Power Pumping – Is it Safe and How it Increase Breastmilk Supply

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

power pumping

After childbirth, your life will change completely. It will never be a calm and peaceful night’s sleep for at least about a year. As you will have to sit and hold your baby every 2/3 hours to breastfeed no matter how tired you feel. Breastfeeding is the most vital job you will have to do immediately after your childbirth. And this will not be an easy task. But the problem heightens when there is a lack of supply of breastmilk. This is where power pumping needs to come into play

When faced with a lack of breastmilk supply, you will have to feed your baby more than 12 times a day to fill their tummies properly. The flow of breast milk normally increases as you nurse your baby regularly. But if the baby shows reluctance to do the effort of sucking milk or if you are a working mother who cannot breastfeed frequently then the milk flow will drop. In such a situation to meet up the need, you can do power pumping. Using a power pump, you can both stimulate your breasts to make more milk and use the pumped milk for later at the same time. Here is what you must know about power pumping.

In This Article

What is Power Pumping?

Power pumping is the process of initiating more milk production by artificially stimulating the breasts. In power pumping, a pumping mechanism is used to pump your breastmilk in a bottle. It creates the same mechanism in your body when you cluster feed (frequently feeding the baby with fewer time gaps).

In power pumping, by creating frequent suction at your areola part you send the message to your body that more milk production is required. Your body in response will release more prolactin and oxytocin to produce and release more milk.

Why Should Mothers Consider Power Pumping?

Mothers Consider Power Pumping

Mothers need to consider power pumping as it is time-saving, effortless and effective. If you feel that your milk supply is not up to the mark and your baby remains hungry after feeding, then you must try it.

A lot of factors can impact your milk flow. Stress, illness, eating habits, etc. Working mothers do not get much time to breastfeed. Sometimes the baby faces difficulty getting a proper latch. Also, if you top-feed your baby or use formula milk frequently then your baby will gradually show reluctance to have breastmilk. As a result, your milk flow will naturally slow down. Thus, to boost your milk supply again you can try power pumping.

Is Power Pumping Safe?

Power pumping is absolutely safe as long as you follow a few precautions. Do not use this technique if you have enough milk supply that is sufficient to feed your baby. Remember not to over-pump as this can lead to overproduction of milk. Too much of milk production can cause you to experience conditions such as heavy and full breasts, infections, and conditions such as mastitis. Also, be careful with the suction power when you are working with an electric pump. Using excessive suction power to pump out milk can cause problems and also lead to breast tissue damage.

How Can Power Pumping Help Increase Breast Milk Supply?

Power pumping essentially mimics the process of cluster feeding. Let’s say your baby is cluster feeding, meaning that they seem to be hungry all the time and demanding milk with more frequency than normal. In this case, the brain gets a signal that the baby needs more milk. The body produces more hormones which will allow the production of more milk to meet the baby’s increased milk requirements.

Similarly, through power pumping, you are stimulating your breasts to produce more milk which sends a signal to the brain, resulting in increased hormone production which will result in an increased breast milk supply.

[Read : Cluster Feeding In Babies]

How to Power Pump Breast Milk?

Power Pump Breast Milk

To power pump breast milk and get an effective result, follow these steps:

1. Wash and clean the flanges and bottles of the pump.

2. Take the cleaned flanges of the pump and put your nipples at the center of each flange.

3. Switch on the pump at a slow speed so that it can mimic the suction motion of the baby

4. Now follow your preferable pumping schedule. Here is some pumping schedule you can try:

  • Pump for 20 minutes
  • Give a break for 10 minutes
  • Again, pump for 10 minutes
  • Take a rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump again for 10 minutes

Try this one-hour session one or two times per day. Another power pump session that you can follow is:

  • Pump for 5 minutes
  • Take rest for 5 minutes
  • Pump again for 5 minutes
  • Rest for 5 minutes
  • Pump for 5 minutes

This is a 25-minute session. So, you will have to repeat it 4 to 5 times daily to get a good result.

