This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read my full disclaimer here.
These power pumping tips will be helpful if you need to increase your milk supply. In the first few weeks after giving birth, your breastmilk supply will be at its peak. However, as time goes on and you return to normal life with work, exercise, sleep cycles disrupted by a newborn in the house or around other people’s schedules – it can decrease.
New mothers need to know that there are ways to increase their milk production. One way is called power pumping, which is a technique that mimics cluster feeding and helps encourage your body to produce more milk.
What is Power Pumping Breast Milk?
Power pumping works by simulating cluster feeding, mimicking what babies do when they nurse during growth spurts. The baby feeds more often than normal but usually in short bursts. This stimulates your body to release prolactin, which will help increase breast milk supply.
It is important to realize that you may not be producing milk during all of these pumping times. In the beginning, it is signaling your body that more milk needs to be made. When your baby cluster feeds, they naturally tell your body they need more milk, and your body responds to produce more.
How to Increase Milk Supply by Power Pumping?
The best way to power pump is to interval pump for an hour. Start by pumping on the low- or medium-powered setting, and gradually increase the intensity so you’ll be moving up in intervals of around ten minutes. You can also do five minutes on high-mode followed by three minutes off, which will total one hour spent power pumping after an hour.
So how do you actually do the pumping for this activity? It is really very simple. The best way to start is by making sure that you are relaxed and comfortable before beginning the session. You can sit in a rocking chair, on the couch, or even in bed; similar positions to breastfeeding. You can also choose to stand if you prefer, but sitting seems the most common way this activity is accomplished.
Sample Power Pumping Schedule
Pump on and off for a total time of one hour. If you use a single pump, there is no rest time because the breast you are not pumping is resting while you pump the other. You switch from left to right for a total of 60 minutes.
Double Pump Schedule:
- 20 Minute Pump
- 10 Minute Rest
- 10 Minute Pump
- 10 Minute Rest
- 10 Minute Pump
Single Pump Schedule:
- 10 Minute Pump Right Breast
- 10 Minute Pump Left Breast
- 10 Minute Pump Right Breast
- 10 Minute Pump Left Breast
- 10 Minute Pump Right Breast
- 10 Minute Pump Left Breast
Why Should I Try Power Pumping?
If you want to produce more breast milk, power pumping is one of the best ways. It’s crucial to power pump for an hour if you want the most milk, but doing it for even 15 minutes a day is good. Power pumping stimulates your body to make more breast milk, and it works better by intervals with rest breaks between pumping times.
When to consider using this technique (including when your milk supply decreases)
There are many reasons why a new mother might need to pump milk, and power pumping is one way to increase breastmilk production.
- When you do not produce enough breastmilk, or when your baby refuses or stops nursing frequently
- When there are issues with breastfeeding due to latch issues, tongue tie, or lack of breast tissue
- As a last resort before introducing formula or if no other methods have worked
- If you wish to provide your baby with the benefits of breastmilk but do not plan to exclusively breastfeed
- If your baby is refusing or not latching well you can use this technique to express colostrum
Benefits of Power Pumping
There are many benefits of power pumping. Some benefits are that it strengthens your letdown, encourages milk production, and is a natural way to increase supply. You can also do it in your own home without any expensive equipment.
Disadvantages to Power Pumping
- It can be exhausting to power pump for an hour straight
- It can cause an oversupply if you do it at the same time as your baby cluster feeding and then not feeding enough
- There is no evidence proving that power pumping increases breastmilk production significantly. However, most mothers note a positive result
- Power pumping can cause sore nipples and even damage your breasts if done incorrectly
Steps for how to use this technique
1. You will need to use a breast pump. A good double or single pump would work.
2. Continue to use a breast pump for an hour with intervals of 10-15 minutes. This technique mimics cluster feeding and will help encourage your body to produce more milk.
3. To avoid nipple soreness, let the suction stay on for a couple of seconds before releasing it. Also, use nipple cream or coconut oil after each pumping session.
