Power Pumping: What Is It + Is It Important
Breastfeeding benefits for babies has been well documented and understood by doctors and mama's alike. More recently, health benefits for women have also been discovered. However, despite their best efforts, many women experience issues with low supply.
Because breasts work on the basic principle of 'supply and demand', using a breast pump is often highly encouraged. Regular pumping delivers the brain a ‘make more milk!’ message and can be very effective in increasing supply. Despite regular pumping sessions, many women do not see results as quickly or as effectively as they had hoped.
Enter power pumping!
What is Power Pumping?
Power pumping is a technique of expressing milk that involves mimicking the frequent feedings of a baby experiencing a growth spurt. During growth spurts, babies tend to be more vigorous, more frequent and longer suckling - triggering an increased release of prolactin from the pituitary gland, the milk-making hormone.
How Do I Power Pump?
Power pumping is not a replacement for regular breast pumping to increase supply. It is a supplemental pumping strategy intended to boost your milk production by replacing one regular pumping session with an alternative. It works by repeatedly, quickly emptying the breast, signaling the body to make more milk, more quickly.
To power pump, pick one hour each day or night (for example, 7 am every morning) and use the following pumping pattern:
- Pump for 20 minutes; rest 10 minutes
- Pump another 10 minutes; rest for 10 minutes
- Pump again for 10 minutes; finish
This provides 40 minutes of more vigorous pumping in a 60 minute period. At other times during the day, use routine pumping. Don't be alarmed if the second and third cycle of power pumping, you are not expressing much milk - it is working on sending signals to the brain.
When Will I See Results?
Some women find implementing power pumping on three consecutive days or nights is sufficient, while others may power pump for up to seven consecutive days to get results.
Leave a comment below and let us know if power pumping helped you!