This post is for all the pumping mamas wondering how to increase milk supply for pumping. We’ve discussed, asked and consulted our lactation consultant to put together 8 simple steps for increasing your milk supply for pumping. There are 8 keys to unlock more milk supply while you are pumping.
8 Key Steps To Increase Milk Supply for Pumping:
- Empty breasts more often
- Check flange size and fit
- Check pump function
- Nightly Pump Sessions
- Early Morning Pump Sessions
- Single-sided pumping while nursing one side
- Milk boosters and diet
Empty breasts often when increasing milk supply for pumping:
The secret code to more milk supply is to empty your breasts more. If you want your body to make more milk, you need your body to think there is more of a demand. You can do this by trying to get your baby to breastfeed more often, and adding more pumping sessions in between feedings. The best times to add in these pumping sessions is when baby usually takes a long nap, or is sleeping in the night. As babies get older, they tend to sleep longer through the night, which unfortunately is a great time to add a pumping session.
You can also empty your breasts with baby during a feeding, wait a bit, then empty them again to signal to your body that baby needs more milk.
Power pumping with a twist:
Power pumping is a great way to increase your milk supply for pumping. What moms forget is that baby’s connection to your breasts is a large part of supply and demand. So we suggest more than power pumping. We suggest power nursing and pumping together.
The key is to nurse baby first, wait about an hour, then pump as much milk as you can. From there, wait another hour or so and nurse baby again. By then, it’s been a couple hours since baby last fed, which means you may be able to get them to eat again. Then pump another hour after that feeding. Your body will be more connected to baby, and required to produce more milk.
While you are power pumping, be sure to drink a Milk Dust shake! Many mamas have experienced a dip in supply just from missing one smoothie in the morning. Add some oatmeal to your smoothie, and you will be able to help keep your milk supply up during these exhausting pumping and feeding sections.
No matter what stay positive. This can be discouraging at first, when the pumping isn’t producing many ounces. Your body will need some time to catch up, so power through it!
Check your pump flange fit:
This is one of those steps many moms think aren’t really that important. But, the fit and size of your flanges can make or break a few ounces. Medela has a great guide on how to get the fit of your flange just right. Here is a great video on that as well to guide you in this process.
Check your pump functions and suction:
It is always a good idea to check your pump function and suction when you are trying to increase milk supply while pumping. If you’ve been using your pump for a while, it could be losing suction. If you notice a drop in your milk supply, and you haven’t changed anything, maybe your pump isn’t sucking well. Here is a guide on how to trouble shoot your pump.
If you aren’t getting the milk supply you want, definitely check into your suction on your pump. Sometimes just switching to a manual pump can help you see if your electric pump isn’t working well. Many moms love the Haakaa pump as an alternative to their electric pump. This one also works well while nursing baby on one side, and pumping milk on the other.
Nightly pump sessions to increase milk supply:
Pumping moms NEVER want to hear how powerful the nightly pump sessions can be for increasing milk supply. No one wants to finally fall asleep, or get their baby to sleep, then wake up in a couple hours just to pump. But, as baby learns to sleep longer, sometimes 4 hours at a time, your body may still be ready to feed the baby in a couple hours. Taking advantage of those moments, when baby is sleeping longer than normal, can really help with getting more milk. Hopefully it doesn’t have to happen nightly for weeks, but hopefully it will be a few nights in a row to get your supply up.
Early morning pump sessions (before baby feeds):
Pumping before baby has their early morning feeding is another key to increasing milk supply. Sometimes this will work without having to do the nightly sessions, depending on how much you need to increase your supply. Let’s say you pump at 2am, and baby usually wakes at 6am. Getting a pump session in at 5:30am, will be super helpful. Your body will be getting ready to provide milk for baby, and then that milk will get pumped into the bottles. Then, your body will still need to feed baby after, which it will. This encourages the extra production, without having to pump tiny amounts at a time.
Single-sided pump and nursing sessions:
One trick to pump more milk is to pump one side, while baby nurses the other. While breastfeeding the baby on one side, the other side will let down. Catching that milk, and stimulating that side as well can really increase the amount you pump. Baby will still need to nurse on that side, which will help stimulate more milk production. Alternate sides with this method to keep it even, and you may find it really helps a lot.
Milk supply boosters and nutrition:
Many mamas don’t realize that just adding a lactation supplement of some kind can make a huge difference. Supporting your body from the inside out is actually really important. Our Milk Dust protein powder, and Milk Dust Bars are really yummy options to add to your diet.
The Milk Dust shakes are either smoothies or just blended with water. They offer hand-picked nutrients for breastfeeding mamas that support lactation and postpartum hormonal balance. Providing your body with key nutrients can dramatically change the amount of milk you are able to store!
Milk Dust is particularly effective for breastfeeding and pumping mamas because it targets nutritional needs as well as offering a unique lactation blend. There are very few products on the market that do this, and we are very proud of our formula.
We offer a great bundle, the Milk Dust Starter Pack, where you get a sample pack and 4 bars to see how they work for you.
Here’s what one mama on Amazon said after using Milk Dust,
My son almost 3 months old, with milk dust, I’ve been able to build up a healthy freezer stash for us as well as donate over 1000oz to other moms and their babies.
I have a milk dust smoothie for breakfast or after a workout. I’m 3 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. The flavor is great, it mixes well into all my favorite smoothies. I could not ask for a better product! – Trisha Byrd
Hydration can actually make a big difference when trying to increase your milk supply while pumping. Think of breast milk as a liquid, and our body needs extra liquid to produce more liquid. Water is really important, but also low-sugar drinks with electrolytes can be very beneficial. The added sodium, potassium and magnesium these drinks offer can help balance fluid levels. Many mamas find that natural drinks like coconut water, or powerade make a difference within an hour or so. This is because fluid levels are balanced, and our body is well hydrated to produce more milk.
The 8 key steps to increase milk supply for pumping are gathered from pumping mamas and professionals. These are the top 8 steps that have worked for many other mamas.