What is Power Pumping?
Power Pumping is a method to increase your breastmilk supply. It mimics how your child stimulates your supply through cluster feeding, by pumping several times within a short time span. Breastmilk production is based on supply and demand, so adding a power pumping session to your day increases the demand for your breastmilk and can in turn increase your supply.
If you feel you are struggling with your milk supply, I would urge you to seek advice from a lactation consultant or similar professional. I am sharing my experience and advice here on power pumping, but while I am an experienced breastfeeding and pumping mom, I do not hold a medical degree and this shouldn’t be interpreted as medical advice.
How to Power Pump?
A power pumping session should be in addition to your normal breastfeeding and pumping routine. The idea is to increase demand for breastmilk to stimulate additional production. A typical power pumping session lasts about one hour, so you will need to plan to block out this time.
Milk production is often highest in the morning, so this can be a good time to power pump. I always chose to power pump in the afternoon, though, since my production was lower at that time of day. I wanted to stimulate my supply for the fussy evenings/ cluster feeding that would happen before bedtime.
Power pumping will be most efficient with a double electric breast pump, since you can pump from both breasts at once. After 2-3 days of power pumping, you should see an increase in your supply.
Power Pumping Routine
To power pump, follow this routine.
One Power Pumping Session:
- Pump for 20 minutes, or until breasts are empty.
- Rest for 10 minutes.
- Pump for 10 minutes (you might not express any milk, but that’s ok – you’re still stimulating production)
- Rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes (again, you might not express any milk)
To further stimulate your milk production, while pumping you can try breast massage, or use heat therapy on your breasts. I also recommend a hands-free pumping bra if you use an electric pump so you aren’t stuck holding the pump to your chest for so long! (Disclosure: these are affiliate links)