If you don’t already know, using a breast pump frequently and regularly to empty your breast can increase your milk supply greatly. It enables your body to make more milk that your little one needs for healthy development.
If you’re a new mom and want to increase your breast milk supply then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to increase milk flow while pumping. So, let’s get into it.
Things to Know When Pumping to Increase Breast Milk Supply
While pumping to increase your breast milk production, you should keep in mind the following three considerations.
Know Your Goals
If you feel that you have a low milk supply then pumping will allow you to produce more milk for your baby. Whether you want to increase your overall supply or maintain the amount of milk supply by pumping, consider emptying your breasts fully in each pumping session. The more you pump the more the breast milk production.
Understand How Your Body Makes Milk
The food that you eat has nutrients that get into your bloodstream and the tissues in your breast take those nutrients and make breast milk. The more often you empty your breasts, the more nutrients are sent to your breast tissues to create more milk.
Keep in mind that getting comfortable with pumping and knowing your body can take some time. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll get for increasing milk supply out of every single pumping session.
Best Ways to Increase Milk Supply by Pumping
If you feed that your body is not making enough milk, then pumping can help you a great deal. Consider following the tips listed below to increase your breast milk supply.
Choose the Right Equipment
You can literally find tons of electric breast pumps available in the market. We recommend you choose a high-quality or hospital-grade breast pump. Bear in mind that you don’t want to buy a pump that comes with a small battery and is operated by hand.
It may be a sound choice for those who want to pump occasionally. But if you’re exclusively pumping, then consider buying a double pump. Not only will it help your body to increase milk supply, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.
Use Your Breast Pump Correctly
Almost all the breast pumps come with a handbook with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Consider following those in order to get the best results. You can also contact the manufacturer or a certified lactation consultant if you have any questions.
If you breastfeed your baby, then you should pump after each feeding session. At first, you might not get much milk, but your body will start producing more milk with continuous breast stimulation by pumping.
In order to get the most milk, consider pumping both sides simultaneously. You can also use a pumping bra to make the process of double pumping easier and comfortable.
If you want to build a milk stock in your freezer or increase your milk supply, then you can also combine cluster pumping with double pumping.
Cluster feeding is when your baby needs milk in a very short period of time and cluster or power pumping mimics this practice. You can follow the recommendations listed below to stimulate more milk production by power pumping.
- Pump for 20 minutes and then rest for 10 minutes
- Pump again for 10 minutes and then rest for 10 minutes
- Pump again for 10 minutes
Pump After Nursing
Sometimes you feel that your breasts still have milk after feeding your baby. Consider pumping after nursing to make sure that your breasts are fully empty. It signals your body to start making more milk. You can make more milk throughout the day if you continue to pump after breastfeeding.
Skin to Skin Contact
According to studies, skin contact with your baby can greatly increase the amount of milk you can pump in a single session. You can also pump by holding your baby to help stimulate the letdown reflex for a better milk flow.
Apply Warm Moisture
Placing a wet and warm cloth on your breast before pumping can improve the flow of your breast milk. It’s especially helpful for those moms who face difficulty with their letdown reflex.
Keep in mind that confidence is the key to breastfeeding. If any of your relatives, colleagues, or friends are able to get more milk by pumping, then you must not get down on yourself. Two women may produce different amounts of milk despite having the same breast size.
With regular pumping, you’ll identify how much milk you can make in a specific amount of time. Initially, you might need more than one pumping session to collect enough milk for your little one.
Take Care of Yourself
Whatever you do while nursing your baby, don’t put yourself last. Taking care of your diet is one of the most important things to produce more milk. Insufficient and unhealthy eating habits can affect your overall breast milk supply greatly.
When to Pump to Increase your Milk Supply?
There are a variety of scenarios in which you may need to pump more in order to increase your milk supply. Some of such scenarios include:
- If you started breastfeeding with a delay after delivery especially if your baby was premature.
- If you have a low breast milk supply.
- If you had to stay away from your little one for several days.
- If you adopt a baby and your body didn’t experience pregnancy and delivery.
- If you have to stop breastfeeding for any reason for some time.
- If you had any health condition like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) or any breast issue that affected your hormones.
Frequency plays a key role in pumping and improving your breast milk supply. You can follow the tips mentioned above to change your pumping habits to be more productive.
Emptying your breast completely and frequently can help your body to improve your milk production. Don’t forget to consult with your lactation consultant or doctor if you’re worried about breast milk supply.