How to Increase milk supply when pumping (10 tips!)

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Do you know that low milk production is one of the challenges encountered by breastfeeding moms? So, to counter this challenge – there are many available means through which moms can increase milk supply, one of which is the use of a breast pump.

Pin image of How To Increase Breast milk when pumping

As a first-time mom, if you feel that you are not making enough breast milk, the next question should be, how do I increase my milk supply when pumping? 

So, if you are producing less than what your baby is eating or you just desire to have some fresh breast milk in the freezer – then it is time to increase your milk when pumping.

However, you don’t need to bother yourself with increasing your milk production if your baby is gaining weight, peeing, and pooping regularly. Trying to increase your breast milk when it is already sufficient can lead to an oversupply of breast milk. And this can be uncomfortable for you when your breasts are too full. Also, the baby can have an unpleasant feeding experience when breast milk is in excess.

How To Increase Breast Milk Supply When Exclusively Pumping

Pump Regularly

This is the first technique to help you increase your breast milk supply when pumping. Cluster pumping is a method of pumping every five minutes to continuously stimulate your breasts. So, here is the principle – the more your breasts are emptied, the more they will produce milk because empty breasts trigger breast milk production.

However, there is a need to stay hydrated when pumping and try several clusters pumping till an increase in milk production is noticeable. Besides, cluster pumping might not be possible in the work environment, so you try it at home during the evening or over the weekend.

You could have a plan like this;

  • Pumping for the first 20 minutes and taking a 10 minutes break
  • Then pumping for another 10 minutes and taking another 10 minutes rest
  • Pumping for 10 minutes

While you go through this pumping session, engage in something that you love doing. This could be watching the TV, reading a novel, or some other things that get you relaxed.

Another time for pumping to increase milk supply is in the morning. Many women have been found to have a good milk supply in the morning just before their baby wakes up or after a nursing session. However, you can target the night time after your baby has been put to bed if the morning session won’t work for you.

The more the breasts are triggered to produce milk, the more milk supply you would experience.

The Use Of The Right Breast Pump

It is recommended to make use of a high-quality electric breast pump or hospital-grade breast pump. However, for moms who occasionally pump – a hand-operated pump or a battery operated (sometimes electric pump) is fine. Besides, if you are pumping exclusively – a double pump might be the right choice because it saves you time. The Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump is a great option.

The following tips will help;

  • The pump must be clean
  • All loosed part should be promptly replaced
  • You must be familiar with the pump’s manual
The Correct Use Of The Breast Pump

You must be ready to follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines to get the best result from a pump. Besides, you could contact the manufacturer or a lactation consultant for further clarifications on the use of the pump.

However, you must ensure that the breast shield covers the nipples tightly. Making use of breast shields that are not properly fitted can cause issues like damaged breast tissue or sore nipples.

Eat Healthily

You must stay hydrated by taking a lot of water, other clear liquids, and eat enough calories – this will help you increase your milk supply when pumping. The target is to drink at least a cup of water after a pumping session or nursing your baby.

So, you must add to your normal daily calorie intake just like when you were pregnant – you must however take foods that are rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Consult Your Pediatrician Or Lactation Consultant

As a breastfeeding mom, you must always seek the counsel of a lactation consultant or pediatrician if there is a need to increase your milk. These two professionals can tell if your baby is getting adequate supply or not. Besides, they can also check your pump type and see whether you are using it correctly or not.

How To Increase Milk Supply When Pumping Exclusively One Breast

So, moms who exclusively pump are advised to pump from time to time. The following tips would help;

Drink enough water and eat well – you must stay hydrated as often as possible and add some calories to your usual daily intake.

Having your baby skin-to-skin can help boost the production of oxytocin – the hormone that is responsible for milk production. So, to increase milk supply, allow your baby to have direct skin-to-skin contact with you.

Take the real oatmeal – and not the instant type. There are quick oats that can be ready in 1 minute or the old fashioned type that will be ready in 5 minutes. Besides, some cookies have oatmeal in them – all these would help boost milk supply.

Avoid stress – adequate rest is important. Take some time out to catch some sleep if you need to – because stressful situations have been found to disrupt the milk supply.

How To Increase Milk Supply When Pumping With Supplements

There are herbal galactagogues (substances that help to increase breast milk production) and various lactation supplements that could help to increase milk supply. A good example of this supplement is the Fenugreek supplement – it is the most popular and the most effective as many women have testified to experiencing an increase in supply within 24 to 72 hours after using it.

Also, you could try milk thistle capsules, Mother’s milk tea, Pink Stork liquid gold, fennel, ginger, brewer’s yeast, Alfalfa, goat’s rue, or stinging nettle – all these are herbal supplements that can help to boost milk supply.

However, there is a need to consult your doctor or your lactation consultant to know the best supplements that work for you because they could produce different results in nursing moms.

How Long Does It Take To Increase Your Milk Supply When Exclusively Pumping

Photo of a double breast pump

If you are exclusively pumping, it is recommended to pump at least 8 to 10 times within 24 hours – this will give a milk supply of between 750ml to 1,035ml. However, once this is achieved – then you can come up with a pumping routine that gives between 750ml to 1,035ml of milk supply in 24 hours. It is good to work with the plan that is best suitable for you.

How Long Should It Take To Increase Milk Supply When Power Pumping

So, with power pumping – this can be achieved in 60 minutes. Power pumping helps to increase supply within a stipulated time (60 minutes) at a short interval. This is not 60 minutes of pumping but pumping alternatively and taking rest breaks at an interval within 60 minutes. Therefore, the more daily power pumping sessions you have, the increase in the amount of milk supply.

How To Increase Milk Supply When Pumping At Work

The following tips would help you to increase milk supply when pumping at work; making use of a high-quality electric pump can help you do the magic. This might be expensive but it will surely pay-off in the long run. Besides, you must talk to your employer about the provision of a pumping room where the necessary things like a chair, electrical outlet, and mini blinds are available.

Besides, you could also come to work with different sets of pump parts, different pump parts for different pumping sessions which can be washed later at home.

And also, nursing moms pumping at work must always be hydrated – drink at least 15 glasses of water daily if you want to increase your milk supply.

How To Increase Milk Supply When Pumping At 5 Months

One of the secrets to producing more milk is by removing more milk from the breast so that there will be less accumulation of milk between feeding.

At this point you need to focus more on giving your baby only breast milk and avoid water, solids, or formula – this will help to challenge your breasts to produce more milk.

Also, you can avoid the use of bottles and pacifiers as much as possible. All the baby’s needs should be focused on the breast. You could also include some pumping sessions as this will help to empty the breasts. 

Besides, you could consider the use of lactation supplements, rest well, and always ensure that each breast is offered at each feeding. That is, let the baby empty the first breast and then give the other one.

Final Thoughts

One of the factors that can help you to increase milk supply when pumping is the frequency at which it is done. There must be coordinated pumping sessions in addition to the right pumping equipment to increase milk supply.

However, you must take care of yourself – by eating well, keeping hydrated, and taking adequate rest. As you pump you must also plan to always empty your breasts because this will often trigger the breasts to produce more milk.

Also, you can always talk to your doctors or lactation consultants if you have concerns about your milk production, they will give professional advice on what to do.

Lily & The MBH Team
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