs more supply. But do remember to switch between breast to balance the production.

7. Pump
There will be a time when you need to empty a full, hard, and painful breast but your baby seems to sleep with a peaceful face (and sometime they even smile in their sleep!). Having no heart to wake your baby up, then it’s time to use your breast pump. Full and hard breast will also make it harder for the baby to latch-on. They will become cranky and fussy, and even harder to latch-on. If this happens, pump some milk out until the breast get a bit softer.
You can also use it to empty one breast while nursing with the other one. This is believed to help boosting both breast’s production.

8. Have a peaceful mind
Some said that breastfeeding is mind game. When you believe you can breastfeed, then you just can. When you believe you have enough breast milk to supply until your baby is two years old, then it’s going to be enough. On the contrary, when you doubt you can stay breastfeeding until your baby reach his second birthday, the production will start to slow down a few months before your ‘target’. It also happen when you start to wean your baby. When you think it’s time to stop, then it starts to stop.

So, stay positive. Say to yourself that you will keep breastfeeding no matter what. Nothing can stop you. Not even one or hundreds negative words from people around you. You can, and you surely will. Don’t think what if you fail. But think that you surely going to success. (I think I start to sound like those million rupiahs motivation seminars :D).

This point is also about your current thought. If you are having hectic times at work, production might slow down. If you currently have some unsolved problems, it might also disturb the production. Try to relax a bit when you are breastfeeding or pumping. Put away your unfinished business for a moment. Think about relaxing places or activity. Or…

9. Think about your baby
To some people, thinking about their baby can make LDR suddenly sparks up. Thinking about his laughter, the precious moments with him. With me, I usually get my LDR when my baby runs his fingers through my skin. When he touches me, it gives me the shiver that make LDR starts.

10. Find professional or experienced help
When everything else fails, maybe it’s time to ask some professional opinion. Sometime these experienced practitioners can see what we can’t. But still, what you think is right is usually right. Because you are the mother of your baby. Do not hesitate to find other (second or third or more) opinion if you find that the earlier advice doesn’t seem right for you and your baby.

image pro.corbis.com

48 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. May I Add / elaborate more on Point number 6?
    Especially for Working Mom, Just be sure to prioritize Direct Nursing. Don’t mind your empty breast. When you feel empty, it’s a HOAX don’t gave up on your “Empty feeling”. There’s some good milk inside. :D
    No matter how late or early you came home from work, go take a warm shower and rush to breastfeed your baby. This will stimulate demand and supply.
    Breastfeed your baby fulltime when you’re at home. Store your baby bottles in storage bin every weekend and every time you are at home with your baby.


    Most likely (based on my personal survey), when we delivered our baby by sectio (cesar), breastmilk found difficulties to burst out right away. BUT, NO WORRIES!!!!! It doesn’t mean U can’t breastfeed your new born baby.

    IF U are confident and confident and confident, ASI will start to flow, EVEN OVERFLOW thereafter. We (me & my baby) were suffering (I was so panic and in bad pain & my son was sooo hungry) until my breastmilk started to flow on Day 3, we were such a solid team, never surrender to this kind of situation.

    I’m a working mom, have 4 hours back and forth in traffic jam, mome-office-home. STOP BREASTPUMP @ Office when my son was 15 months.. Gak terasa, next month (Feb 2010), Insya Allah, my son will celebrate his S-3 graduation (ASI for 2 years ^_*). Manfaat nya, banyaaaak banget, jarang ktm om/tante dokter, and diet alamiah buat akyu coz dari naik 20 kg, skrg tinggal 4 kg, cateeeet, tanpa ngurangin porsi makan, apalagi diet, NO NEED

    Dear any breastfeed mommy, U CAN DO IT AS WELL, koq ^_^

  3. Selain peaceful mind, intinya juga harus PD kayanya ya Kir. Confident that we can and we will produce enough milk for our baby dan tutup kuping atas komentar komentar orang disekitar yang kurang supportive (atau mungkin karena terganggu sama tangisan bayi kita).

  4. Bener kata Hanzky. Confidence is a must! Gue dari jaman hamil, udah baca-baca tentang ASI Eksklusif dan mengindoktrinasi diri sendiri bahwa gue akan bisa memproduksi ASI yang dibutuhkan anak gue kelak, bahwa ASI gue akan cukup hingga anak gue nggak butuh sufor, bahwa setelah lahir nanti, bayi akan kuat tidak minum ASI/sufor selama 3 hari pertama dalam hidupnya karena ia membawa makanan dari dalam rahim.

