10 ways to increase pumping output - Mothership Milk

10 ways to increase pumping output

There are several strategies that can be used to increase milk output when pumping breast milk:
  1. Heat and Massage: Before and during pumping, gently massage your breast or apply a warm compress or heating pad to encourage the flow of milk.
  2. Relaxation: We know, we know. No one in the history of the world has ever relaxed after being told to relax. That said, stress, tension, and pain can inhibit letdowns, so try and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Looking at photos of videos of your baby, listening to calming music or enjoying a warm, cozy drink can all increase oxytocin levels and subsequently, output. 
  3. Frequency: Pump frequently and consistently and try and pump at times when your baby would normally eat.
  4. Power pumping: Instead of pumping for one long session, pump for shorter, more frequent sessions throughout the day. This can help simulate a baby's natural nursing pattern and stimulate milk production.
  5. Hydration: Make sure you are drinking to thirst! Try adding a little Celtic sea salt and lemon for an added electrolyte boost!
  6. Nourishment: producing one ounce of milk requires about 20 calories. Make sure you’re nourishing yourself so you can nourish your babe.
  7. Support: consult with a lactation consultant for personalized support on how to increase your pumping output.
  8. Proper fit: ensure your flange size is the correct one and that all of your pump parts (membranes and soft parts) are in good working order and replace them as necessary.
  9. The equipment: if you pump exclusively or very frequently, you might consider a hospital grade pump. Oftentimes, they are available for rent!
  10. Reduce performance anxiety: try not to watch the milk come out; the added pressure can inhibit milk flow.

It's important to note that it is normal for the amount of milk pumped to vary from session to session and for some mothers it may be harder to pump than for others. Further, pumping output is not necessarily indicative of what baby is actually consuming at the breast, as nursing yields more output than pumping. And finally, everyone is different so what may work for one person, may not work for another - it’s best to consult with a lactation consultant to get individualized support specific to your goals and needs.

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