Because low supply often causes stress and frustration for both mom and baby, you need a solution that’s easy, fast, and effective. And that’s where power pumping can be a lifesaver.
You’re in the right place if you’re wondering how power pumping can help you to increase your milk supply or if you want ideas to make power pumping easier for you! Keep reading for the tips I used to quadruple my milk supply in just a few days!
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Who should and shouldn’t power pump?
Power pumping is designed to mimic cluster feeding, which is your baby’s natural way of telling your body to increase its milk supply.
Moms who don’t have low milk supply challenges shouldn’t power pump. There’s no need to and it can actually cause oversupply, which has its own set of challenges.
Likewise, if your baby does great at nursing and enjoys being put to the breast often, don’t worry about power pumping. Instead, nurse as often as possible for a few days to let your baby help increase your supply. This is a great time for a nursing vacation.
However, if you have
Also, if you are working or away from your baby, power pumping can help overcome low supply issues.
How do you power pump?
Remember that the ultimate goal of power pumping is to mimic cluster feeding. You want to empty the breast as many times as possible in the shortest amount of time in order to signal your body to start making more milk ASAP.
I struggled with low supply for months and had to supplement over 50 percent of my baby’s diet with formula. But after following these three easy steps, my supply quadrupled and we were finally able to nurse successfully, plus build a freezer stash of over 100 ounces!
Step 1: Commit to power pumping one hour a day for three or more consecutive days.
This tells your body that your baby is still hungry and you need to make more food.
Most women either power pump first thing in the morning (when your supply is the highest) or right before going to bed (when your baby might go a little longer before nursing again.
Step 2: Follow this pattern:
Pump – 20 minutes.
Rest – 10 minutes.
Pump – 10 minutes.
Rest – 10 minutes.
Pump – 10 minutes.
Step 3: Continue to nurse or pump every 2-3 hours.
For the remainder of the day, make sure to squeeze in
If you are really committed to increasing your supply, it is vital that you don’t skip any of these sessions, even overnight.
That’s all that you have to do!
By sticking to these three simple steps, you signal your body to make more milk and can dramatically increase your supply.
Tips to make power pumping easier:
Just because the concept is simple, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to fit power pumping into your schedule.
Although it’s one of the best ways to fix low milk supply, it’s often a pain to commit to for several days in a row and many moms quit power pumping before it has time to really start working for you.
Here are the tips that I use every time my supply dips and I add power pumping back into my routine for a few days:
Get comfortable and relax.
Spending an hour pumping is a big time investment.
Gather all of your supplies, some water, and snacks. Then turn on the TV, grab a good book, or peruse your phone to relax a little and help the time pass more quickly.
Prep your baby before power pumping sessions.
It can be very stressful to fit in power pumping while you are at home caring for your baby.
To make it go much smoother, try waiting until your baby is napping or when she’s playing. I loved putting my baby in his Boppy pillow so I could give him a bottle or play with him while I was pumping.
Invest in a pumping bra.
This is a must-have to make power pumping easier.
With a pumping bra specifically designed specifically for your pumping session, you free up your hands so you can actually do something instead of being completely tethered to your pump, counting down the minutes until you were done.
Here is my favorite one, because it is super affordable and easy to slip over your regular nursing bra if you’re pumping at work.
Purchase a high-quality, hospital grade breast-pump.
It is absolutely vital that you have a high-quality breast pump if you are trying to power pump to increase your milk supply.
In order for power pumping to work, your pump must quickly and efficiently empty as much milk as possible from your breasts and you will have much more success with a great pump.
I highly recommend the Spectra 1 (with the rechargable battery). This is the one I used and I loved it! It has a strong pump, is quiet, has a night mode, and can be purchased with a battery mode so you don’t always have to be tethered to the wall, which is absolutely priceless if you spend a lot of time pumping.
I have also tried the Manedela Symphony a handle of times and think it is amazing and the absolute best for anyone who really wants to commit to a week or so of power pumping every once in a while to increase your milk supply.
A couple other great options I can’t wait to try based on feedback from moms in my community are the Mandela Pump in Style (the on-the-go tote is super handy for working moms) and the Willow Pump (which you can wear in your bra and pump as often as you want!).
Optimize your pump settings.
After you find your perfectg breast pump, it’s important to learn how to use the settings to get the most out of your power pumping.
I actually highly recommend bringing your pump to a lactation consultant before you start power pumping. They check to make sure everything fits right and can teach you how to use the stimulation and expression phases correctly.
This helps to maximize how much milk you pump you express, which will make your power pumping sessions much more efficient.
Be patient and diligent!
It takes your body a few days to adjust after you start power pumping.
Do a minimum of three days of power pumping with extra pumping/nursing sessions every 2-3 hours around the clock. Your body might up to a week to adjust, so don’t quit before you give it enough time to boost your supply.
Give it a try!
Now that you know a little more about power pumping, I encourage you to try it out if you’re struggling with low supply! I hope it will work as well for you as it has for me!
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