Power Pumping: An Alternative Way to Increase Milk Supply
Mummies, if you have low breast milk, then try power pumping as an alternative to upsurge the supply!
Benefits of breast milk for babies are unprecedented. But what happens if the mother’s breast milk supply cannot keep up with her baby’s demand? Is this the best time to switch to infant formulas? Mummies, do not give up on your dwindling breast milk supply. Arm yourself with a high-quality breast pump and start power pumping your way to an increased milk source.
Breast pump use
Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to consistently feed their babies hourly. This is to ensure that their breasts are continuously stimulated to be able to produce large volumes of milk each time. But because not all babies require hourly feedings and not all mums have high milk supply, the use of breast pump is highly recommended. Breast pumps work by mimicking the sucking motion that infants do when feeding. This typically results to an improved supply of breast milk.
What is power pumping?
Even with the aid of a breast pump, some mummies still find themselves frazzled just to keep up with their babies’ demand for milk. It seems that breast pumps didn’t make a difference in increasing the volume of milk that they produce each feeding. This is where power pumping is applied.
Power pumping, also known as cluster pumping, is a tried and tested method performed by a lot of exclusively breastfeeding mothers to increase their supply of nutritious breast milk. In a nutshell, power pumping is like regular breast pumping but even more frequent.
How does power pumping work?
The objective of power pumping is to repeatedly pump the breasts to improve milk supply. The continuous emptying of the breasts gives a signal to the body that it should produce more breast milk in half the time.
Power pumping is actually done on and off in a span of an hour in one day. Mummies need to pump continuously for 20 minutes, rest for the next ten, pump again for 10 minutes, rest for another 10 minutes and pump for 10 minutes before stopping.
Best power pumping results
In order for power pumping to be effective, it should be done once a day until the breast milk supply matches the baby’s feeding demands. It is important to note that regular breast pumping sessions should be continued in order to see results.
Power pumping for breast milk is highly effective when paired with a lot of rest and a healthy diet. This is why relaxing after a tasty meal is the best time to power pump. However, it can also be done at any time that the mother feels most relaxed. Research shows that breast milk production is often hindered by stress, panic and anxiety.
Results can be experienced as swiftly as two days. But for some mothers, it could take as long as a week. If you find that you are not producing any milk during the sessions, “dry pumping,” that’s okay – because an empty breast, especially when stimulated tells your body to make more milk fast! So don’t give up, mummies! Just keep power pumping your way to more breast milk.
Handy power pumping tips
- Double power pumping empties your breast faster and increases prolactin in your body more than single pumping. Double pump for faster results
- Set up your breast pump somewhere you will walk past often like your kitchen or living room.
- Keep track of your schedule by having a clock handy or use an alarm. If watching an alarm is too stressful for you, you can be watching a favourite TV program, pumping during the commercials and resting during the show or listen to music, pumping during two songs and resting during the next two
- Try to view the time as an opportunity to wind down rather than another task that must be completed.
- Power pumping is not meant to replace your normal pumping routine; it’s designed to enhance your milk supply within an established routine.
Have you ever tried power pumping? How did it change your breastfeeding routine? Tell us about your experience. We’d love to hear from you.
Need help? Don’t fret!
When in doubt, please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby’s situation.
theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.