What is Power Pumping? Tips to Increase Breast Milk Supply

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If you are a new mom who is using a double electric breast pump daily, then it is important for you to understand the process very well first. So that you can decide whether it fits in your life or not. Here we will discuss some details related to the power pumping process. Before we start, let’s know first what power pumping is.

In this article:

What is Power Pumping?
Why Do Women Power Pump?
How Do You Power Pump?
How Long Does it Take for Power Pumping to Work?
Will Pumping Every 2 Hours Increase Milk Supply?
Tips to Make Pumping More Comfortable

All You Need to Know about Power Pumping

What is Power Pumping?

Power pumping is also called as cluster pumping. It is a process to boost a mother’s milk production. It is a series of 10 minutes sessions, is used when mothers experience a temporary dip in milk supply. The trick behind this process is to stimulate the body for producing more milk by emptying the mother’s breast rapidly. The exact theory behind the power pumping is that it stimulates the prolactin hormone which affects the breast milk production of a mother. It takes 4-7 days to start seeing a positive result, but it can be possible also not to witness any difference at all. This doesn’t mean to replace the normal pumping routine, but to prepare another established routine to enhance the milk supply.

power pumping

Now, let’s discuss a few details related to power pumping. First, we will know the reason behind power pumping.

Why Do Women Power Pump?

It is actually an option for the pumping women who are worried about their milk supply and want to stimulate it. But before any mom tries this, they should make sure that they actually have a supply issue. Many mothers think that they may have low supply although they actually produce normal and healthy breast milk. So it is important to know if the power pumping process is the best option for you or not.

Mothers typically start power pumping when they experience a dip in their supply. Though the best natural way to increase the supply is a nurse on-demand with the baby, many vital points make nurses on demand less than ideal for moms. There are many reasons behind opting for this power pumping process such as some young babies who are struggling with latching, or some older babies getting restless at the breast, or some working women who can’t be in close contact with their babies all day. The pump is the only option for these ladies that can regulate when and how long to nurse.

But pumping is not the only option to increase your milk supply. You can try another process also. Such as-

  • Be in the skin to skin contact with your baby as much as possible,
  • Feed your baby frequently in the night as prolactin levels are higher during the night,
  • Feed your baby whenever baby gives hunger-cues, don’t wait for crying!,
  • Avoid using alternative nipple options such as pacifiers or bottles.

Now, let’s know about the actual procedure of power pumping.

How Do You Power Pump?

In order to power pump to increase the milk supply, you need to-

  • Sit down and pump on and off at an interval for about one hour.
  • The interval timing depends on your choice. You can choose the timing which works best for you.
  • Firstly, you can do 20 minutes, then 10 minutes off and on. After that, you can do 12 minutes on and 8 minutes off or 15 minutes on and 5 minutes off, etc according to your preference.
  • The timing doesn’t have to proper, as the cluster feeding process doesn’t nurse for exact 20 minutes, and 10 minutes break or 15 minutes, and 5 minutes break, etc.
  • The timing should be in this regard- you should pump more than half of your total timing and take breaks in between your pumping sessions.
  • If mothers want a good result, then they should commit at least one hour every day to power pumping.
  • It needs a relaxed state of mind for a favorable outcome, as any kind of anxiety, stress affects the breast milk production.
  • If breastfeeding moms choose a healthy diet and plenty of rest lifestyle, they can see an effective result.

How Long Does it Take for Power Pumping to Work?

Mommys can expect to take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks to increase their milk supply by using the power pumping process. Power pumping session is far more beneficial than an extended pumping session. But it will be harmful to your breasts if you pump for one hour non-stop, and it is not helpful also to increase the milk supply. It is very possible that you will see no result or just a few drops initially, but you should not stop the pumping. You should be patient with the process.

After reaching your goal, you can stop the pumping session, or have a normal pumping session. But we should keep one thing in our minds that power pumping is not for everyone. Because some mothers may not respond at all, or some find the process very uncomfortable. The process is a kind of tool that can be used by mothers if necessary, but it is not necessary that it will work for everyone.

Will Pumping Every 2 Hours Increase Milk Supply?

The answer to this question is a big YES. If you start to pump every 2 hours, then it should surely increase your milk supply. If any mother is pumping exclusively, then they should pump as frequently as their babies feed throughout the day to establish a full milk supply. Mothers already have a lot of responsibilities upon them, such as feeding and taking care of the baby, washing the pumping tool parts, bottles and pumping itself is a responsibility. It will be difficult for mommys to pump every hour. So pumping every two hours is a good option and helpful also.

At least for the first few months, mothers should do pumping sessions every two hours. Because, after this crucial period of time, the milk supply starts to regulate and it becomes really difficult to increase the milk supply.

After knowing a few details about the power pumping process, now let’s know about a few tips to make pumping sessions more comfortable.

Tips to Make Pumping More Comfortable

The following are some useful tips for mothers to make breast pumping more easier and comfortable. Let’s have a look.

Try to Go Hands-Free

You can invest in a hands-free bra for making your pumping session more comfortable. It will make wonders on your back and arms, and it will allow you to do something else rather than just hold the pump while pumping.

Try to Create a Relaxing Environment While Pumping

Try to relax during your pumping session. It will help your milk to drop sooner. For creating a relaxing environment, you can play soft peaceful music, turn off the lights, be comfy with your warm blanket or watch a photo of your baby.

Use the Correct Sized Breast Shields

It is really very important to choose the right sized breast shields. If you are experiencing any kind of pain during your pumping session, then you must consider moving up or down a size. The correct sized shields will make your pumping session easier and pain-free.

Have a Proper Routine

Mothers should follow a proper schedule for their power pumping sessions. It will help their bodies to get into a groove and save them from pain engorgement further. That’s why making a consistent proper pumping routine is very helpful.

Massage Before Pumping

Before starting your pumping session, you should massage your breasts for at least a few minutes. This process will help to reduce the time before the let-down happens and make sure that the milk flows faster.

Make Sure that you have Enough Back Support

You should sit in a comfortable chair during your pumping session. Make sure that you have a seat or pillow that supports your back. It will take all the pressures of your stomach and back.

Wear a Comfortable Nursing Bra

Find a comfortable nursing bra for yourself, so that it can give you easy access to your breasts. Wearing a soft wireless nursing bra will make your power pumping sessions more comfortable.

Eat Healthy Snacks and Stay Hydrated

Before sitting down for your pumping session, you should drink a tall glass of cool water. It will not only help you to stay hydrated but also maintain milk production. Your body will need extra nutrition and water while breastfeeding. So eating healthy food while pumping will help you to get the extra nutrition and calories. You can try nuts, string cheese or apple slices, etc.

The power pumping process or pumping at frequent intervals is creating a lot of buzz for moms to increase their milk supply. There are many different ways and approaches to power pump. Actually, this process mimics the milk supply and demand of a baby undergoing a growth spurt. It stimulates the release of prolactin hormone which produces milk. So for working women or the new moms, who are experiencing problems while breastfeeding, Power pumping is the best solution for them.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4720864/

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