Pump It: Everything Breastfeeding Mothers Need to Know About Power Pumping

By Elayza Gonzalez

Today’s society works hard to normalize breastfeeding in public and is dedicated to empowering women who breastfeed. One way to help advance these initiatives is by educating yourself on the practice of breastfeeding and its many benefits. However, some moms struggle with producing an adequate amount of breast milk to feed their little ones. Power pumping is one solution to that problem.

What is power pumping?
Power pumping is the practice of using a breast pump to remove as much breast milk as possible in rapid (concentrated) intervals in attempt to stimulate milk supply, according to an article written by Jody Segrave-Daly, a co-founder of The Fed is Best Foundation.

According to FedIsBest.org, “the theory behind power pumping is that it hyper-stimulates the prolactin hormone cascade that stimulates breast milk production by completely emptying the breasts.”
Essentially, power pumping helps increase milk supply by taking the regular pumping pattern and concentrating it into an intense one-hour removal process. This helps breastfeeding moms with low milk supply produce more milk faster and more effectively.

How do you power pump?
Research shows that completely emptying both breasts helps produce more breast milk, according to FedIsBest.org. Mammography ultrasounds show that a lactating breast empties in 10 to 15 minutes, which indicates that may also be a good period of time to pump. The article also suggests that breastfeeding moms power pump immediately after breastfeeding.

To power pump, pick an hour where you can pump without interruptions and follow this pattern:

  • Pump for 10 minutes.
  • Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Repeat this pattern three times in 60 minutes.

Some moms will not have the time to power pump for an hour straight, so another alternative is to pump twice a day for 30 minutes following the same pump/rest pattern. The goal is to repeatedly empty the breasts to signal the body to produce more breast milk quickly.

Overall, all moms are different and there’s no way to know if power pumping works for you, unless you try it. Some women begin seeing results within days while others wait weeks. The important thing to remember is that power pumping is meant to make your life easier, so focus on being comfortable and persistent and the milk flow will follow.

Breastfeeding is a powerful gift, and the more you cherish that, the more amazed you’ll be with yourself.

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