Tips for Planning a Pumping Schedule to Increase Milk Supply
Whether you're a new mom or an experienced mother of multiple children, breastfeeding can be tricky. And the struggles of breastfeeding don't discriminate. If you're experiencing some breastfeeding hardships, know that you're not alone.
Moms around the world go through rough times when figuring out the best ways to get the most out of breastfeeding. But it's time to put your mind at ease. We know about all of the amazing benefits that breastfeeding has on ourselves and our babies.
Now it's time to learn about the best pumping schedule to increase milk supply. We breastfeed our children because we want them to be the healthiest possible. And when it comes to this liquid gold, you can never produce enough.
Here's our tips on planning a pumping schedule to increase milk supply.
Nurse or Pump at Least 8 Times a Day
Breast milk is produced in your body based on supply and demand. The more milk that you pump, the more that you produce. Because of this, it's best to breastfeed or pump as much as you can.
A good tip to stick by is pumping at least 8 times a day. Try to fit in an extra pump in the morning before work or an extra pump in the evening before bed. It may seem like no big deal to add two more pumps throughout the day, but it will gradually make a big difference.
Like mentioned before, the more you pump throughout the day, the more milk your body will produce. If you have a hard time remembering to pump frequently, set up a reminder for yourself either handwritten or on your smart device. Treat this responsibility like any other work-related task, and make the time to get it done.
If pumping begins to interfere with other important daily tasks, come up with a way to multitask. You can do plenty of other things while pumping, such as knocking out work emails or catching up on Netflix.
Pump Directly After Breastfeeding
If you are both nursing and pumping, be sure to pump directly after your baby has finished breastfeeding. Again, this goes back to the supply and demand aspect. The more you pump out, the more your body will supply.
But why should you pump directly after breastfeeding? Our little ones might not always empty the milk out of both breasts. This signals to our bodies that less milk is needed.
How do we make sure that this doesn't happen? Pump after breastfeeding. This will ensure that any leftover milk in the breasts is emptied and the demand is high.
Practice Great Self-Care
In order for our bodies to function in the best and healthiest way possible, we need to practice great self-care. This can be especially tough for new moms. It's not hard to become completely wrapped up in our newborn's needs that we forget about our own.
It's also easy to feel exhausted to the point where it becomes close to impossible to maintain good self-care. But as difficult as it may be, good self-care is essential to not only our bodies' overall health but our milk supply as well. Take the time to focus on yourself because a healthy you means a better functioning body.
Consider finding the time to take a relaxing bath, read a favorite book, or enjoy a much-needed nap. You might also want to consider placing healthy snacks on your nightstand, end table, work desk, etc. Wherever you pump the most at, have a healthy snack and glass of water close by.
It's important to stay hydrated and full for optimal breast milk production.
Make Yourself Comfortable and Grab a Healthy Snack and Drink
As mentioned before, it's ideal to keep healthy snacks and drinks within reach of your favorite pumping spots. This way, when you sit down to pump for long periods of time, you won't have to worry about the desire to get up and grab a bite to eat. You'll also want to ensure that you're comfortable while pumping.
Being completely hydrated, full, and comfortable will make for the best breastfeeding experience. Having to move around or get up frequently to eat, drink, or re-position yourself may interfere with your milk production. So grab a buffet if necessary and get to pumping uninterrupted!
Eat Foods with High Levels of Lactogenic Ingredients
Speaking of healthy snacks, I'm sure you've heard of some tasty treats that aid your milk supply. When deciding on a good snack to set by your side while you pump or to just have in your purse to munch on at work, you'll want to choose something that has high levels of lactogenic ingredients. These ingredients include almonds, rolled oats, brewer's yeast, walnuts, flax seed and flax meal, and black sesame seed.
Snacking on a Nourisher bar is a sure way to increase your milk supply while enjoying a delicious and healthy snack. Many moms have seen the difference when consuming these yummy milk-boosting treats.
Massage Your Breast While Pumping and Apply Warmth
When doing the actual pumping, take your time to massage your breast and apply warmth around them. This type of breastfeeding hack is also referred to as hands-on pumping. While stimulating your breasts with your hands while pumping, you can actually increase your milk supply.
Mothers in one study who used the hands-on technique were able to increase their milk supply by 48%. And the milk that was produced from hands-on pumping was richer in fats. Applying warmth to the breasts before pumping also helps to increase the amount of milk that is produced.
You can do this by placing a warm moist hand towel over your breasts before pumping. The warmth will help get the flow of the milk moving.
Pump Each Breast for 10-15 Minutes
Be sure to pump each breast for at least 10-15 minutes each. The longer that you pump, the better. Increasing the amount of time you spend pumping is ideal for situations where you absolutely cannot find the time to take multiple breaks throughout the day to pump.
Increase your pumping time by 5-10 minutes for each breast. You might also want to consider doing a power-pump technique. For power pumping, you'll want to pump for 10 minutes, take a 10-minute break, pump for another 10 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and pump for a third 10-minute interval.
There are several different ways to power pump. So find the technique that best suits you.
Keep Your Baby Nearby
One of the easiest and most essential tips for a good pumping schedule is to keep your newborn nearby when doing so. Your baby can actually help increase your milk supply. Take as many opportunities as possible to have direct skin-to-skin contact with your little one.
It's also a great idea to pump while holding your baby. If you are unable to be near your newborn when pumping, play recordings of him or her crying, cooing, and such. You can also try holding a blanket or clothing item of his or hers that carries his or her smell on it.
Finding the Right Breastfeeding Pump
When all else has been addressed, considering looking into a new or better pump. Having a good-working pump is pretty important. If you're not producing much milk, be sure to take a look at your current pump.
Is it working properly? Has the motor slowed down? Do the rings fit around your breasts properly?
These are important questions to ask yourself when using a breastfeeding pump. Some pumps may also work better for some than they do others. Don't hesitate to shop around and try out several pumps if need be. Having a pump that's in good working conditions will make the world of difference.
Ask around and talk to your mom friends about which pumps they seemed to have the most success with.
Assemble the Perfect Pumping Schedule to Increase Milk Supply
When it comes down to it, be sure to maintain a consistent pumping schedule to increase milk supply. Consistency is key to making sure that your body knows that the high demand for milk is needed. Your baby is of the utmost importance and ensuring that they receive the breast milk that they need is essential.
Follow these tips stated above to increase your milk supply and keep your little one happy! And don't forget to head check out our wonderfully delicious Milkful Nursing Bars that we offer to help increase your milk supply and ease your breastfeeding troubles.