Pumping milk can be a difficult task for many women. When you don’t have enough supply, it can feel impossible to keep going with the process. This blog has some great tips on how to increase milk supply when pumping.
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Drink plenty of fluids to boost your milk supply
Your milk supply is fueled by liquids such as – water, juice, and milk. If you are dehydrated, you’ll notice your supply decreasing. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will give you more milk in the long run.
Drink a lactation tea or supplement to increase your milk supply
If increasing fluids isn’t enough, there are some great products available that can help with boosting supply when pumping. The most popular one is called Mothers Milk Tea. I’ve used it with my first baby and loved it.
Using foods such as fennel in tea will help boost milk production with its lactogenic properties as well as hydrate you.
Have lots of skin to skin contact
Those first few weeks are critical for your breast milk production. Make sure to hold your baby skin to skin as often as possible. This will help you not only bond with your baby but also make more breast milk.
Holding your baby will also help them to latch on and get the milk they need. It will also boost those feel-good hormones that will boost your milk supply.
It might not come naturally at first, but it will get easier. You’ll soon find yourself craving to have your baby skin to skin on you.
Eat healthy foods for a healthy milk supply
Eating balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables is key to having a healthy milk supply. Make sure you’re getting enough protein and carbohydrates as well.
Include lots of fresh fruit in your diet
One way to help increase milk supply is by including lots of fresh fruit in your diet.
Fresh fruits such as watermelon, pineapple, and cantaloupe will help boost your hydration and well as provide vitamins.
Eat foods that are high in calcium and protein
Eating a well-balanced diet that includes calcium and protein can help boost breast milk production. You can find calcium in milk, cheese, yogurt, and dark leafy greens. Protein is found in many foods such as chicken, certain fish, legumes, and eggs.
For exclusively pumping, pump frequently and for a long time each session
Pumping often and for a longer period of time will help increase your milk supply. If you are only pumping, aim to pump every two to three hours for at least 15 minutes.
You can also try pumping one side for a longer time than the other side. This will help ensure that both breasts are getting an adequate amount of stimulation and produce more milk.
Use a breast pump with massage features to start the milk flow
Most breast pumps have a massage feature that will help with the letdown. put on your pump and turn the pump on. It will suck in short spurts just like your baby when they are trying to get a letdown. Once the letdown has started, you can switch to the normal settings.
You can also manually massage with your are pumping to help get the letdown. Massage from top to bottom to help with the blood flow and to help start the milk flow.
Take care of yourself for increasing milk supply
Increase breast milk supply by getting enough sleep and relaxation. Stress and lack of sleep can cause a low breast milk supply.
Keep a positive outlook and try to relax as much as you can.
Stress is one of the biggest factors when it comes to breast milk supply so keeping your spirits up will help keep those hormones working for you.
Try some relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or listening to music while pumping. You’ll be surprised at how much this will help boost your milk supply.
Nurse or pump frequently to make more milk
The more you pump, the more milk you’ll produce. Pumping at least every three hours will help increase your milk production.
Pump at least 8 times in a 24-hour period. This will increase the demand and cause your body to boost your milk production.
Use a pumping bra
A good quality pumping bra can make pumping a lot easier. It will give you a place to put your flanges so they don’t get in the way.
This will help keep the flanges in the right place while keeping your hands free.
Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine
If you are worried about a low milk supply avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee or soda which can decrease your milk supply. Alcohol can also have a negative effect on your milk production.
These drinks dehydrate you and can lower your milk supply. Drink plenty of fluids such as water, milk, or juice instead.
Take a lactation supplement if needed
If you are struggling to increase your milk supply, you might want to consider taking a lactation supplement. These supplements are designed to help with milk production and can be very effective.
Make sure to speak with your doctor before starting any kind of supplement.
Get enough rest
Making sure to take care of yourself is important.
Try taking naps when you can or take a hot shower.
Putting heat on your breasts for 15-20 minutes can help increase the blood flow to them. This will encourage more breast milk production and make you feel more comfortable while pumping.
Get the right breast pump for you
If you are exclusively pumping, then choosing the right breast pump is crucial for having a healthy breast milk supply. Using a hospital-grade electric double pump will help boost your milk output.
I love the Medela Pump in Style for its portability and strong suction.
When you’re pumping, it’s important that the suction is strong enough for you to feel comfortable. If not, there won’t be enough demand or won’t effectively remove breast milk which can cause a lower milk supply.
If this does happen and it no longer feels comfortable or you can’t get milk out even with a strong pump, it might be time to see your doctor or lactation consultant.
Try power pumping
Power pumping or cluster pumping is when you pump for a set amount of time (usually 20 minutes) and then take a break for five to ten minutes. You then repeat this process for about an hour.
This will help mimic how your baby nurses when they are going through a growth spurt and helps boost milk production.
By adding an extra pumping session, this will help increase milk production.
Meet with a lactation consultant
If you are battling with a low milk supply then meeting with a lactation consultant can help. They can help problem-solve what could be affecting your breast milk supply and give you guidance on how to increase your milk supply.
These are just some tips to help increase your milk supply when pumping. It will take time and patience, but you’ll be able to produce enough milk for your baby in no time. It can take a little time for your body to get into the swing of things, but you will eventually see an increase in your milk production. Just remember to relax, stay patient and positive and take care of yourself as well. Good luck!