Breastfeeding almost seems like a fairytale method of getting nutrients to your child if you're someone who has never done it.
Many mothers know the difficulty of breastfeeding, though. From issues with latching to drops in milk supply, breastfeeding can feel like more of a battle than an easy way to keep your baby healthy.
Despite the challenge, breast milk provides a lot of health and neurodevelopmental benefits that will help your baby in the long run. If you're struggling with breastfeeding, it might be time to think about power pumping.
We'll discuss the process and benefits of power pumping in this article, giving you some insight into what it is, how it works, and how it can increase your milk supply.
Let's take a look?
The Benefits of Power Pumping
The relationship between the production of breastmilk and a baby's needs is a fascinating one. Our bodies adjust to meet the needs of the child, and we provide a solid foundation of nutrients and immune boosters for our babies to grow from.
The difficult thing is that bodies, and babies, change so rapidly that there are bound to be some hiccups in the process. It can be really tough when your baby is going through a growth spurt and your milk supply runs low.
One way to intercept this issue and handle it in advance is to work with the fact that our bodies produce more milk when there is more apparent demand. That's where pumping comes in.
Pumping to Increase Milk SupplyWhen you pump, it's an indication to your breasts that more milk is needed. If you pump often and at regular intervals throughout the day, your body will start to respond by producing a good deal more milk than it otherwise would.
This can benefit you in a number of ways. First, you'll have a larger store of milk set aside for instances when your milk supply is low and your baby is hungry. Second, your milk supply will increase and have a resting state that's more voluminous than it might have been if you were feeding your baby regularly.
Pumping and milk production are meant to mimic a process called cluster feeding. Cluster feeding occurs when you feed your baby more often for shorter periods of time.
Adding instances of feeding to your schedule will stimulate the breast to produce more milk. The difficulty there is that your baby might not always be hungry, you could have trouble latching, or there could be other complications that get in the way of cluster feeding.
Power Pumping is Reliable and Easy
Power pumping gives you a sturdy option that isn't influenced by much else than a power source. It won't fail to latch, it runs on your schedule, and it's always there for you.
As a new parent, a little consistency can be hard to find!
How to Use a Breast Pump
That said, there are some general rules that apply to breast pumping that can make the process easier and more effective for you. Keep in mind that we're discussing pumping as an avenue toward more milk production.
You might have other angles for using a pump, and those methods might require a different approach. If you were just pumping to provide bottles for your baby, for example, you might not pump as often as you would to mimic cluster feeding.
Stick to a Schedule
The first thing to do is to schedule a time during the day that you plan to pump. You'll need to devote an hour, maybe two depending on your needs, for the process to be most effective.
Then you latch the pump and begin the process, continuing for a week or two. Keep in mind that you should take frequent breaks while you're pumping to avoid pain and soreness. The nipples and breasts both can become a little sore and irritated with long periods of pumping.
Try pumping for 20 minutes and taking a 10-minute break, and continuing that cycle throughout your session. You can mix that routine up however you want, pumping for longer or taking longer breaks.
The speed at which your body starts to produce more milk will depend on your individual body. Some mothers who try power pumping see an increase in milk supply within a few days.
Others might have to wait for a week or two for serious changes to occur.
Choosing Between a Power Pump and Regular Breast Pump
You might wonder whether or not you need a power pump to start expressing enough milk to meet your baby's needs.
There are some particular benefits to power pumps, though, and they're worth considering. The first one is simply the matter of repeating a physical motion for hours a day.
Over the period of your baby's infancy, using a manual breast pump can be taxing on the hand and wrist. That might seem like a trivial issue, but the full mobility of your hands and wrists is very beneficial when caring for your baby.
A little carpal tunnel can make things difficult. Further, a power pump is able to help you express more milk than a manual pump is. When you're going for increased milk supply, that increased attention will help significantly.
At the end of the day, you should try to find the pump that's the most comfortable and efficient for you. If that winds up being a manual pump, there's no harm done.
It's worth giving a power pump a shot, though, because it could help you optimize your supply and keep you and your baby happy.
Want to Learn More about Pumping?
There's a lot to learn in a short amount of time as a new mother. Whether you're learning about power pumping or the psychology of infants, it can be difficult. We're here to help, though.
Explore our site for more ideas on products and methods that you can use to improve your experience and keep your baby as healthy as can be.