The only breast pumping schedule you need to boost your supply!
You may have heard the term passed around… “Power Pumping” but what is it? What does a power pump schedule look like? Can power pumping really help my milk supply? I’m here to give you the low down. Incorporating this method of pumping helped me provide enough milk for my twins!
P.S. Don’t forget to keep track of your progress!
I am someone who loves to look at numbers, and so kept pretty good track of my output for a long time. I got tired of using the boring old white notebook pages, and constantly googling breastmilk questions, so I created this set of breastfeeding/pumping sheets!
This free breastfeeding printable set includes
- A pumping log with spaces to note how much you pumped from each side (which could be subbed for minutes on each side for breastfeeding mamas) + more
- The power pumping schedule (with a checkbox chart so you know how many sessions you’ve completed)
- Weekly Milk Boosting food guide and water tracker
- The moist and chocolatey lactation cookie recipe I used to nurse my twins for over a year
- A quick reference guide on safe milk storage!
How does power pumping work?
Power pumping works by stimulating what a baby does when they are going through a growth spurt; wanting to nurse ALL the time which sends milk making signals to your body. The goal is to empty your breasts (as a baby would) completely to that signal to your body that you need more milk!
How often do I need to “Power Pump?”
You’ll get many answers on this. Personally, I try to do it 2 or 3 times a day if you have time. A baby won’t just stop needing more milk for growing after one session, so don’t stop simulating this after one session (if you can help it!)
I get you might be busy; I have a toddler and two little girls to take care of! Something is better than nothing, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do it as much as you’d like. I used to stress about this when my girls were in the NICU, but the stress actually made it worse!
Don’t Stress! You might only get drops near the end of the session… that’s ok!
Don’t freak out because you are only seeing a couple of drops. I find it easier to watch a show or something while I’m pumping so I’m not just focused on how much milk I’m getting.
What’s that saying… “A watched pot never boils” Or in parent terms I’ve found lately… a watched bag of milk never warms up in a timely manner! LOL!
This takes a couple of days to work; don’t stress lady, you are doing your best!
OW! My nipples are going to fall off!!
Remember though… if it hurts, stop! You may be doing it too much, or you may have the wrong size flange. Depending on your brand of pump, their website should have a sizing guide to pick the right one out. It makes a big difference; especially if it’s pain that is stopping you from pumping more. It would also be a GREAT idea to get in contact with a lactation consultant!
When will I notice an increase in my milk supply from power pumping?
It could a couple of days for your body to respond, but it’s worth the wait! I notice at least 2-3 ounces more each session! It may be helpful for you to keep track of this. Any amount is good, as everybody is different. Also, this method does not work for everyone! Still be sure to give it around 3 days to start noticing more milk production!
What are typical power pumping results?
Your power pumping result will depend on what your normal expressed amount is, but expect to add atleast 30% more! I was getting 4 ounces from each side but after a good couple of power pump sessions, I got 7 ounces total! That was an increase of 1 1/2 ounces each side!
What if I am nursing already; can power pumping help me? How do I incorporate this method?
Easy! Pump for a little bit after each nursing session. This will send signals to your body saying “Hey! There’s not enough milk… make more!” Even if my supply is fine at the time, I sometimes power pump so that I can store some for later!
This sounds like a lot of work… what can I do to make it easier?
Get a hands free pumping bra! This will hold your cups securely in and allow you to eat, work with your hands etc… but if you’re like me and you’re cheap you could always modify one of your sports bras! Cut a slit in one and just slip the stem through the hole!
I find that my nursing bras actually have enough elasticity to hold the cups in, especially once the pump gets past the stimulation phase. I will sometimes use my pumping bra if I have a lot of movement to do, but if I plan on just watching TV or surfing the net, this has proven good enough!
What if this method of boosting my milk supply doesn’t work?
That’s OK! Everyone is different, and there are many options! These include
- Trying manual hand expression. I have no experience in this, but many people have! Here’s some info!
- Trying a manual pump. Some women feel pain no matter what electric pump. Here’s a list of the top 5!
- Try herbal supplements such as fenugreek, mother’s milk etc. Some of a lot of luck with this! There’s also a lot of “all in one pills” as well as teas.
- Try supplements in food form! My favorite is of course these Peanut Butter Chocolate and Oatmeal Lactation Cookies! They are sugar free, dairy free, egg free and gluten free… and of course really good! If you’re not a cookie person though, there’s shakes, brownies and a lot more. Check out pinterest!