Pumping can be so frustrating. Not only do we feel like dairy cows on the farm but many of us also struggle to pump enough milk to give our babies once we return to work outside of the home. Whether you are pumping for a premature baby who cannot breastfeed yet, have low supply, or are pumping while at work…power pumping can help you boost your supply! Here is how you can power pump your way to more milk…
Why power pumping works:
Breastmilk production works on a supply and demand system so the more frequently your breasts are drained, the more milk they will make. Your baby or toddler will have days where they cluster feed (feed very frequently on and off the boob for an extended period of time) and one of the reasons it is so important to allow them to cluster feed is that it is giving your supply an important boost. This could be needed for many reasons; your child may be going through a growth spurt or developmental milestone or they may just be in need of some extra antibodies to fight an infection or illness they are coming down with. This type of cluster feeding can be done with a pump too and is called, “power pumping”.
Important points to remember:•
Try to do this power pumping for 2 days straight if possible.
Drink heaps of water and eat more than usual while power pumping.
Do not be concerned about your babies intake if you are power pumping and breastfeeding at the same time. Your breasts are never empty, there will always be milk left in them. CLICK HERE to go through the checklist that your baby is getting enough. If you have any question about this contact an IBCLC or your local volunteer breastfeeding counsellor.
Keep pumping even if you do not have milk coming out. This is called, “dry pumping” and is important extra stimulation.
This will be virtually IMPOSSIBLE to do if you are breastfeeding regularly, every 1-3 hours 24/7. Power pumping works well if your baby is not breastfeeding at all or if they go for extended periods of time without breastfeeding or skip feeds and have a bottle instead. It is during these times that power pumping is possible.