How to increase milk production

I’ve written a few posts about increasing your milk production, but now that my babies are 14 months and I’m no longer nursing, in hindsight here’s what I’ve learned that worked from easy always on tricks to more extreme options.

Thing about breastfeeding… You produce tomorrow what you produced today.Therefore everyday you need to produce a little more. There’s no real way to boost it over night. At every pump and each nursing session you want to try and produce a little more and sustain it.

What worked for me

  • Water water water water water – 150 ounces a day. I wish I was kidding. Drink up, especially right before you nurse. Have a tall glass of water before baby latches. Try and do this every time. Your body will start to associate it when nursing and let down faster.
  • Oatmeal. I’d eat oatmeal in the morning for breakfast, then have a Oatmeal Cliff bar later in the day.
  • Fenugreek. It’s a supplement that helps with boosting your supply. Read the back, as each brand is different to see how many you should take a day. The brand I took required 3 a day.
  • Protein. Burgers, Chicken, Pork. Something at every meal.
  • Snack through out the day. Keep your energy levels up.
  • Pump after each time you breastfeed, especially at night if you can. I found I produced the most milk at night. You want to make sure you’re empty on both sides after each session.

If you are having a really tough time trying to increase milk production then here are more extreme measures:

  • Cluster pump – Pump for 10 minutes wait 10-20 minutes, pump again over the course of an hour. You’ll need to do this for a few days to sustain it at the same time everyday. I pumped the most after babies went to sleep for the night. No point in sitting on the pump for an hour. It’s a lot slower. Best to let your body replenish and cluster.
  • Pacify: I used to just plop in front of the TV, put on a favorite show, and just let baby girl nurse/pacify until bed. Could have been up to 2 hours sometimes.
  • Pump for a minute before she nurses. This will cause you to let down faster when baby goes to latch, and that’s one extra minute of milk you produced at that session.
  • Because I started so late in the game in using these tactics I basically ended up pumping every two hours like clock work. Sometimes a baby would nurse at that time, but when I switched to 100% bottle feeding, I did everything I could to never miss a pump. A hand pump helps with this so you can easily pump on the go. If you’re driving or in the car a lot you can also get a power adaptor so you can use your electric pump in the car.
  • Catch the letdown. When you letdown, both sides go regardless of which side a baby is attached to. You can use your free hand to hold your funnel and bottle that you you use for pumping. Iff you’re really desperate and every drop really counts you can catch the letdowns all day with cups that sit in your bra
  • . Just make sure you empty them often otherwise you’ll end up wearing it

I know this is a lot of information about how to increase milk production. Start with the less extreme options. Drink and eat lots and pump after each session.

All in all… breath. Stress and adrenaline will make it harder. The more relaxed you can be the easier you both will find it. Find a comfortable spot. Listen to audio books, music, or watch a favorite TV show.

Tidbit: DIY baby food

Why you should DIY baby food

I just bought five bananas, a pound of string beans, four pears, and 4 avocados for $10. This will make enough food for two 6 month olds, who are on three meals a day for x amount of days. That’s less than a dollar a day.

DIY baby food is so easy. Clean, chop, steam, blend, freeze. For butternut squash you’ll want to bake in water for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F instead of steaming. For bananas and avocado no need to steam. When going to serve add a little water, formula, or breastmilk to thin it out and make it easier to eat and digest.

New Parents – Govern from instinct

As a new parent, last week was ROUGH. Every night there was a different problem and I ended up staying up from 2 – 6 for 3 nights in a row.

This lead me to hit the internet and see what I SHOULD be doing to get them sleeping through the night.

Everything I read for new parents said they SHOULD be on a schedule. They SHOULD not be swaddled to self pacify. They SHOULD be napping 2 hours at a time. They SHOULD be falling asleep without you.

Well… they are doing none of these things and I’ve been trying so hard to force them into it. For weeks now I’ve done nothing but troubleshoot their naps and figuring out why they’re only napping for 30-40 minutes. Or why it’s takes us a half hour to even get baby E to lay down in the first place. And why they’re still waking up at least once sometimes twice a night. What are we doing wrong?!?!?


We are doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Last week was just rough and probably because I kept moving the goal post on them trying every which way to get them on a schedule.

It’s time to let go and have them tell us what they need rather then forcing them into what we think they need.

There is no schedule. They sleep when they’re tired. They eat when they’re hungry.