4. Use this technique daily until you feel a significant difference in the amount of your breast milk has increased.
Best Breast Pump for Power Pumping
1. Medela New Pump in Style with MaxFlow
- HOSPITAL PERFORMANCE: New MaxFlow technology inspired by our symphony...
- EASY TO USE: Ultra-efficient with few parts to clean and assemble;...
- COMFORTABLE PUMPING FOR MORE MILK: Clinically proven to increase milk...
The Medela’s New Pump in Style with MaxFlow is a double electric breast pump designed for moms that want to power pump or need to pump exclusively. It has a closed system with overflow protection.
There are 10 adjustable vacuum levels so you can have comfortable suction every time you pump. The parts are easy to clean and assemble, making this an efficient and easy-to-use breast pump.
2. Bellababy Double Electric Breast Feeding Pumps
- 🎄 Come with 2 pcs of milk bag adapters and 10 pcs of storage...
- 🎄 Closed System,4 modes and 9 levels of suction for choice,massage...
- 🎄 High Definition Screen,display the working mode,suction...
The Bellababy breast pump is built for moms on the go. It is convenient to take anywhere and has a built-in battery to use anywhere, including outdoors. It is a completely closed system and is a hospital-grade pump.
There are 4 modes and 9 levels of suction so that you can customize it to your individual needs. It is also hushed, so your pumping sessions won’t wake your baby. The bright LED display makes it easy to use.
3. Power Pumping Spectra Pumps
Moms and lactation consultants worldwide d love the Spectra Breast Pumps, and it is easy to see why. These pumps are quiet and discreet; they even have a built-in night light for those late-night pumping sessions.
A massage mode simulates the natural suckling to make for a more natural flow of milk and a comfortable pumping experience. Find out which one would be best for you in our post about the differences: Spectra S1 vs. Spectra S2.
Best Power Pumping Single Pump
4. Medela Swing, Single Electric Breast Pump
- COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT MOTOR: This single breast pump includes a...
- RESEARCH-BASED TECHNOLOGY: Unique to Medela breast pumps, this...
- EASY-TO-USE CONTROLS: A single pumping kit with 24mm PersonalFit...
Looking for a single breast pump? The Medela Swing is a compact and lightweight pump that would be perfect for you. It features a 2-Phase expression technology that mimics your baby and creates an effective and natural way to remove milk.
The Medela Swing single breast pump fits neatly in your purse so that you can take it anywhere. The easy-to-use vacuum controls let you adjust the suction and power to fit your individual needs.
Don’t forget a Haaka to collect any letdown milk on your non-pumping breast. You don’t want to lose any of your valuable breastmilk!
- Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump & Breast Shells Combo aim to give...
- Simple Haakaa Manual Breast Pump Easy to Use. When nursing, the quiet...
- Haakaa Silicone Breast Shells Collect Each Drop. Even if you are...
List of tips on how to make the most out of your power pumping sessions
1. Make sure to drink plenty of water during a power pumping session
2. Power pump in intervals for 10-20 minutes at a time, with 10 minute rests in-between each interval
3. Use a hands-free bra to make the process easier and more productive. Check out these top sellers!
4. Stay hydrated throughout the day
5. Focus on relaxing while you’re pumping, whether it’s watching TV or listening to music
6. Be sure to power pump for at least one hour per day for about a week
7. Reduce stress in your life
8. Take a hot shower while pumping to increase milk flow
9. Use a massage tool to help encourage letdown, speed up the process of power pumping and prevent clogged ducts
FAQ’s about Power Pumping for New Moms
1. How long does it take for power pumping to work?
It is impossible to say how long it will take for the technique to be successful. It can depend on many factors, such as your body’s ability to produce milk, your diet, and how often you are trying the technique.
Some women find that they have a lot of success with power pumping when introducing other techniques. For example, some women get a lot of success by drinking mother’s milk tea and nursing more often than regular pumping.
2. Can I power pump while I nurse?
It is not recommended to nurse and power pump simultaneously. This can cause an oversupply. You want to power pump about 20-30 minutes after your baby has been nursed and had enough to eat so that you don’t interfere with their needs.
After you have nursed your baby, power pumping will ensure you empty your breasts and stimulate your body to make more milk.
