There are a lot of claims that you can increase your milk supply overnight with a cookie, a food, or an herb. But unless you're also removing more milk from your breast, none of those will help, which is why the one thing you should do every night to increase your milk supply doesn't include a stove or prescription. In fact, you may only need your baby to get the job done.
According to International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Kate Fresso, if there is anything you should know about your milk supply, it's this" You have to remove milk to make milk. Meaning, every gimmick in the book is pointless, even if there is substantial evidence to back up the claims of fenugreek, if you aren't frequently nursing and/or pumping. Your breasts make milk in a simple manner: they follow supply and demand. The more milk that is removed from your body by your baby or pump, the more milk you will make.
So how can you fix this at night? It's easy. You need to increase your demand, according to IBCLC Rachel O'Brien. Whether that's power pumping, adding a pumping session, or dreamfeeding your baby as they are asleep, O'Brien says it doesn't matter. You just have to get more milk out.
Sounds too good to be true, right? There's actually some science behind removing more milk at night, too. IBCLC Kristen Gourley of Lactation Link tells Romper that prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, is at its highest levels during the early morning hours. "Some moms find that adding in a nursing or pumping session sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. can be very beneficial to their supply, provided they continue to remove milk regularly throughout the day, too," Gourley says.
Not willing to wake up at 3 a.m.? I get it. But chances are if you're battling low milk supply, your baby is still young and probably continuing to wake you at night. So one other big thing you can do at night to increase your body's demand for milk? Skip the sleep training.
IBCLCs Lindsay Greenfield and Tori Sproat both tell Romper to ignore any nighttime sleeping "routines" and feed your baby on demand. Greenfield also suggests skipping the pacifier as many use it to replace a feeding. You have to remove more milk if you want to make more milk and at night, that means offering your breast whenever your baby wants it or adding a pumping session if your baby no longer wakes at night to eat.
It may not be as appealing as a pint of ice cream, but this kind of plan to increase your milk production works. If you're still struggling with low milk supply, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an IBCLC to determine if your baby has a bad latch, a tongue or lip tie, or some other issue preventing them from removing your milk efficiently.