The only thing that works for us is a morning and nighttime ritual. Each morning, they get up with Damien. He changes them, feeds them and goes on walk. At night, I give them a bath, make them a bottle, rock them, and put them to bed. This really just helped them figure out their days and nights. Otherwise the rest of the day is a crap shoot.

My advice to you, new parents; breath and watch for their cues; eating their hands, rubbing their eyes, or arching their backs.

You have really good instincts. Find what your strengths are as parents and tag team. Maybe one is better at feeding and the other at getting them down for naps.

Work together.

Trust yourselves.

You got this.

Boosting milk supply when pumping for twins

When a friend of mine had her baby she produced so much breast milk she was able to donate ounces upon ounces to a milk bank. I’ve had a really tough time boosting my milk supply. I’m only pumping 15 ounces a day, which isn’t enough to feed Baby Boy who generally is only bottle fed. I have to supplement with formula – you can read about THAT struggle here. So I turned to a friend about boosting milk supply advice.

My initial methods when boosting milk supply

I try and pump every two hours, especially in the evening and through the night.

I take Fenugreek supplement.

I try not to cry on a regular basis when I only pump 2 ounces in a single sitting.

Help in boosting milk supply

When called my friend for advice and she said,

Pretend your feeding triplets

How do I do that?!

She told me a few things that worked for her, most of which I put in place and has helped me… right now, I just pumped 4.5 ounces – Double what I normally pump.

  • Oatmeal: Eat a lot of it
  • Water: Drink a lot of it
  • Pump a lot: Even right before you breastfeed, just for a hot second

Water was already a given. I drink a ton of that all day.

However I have added oatmeal to my everyday regime.

I used to worry about pumping before breastfeeding because I thought it took Baby Girl so much longer to eat then, when in reality it doesn’t matter. Now I pump every two hours. Sometimes that’s right before she feeds, sometimes it’s right after, sometimes it’s an hour after. The times I’ve pumped before seemed to really boost my supply. For instance, I pumped at 1AM one night, and she woke up unexpectedly. She was able to nurse with out any problems and the next night I pumped double what I pumped the night before.

Finally, the most recent thing I read was about Cluster Feeding. I thought this happened to fill babies bellies so they’d sleep longer. This is part of it, but really it’s to boost your milk supply. Since I read this, I have once again changed my routine, and I basically strap Baby Girl to me and let her nurse for almost 4 hours straight. I’ve done this two nights in a row, and I feel like I’m starting to see the benefits.

Out of everything I’ve tried cluster feeding and pumping before a feeding seem to be helping. I’m just starting to see the effects and looking forward to stocking the freezer in the coming weeks.

How have you boosted your milk supply?

All my best,

Cluster feeding with twins

Starting at 3PM my babies fill their bellies, then continue to top up every hour on the hour until bed time. This is called a cluster feeding. I used to tandem breastfeed at this time. I’d plop on the couch from three until 7 and just let them eat all evening long, but a few things happened:

  1. Full: Breastfeeding takes time to fill their bellies, sometimes up to 45 minutes. They don’t want to wait this long. They want to be full quicker.
  2. Spit up: When tandem breastfeeding I need to lay them down on MyBrestFriend pillow, which I no longer can do because thanks to bottle feeding Baby Boy was a “Happy Spitter”. If we sit him up when we feed him and keep him up 10-20 minutes after a bottle he doesn’t spit up much or at all.
  3. Slow flow: They don’t want to do the work to cause let downs. They want milk to flow fast immediately.

Because of these, cluster feeding time got frustrating for me and babies quickly.

I needed a new routine.

Cluster feeding routine

4PM – 5PM: I kick off the cluster feeding downstairs while watching a TV show. I first try and start with breastfeeding, but Baby Girl gets annoyed the minute my initial supply runs out which is about 2.5 ounces and is officially angry for the the next hour.

5PM – 5:30PM: To reset her (and myself for that matter) I give both babies a bath if it’s bath night or go for a quick walk with my husband so we can carry them.

5:30PM – 6:30PM Then we retire to their room where I pump up the heat and keep them in diapers for skin to skin time. I then feed them on demand with bottles. Sometimes both at the same time, or I alternate, picking each baby up and holding them.

If I feed them at the same time, I sit them up on the floor resting against a pillow so that they’re not laying flat and get bottles of breast milk into their mouths as quickly as possible. They chug pretty much at the same rate so I burp them at the same time.

We’ll finish up the cluster feeding shenanigans just hanging out on the floor in their room on their favorite blankets with the feeding pillow and bottles at the ready. I created a playlist for them while I was pregnant and I’ll play that while we tummy time and hangout.

