What is power pumping breast milk? - Idaho Jones
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What is power pumping breast milk?

Power pumping is a way to increase milk supply by clustering pumping sessions in much the same way a rapidly growing baby will cluster breastfeeds. Common breastfeeding wisdom is that a baby will feed 8-10 times in a twenty-four-hour period but, as most nursing mothers will attest, that does not always look like 8-10 complete feeds spaced out at predictable intervals. Quite the contrary, and that is perfectly normal. Your little one is a baby after all, not a clock! In particular, many nursing mothers will say that their little one has a hungry period in the evening, when they come off and on and off the breast for short frequent feeds, and often fuss. Many mothers will feel concerned and frustrated that they don’t have enough milk to satisfy their baby. According to many lactation consultants, these feeds are the baby’s way of trying to increase mother’s milk supply, and they are thought to happen around times of growth spurts. Evening slumps in mothers milk supply corresponding with evening fussiness in the baby and the desire for frequent, brief feeds is a common occurrence. 

That’s cluster feeding. What is power pumping breast milk?

Power pumping is a technique available to moms who want to increase their milk supply. When milk stays in the breast, that fullness is a signal to mother’s milk making glands to slow production, in other words, to make less milk. When milk is released, either directly to the baby or expressed with a breast pump, feedback hormones signal the breasts to make more milk. It’s that simple. Power pumping mimics cluster feeding, which is the baby’s natural way to signal the mom to make more milk. Is power pumping effective? The short answer is yes! More breast emptyings equal more milk production, however the degree to which it works for a particular mother is variable. One of the most important factors would be the effectiveness of the breast pump itself. 

What is the best power pumping method? 

Mothers with special concerns and circumstances can benefit from the advice of a board certified lactation consultant during their breastfeeding and pumping journey, but for other mothers just knowing the basics of how to power pump may suffice. There is no one correct power pumping schedule. Most mothers will do one or two hours per day of power pumping for a few days to a few weeks. (Certainly after a few weeks of power pumping a mother will know if the technique is working for her or if she needs to consider other approaches to increasing her supply.) 

The best time to do power pumping will be morning for most women, because the milk supply is the highest then. But any uninterrupted hour or two will do.

  • First get comfy! Put your hands-free pumping bra on, post up in your nursing station, put your feet up and try to relax. If you’re an experienced pumper, you’ll know how to massage your breasts to stimulate a let down and get the milk flowing. If you’re new to pumping, or need more info about good pumping techniques, you’ll want to read this article.
  • Double pump for twenty minutes
  • Rest for ten.
  • Double pump for ten.
  • Rest for ten.
  • Double pump for ten.

That’s all there is to it.  The benefit of power pumping will be an increase in the mother’s milk supply. To achieve results, a mother may choose to do this one or more times per day over a period of consecutive days or weeks. There is no need to wash pump parts after each quick pumping burst. Wash your pump parts at the end of the hour. Reminder: the breaks are important and not to be skipped. Do not continue power pumping if it is painful to your breasts or nipples, seek assistance from a lactation consultant. 

power pumping

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