Power pumping is also called cluster pumping, as it mimics a baby’s cluster feeding sessions (frequent nursing sessions with minimal breaks), which results in increased letdown and helps to stimulate more milk production.
There are a lot of reasons your milk supply might be low, if it is, in fact, actually running low. It can be challenging to know if you are producing enough milk and some moms end up worrying unnecessarily. It can be particularly difficult to tell when breastfeeding as you can’t see how much milk is going into your baby.
However, you do see what’s coming out. So, if your baby is producing regular dirty and wet diapers, you are likely giving your baby enough food.
If you have any concerns about your milk supply, check with your Lactation Professional.
If you’re currently breastfeeding full-time and are trying to pump to build up a stash or to store some for an upcoming short separation, getting extra milk may be difficult as your baby may be draining most of your supply.
This means you might have to pump several times to get enough milk for one feeding and that’s normal. It’s also normal to have an oversupply of milk in the first few weeks or months after birth as your body settles into producing the optimal amount.
When your baby gets into a routine and your supply regulates itself, sometimes there is a decrease, but this decrease is only relative to the oversupply you once had.
Power pumping doesn’t take the place of regular pumping or nursing. Instead, it’s meant to be done in addition to your normal routine. Although, it can take the place of one regular pumping session.
Don’t worry that your baby won’t have milk at the breast on days you power pump, though, as your breasts are never fully empty and your baby’s sucking motion will stimulate more as needed.
How to do power pumping?
Ideally, this method is done with a double electric breast pump and a hands-free nursing bra so that you can relax during the process rather than having to hold a flange to your breast. You can do this with manual pump too, it depends on your convenience and comfort.
If you’re nursing, try to power pumping after a nursing session. In that hour, here is the pumping routine you could follow:
Pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes
Pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes
Pump for 10 minutes
For the rest of the day, follow your normal pumping and/or nursing routine.
Be aware that every women’s body is different. Some will respond quickly to power pumping, while others will need more time.