How do I get my milk supply back after surgery?

Breastfeeding is a natural process that provides essential nutrition and bonding for both mother and baby. However, surgery can sometimes interrupt this beautiful connection, causing a temporary decrease in milk supply. This can be a distressing situation for nursing mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding their babies. Understanding the ways to regain milk supply after surgery is crucial to ensure a smooth transition back to breastfeeding.

It is estimated that around 1 in 3 breastfeeding mothers may experience a temporary decrease in milk production following surgery. This can be attributed to various factors such as stress, medications used during surgery, anesthesia, and the overall healing process. It’s important to remember that every woman’s body responds differently to surgery, and this temporary setback should not discourage mothers from trying to rebuild their milk supply.

To get your milk supply back after surgery, it’s crucial to maintain a dedicated breastfeeding routine. Breastfeed or pump at regular intervals to stimulate your body to produce more milk. The more frequently you empty your breasts, the more signals your body receives to increase milk production. This can be done by directly nursing your baby or using a breast pump if the baby is unable to latch properly.

In addition to a consistent breastfeeding routine, it may be beneficial to increase the consumption of fluids and a nutritious diet. Proper hydration is essential for milk production, so drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, and lactation-supportive beverages can help support your milk supply. Adding lactation-boosting foods, such as oatmeal, fenugreek, and fennel, to your diet can also aid in increasing milk production.

The support of healthcare professionals and lactation consultants can be invaluable during this process. They can provide guidance specific to your situation and offer suggestions to enhance your milk supply. Consulting with a lactation consultant can help identify any underlying issues or challenges and provide individualized solutions.

It’s worth noting that the time required to regain milk supply after surgery can vary from woman to woman. Some may start noticing an increase in milk production within a few days, while others may take weeks. Patience and persistence are key during this time, as stress can further hinder milk production. Remember to stay positive and take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

In conclusion, regaining milk supply after surgery is possible with a combination of a consistent breastfeeding routine, proper hydration, a balanced diet, and seeking professional support. While it may require patience and perseverance, many women have successfully rebuilt their milk supply and continued their breastfeeding journey after surgery. So, if you find yourself in this situation, know that there is hope and support available to help you navigate this temporary setback.

How to Increase Milk Supply After Surgery: Expert Tips and Strategies

Recovering from surgery can pose challenges for breastfeeding moms in maintaining or reestablishing their milk supply. To address the question “How do I get my milk supply back after surgery?” we will explore various techniques and expert advice in this article. Whether you are facing a surgical procedure or currently recovering from one, understanding these useful tips will help you navigate this phase and work towards enhancing your milk production. Keep reading to discover practical methods and valuable insights on increasing your milk supply post-surgery.

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How do I get my milk supply back after surgery?

Recovering from surgery can be a challenging time for new mothers who are breastfeeding. Whether it’s a planned procedure or an unexpected operation, surgery can impact your milk supply. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to get your milk supply back on track. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Breastfeed or pump frequently

One of the most effective ways to stimulate milk production is to breastfeed or pump frequently. This helps to maintain milk production and provides your body with the signal to produce more milk. Aim to breastfeed or pump at least every 2-3 hours during the day and at least once or twice at night.

2. Ensure a proper latch

A proper latch is essential to ensure effective milk transfer and maximize milk production. Improper latch can lead to poor milk removal and decreased milk supply. Seek assistance from a lactation consultant or healthcare professional who can help you ensure a good latch.

3. Stay hydrated and well-nourished

Proper hydration and nutrition are vital for milk production. Drink plenty of water and consume a balanced diet that includes foods rich in nutrients important for breastfeeding, such as calcium, iron, and protein. Consider talking to a registered dietitian for personalized recommendations.

4. Use breast compression

Breast compression can help to increase milk flow during breastfeeding or pumping. Gently compress your breast while your baby is suckling or during pumping sessions to encourage milk flow. This technique can aid in emptying the breasts more effectively, signaling your body to produce more milk.

5. Practice skin-to-skin contact

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby has numerous benefits, including the stimulation of milk production. Holding your baby close and allowing skin-to-skin contact triggers the release of hormones that promote bonding and milk production. Take advantage of this by cuddling your baby skin-to-skin as often as possible.

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6. Seek support from a lactation consultant

If you’re struggling to regain your milk supply after surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant. They are trained professionals who can provide tailored advice and support to help you increase your milk supply. A lactation consultant can assess your situation, address any concerns, and offer practical strategies for success.

Remember, every individual’s breastfeeding journey is unique, and it may take time for your milk supply to fully recover. Be patient, stay committed, and seek help when needed. With persistence and support, you can overcome the challenges and successfully regain your milk supply after surgery.

According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 80% of breastfeeding mothers who followed appropriate strategies were able to restore their milk supply after surgery.


1. How does surgery affect milk supply?

Surgery can sometimes disrupt milk supply due to factors such as the stress of the procedure and the use of anesthesia, which can temporarily impede milk production.

2. How long does it take for milk supply to return after surgery?

The time it takes for milk supply to return after surgery varies from person to person, but it typically starts to improve within a few days to a week.

3. What can I do to stimulate milk production after surgery?

To stimulate milk production after surgery, it is important to breastfeed or pump frequently, maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and consider using techniques like breast compression or power pumping.

4. Can medications taken during surgery affect breastfeeding?

Some medications used during surgery can have an impact on breastfeeding. It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding, so they can choose medications that are safe for nursing mothers.

5. Should I consult a lactation consultant for guidance?

Consulting a lactation consultant is highly recommended after surgery to receive personalized guidance and support in managing your milk supply and breastfeeding successfully.

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6. Are there any herbal remedies or supplements that can boost milk production?

There are several herbal remedies and supplements that some women find helpful in boosting milk production after surgery. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new supplements.

7. Can stress affect milk supply after surgery?

Yes, stress can have a negative impact on milk supply after surgery. It is important to practice stress-reducing techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to help maintain a healthy milk supply.

8. Is it normal for milk supply to fluctuate after surgery?

Yes, it is normal for milk supply to fluctuate after surgery. Factors such as stress, changes in breastfeeding or pumping routines, and temporary hormonal imbalances can cause temporary fluctuations in milk production.

9. Can I continue breastfeeding while taking pain medication?

In most cases, it is possible to continue breastfeeding while taking pain medication after surgery. However, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure the medication is safe for breastfeeding and to understand any potential side effects.

10. What should I do if my milk supply does not improve after surgery?

If your milk supply does not improve after surgery or if you have concerns, it is important to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or lactation consultant for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized advice.


In conclusion, it is possible to rebuild your milk supply after surgery by implementing various strategies. Firstly, it is crucial to prioritize frequent and effective breastfeeding or pumping to stimulate milk production. This includes feeding your baby at least 8-12 times a day and ensuring proper latching or using a breast pump on a regular schedule. Secondly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced diet, adequate hydration, and taking care of your emotional well-being can significantly impact milk production. Consuming galactagogue foods and herbs such as oatmeal, fenugreek, and fennel can help enhance milk supply. Additionally, getting enough rest and sleep is essential for your body to recover and produce milk efficiently.

Furthermore, seeking support from lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, and healthcare professionals who understand your specific needs can provide valuable assistance in rebuilding your milk supply. They can provide personalized guidance, tips, and techniques to optimize milk production. It is also crucial to be patient and give yourself time to heal and recover from the surgery; stressing over low milk supply can further hinder production. By implementing these strategies, you can increase your chances of regaining a healthy milk supply and continue nourishing your baby with your own breast milk.