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How to Power Pump: Boosting Your Breast Milk Supply

how to power pump

Power pumping can be a helpful technique to increase your breast milk supply and ensure that your baby is getting enough milk. Keep reading to learn how to do it!

Breastfeeding is a special moment for many mothers, but it can also be challenging when it comes to breast milk production. If you are struggling to produce enough milk for your baby, power pumping may be an effective strategy to remediate it.   

In this article, we will explore what power pumping is, how to power pump, reasons to try it, and much more. Keep reading!

What is Power Pumping?

Power pumping is a breast milk pumping technique that involves creating a pumping schedule to help boost milk production. It usually involves pumping breast milk in short and frequent sessions, simulating the regular feeding frequency of your baby during a specific period of time.

Why to Try Power Pumping?

There are several reasons why you may consider trying power pumping to increase your breast milk supply. Some of the most common include:

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  • Boosting milk production: If you are struggling with low milk supply or want to create a freezer stash of breast milk for future use.
  • Pumping challenges: Some mothers may face challenges with pumping, such as difficulty in getting enough milk out or inconsistent pumping sessions. Power pumping can help overcome these challenges and improve milk production.
  • Returning to work: If you are planning to return to work and want to maintain your milk supply, power pumping can help you establish a pumping routine that mimics your baby’s feeding schedule and ensures an adequate milk supply while you are away.

When to Start Power Pumping?

The timing can vary for different mothers. However, most experts recommend waiting until your milk supply is well-established, usually around 3-4 weeks after giving birth, before starting power pumping. This is because in the early weeks after your little one is born, your body is still adjusting to the milk production process, and power pumping may not be as effective.

Once your milk supply is established, you can start incorporating power pumping into your breastfeeding routine. You can choose a time of day when your milk supply is naturally higher, like in the morning, and add a power pumping session during that time.

How to Power Pump

To make the most out of your power pumping sessions, here are some best practices you can follow:

  1. Start with a warm-up session: Before you begin your power pumping session, start by massaging your breasts or applying a warm compress. This can help stimulate the let-down reflex and prepare your breasts for effective pumping.
  2. Follow the 10-10-10 rule: During your power pumping session, aim to pump for 10 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and then pump for another 10 minutes. This cycle of pumping and resting may help mimic the natural feeding pattern of your baby and can help stimulate your milk production.
  3. Use breast compressions: While pumping, you can also use breast compressions to further stimulate milk flow. Gently massage your breasts or use your hands to apply gentle pressure towards your chest wall while pumping to help empty your breasts more effectively.

Best Practices

  • Try different pump settings: Breast pumps come with different settings, such as speed and suction strength. Experiment with different settings to find the ones that work best for you in terms of comfort and milk production. Some mothers find that using a lower suction strength with a faster speed can have better results, while others prefer a slower speed with higher suction strength. Find what suits you the best.
  • Find ways to unwind: Stress and tension may sometimes interfere with milk let-down, so it’s important to stay relaxed during your power pumping sessions. Find ways to relax, such as deep breathing, listening to calming music, or practicing meditation.
  • Stay hydrated and nourished: Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet can help support milk production. Make sure to take care of yourself and stay hydrated and nourished during power pumping sessions.
  • Take breaks: Power pumping can be tiring on your body, so make sure to take breaks when needed. Rest, relax, and take care of yourself to avoid burnout.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key with power pumping. Try to follow a regular schedule and pump at the same time each day. This can help your body adjust to produce more milk during those times.

The Right Equipment for Power Pumping

Here are some tips on choosing the right equipment:

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  • Select a breast pump that works for you: Invest in a high-quality breast pump that suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Look for pumps with adjustable settings, comfortable flanges, and try talking to other moms or your health care provider about the pros and cons of different brands and types of pumps.
  • Consider a double electric pump: Double electric pumps allow you to pump from both breasts simultaneously, which can be time efficient and potentially provide more milk. They are also more efficient in emptying the breasts and stimulating milk production compared to single pumps.
  • Choose the right flange size: Flange size refers to the part of the breast pump that fits over your breast. Using the correct flange size is crucial for comfort and effectiveness. Flanges that are too small or too big can cause discomfort, decrease milk production, and damage breast tissue. Consult with a lactation consultant or refer to the breast pump manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the correct flange size for you.
  • Consider hands-free pumping options: Bras with built-in pumping panels can allow you to freely use your hands and multitask while pumping. This can make your power pumping sessions more convenient and comfortable.

How Often Should You Power Pump?

The frequency of power pumping sessions can vary depending on your individual needs and schedule. A common power pumping schedule involves pumping for 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break, and then pumping again for 10 minutes. 

This cycle can be repeated for one hour. Some mothers may choose to power pump once a day, while others may do it multiple times a day, depending on their milk production. 

It’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it, power pumping too frequently or for too long can cause discomfort and may not necessarily lead to increased milk production. It’s recommended to start with one session a day and gradually increase the frequency if needed.

How Much Milk to Pump?

The amount of milk you pump during each power pumping session can vary depending on your milk supply, your baby’s feeding patterns, and your body’s response to pumping. Some mothers may only pump a few milliliters during a session, while others may pump several ounces.

It’s important to remember that the amount of milk you pump during a session is not necessarily an indication of your overall milk supply. The goal of power pumping is to stimulate your breasts to produce more milk over time, rather than focusing solely on the amount pumped during one session.

In summary, power pumping can be a valuable technique for mothers who are looking to increase their milk supply or maintain their milk production. By following the technique and equipment that works best, you can effectively improve your breastfeeding journey. Remember to consult with a lactation consultant or healthcare provider if you need personalized guidance and support. 

For more answers on breastfeeding or how to power pump, be sure to download the Kinedu app to join our expert-led classes on this and other topics.

Happy pumping!

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