6:30PM – 7PM: I’ll put them in their pjs, turn the lights down, and read them a book (feeding them intermittently of course). By seven, I’ll have them in their sleep sacs and rock them for a few minutes before putting them down. If necessary I’ll breastfeed them before they fall asleep to top them up.

The results

Thanks to this new cluster feeding routine Baby Girl will sleep for 5-6 hours in that first stint then 2.5 – 3 following. Baby Boy’s unpredictable, but on a good night he’ll sleep 4-5 hours between feedings.

I’m sure this will change now that it’s working. The babies behavior will dictate the need. But for now, at week 8 this has worked well.

Do your babies cluster feed? What’s your process? Share your story in the comments below.

All my best,

Breastfeeding Basket

My mom was here the first weekend the twins were born and she did the most genius thing while I learned breastfeeding.

I hate eating. It feels like a chore. I always ate bare minimum to get by, but when breastfeeding I couldn’t live this way. My milk supply would not allow it.

My mom knows this, so she went to Whole Foods and stocked a basket chock full of energy bars and snacks. This basket follows me around the house as I nurse. Over time the basket took form and I began to add to it, like vitamins, nipple cream, and more.

The Breastfeeding Basket complete list

  • Cliff bars – These ended up being my favorite of what my mom bought especially the chocolate chip mint.
  • Honey Stingers – I used these during labor to keep my energy up. They’re a great quick snack to keep you going.
  • Nipple Cream – Lansinoh was bought for me by a friend who is a breastfeeding master.
  • Prenatal vitamins – Our baby doctor recommended I keep taking these.
  • Fenugreek supplement – This is great in boosting your milk supply.
  • Hand sanitizer – Great to have on hand especially after changing a dirty diaper.
  • Burp cloth – These seem to disappear regularly usually room to room, so I just keep one in my basket now.
  • Pumping hands free bra – I can’t keep all my pumping gear in the basket as it needs to get sanitized often, but I do keep the bra in the basket just so I know where it is.
  • EOS Lip Balm – Mostly because I have one of these in every pocket, purse, and drawer so why not my nursing basket too.
  • Disposable bra pads – Milk everywhere, all over me, all the time. These help mop of the mess after nursing and keep my nipples dry as I let down when a baby isn’t attached.

What would you put in your basket? Did I miss anything to consider? Let me know in the comments below.

All my best,

Tandem breastfeed – What works for me

Before you dive in… note, when I tandem breastfeed this usually works for me and maybe once or twice a day I do this. I don’t alway use all these things at the same time. Take what you will… If you can only take one take “patience”.

What you’ll need:

Happy place to tandem breastfeed

Find a comfortable, familiar place in the house. I have two spots. The babies room where I use a rocking chair from Ikea and the corner of the couch which I prefer during the day.

I use the babies room at night to tandem breastfeed. Mostly because it’s on the same floor as our bedroom and I don’t have to go far. It works right now because the babies sleep in our room, so if I’m only nursing one at the time I won’t disturb the other (not that it matters because they sleep through each other’s cries and sounds).

The living room is a central part of our house and where I spend most of the day. So naturally I’ve commandeered a corner of the couch where I tandem breastfeed throughout the day.

Nursing pillow

The Boppy pillow seems to be the most popular, especially for feeding a singleton, however I recommend MyBrestFriend for singleton and twins. It provides more support for your back and has a wider base for twins especially.

Snap your pillow around you and settle in. You could be there 10 minutes. You could be there for hours.

Thing One and Thing Two

This is a bit obvious… however the key is to make sure you have two hungry babies. If you try force feeding your baby at anytime they will just scream.

To tell if they’re hungry look to see if they’re sticking out their tongue over and over and over again. I call this clucking. My two each make a clicking sound as they do it. If either are attached to a pacifier they may use this same method to show they want to pacify rather than eat so to make sure they’re hungry stick your pinky, finger print up, inside their mouth. If they start sucking hard they are hungry.

Place each baby within arms reach, either in front of you side by side, or one on each side. If you find only one of them is hungry, I still recommend keeping baby number two in arms reach because that could change and you don’t want to stop baby A, remove baby A, get up and completely reset. You’ll trade one crying baby for another.

