If you are worried about your milk supply then Power Pumping might be right for you. Power Pumping to increase your milk supply is often recommended and is an easy thing to try and do. We are sharing everything you need to know to do it yourself.
Most women who breastfeed or pump have probably questioned their milk supply at one time or another. This can be a very valid concern for many women while some might be able to figure it out and continue to keep up with their supply.
If you are struggling with your milk supply and concerned it’s always appropriate to reach out to your care giver and ask for advice.
Pumping milk to feed your baby can be challenging, especially if you are experiencing low milk supply. Fortunately, power pumping is a technique that has been found to help increase breastmilk production in many women. In this post we will talk about power-pumping, why it works for some moms and how it can be done. We’ll also give you tips on how to find the best power pump schedule for producing more breastmilk!
What is Power Pumping?
Power pumping is a method designed to mimic cluster feeding which can encourage your body to begin producing more breast milk. The best way to increase milk supply is to increase the stimulation to the breast. And one way to do that is through power pumping.
The goal of power pumping is not to produce a ton of milk. Power pumping works by stimulating the release of prolactin, which is a hormone that helps to produce milk. The process can take some time and it’s important not to give up if you don’t see results right away.
So while you may not produce a lot of milk during your power pumping session it will tell your body to make more milk. It mimics a growth spurt, and often you’ll see results in a few days.
What is cluster feeding?
Cluster feeding is when your breastfed baby has shorter feedings more frequently than usual. When a nursing baby cluster feeds they stay on the breast nursing on and off and trying to get more milk. The more often you breastfeed- the more milk your body will make. When a baby cluster feeds it will signal to your body that you need to produce more milk.
Power pumping is meant to mimic a cluster feed to encourage your body to make more milk.
Benefits of Power Pumping
To get started on power pumping you will want to find a time where you can sit and pump off and on for an hour.
You will then pump in intervals. Pumping for a certain amount of time and then resting and then pumping again. You can choose which pumping interval works best for you.
Be sure to use massage and compressions on your breast before and after pumping.
Power Pumping Intervals and Schedule
Here is a suggested schedule for power pumping:
- Pump for 20 minutes
- Rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes
- Rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes
After your power pumping session you are done as this can replace a regular pump session. You can simply pump or nurse the next time you need to.
How to Power Pump
When you are power pumping, I recommend double pumping, though you can use a single pump.
You should get into a comfortable position and have something to entertain you – it can get a bit long! Watch your favorite show or read a book to help the time pass.
You will pump just as your normally would, though you don’t have to worry as much about the output as the stimulation, so you can skip the letdown mode if you want. Play around with the settings and make sure you are using settings that are comfortable enough to use off and on for an hour.
Then, just follow the schedule above (or find one that works well for you) and do it for an hour.
Power Pumping FAQ
How often should you power pump?
Generally speaking you should only power pump once a day. You don’t want to get burnt out or start to resent the process.
Consider power pumping once a day for 3-5 days in a row and then revaluate how it is going and if you are starting to see results.
What’s the best time of day to power pump?
It is really up to you and your schedule and what works best. First of all, you will want to decide on the time of day where you can sit and devote time to it. Most women may do it in the evening after they have put their baby down to bed. But it is entirely up to you and what your schedule is like.
Can I pump with both breasts simultaneously?
Yes, you can pump using both breasts at the same time. This is actually our preferred method if you can manage it!
How can I make power pumping more enjoyable?
If you are going to be pumping for an hour straight you will want to make sure you are somewhere comfortable. Whether that is sitting in a chair or on your bed- make sure you are content.
Before beginning gather anything you may need. Have a large glass or mug of water close by and any snacks that you might want. Then sit back, relax- if you can and watch TV, listen to a podcast, scroll on your phone or read a book! There is nothing wrong with taking this time for yourself.
How much milk should I get while power pumping?
A lot of people worry because they aren’t getting tons and tons of milk while power pumping. Try and separate getting lots of milk from the process. While yes, it’s totally fine and great if you are able to pump milk that entire time, not everyone can or will.
Best Pump for Power Pumping
You can really use whatever pump you have – including a manual pump (I wouldn’t recommend a suction pump like the Haakaa, though. It’s not really designed for those purposes). However, I really love the BabyBuddha Breast pump. It’s small, quiet, and you can hack it to work with freemies so it’s hands-free!
One of the best things you can do to prevent – or, if it’s unpreventable, at least help – low milk supply is education. The Complete Online Breastfeeding Class is designed to help prepare you to meet your breastfeeding goals in no time (and I promise, it’s not boring).
More Breastfeeding Posts You May Enjoy:
- Is Your Breastfeeding Baby Biting? Here’s What You Should Do.
- 8 Breastfeeding Problems After a C-Section (And What You Can Do!)
- 5 Essentials for Preparing to Breastfeed Your Baby
- Why Is Breastfeeding Painful?
- The Ultimate Guide to Dairy-Free Breastfeeding (From a Dairy-Free Mom)
- Breastfeeding and Alcohol: Everything You Need to Know
- High Lipase Breast Milk: Why Your Breast Milk Tastes Gross (and What You Can Do)
- Breastfeeding And Your Period
- 22 Signs of Low Milk Supply