3. How often should I do power pumping?
There’s no standard about how often you should do power pumping. It can depend on how much time you have available, your energy levels, or other factors, so talk to your doctor before giving up if there isn’t an immediate change in milk supply.
The best thing for any new mom is to establish healthy habits early on and honor her body’s need for sleep and rest as she adjusts to nursing a baby during the night. For most women, power-pumping, ONCE every 24 hours, will be enough to help increase breastmilk production substantially while preserving the mom’s health and sanity.
4. Is power pumping harmful?
The short answer is no. The power pumping technique mimics a natural feed in many ways, and just as with breastfeeding, there’s a learning curve (sometimes) to find the right balance of when to pump, how long to pause for each pump session, and how often you should do it during the day.
The key is that power pumping isn’t meant to replace normal breastfeeding. But if your milk supply slows at all while you’re still doing what feels like enough of everything else, it can be helpful in those moments to boost production.
5. How much milk do you get from power pumping?
One study found that women who power pumped had an average increase of 150-300 grams per day or 8.3-12.8 ounces per day. The amount of milk depends on the individual and may vary even among mothers who are pumping more than twice a day for the same length of time.
While there’s also no one standard as to how much milk you can expect to pump with power pumping, and it varies in every case, it is worth noting that if you have any immediate success at all, then it is something your body will cooperate with (and get used to).
6. Does power pumping work?
Power pumping has been known to help moms increase their breastmilk production by 25%, so this technique is worth trying–especially if you’ve endured any related struggles up until now. It is always a balancing act and process of trial and error—a lifestyle change that new moms will have to adjust to.
It is important to note that it is easier to stimulate and increase supply when you frequently feed more than once every 24 hours. You can ease into power pumping by trying it even less often at first, waiting longer between pumps if your body needs more time between sessions.
7. What if my supply doesn’t increase? How many days should I wait before trying again?
If you do power pumping and your baby seems content for feeding or two followings, then there’s no need to rush back into it if you don’t want to. And there’s definitely no need to beat yourself up over not seeing results in the first week. It may take time to establish a new routine.
If you are doing at least one cluster feed each day and still aren’t seeing any increase in supply after 3 days, then it may be time to try 2 power pumping sessions per day. But if you have already tried that and your baby is still getting enough milk during the cluster feeds, then it’s likely going to take a little bit longer than anticipated for you to start seeing substantial results from power pumping.
Most won’t see results immediately and may need to power pump for a few days or even weeks before anything really changes. Some things to keep in mind: If you are doing at least one cluster feed each day, and if you are power pumping for at least 30 minutes (with breaks in between sessions), and if your baby is not gaining weight as expected during this time…then chances are, you need to: a.) Pump more frequently. b.) Pump longer. c.) Continue adding cluster feeds so that eventually, your breasts have time to build supply.
8. When is the best time to power pump?
The best time to power pump is during the day. Usually, about 20-30 minutes after you nurse your baby. During the day is also when your milk production is highest. If you are worried about milk supply, then try to pump during the times when your baby eats most often. Ideally, this would be at least once every 3 hours.
9. Is Power Pumping the only way to increase breastmilk supply?
No. There are several ways to increase breastmilk supply that include:
- Feeding on demand
- Offer both sides during each feeding
- Eat Lactation Cookies
- Breast Massage while nursing or pumping
- Get more rest, reduce stress
- Eat oats and other whole grains
- Add fenugreek seeds to your diet
Power pumping is a great way to help increase your breastmilk supply. It is interval pumping with 10-20 minutes pumping and 10 minutes rest that mimics cluster feeding of a baby. If you need a boost in your supply, this is the way to do it.
It is important to note that power pumping alone may not be enough to increase milk supply. You may also have to add things like oats, brewers yeast, and fenugreek to your diet. Also, make sure you are staying hydrated.
Power pumping is worth trying because it has been shown to yield an average 25% increase in breastmilk production, but don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work for you right away or at all! The key is figuring out how many of these methods will actually work for you before giving up on them altogether–so keep experimenting until something sticks!