Sit down either in front of them or between them, snap your pillow in place, and relocate one baby at a time on to the pillow. At night, I like to strip babies down to their diapers and curl their bodies into mine for skin to skin. They tandem breastfeed more efficiently and fall asleep better when done. When fully clothed at night they tend to fall sleep mid feed then wake up 10 minutes later hungry.


You’re probably used to having a bottle of water follow you around since you were pregnant, however once you start taking care of babies you forget about your needs. Your needs have to come first, because if you’re not at your best then everything (especially breastfeeding) can go haywire.

I keep a basket of goodies next to both my feeding spots. It’s always in arms reach with everything I need to breastfeed. See what I keep in my basket.

Before I start nursing, I take the time to eat and drink t.

After I’m in position with the pillow and babies (before they latch), I hydrate and have an energy bar. Even if babies are screaming they’re heads off, I take the time to make this happen because if I don’t then my flow slows down and babies get upset that they’re not getting milk fast enough or at all.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Before, during, and after.


Once babies are latched and depending on which location I’m at, I do something for myself to keep me relaxed. If in the living room I’ll watch a favorite show. Right now I’m rewatching Gilmore Girls.

For the babies room, I purchased an iHome Alarm Clock for several reasons:

      Time: I need to have some idea on how long they’re taking.
      Light: This particular clock lights up providing enough for me to see and get situated, but not enough to over stimulate babies.
      Audio: This is THE perfect time to catch up on some reading. Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read on audio (from the library is best) and listen while you tandem breastfeed. It’s great for you and baby.

It’s important to have a soothing element whether a TV show, movie, music, or audiobook. It keeps you relaxed which keeps your milk flowing.

Just breathe

I’ve been taking a mommy and baby yoga class. At the start of each class, like all yoga classes, we begin with breathing. At our first class I was nursing Baby Girl and during the breathing exercises I noticed I had several let downs back to back.

Once home, I was nursing Elliot and noticed he was getting agitated because my milk flow slowed down. I sat up straighter, held him closer, and began using my yoga breathing. Sure enough I had a let down, and then another, and then another. He settled down with eyes closed and nice long gulps.

Feel the love

Oxitocin is the hormone that makes you love. It’s the same one that caused your labor. It’s also the hormone that produces your milk. If you find either of your babies are falling asleep or they are super agitated because they’re not getting milk fast enough you may want to find a way to release this hormone to cause a let down.

I use memories. Really strong powerful ones about my love for my husband or my babies. I’ll use my own personal “pensieve” and revisit and the moment we said, “I do” or when I gave birth and my husband and I realized we just became a family.

I have caused quite the let down when I do this, but it takes time and patience and if you have crying children it can be difficult to relax enough to make this happen. Know ahead a time if you’re going to need this. You should have an idea on how long it takes for the babies to drink your initial supply. A few minutes before that time hits, make sure you’re relaxed, practice your breathing, and conjure up one of those powerful memories.

Muster all the patience you can

For me, the hardest part in tandem nursing twins is making sure they have enough to eat. I feed Baby Girl solely on breast. She won’t take a bottle easily. So my body only produces enough for her. In those moments when they’re both hungry and I’m on my own I settle into my spot, turn on my favorite show, make sure I’m hydrated and fed, then curl my babies to me and tandem breastfeed. Around the 10 minute mark they start to get agitated as things slow down, so at eight minutes I start my breathing and conjure up an powerful memory and sure enough my milk keeps flowing as it has been. I’ll continue my yoga breathing until their both done.

Feeding twins feels impossible no matter which route you take… nursing both intermittently or at the same time, nursing one and bottle feeding the other, bottle feeding both. No matter what you do you feel like a feeding machine and like they’ll never be satiated. They’re either attached to you or you’re attached to a pump or you’re just constantly making bottles.

Everyone says it gets easier. At the end of the day you’re in this moment it feels likes it’s never going to let up… or down.

This process usually works for me. But not all the time. Sometimes Baby Boy just wants a bottle because he’ll feel full faster and there’s just no fighting him. Don’t force them. Don’t fight them. It’s already too hard and too exhausting. In those moments, take babies off of you, set them down somewhere safe, walk away and take a breath.

Depending on time of day I’ll reset the babies. I’ll go for a walk, give them a bath, or call a neighbor to come over and hold and feed one while I feed the other. Forcing babies to tandem breastfeed when you’re in it alone and things aren’t going well is only frustrating for both you and babies… don’t hope things will get better. Switch things up.

Get comfortable, hydrated, and fed. Practice your breathing and feel the love. And above all be patient with your body and babies.

All my best,