Does power pumping work? I tried it and it worked
Low milk supply? Stressing if you have enough milk for baby? Or maybe you're trying to build a freezer stash after 10-12 weeks postpartum?
Consider power pumping.
What is it?
It's basically pumping 3-4 times in a short period of time (typically an hour) to mimic cluster feeding. By pumping more often, it signals our body to produce more milk to keep up with the 'demand'.
Decide on a time that suits you best and plan for an hour long session each day.
1. Start by pumping for 20 minutes or however long it takes for you to empty both breasts.
2. Rest for 10-15 minutes
3. Pump for 10 minutes
4. Rest for 10-15 minutes
5. Pump for 10 minutes
How long do you do it for?
It's going to be tough, but give it time for your body to adjust to the increased 'demand'. Some mums find it increases milk supply in 48 hours after power pumping. For me on the other hand, I started power pumping at 7 weeks postpartum and it took about a week to slowly have an increase in milk output (20ml increase in each pumping session).
How to maintain your milk output?
Make sure you pump and drain both breasts effectively. If nursing, pump right after nursing if you still feel that your breasts are still quite full. Alternatively, I like to use Haakaa manual pump while nursing to catch letdown and remove remaining milk.
I've tried it for a week but still no improvement
If power pumping doesn't work for you, don't give up just yet. One other strategy you can try is to do a lot of skin-to-skin and pump every 2 hours in the day and 3-4 hours at night. If you're also nursing, nurse your baby on demand and include these pumping sessions in your day.
With my first, I wasn't able to breastfeed her and turned to exclusive pumping. I pumped every 3-4 hours and after 3 weeks of exclusive pumping, my milk supply dropped. I was devastated. I thought I was doing everything right, following the instructions well. What happened?
I started doing a lot of skin-to-skin and squeezing in more pumping sessions. Even though she couldn't latch, I still let her suck for a little while so her saliva could stimulate the nipples. It didn't produce miraculous results in a week or two. But after a month of consistent pumping, my milk supply finally increased. By month 3, I was able to produce 300ml of milk in one pumping session!
I know how tough pumping is, but so are you mamas. All the best and I hope this post is helpful. If you've tried power pumping, we would love to hear your experience below xx