Using Your Pump to Increase Supply: Power Pumping

For those mamas who have to pump, and who struggle to keep up with the needs of their baby with their output, there are a lot of little things to help increase what you get from the pump. Things like:

  • Looking at pictures of your baby
  • Listening to videos of your baby cry, laugh and coo
  • Massaging the breast as the pump works
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Nursing as much as you can when possible
    • Baby is more efficient and effective at stimulating your supply for when you do pump
  • Testing the size of your flange
  • Hitting the let down button to encourage multiple let downs per session
  • Obviously, eating lactation cookies!

When you've done all of these things and you still want to try to increase supply, you can try power pumping. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it is basically pumping frequently in the space of an hour.

To power pump, pick any old time that is convenient for you to set aside a full hour, plus set up and break down time, to do this. I do not recommend power pumping more than once a day. I used to do it at night before bed, as I knew I'd get a good several hour stretch of sleep from the baby, but whatever is convenient for you works too. You then do the following:

  • Pump for 10 minutes
  • Break for 5 minutes
  • Pump for 20 minutes
  • Break for 5 minutes
  • Pump for 20 minutes

You may not see terribly much the first time you do this but it should help build a stash to take the pressure off a normal work day to make up what you may need.

If you want to read more about things to do when you feel that your supply isn't great, and perhaps reduce the worry about supply in general, head over to this great article that really talked me off the proverbial ledge when I was worrying about my output.

Happy (?) Pumping!

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