For many moms, increasing their milk supply is a top priority. Whether they have a low supply (which is generally rare,) or simply want to increase their supply to save as a stockpile for later use, wondering how to go about increasing your milk supply is a common question. If you use a breast pump, learning how to power pump to make more milk can be an incredibly helpful technique that will up your supply if you stick with it.
But first, what exactly is power pumping? According to Lansinoh, one of the leading breast pump producers, power pumping is a method of breast pumping that is meant to mimic the way a baby cluster feeds, thereby increasing your milk supply through quick bursts of pumping in a short period of time.
To practice power pumping, you only need an uninterrupted hour (I know, a whole hour of solitude to a new mom is a rarity, but it will be worth it) and your breast pump. Although power pumping looks a bit differently from mom to mom, applying these simple tips will ensure that your milk supply increases. Some moms notice a difference within 48 hours, but some have to stick with it for a week or more. The key, as discussed below, is to stick with it so your body can properly adjust to creating more milk.
It may sound complicated at first, but once you get the hang of power pumping through these five steps, low supply will be a thing of the past.
1. Find An Uninterrupted Hour That Works For Your Schedule Each Day
Although a whole solitary hour to pump might seem like a lot, it's necessary for upping your supply. Lansinoh suggested that moms pump for 20 minute intervals and rest for 10 minutes throughout the house. You can do it on your lunch break, during nap time, immediately after a feeding, or in the evening after baby is in bed.
Some moms noted that doing two half-hour segments worked better for them than doing a whole hour, so finding what works best for you is important.
2. Find Something To Focus On During The Hour
If sitting hooked up to your breast pump for an entire hour doesn't sound like fun, it's because it probably won't be. However, if you're truly dedicated to increasing your milk supply, it will be worth the boredom. Try watching an episode of your favorite show (it's a great way to keep track of time.) You can also read a book, or simply just relax and enjoy the downtime.
Along those lines, it's vital that you're relaxed and calm during your power pumping session. Very Well noted that being relaxed when you pump encourages a quick letdown.
4. Keep Track Of Your Output Each Day
Although you'll probably notice a difference in your supply just through the feeling of fullness in your breasts, keeping track of your output after each power pumping session will be helpful. You can keep a little pumping journal, or just write down the amount on your bottles or freezer bags with a dry erase marker.
5. Stick With It Until You See Results
The information on when you'll start to see an improvement is a bit mixed. According to Fed Is Best, most moms report noticing an increase in milk supply after about four to seven days of power pumping. However, Lansinoh noted that some moms notice an increase after only 48 hours. Your body's response to the new pumping schedule will vary, but if you genuinely want to increase your supply, its worth giving it a shot.