How To Pump More Breast Milk
How To Increase Breast Milk Suppy While Pumping
For a new mother using an electric breast pump, pumping can be a very overwhelming experience. In the beginning you may not be very efficient in the technique of pumping breast milk and you will always be struggling to pump more breast milk
That is okay as it requires practice to get better at pumping breast milk. So, you shouldn’t fret. You will get better with time. It might happen that you have been pumping for like 30 minutes or more only to get a few drops of milk.
You do not have to worry anymore about it. We have here some tips and tricks which will help you in becoming more efficient in pumping breast milk.
Before starting, you need to make sure you have all this in place:
- The pump should be of good quality.
- Check the parts of the pump. If any of the parts is not in good condition, replace it.
- All the connections should be tight.
- The size of the breast shield should be appropriate.
We have compiled here a list of the 10 best tips that will boost your pumping productivity. Follow these and you will definitely begin to see a difference in your milk production.
1. Power Pumping To Boost Milk Production
Power Pumping is the #1 method for pumping mothers.
The term ‘Power Pumping’ means doing many short pumping sessions within the duration of an hour. You have to do this at least twice a day with breaks in between.
Power pumping is a technique that involves mimics the frequent feeding pattern of a newborn. During a growth spurt, a baby sucks more frequently and strongly which triggers a release of prolactin from the pituitary gland. This signals the body to ramp up the supply of breast milk.
The typical break down for a 1 hour power pumping session can be as follows:
- 20 minutes of dual pumping
- 10 minutes rest
- 10 minutes dual pumping
- 10 minutes rest
- 10 minutes dual pumping
Power pumping can be a very effective tip to to pump more milk if done right. You should empty the breasts for each pumping session and use this method with patience for a long duration.
Emptying the breasts frequently will send a signal to your body to produce more milk. In the long run, you will see a noticeable increase in the amount of milk produced.
Power pumping can be quite stressful because of all the effort and time keeping. So the first key to a successful power pumping is to be comfortable.
Choose a position which is the most comfortable for you and that you can maintain for 20 minutes at a stretch.
Double Electric breast pumps such as Medela Pump In Style Advanced are the most effective for power pumping breast milk.
Make sure you had a meal and keep a water bottle within your reach since the power pumping session usually lasts 1 hour.
With these power pumping tips, I am sure you would see a spurt in your milk supply while pumping.
2. Try multiple let down
Make it a goal to try and get multiple let downs instead of just one. The milk you get on a subsequent let down won’t be as much as the first let down.
However, combining them will give you a whole lot more than what you would have got from just one let down.
To do this, when the milk flow from the first let down slows down, turn the pump to the let down or massage mode again.
The first let down takes lesser time. But, the subsequent let downs might take a little longer time. In that case, you should keep trying. It will be worth in the end.
3. Using the hands-on pumping method
I know it is very convenient and time saving to use the hands free pumping method. But, if you intend to increase your milk productivity, you should use your hands for breast massage.
You should still get the hands-free pumping bra, so that you don’t have to support both the breast shields every time.
To do this, you have to start with one breast. Massage your breast from the outer side towards the areola and continue doing it until you start seeing the milk drops. You will need to put in a little effort, but it will help you to pump more breast milk.
4. Hand expression or manual pumping after dual pumping
You can further increase your milk output by following the dual pumping method by hand expression or breast massage.
Combining the dual pumping with the hands on technique gives the highest yield and hence it is the most effective method. The most common method to do the hand expression is the Marmet method.
Some of you may not be very comfortable in doing the hand expression. So, you can use the manual breast pump instead of the hand method. You have to pump until you see no more drops of milk.
5. Reposition the breast shield
You can increase the milk flow by repositioning your breast shield. This can be done in 2 ways. The easier way is to just re-attach the breast shield. This will recreate the vacuum, without having to change the location of the breast shield.
If you feel the first method is not efficient enough to boost the milk production, you can use another trick. You can instead reposition the breast shield by focusing on the different parts of your breast.
You can try these tricks with a manual pump as well as an electric breast pump. You should also remember to dis-attach the breast shield during the off-vacuum or no suction state.
6. Pump frequently for short durations
This theory is just based on the basic rule of milk production. The more milk you remove from the breasts, the more milk is produced by the body. That simply means if you empty your breasts more frequently, you will have more milk.
Also, pumping more will send the signal to the body that more milk is required and the milk supply will increase. But, if you do it less frequently, the milk production will decrease.
So, you should try to have shorter and frequent pumping sessions instead of waiting for long intervals. You can also pump in between feeding.
7. Pump early in the morning
The best hours for milk production are the wee hours and the morning hours. The morning pumping sessions will yield the most milk and therefore are also known as golden hours.
This is because the hormone responsible for milk production i.e. prolactin, is at its highest levels during the early morning and the wee hours.
So, you should wake up early and pump to fully utilize this time. This is a very useful trick to increase the milk production.
So, try to make the best use of the golden hours. This will also save you time for the rest of the day as you will be stocked up already.
8. Pumping and nursing at the same time
Pumping alongwith nursing can be a great time saver. If you pump and nurse simultaneously, you don’t have to stimulate the let down as the suckling baby will do it for you.
This will send a signal to your body to produce more milk. This would create a condition similar to as though you are nursing twins.
But this method can become a little difficult to use when the baby grows older, as the baby may feel uncomfortable about the breast shield. This is however, a very good method for newborns.
9. Check the speed of your electric breast pump
You should make sure that your pump is set at the right speed as per your need and comfort. The speed should be high enough to pump out enough milk but it should also be at a comfortable level and should not tense you up.
If you are pressed for time, you may want to get done with it as soon as possible and set the pump at a higher speed.
But, this can tense up your breasts. It will not only cause you discomfort but also affect your milk productivity in the long run.
10. Do breast compressions with warm water
You can do breast compression with warm water while in shower or with towels soaked in warm water. This triggers let down effect and is very beneficial for women suffering from low milk supply.
Hope you benefit from these tips. If you have any questions or feedback do share it with us. If you have any breast pumping tip of your own, you can share that with us and we will include it in this list after researching it.
Author: Marissa Claire
Hi, I am Marissa. I am a wife of a very supportive husband and mother 3 precious kids. Even though my life is not picture perfect, I have too many blessings to be counted. I am an ordinary mom who has been through some tough times.
I have tried to collate the best information available and write personal & real reviews for the benefits of parents who are confused with the plethora of breast pumps available. I have made an effort to steer clear of technical jargons and used layman language which is understood by people like us.
Categorised in: Guide