When you hear ‘power pumping’ you probably think about an intense gym where bodybuilders are pumping massive amounts of iron. The reality is much more interesting, especially for moms of newborns.
Power pumping is a concept built around the idea of increasing your milk production by rapidly expelling your breast milk by replicating what naturally happens to your breasts when a baby cluster feeds. But, what is power pumping exactly?
Power pumping is a technique you can use to produce more milk as it mimics cluster feeding. Cluster feeding is when your baby feeds more frequently at first when their stomach size is smaller and they require milk more often. Your breasts replenish milk more quickly during this time to keep up with demand.
This technique isn’t meant to replace your entire pumping routine, but rather to increase milk flow during your regular schedule.
Also, you need a double electric breast pump to effectively power pump because they mimic an infant’s natural suckling pattern and duration. Then set aside an hour each day where you can pump uninterrupted. Generally, an hour in the morning will be best because that’s when your breast milk supply is at its highest. Avoid power pumping at night, because it could affect your milk production that accumulates during your sleep.
Refer to the following one-hour power pumping schedule:
- Pump for about 20 minutes then rest for 10 minutes.
- Pump for 10 minutes and rest for another 10 minutes.
- One more round of pumping for 10 minutes!
- Continue your regular pumping schedule.
Tah-Dah! You’re done. That’s all you need to do daily to boost your milk supply. Some moms see power pumping results within 48 hours, but it can take a few days to notice results. Each mom is different, so it really just depends on your individual milk flow.
Your power pumping schedule should only last for about 3 to 7 consecutive days depending on how long it takes your milk supply to increase. Most moms try to aim for 4 days before returning to their regular schedule.
For even more power pumping success, try to think of it as a time to relax instead of a chore. Heck, you get a whole hour to yourself uninterrupted, which can be rare as a new mom. Pick a comfortable spot and kick your feet up with your favorite TV program or magazine.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, your body needs enough water to produce milk. Try to drink water whenever you can during the day and start each morning off with a big glass.
Also, breast pumping takes calories. Remember to eat enough to keep yourself and your milk flow at full capacity.
Is Power Pumping For You?
If you’re struggling with your milk flow or simply want to produce more during your breast pumping sessions than power pumping is worth a shot. However, it may be worth consulting a local lactation expert to discuss your options.