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September 09, 2019
Power Pumping is a technique using a single or double breast pump which mimics a baby cluster feeding and is used to increase breast milk supply.
We spoke about power pumping in our blog post on Exclusive Expressing, but it is such a handy little technique that I felt it deserved its own little blog post dedicated to it alone.
Power pumping replicates the natural cluster feeding action of a baby and is used when you need to increase your milk supply.
The reason a baby cluster feeds is believed to be two fold: a) baby's put in there request for the next day and feed frequently to make sure there is enough milk and b) the more frequent the feeds, the higher the fat content is of the milk, so they are getting fatty milk in preparation to rest (I know, I know, great theory and sometimes it feels like cluster feeding never ends, but it will!)
It is mainly used by exclusive expressing mums, however can be used by any mum trying to increase her supply:
- Premature baby
- Returning to work
- Separated from baby and supply has dropped
It replaces a pump or if you are direct breastfeeding is used in addition to a feed (or directly after a feed) to stimulate the breast and rapidly increase breastmilk supply.
It can take 2-3 days to see the increase in milk supply when using the power pumping technique, so don't be upset if you don't see an immediate next day increase.
In addition to power pumping, you can eat a range of galactagogue breastfeeding teas, lactation cookies and breastfeeding malt drinks to maximise the volume and output you are getting from the pump.
A double pumping schedule looks like this:
A single pumping schedule looks like this:
Once you have the increase you need, you just revert back to your usual schedule, so the pump you were power pumping on goes back to a normal pump or your normal breastfeeding schedule resumes and you just drop the power pump.
If you only occasionally pump, just remember the volume you get from a pump isn't an indication of your supply. It is a different action to a baby breastfeeding so can take a while for your baby to adjust and respond to the pump. Don't be disheartened and think you don't have any supply from your first power pump. The stimulation all helps and you most probably will see an increase over the days you power pump in addition to the extra supply you get from the activity.
Good luck pumping mama!
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