Power Pumping – A Quick Way to Increase Milk Supply

Hopefully, this headline caught your attention because power pumping sounds badass and that is exactly what a nursing mama is! There are natural ways to encourage a strong or steady milk supply such as a diet that includes oatmeal, plenty of water, or supplements such as fenugreek or mother’s milk tea. You can also encourage higher production of milk through power pumping. When you choose to nurse, you are judging the amount of milk you produce according to your baby’s satisfaction and weight gain. The number of wet and soiled diapers can also reassure you that your baby is hydrated. 

Unfortunately, our bodies do not always do exactly what we want. Many moms experience their milk supply decreasing before they are ready and this happens for a number of reasons. A mother’s dehydration, menstrual cycle, overall health, and even stress can impact milk supply. However, if your milk supply is dwindling before you and your baby are ready to stop nursing and there is no medical reason why then you can look into methods to keep your supply steady like power pumping. 

What is Power Pumping?

Power pumping is a method that stimulates the body into producing more milk due to supply and demand. It is similar to cluster feeding, which is a period of time in which the baby feeds more frequently between their feeding schedule. The higher demand may be due to fussiness or a growth spurt. It also promotes an increase in milk supply. This may not be a walk in the park if you are already feeling strained by breastfeeding, but it is the best way to keep supply up if that’s your ultimate goal. Keep a good nipple cream around to make this process seem a bit more bearable! 

Whether you are nursing or pumping, the body produces the hormone prolactin. Prolactin levels increase during pregnancy and after birth so that the mother’s body can make breast milk. The body also produces more oxytocin for encouraging milk “let down”. Power pumping means there is more demand so the body will produce more prolactin.

While nursing your baby should increase supply to your baby’s demand, you can help it along with power pumping. The use of your breast pump for the purpose of increasing milk supply gives your body the idea that the demand is greater. It also works to empty the breasts so that the body knows there is a need to make more milk. If any milk is left over in the breast, the body may not consider that there is still a demand for milk.

How Long Should You Power Pump?

Whether you use a single pump or a double pump, you can finish each session in one hour. Double pumps can be more effective because there is no need to switch breasts in between and more prolactin is produced when both breasts are stimulated.

Double Pump Schedule:

  • Pump 20 minutes
  • 10 minutes rest
  • Pump 10 minutes
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Pump 10 minutes

Single Pump Schedule:

  • Start by pumping 10 minutes on the right breast
  • Pump 10 minutes on the left breast
  • Then pump 10 minutes on the right breast
  • Pump 10 minutes on the left breast
  • Next pump 10 minutes on the right breast
  • Pump 10 minutes on the left breast

Power pumping can be done once a day. Milk supply increase can take between 2 to 7 days to see results.

How to Power Pump Comfortably

Use a Great Pump

First things first, you will need a pump! But, what are the best pumps for power pumping? Truthfully, any pump will do. Since power pumping is so frequent, though, being hands-free might be nice. Here are our favorite hands-free options!

Stay Hydrated

Frequent power pumping sessions will require you to up your water intake. Water bottles like this with little reminders will help!

Stock Up on Nipple Cream

After each pumping session, use nipple cream or coconut oil to relieve or prevent chapping or chafing. Here are a few of our favorites that offer great relief and are totally safe for breastfeeding moms to use. 

Upspring Nipple Balm Organic Coconut Oil

Upspring Coconut Oil is a great choice for relief for breastfeeding moms. It not only soothes but also protects and repairs. This balm is not greasy at all so application is easy and comfortable. You will also be happy to know it is made of all natural ingredients and perfectly safe to put on before breastfeeding. Get yours here!

Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

This is a vegan and cruelty-free option! Earth Mama’s organic breast cream is also non-GMO. It does not include any beeswax but instead is made of soothing plant products. It absorbs very fast but heals quickly all while bringing you soothing comfort. Check pricing here!

Honest Company Organic Nipple Balm 

This nipple balm is made of deeply hydrating olive oil that revitalizes sore or chapped nursing nipples. You can apply it as often as you like and it doesn’t ever need to be wiped off before feedings. Check it out here!

When Is the Best Time to Do Power Pumping?

You want to be able to power pump when your baby is not hungry. A good time would be during a naptime. Mothers generally have a higher volume of breast milk during the morning. If you can get an hour for pumping during a time of the day when you can be calm and comfortable, it will aid in your milk production. Naptime is best if you are the sole caregiver, otherwise, find a time when there is another caregiver such as a partner or family member who can help out. A comfortable seat with a dedicated spot for the pump equipment is ideal. Calming music, positive baby reminders, and even warm compresses can help. Stress and anxiety about the amount of milk you produce will be counterproductive.

Power pumping can be done once a day. If it is necessary, it can be done in the evening when your baby goes down for the night and before you go to bed.

When Should You Not Power Pump?

Power pumping should only be used in cases of low milk supply. If you power pump with adequate milk supply, it can lead to oversupply and painful engorgement. Also, your body may produce more foremilk which is thinner and does not fill your baby as much as the thicker, richer hindmilk. Too much milk production can affect both you and your baby.

Who Can You Talk to About Power Pumping?

A lactation consultant can answer questions regarding your baby’s latch and breastfeeding questions in general. They can assure you that your milk supply is adequate when your newborn is hungry about every two hours because breast milk is digested faster than formula. It is important not to compare breastfed babies to formula-fed babies because the composition is different. A mother who is nursing adjusts to the needs of the baby just as the baby will adapt and become more skilled in suckling. Enjoy the bonding time with your baby and don’t let stress get in the way of nourishing your baby with the best food for them.

Have some questions about Pumping. Feel free to list them in the comments  Also, check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group, it’s a great group of moms where you can share your experiences, ask for advice and even help out another mom!

You Might Also Enjoy:

How to Score a Free Breast Pump – Tips, Tricks & Questions to Ask

Best Electric Breast Pumps – Top 9 Choices

How to Wean From Pumping – Breastfeeding Tips from a Pro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *