Power pumping is a method I learned from scoping the internet for ways to increase milk production. It is said to simulate a growth spurt your baby would have. We all know that when babies and children are growing, they are extra hungry! Since lactation works on a supply-and-demand basis, this makes sense. You pump until your body believes it needs to produce more to keep up with your baby's needs. Now, I get really lazy and only do this when I notice my freezer supply starting to dwindle but in theory, you could do this every night when your little one goes to bed or throughout the day if you have a free hour.
Here are the steps to power pumping:
- Grab some water.
You're going to need it to hydrate yourself. You should be trying to replace fluids every time you drink, nurse, or feel thirsty. I usually follow my body by taking note of what color my urine is, if it is more on the yellow side, I probably need to drink more. I do notice a significant difference in the amount of milk I produce when I am paying attention to my water intake.
2. Get comfortable.
This process takes a minimum of one hour. What I usually will do is set up my work station and pumping station as one so I don't feel like I'm wasting an hour. I'm literally pumping as I'm writing this. This is also a good time to take a break from your long, baby-filled day so don't feel guilty for kicking your feet up and relaxing during this time. You deserve it!
3. Pump in intervals.
Your first session is going to be 20 minutes.
After that, rest for 10 minutes.
Pump for 10 more.
Rest again for 10.
Finish off with another strong 10 minutes.
It may feel as if you aren't getting much but you should produce a let-down at least twice and if you don't when you first start, it's okay, that's the whole point of this!
Some products I suggest using to make this process easier include:
A hands-free pumping bra - Essential because believe me when I say that you do not want to want to sit there holding those things for an hour. A regular bra also does an all right job of holding my pump pieces in place.
A good electric pump - I did post a link to buy one but most insurances will send you one. What you need to do is get a prescription from your OB for a breast pump, you can even get one while you're in the hospital after giving birth. You call your insurance company and ask if they offer this service, most do and then they have you choose a supplier to get it from, usually somewhere local. From my understanding, they will not send a pump until you have given birth (some insurances may be different) and with both of my kids I called them in the hospital so it was there when I got home or shortly after. Try to make sure they will send you an entire kit which includes the bag, accessories, extra bottles, a bottle storage bag, and the pump.
Car adapter - I cannot stress how important it is to have this. Electric pumps can either be plugged in or run on batteries but I found that they are much more efficient when plugged in. This may have been causing my issues as well because for a long time I was mostly pumping off of batteries when I work short days and had to pump in my car. It you can hear the difference when it is plugged into a car adapter plus you don't have to worry about the batteries dying. You also never know if you're going to be in a situation where you have to pump in your car. They make these things for a reason.
Feel free to contact me at Mybabybeads@gmail.com with any questions or concerns and don't forget to share to all of your breast feeding friends!