    Unfortunately, pas anak gue lahir, confidence gue rada-rada terganggu. Biasalah, suami, keluarga dan semua orang yang jenguk, pasti tanya almost every minute and every hour “Gimana, ASI-nya udah keluar?” Ditambah, anak gue kudu disinar karena kuning pas hari kedua dia lahir. Ini cukup stressful lho, secara ASI gue belum ngocor, baru cuma kolustrum aja yg keluar. Ugh, betee banget! Untung adik gue masih menyusui dan gue bisa minta 1-2 botol ASI perahnya untuk jaga-jaga. Jadi, selama gue sibuk mengkondisikan mood dan berusaha memerah ASI sekuat tenaga, gue ada ASIP cadangan supaya anak gue nggak kehausan :-)

    Oh ya, jangan lupa untuk mengenyahkan stres dari pikiran ya Ibu-Ibu. Soalnya seperti yang dibilang Jengkir di atas, breastfeeding is a mind game. Kalo pikiran kita rada-rada terganggu dgn stress, rasa tidak pede, dll, suplai pun akan terganggu. Good luck with your breastfeeding, Mommies!

  5. bundakuw, wow saluuutt!!
    kalo soal post sesar, kayaknya ‘keterlambatan’ produksi asi juga karena setelah sesar ga bisa langsung belajar menyusui ya. ada jeda 1-2hr recovery yg mungkin menghambat proses belajar. selang2 n kabel2 monitor mungkin belum bole dilepas, gerak juga belum maksimal. kalo normal kan bisa langsung.
    walo sesar terakhir kemaren lepas dari ruang observasi saya langsung bisa belajar menyusui soalnya saya minta prosedur bius total yg biasa dikasi post sesar (alasannya supaya ibu bisa istirahat, tapi kayaknya bikin makin lama bisa aktif setelahnya deh), itu diskip. jadi setelah sejam bengong di ruang observasi + segala pritilan proses, selang 2 jam udah bisa mulai belajar menyusui.

    ooo kebanyakan i yaaa? :D
    thanks revisinya yaa

    iya, sebenernya artikel ini lebih buat yg udah bisa nyusui beberapa minggu, terus tau-tau produksi menurun. biasanya waktu-waktu ini sebenernya udah confident, tapi entah gimana omongan kanan kiri bikin beban pikiran. atooo mulai masuk kerja lagi. makanya lebih ditekankan ke faktor-faktor diluar itu kek ira bilang sih.

    ira, iyaa…
    tulisan ini lebih kek step 2 dari “sukses menyusui” :D.
    kita udah PD kok. tapi kenapa masi kurang, kenapa masi mampet…nah disini (hopefully) bisa ke review lagi mungkin ada yg selip dari step 1-nya.
    biasanya step 1 udah dari baca2 pas hamil, tapi karena belum sampe di prakteknya jadi lupa ato ngga ngeh.
    naahh…di step 2 ini bener kata lo ir, confident udah kegabung ama stress, kepikiran, kerjaan, dsb, makanya gue rangkum di peaceful mind.

  6. sedikit tambahan buat point no 7.. pengalaman gue di awal2 menyusui, penting juga untuk mendisiplinkan buat massage, pompa sebagian susu (karena anak masih doyan tidur) biar ga mastitis. sempet kena mastitis, dan baca2 kalo dampaknya mastitis bisa parah juga (dioperasi bagian yg kena abses) dan ujung2nya ga bisa menyusui di bagian yg terkena or produksinya menurun.

  7. Oh ya, gue kelupaan Jengkir. Bener kata mia, jangan lupa untuk rajin massage. Payudara gue dulu sampe pernah keras tapi susah dipompa. Ternyata, setelah ke Klinik Laktasi Carolus, gue disuruh kudu rajin massage. Trus juga, perhatikan cara memompa dan memerah ASI yang baik dan benar ya. Untuk memompa pake pompa Medela mini electric, gue diajarin Mbak2 di Pusat Service Center Medela di Kelapa Gading utk memulai dgn speed paling rendah dulu. Setelah terlihat ada ASI yang menetes, baru speed dinaikkan. Jangan main hajar aja pake speed paling kenceng. I did that, and my breasts were swollen and hurt like hell! :-(

