I'm sure that every breastfeeding mom wishes their body came with an instruction manual because breastfeeding often leads to an abundance of questions. One of the most common challenges breastfeeding moms face is increasing their milk supply to make sure they're providing enough nutrition to their babies. If you are pumping, and are looking to gain some momentum on your milk supply, you may want to know how long you will have to wait. How long does it take to increase milk supply when exclusively pumping?
Romper spoke with Tori Sproat, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) from Tiny Tummies Lactation Services, who says that routine plays a key part in increasing your milk supply if you are exclusively pumping. "If you're pumping the same time every day, making sure your pump parts are up to date and well cared for, and everything fits right, you'll see increases within three days of a regular routine," she says. She recommends wearing a blanket that smells like your baby while you pump to trick your brain into thinking you are breastfeeding. (This will also help you avoid watching yourself pump so you don't become stressed by the amount of milk you're seeing.)
What kind of routine can help increase supply? Romper spoke to Kendra, a mom who exclusively pumps, and she says that her typical power pumping routine is 10 minutes pumping and then 10 minutes resting, repeating for an hour, once or twice a day, for three days. She says the average time frame it took for her to see an increase was anywhere from two to three days, depending on how often she power pumped.
But all women are different. Jennifer Jordan, Director of Mom and Baby for Aeroflow, tells Romper that it's important to remember that every woman is unique, so there is no standard time frame when it comes to increasing supply. She explains that a mother produces milk at all times, so the speed of production depends on how full or empty the breast is because an empty breast produces milk at a faster rate. "Most newborns nurse on average eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period, so a mom should do her best to match that routine," she says.
Jordan suggests that along with routine pumping, moms should get in the habit of doing other things that can help support their milk supply. She advises drinking plenty of water, making sure you eat balanced and healthy meals, and getting as much rest as you can. "Be sure to take it easy and avoid any unnecessary stressors," Jordan says, "because stress hormones can hamper milk production."
Having the right tools can help, too. Kendra stressed the importance of having a good quality pump, with its parts properly fitted, to ensure a good flow and let down. So if you are exclusively pumping while following a power pumping routine and using supportive measures, you may see your milk supply increase within a few days.