Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumping: Increasing Volume of Breastmilk

Our previous post gave information on how to increase your milk supply while pumping,  In addition, there are ways to increase the milk output from the supply mothers already have. 

1.  Massage While Pumping.  Using a hands-free pumping bra or using the pledge of allegiance hold pictured here can give you the freedom to massage your breast while pumping.  This can assist your milk output provided that you are doing it in a relaxed manor and not watching the bottles anxiously.

Mother using pledge of allegiance hold with Ameda Elite Breast Pump.

2. Reposition Breast Flanges.  Instead of just sitting and double pumping for 10-15 minutes, take advantage of the anatomy of your body.  You can engage more milk ducts if you re-position your breast flanges a.k.a. breast shields every 3-5 minutes during your pumping session.

3.  Pump Up the Volume.  Studies on mothers of premature babies show that listening therapy increases their output by 2-3 times. The most effective form of listening therapy includes verbal encouragement plus music.  One way to accomplish this is to have hubby record encouraging words and/or relaxing music.  It doesn't have to be elevator music, just music that is relaxing to you.

Study published in Advances in Neonatal Care, Douglas Keith, April 2012. 

4. Visualize the Prize.  Have a picture of your baby taped to your breast pump bag, on your desk or table by where you are pumping.  This will help milk output much more than staring at the bottles.

5.  Sense of Smell.  Another way to aide with let-down is to have a receiving blanket that has been on the baby or nursing scarf to drape around your neck or even to cover the bottles while you are pumping.

Remember, your expressed milk is liquid love.  You are leaving a part of yourself when you can't be with your baby and you are doing a great job, mama!

Happy Nurturing,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumping: Increasing Milk Supply

Every Lactation Consultant will tell you breast milk quantity is based on supply and demand, but with today's busy mom taking the baby to bed with you all day to suckle is not an option.  You can increase your milk supply while at work or with your breast pump at home.

First make sure you are already getting the appropriate stimulation for your baby's age.  If your nursling is under 6 months, you should be nursing and/or pumping at least 8 times per day while using a quality double electric pump such as the Hygeia EnJoye or Ameda Purely Yours or Ameda Platinum breast pump for a full 10-15 minutes per session.  If your nursing is 6-12 months, you should be stimulated at least 5 times per day.  For over 12 months at least 2-3 times per day. 

If you are already following the above protocols for sufficient stimulation of the breast, you will need to increase the number of pumping sessions to increase milk supply using a breast pump.  Research indicates that you need an hour of additional stimulation to increase milk supply.  Nature dictates that the average growth spurt where a baby is increasing their nursing sessions lasts about 5 days.  taking these two things into consideration, you should add 3 double pumping sessions of at least 10 minutes for 5 days in a row.  Each breast is stimulated for 30 minutes totaling the 1 hour of stimulation you need. For example, if you are nursing/pumping 8 times a day, you need to increase it to 11-12 times per day.  If you are nursing/pumping 5 times a day, you need to increase it to 8. 

Growth spurts are just that, spurts.  You need to increase your pumping sessions for a full 5 days in a row for this to be effective.  If life interrupts that, you will need to start over and do another 5 days in a row to simulate the growth spurt.

You can also use breastfeeding supplements during this time for additional increase if you prefer.

Hande-Free Pumping with PumpEase!

Happy Pumping!