Motherhood

How I Increased My Breastmilk Supply After Being Sick

I was never worried about getting sick because I hadn’t gotten sick in years. In 2016, I started cutting different meats out of my diet, then went Vegan in 2017. I was in the best health I had ever been in my life. Even when I was pregnant and indulged on one of my cravings (check out this video to see what I mean), I didn’t get sick then either. So, I felt I was in the clear.

I went two-plus years without getting sick after changing my diet, so I was pleasantly surprised when I started to feel horrible. At this time, we have family that come’s over every other week. They have frequently come over with a cough and mucus buildup. I tried my hardest to not get sick. If you are a mom, then you know the task of mothering while sick: it is not pretty! My fiancee ended up sick first and I thought I was in the clear when a few weeks went by without any signs of sickness.

I woke up the day before we were to go out of town and felt horrible. I had a massive headache and a nasty cough. The coughs started out dry and painful. We were out town for closely a week and during that time we went to Viva La Vegan in Atlanta, GA. It was our son’s first time being outside of our home for days at a time. So, he was too curious to sleep and was barely eating as well. We returned home and one of my breasts hurt so bad. It was painful to touch and hurt while he nursed. I also noticed that my breasts barely had any milk in them. They were also very, I mean very, deflated. I knew that it was because I was not feeling well and he was in a new environment. So, how did I increase my breastmilk after being sick?

Eat oatmeal and/or lactation cookies/brownies

While out of town, I was not eating my bowl of oatmeal nor oatmeal cookies. So, I made sure to get back into my routine of eating oatmeal frequently and bought a pack of oatmeal cookies. It is possible that my iron was low, so that is why I maintain oatmeal (and spinach) in my diet while breastfeeding. If you would like to try a lactation cookie, I recommend Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites.

Stay hydrated

I was barely drinking the amount of water that I normally drink while I was out of town. So, every day I woke up I made sure to down a cup of water, eat breakfast and drink another cup of water. After every meal, I downed a cup of water and drank when I felt thirsty as well. It is important to stay hydrated while breastfeeding because breastmilk is approximately 90% water.

Get as much rest as possible

When we got back, Biggie Smalls (our son) was pretty tired and crashed. I napped or just rested with him as well. Luckily, I loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen before leaving. Our bedsheets were waiting for us in the dryer as well, so the house was clean when we got home.

Nurse as often as baby wants

I listened to Biggie and allowed him to nurse as often as he wanted. He was still passing a bowel movement at least once a day. I verified that he was getting milk by hand-expressing and there was definitely milk coming out. Whenever he wanted, I let him latch on and nurse. In order to make milk, you have to move milk.

Get back on a pumping schedule

If you pump and stopped because of work, travel and etc. then get back on your schedule! It will take a few days to see results, but it will help. Trust me. While pumping, do breast compressions by gently squeezing on your breasts. Do your pumping schedule once a day and you should see results.

I stopped pumping when Biggie was about two months (December 2018) because the freezer was too full. He has been exclusively breastfed, since then as well. I have the Spectra S2 Plus Hospital Grade Breast Pump. I plan to do a review on it really soon!


It took roughly 3-4 days to get my breastmilk supply back to their original levels. So, yes you can conquer a decrease in breastmilk levels after getting sick. Sad news though: Biggie Smalls ended up getting sick a couple of weeks later 🙁

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Check out the Motherhood section for breastfeeding information, my cloth diaper journey and more!

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