Pumping is a much dreaded task by breastfeeding moms all over, however there are a few things that you can do to make the most of your time spent pumping. Below are some tips that, in my experience, really helped increase my output.
I chose to supplement with vitamins during my breastfeeding experience, in the hopes that it would help make breastfeeding (both nursing and pumping) more effective. I tried a lot of different supplements, but I personally had the best luck with these two Legendairy Milk supplements: Liquid Gold & Sunflower Lecithin. Liquid Gold helps to boost your supply in general, and Sunflower Lecithin helps to make your milk flow more smoothly and prevent clogs. You can buy these products off of Amazon or directly on their website! Sunflower Lecithin is also available at your local drug store, if you find yourself in an emergency clogged duct situation. Legendairy Milk also offers a variety of other supplements, if the first one you try doesn’t work for you.
This may sound weird, but one of the most effective ways for me to express milk was to massage my breasts while pumping. I recommend a hands free pumping bra and pumping one side at a time, if you have the time to do that. If not, alternate every few minutes with massage. This was a game changer for me when I started doing it!
Once you are done pumping, you may also want to hand express to get as empty as possible, since empty breasts = your body’s signal to make more milk! Fun fact: a breast pump (manual or electric) will never be quite as effective at emptying your breasts as a baby nursing, so hand expression is something extra you can do in order to signal more milk production.
Nutrition is huge when it comes to breastfeeding! Eating enough calories will help you sustain your milk supply, especially in the first 3 months. There are lots of lactation cookies on the market, or you can make your own. For me, I had great luck eating Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, and they are delicious. I don’t, however, recommend this as your primary source of nutrition like I did in those early days. I survived off of Oatmeal Creme Pies, Wheat Thins, and blue Gatorade G2. Speaking of drinks, be sure to drink plenty of water – Body Armor and Gatorade are popular options for increasing supply as well. I think the most important thing is, regardless of what you eat, make sure you aren’t skimping on carbs and make sure you are taking in enough calories!
When I first began breastfeeding, I exclusively pumped with the exception of any overnight feedings. Power pumping was recommended to me by a lactation consultant, as it mimics a newborn’s natural cluster feeding patterns. I chose to power pump in the evenings, when my husband was able to help with the baby, because you’re basically attached to your pump for an entire hour. Also, newborns have a tendency to cluster feed in the evenings, when eating at the breast. So every day around 5 PM, I settled in with a good TV show and got started. I would pump according to this schedule: 20 minutes on / 10 minutes off / 10 minutes on / 10 minutes off / 10 minutes on. After a few days, this increased demand would increase my pumping output – I continued power pumping until I was in a position where my pumping output for the day met or exceeded my baby’s demand for milk. In the meantime, we supplemented with formula.
Would you like to see more posts about mine or others’ experiences with pumping? Do you have any questions about pumping?
Disclaimer: This blog post contains the authors researched opinions as well as actual experiences, and not one of a medical professional. Please consult to your medical professional for their official opinion on items referenced here, and defer to them in case of any conflict.
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