If you're hoping to increase your milk supply, you've probably considered trying your hand at power pumping. The method, meant to mimic the way a baby cluster feeds during a growth spurt, is one many moms swear by for increasing and regulating your milk supply. However, despite it's success, power pumping isn't always the most fun hour of a mom's life. In fact, there are some pretty weird things your body does while power pumping that might freak you out a little bit. Or at least make you roll your eyes at yet another bodily change
Breastfeeding in itself brings on enough changes (not to mention the ten months of constant change that is pregnancy) to make a woman crazy, and power pumping only adds fuel to the flame. For many moms though, it's an incredibly effective way to give their supply a boost, whether you're struggling with a true low supply or just want to get a head start on pumping a stock pile for a trip sans baby. If it works, it is well worth the extra effort, and according to the Fed is Best Foundation, when moms follow the "rules" of power pumping, it most definitely will work, in spite of the following semi-strange things it does to your body.
1. Your Boobs Think You Have Twins
Your boobs are in for a wild ride (figuratively, of course) when you begin power pumping. Although it's only for an hour per day, the supply and demand nature of milk production means that the more you remove, the more you produce. According to Lansinoh, power pumping tricks your body into producing more milk by frequently removing more of it, so that it replaces more.
2. You Might Get Sore
Pumping isn't always the most pleasant experience. It can be painful and make your breasts sore. When you power pump, you pump for 10 to 20 minute segments for an entire hour — maybe even multiple times per day — so soreness is to be expected. If you're dealing with sore nipples or engorgement, the Dr. Sears website suggested setting your pump to a slightly lower setting or applying a small amount of emollient for nursing moms to make the suction less painful.
3. You'll Be Hungry And Thirsty
It's no secret that breastfeeding moms are constantly hungry and thirsty. Producing milk burns calories and speeds up your metabolism, so hunger is a normal (and kind of awesome) side effect. However, when you power pump, your body goes into overdrive, and your hunger might too. Shape noted that your body burns 20 calories just to make an ounce of breast milk. Now, apply that to the amount of milk you're hoping to produce while power pumping, and it's a recipe for a giant cheese burger and a huge glass of water after each session.
4. You Might Fall Asleep
Sitting in one spot for an entire hour can get, well, really boring. Although you may be tempted to turn your power pumping sessions into self-appointed nap time, be alert enough to take note of the time. Instead of sleeping, try catching up on your favorite show or reading a book.
5. You Might Hate It
Motherhood is sometimes a strange combination of doing things we don't necessarily love for the benefit of our baby. Power pumping might not be the highlight of your day, but the results will be well worth the boredom (and even discomfort) that you might experience.