Power Pumping for Mothers: A Healthy Guide

 The biggest issue for a breastfeeding mom is the drop-in milk over a period. You can try oatmeal, flax seed, lactation cookies, or special teas that wow to get the milk flowing, and it doesn’t. The answer in situation like these is Power Pumping.

This is a way to mimic cluster feeding, however, in this scenario, a breast pump is involved. This is a strategy used by women to help them in increasing the milk supply in the nursing period, or when they are exclusively pumping. In this process, they empty the breast through a rapid on-off pumping process. As experts at Uplifties tell us, this helps in tricking your body into thinking that it needs to produce milk.

Things that you should consider before Power Pumping

Before we decide to go any further, you should consider the following facts:

  • Your supply naturally varies throughout the day, month and year, and this would remain true at any given point of time
  • The fact that you can measure how much milk you express may bring your attention to a completely normal fluctuation, which may be an issue of concern for some, but shouldn’t be
  • Pumps do not remove milk from the breast as well as a nursing child, which is something that you should consider

This means that if your child underfeeds, or starts to wane, the amount of milk being produced will start to die down as well since the body will realize that the child doesn’t require that much milk to begin with. This also means that if you skip any nursing sessions or reduce their duration, then it would become an issue since the entire concept of feeding is based on the cycle of demand and supply.

Another thing to be kept in mind is the amount of milk that you should be pumping. Ideally, it should be between 0.5 to 2 ounces per session, which means that nearly 0.25 ounces per breast is normal enough. However, if you push yourself towards producing more milk, you may be stressed for the next day, creating a cycle that can be worrisome.

Reasons why you should power pump

There could be multiple arguments in favour of Power Pumping in order to enhance your supply, some of which are:

  • You might notice that you’re producing less milk, and therefore your freezer stash is dwindling these days
  • You might be getting ready to go back to work and you might want to hoard some milk ahead of time to ensure there is proper supply when you are not around
  • Your paediatrician may ask you to supplement with expressed breastmilk if your baby isn’t growing according to the guidelines
  • You may be working with a lactation professional on your baby’s latch and you might have to use an alternate feeding method until nursing goes a little more smoothly
  • You could have taken a decongestant or any other medication that might have diminished your supply on a temporary basis
  • You might want to stock up on milk because you’re planning to go out of town or have surgery that might stop the process temporarily
  • You may not normally pump, but your older baby gets fidgety at the breast and doesn’t nurse as often as they used to, causing your supply to suffer, sometimes to a pretty large extent as well
  • You have returned to work and being away from your baby has affected your supply since you are unable to pump regularly
  • Your periods have returned, or you have been sick, and your supply has dipped temporarily for now

How to power pump effectively?

There are multiple ways to power pump; however, the most common and advised method is to take the following routine:

  • Pump for 20 minutes.
  • Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Pump for 10 minutes.
  • Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Pump for 10 minutes.

Following this method should help you in effectively increasing your milk supply over a period of days, if not weeks.

If you’re concerned that you aren’t making the ideal amount of milk for your baby, don’t fret. It’s rare for a woman to have a medical issue that seriously affects her supply. Most supply issues can be remedied with the guidance of a lactation professional.

But don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Having a strong support system and getting frequent opportunities to put your feet up and relax can go a long way in reducing your stress levels and allowing your body to do what it needs to do.