  8. Dan sering-sering sharing sama sesama ibu menyusui yg lain baik yg udah sukses menyusui maupun yg masih sama2 berjuang..kaya ikutan di forumnya mommiesdaily di thread brestfeeding bener2 bikin semangat tuh!infonya jg banyak..
    Dari awal mulai belajar nyusuin setelah lahiran sampe sekarang anak gw udh umur 3bln gw selalu sharing ke temen2 forum..seneng kan kalo ada temen seperjuangan atau temen yg bs kasih semangat..
    Bln depan gw udah masuk kantor lg pas anak gw umur 4bln..mudah2an bisa terus ngelanjutin full ASInya setelah ngantor lg..semangat!!:D

  9. Nambahiiin ya Kiir…
    Dapet suggestion dari Carolus, mulai kehamilan 30 minggu, udah harus sering massage. Jadi sebelum melahirkan, payudara udah di-prepare jadi pabrik susu. It worked on my best friend. 2 hari sebelum melahirkan, ASI nya sampe tumpah-tumpah. Dipompa sama dia. Jadi begitu lahir, suster2 RS ga bisa ngojok2in ngasih susu botol :D Wong persediaan udah ada.

  10. Nambahiiin ya Kiir…
    Dapet suggestion dari Carolus, mulai kehamilan 30 minggu, udah harus sering massage. Jadi sebelum melahirkan, payudara udah di-prepare jadi pabrik susu. Yang paling gue inget, teknik banting (seriously) :|

    It worked on my best friend. 2 hari sebelum melahirkan, ASI nya sampe tumpah-tumpah. Dipompa sama dia. Jadi begitu lahir, suster2 RS ga bisa ngojok2in ngasih susu botol :D Wong persediaan udah ada.

  11. dewdew,
    Gue tau tuhhh tehnik bantiiiing! *ngakak* Tapi kl ASI tumpah2 itu kayaknya emang beda2 tiap orang deh dew. Soalnya gue jg udah rajin mijet dari sebelum melahirkan dan gak pake tumpah2 tuh. Malahan baru keluar ASI-nya di hari ke-3. Dan gue pernah baca jg katanya ASI tumpah2 itu nggak menentukan ‘di dalemnya’ ASInya banyak apa enggak. Jadi emang ada orang2 yg ASI-nya sering leaking, ada yg enggak. Kl gue termasuk yg jarang bgt bocor, even waktu Aluf lg sering2nya maraton nyusu, ASI gue palingan cuma 2-3 kali ‘bocor’.

    Minum air putih yg banyak bener2 pengaruh tuh. Dulu pas jaman mompa di kantor, gue sering bgt tiba2 hasil asip-nya menurun, trus gue akalin pake minum air putih segelas gede bbrp menit sebelum mompa dan banyak lagi deh :)

  12. dewi, halahh tinggal bikin ini adeknya rheina :D

    mia, ira, dewdew, personal banget emang pengalaman nyusuin yaa…
    gw mungkin yg termasuk jarang sampe yang keras gitu. mungkin sekitar 2-3x aja selama periode nyusuin. biasanya kejadian kalo abis jalan2. anak gue modelnya kalo diajak jalan2 banyak bobonya ketimbang kalo dirumah aja. jadi kemungkinan kalo pas jalan, selain jadwal nyusu kelewatan, tekanan carrier/sling ke daerah pundak & dada kayaknya bikin rada mampet juga. kalo hari2 biasa ngga sampe gitu sih.

    makanya gue juga ngga terlalu strict sama massage. paling massagenya kalo pas udah mampet itu, buat ngelancarin aja.
    lagipula kok kalo massage doang gue ngga terlalu ngerasa efeknya ya? lebih mantep disusuin sampe bener2 kosong baru bisa ilang benjolan2 kerasnya.

    senorita, iya betuull…kumpulnya ama yg motivasi ASI aja ketimbang pusing ama yg bawel bilang asi kurang :D

    lita, jus pare ROCKS! yaakk wahahaha. salut dah ama lo!

    affi, bocor ato engga yg penting cukup kan yaa…
    katanya kalo minum banyak n anget lebih cepet LDR ya fi?

  13. waduh…pengalaman mommies di sini keren2 abis dech…bikin iri…
    ASI qu baru keluar hari ke 4 setelah melahirkan n gak terlalu banyak….semenjak masuk kerja waktu anak masih umur 2 bulan produksi ASI menurun banget mulai dari 100 cc sampe 1 bulan terakhir cuma dapet paling 1 sendok makan aja. Padahal masih pengen loh kasih ASI.
    sampai suatu hari ada orang kasih tau minum “moloco” biar ASInya banyak….nah saya lagi coba nich…mumpung anaknya blm umur 6 bulan.
    Ada cara lain gak moms?????

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