We Tried the Viral Sock Hack That Moms Say Can *Double* Your Breast Milk Output

Put a sock on it

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Boring, stressful, time consuming...every new mom knows that pumping sucks. So when we come across a new hack that can make the process even just a little bit easier (like this fridge trick that saves you so much time), we’re all ears. Especially when said hack has some moms reporting two-to-three times more milk output.

And the best part is that all you need to try this hack out for yourself is a pair of baby socks, something you likely have plenty of at hand already. Here’s how it works: Set your pump up per usual but use the baby socks to cover each bottle. Then sit back and get ready for the big reveal after you’re done to see how much more milk you’ve made. That’s it!

A video posted by the breastfeeding support account Legendairy Milk shows the hack in action:

The video has received more than 21,000 likes and was originally posted by Johanna Sargeant, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Sargeant captioned the video with: “Now I advise mamas to put a sock over their pumping bottle, and it has been getting incredible results. Some women are reporting often 2-3 times more milk when they remove themselves mentally from the result of their pumping session! We know that oxytocin release is inhibited by stress, and oxytocin release is required for letdowns, so if you find you are getting stressed while watching, try it!’”

A quick biology lesson: In order to make milk, you need to have a let-down. And in order to have a let-down, you need a release of the hormone oxytocin. But oxytocin is highly impacted by stress, i.e., you watching how much of milk is dripping (or not) into each bottle while mentally calculating how many ounces you need to produce for the day is not doing your let-down any favors. In other words, if you're anxious (and pumping can be very anxiety-inducing!), you won’t make much milk. Covering the bottles with socks may mean less stress for mom, which translates to more milk. (FYI: This is also why many lactation consultants recommend pumping mammas look at pictures of their kids while plugged in—the feel-good hormones help the let-down.)

As the Legendary Milk account explains in a comment to the video: “It can help to not fixate on the visual of how much milk is being pumped during the session, which can cause stress and inhibit the release of oxytocin, needed for let-downs.”

Curious about this hack, we had one of our new mom editors try it out herself. And while the results weren’t quite as impressive as producing two to three times more milk, our editor did make about three quarters of an ounce more than her usual output. One caveat is that this mom in particular doesn’t pump very frequently, since her daughter isn’t in daycare and she works from home. As such, someone who is pumping more frequently may see bigger results. But nonetheless, our mom was impressed with the hack: “I think it would still be a useful thing to try for someone who struggles with the mental aspect of it all.” And a lot of moms really do struggle with the stress of it all (this writer is speaking from experience).

Besides every little bit helps, right?

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...