At most, mothers take a consistent time to establish their milk supply. Breastfeeding & power pumping take their time to unfold, demanding a proper latch, breastfeeding position, baby’s milk demands to stabilize suitably.
Although, mothers can suffice their milk supply following through the manual and avoiding breastfeeding mistakes, sometimes breast pumping or in this case, power pumping can do plenty of favors to a mother’s milk supply.
Power pumping when done right can help you level up with your baby’s breast milk demands. But one should make sure to not overdo it to avoid power pumping mistakes & complications.
1. What Is Power Pumping For Breastfeeding?
Power pumping mimics the pattern a baby follows while feeding, A.K.A., cluster feeding. Most of the time, at the initial stage of breastfeeding, babies take shorter feeds often throughout the day, this is called cluster feeding. The behavior is normal for babies, power pumping mimics this same behavior to trick the mother’s body into producing more milk for the baby.
Now, mothers who feed on demand will have enough milk supply the baby needs unless she has low milk supply innately. Mothers often prefer power pumping when they have low milk supply or milk production or when they wish to prepare milk stashes for their after-exclusive breastfeeding period.
Power pumping or Breast pumping when overused can lead to too much milk production. Too much milk production can later lead to engorgement, mastitis, clogged milk ducts, etc. We will be discussing safeguards while power pumping later on in this discussion.
2. How To Power Pump?
Power pumping or breast pumping, in general, doesn’t miraculously produce or pump milk. It takes time for your body to respond to pumping. Mothers might get close to a minimal amount of milk in their first pumping session or max 2-3 ounces. It’s completely normal.
Regular Breast pumping and breastfeeding schedule with precaution would give you better results sooner or later.
For starters, pump right after you feed your baby. You will get some expressed milk in the process. Along with that, you can always pump with your baby feeding on another breast. This a great way to stabilize your breast pumping, it allows your body to adjust.
Power pump for 20-30 minutes, take a break for 10 minutes, and pump again for 20 minutes, mimicking cluster feeding. You can do it once a day for an hour with breaks, or you can try it twice for better results.
There can be ‘n’ reasons you have a low milk supply and often they are easily corrected, it’s important that you look through if it’s your body that isn’t capable of producing milk, or are they some amateur breastfeeding mistakes(can be corrected with time.
If your medical history or hormonal changes do not allow your body to produce enough milk, consult your lactational specialist. Do not opt for breast milk supplements or medicines without confirming with your doctors, they can negatively affect your breast milk supply.
Instead, give your body a healthy breastfeeding treat to produce enough milk, breastfeeding diet doesn’t ask for extra efforts, and neither does it eliminate many foods.
3. How Often Should You Power Pump? Power Pumping Schedule.
As we speak of it, power pumping comes handy when you have a low milk supply or are building yourself milk stashes. If you are feeding exclusively on-demand and have enough milk supply (check these signs for low milk supply), you don’t need power pumping. Because whatever extra milk you’d produced, without proper drainage, it can cause issues like heavy painful breasts and plugged milk ducts.
You can pump twice a day if that’s convenient to your time schedule and your body or just once a day of power pumping is enough.
Try it in this pattern for an hour after you finish feeding your baby:
- 25-30 minutes of power pumping through an electric pump/Haakaa Pump/manual pumping.
- Take a rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Pump again for 25-30 minutes.
- And it’s a wrap.
Haakaa pump or manual pumping might not give you results except for storing the expressed milk after a feeding session. The electric pump is the best choice for you to build up extra milk storage and increase milk supply.
Try this for a week and look for results, if the results are not in your favor, know, it takes 2-3 days for breast pumping to show results. If you still don’t see any results after continuously scheduled power-pumping, visit your doctor.
Also, do not forget to be consistent while power pumping. If you decide morning and evening to pump, make sure you don’t skip the session or delay the process. Be accurate with time for your body to get used to it!
There is no such thing as a Power pumping schedule but you need to be consistent to see results. If you have decided to pump twice a day. Make sure, you stick to the plan and timing.
This breast pumping schedule is for mothers who breastfeed along with pumping. For mother who exclusively power pump, should pump more often, close to what the baby does.
4. Breastfeeding Power Pumping Tips
- Help yourself with a breast pumping station. You might not want to get uncomfortable while breast pumping.
- Power pumping has some of the very modern techniques, you just have to switch on the electric pump and let it do the business. Meanwhile, entertain yourself with a book, a movie, manicure or pedicure, sun-bathing. Yes, the electric pump now comes with rechargeable batteries.
- Choose your pumping station at your best spot, under the shed, in the garden, close to your baby, or whichever soothes you the best.
- Wearing a comfortable breast pumping bra & breastfeeding clothes.
- Sometimes, managing the baby and breast pumping together might not be a very great idea. If that’s the case, don’t feed and pump together. Take your time.
- A Breast pumping bag for when you leave for work.
- Ask your partner to be your errand guy. I mean, it’s 2020, and partners got duties for breastfeeding!
- Stock up on breastfeeding must-haves so that you don’t have to run to the supermarket again and again!
- Don’t stress over anything or low milk supply. There are many alternatives and your baby is going to be just fine.
- Take deep breaths, do meditation, love your baby & yourself. This shall pass, too beautifully.
- If you will be pumping at work and are shy, you can use breastfeeding covers. Though it is nothing that you should hide. It’s only natural and if people got a problem with you feeding/pumping in public, it’s their problem. It’s up to you though. You can cover it up or not, it’s your choice but don’t let morons tell you what to do!
Reminder: Power pumping to increase milk supply should be only performed under these circumstances- When you are really low on milk supply. When you have clarified all the breastfeeding mistakes and still not have better results. When your lactational guru gives you a green signal to power pump.
Power pumping is very much safe but be careful. I wish you all the milk production your baby needs. Have patience when pumping doesn’t work, it takes time. Breathe in.