How Frequently Should You Pump?

You can pick the schedule suitable for you and spend at least one hour daily on power pumping. For better results, you can spend one more hour repeating the same schedule anytime you prefer. The frequency of power pumping depends on your body’s response to it. For some mothers one-hour sessions for a few days give excellent results, for some, it can take 2-hour sessions for a week or two to increase the milk flow.

How to Choose a Breast Pump For Power Pumping?

Choose a Breast Pump

For power pumping, electronic power pumps are more efficient than manual ones. With dual electric automatic power pumping set up, you can sit and boost your milk production while having some snacks or watching T.V. You can also try manual pumps as they are cheaper than electric ones, but they will make your hands tired soon and take more time too.

Also, while choosing breast pumps go for your trusted brand which uses BPA-free non-toxic plastic.

[Read : How to Choose the Right Breast Pump For Your Baby?]

Top 5 Tips to Make Pumping More Comfortable For Mothers

Pumping breast milk is a tricky process. A wrong method or constant tries can make your breasts and nipples sore. As a result, you may feel pain while breastfeeding your baby. Don’t worry. Here are some tips for you to make your pumping sessions comfortable.

  • First, sit in a comfortable position and relax. Making your body and mind relax will help in the release of prolactin easily.
  • Your baby should be sleeping at that time or there should be someone else to look after your baby while you sit for power pumping
  • Play your favorite music or watch your favorite show and eat some fruit to relax your mind and utilize the time properly.
  • Hydrate your body properly. Drink enough water as your breastmilk contains more than 80% water. Lack of water in the body will hamper milk flow. So drink water before and during your pumping session.
  • Massage your breasts before pumping and also during you take rest in between. This will relax your breast muscles and help you to function properly. Massage from your armpits to the nipple in a downward direction.

[Read : How Much Water To Drink When Breastfeeding?]

Advantages of Power Pumping

advantage of power pumping

The advantages of power pumping are:

  • It increases milk supply by giving a message to your body that more milk is required.
  • It helps you to store breastmilk for later use. You can sleep soundly at night and let someone else take care of feeding your baby.
  • You can measure the amount of breastmilk you are producing and check if it is increasing or not
  • It keeps your breast free from milk ducts.
  • It can save you from breast issues which can occur due to clogged ducts.

Disadvantages of Power Pumping

The disadvantages of power pumping are:

  • You will have to clean the bottles and the suction tubes and flanges before every use. This is a huge job when you will have to look after a small baby.
  • Electric pumps are expensive. Though manual pumps are a lot cheaper than electric ones, they are not that effective.
  • It is ultimately a machine. It can imitate your baby’s cluster feeding but cannot actually bring out your feelings while you breastfeed. As a result, it can sometimes take time for milk let down.

When Should I Consider Stopping Power Pumping?

You need to stop power pumping when you get the required milk flow. You can feel that your baby is getting enough milk with little effort. Your baby is satisfied after each breastfeeding session. Then you can stop power pumping and focus entirely on breastfeeding.

So, power pumping is an effective way to increase breast milk for your baby. It is a very good solution when you have a premature baby, or a baby with a cleft palate and poor latch. But if your baby is cluster feeding and you are having a good supply of breastmilk then there is no need for power pumping for you. Power pumping then can cause an overflow of breast milk. Always consult with your doctor before trying anything new.


1. Does Pumping Help With Clogged Milk Ducts?

Yes, pumping helps to clear milk ducts. If your baby has a poor latch and does not drain out entire breastmilk, then clogged ducts occur. To clear ducts, you can also apply a heating pad or a warm cloth.

2. What is the Best Time to Do Power Pumping?

Though you can try power pumping anytime you prefer, the best time is the morning, as your milk supply will be more in the morning than in the evening.

3. Will Pumping Every 2 Hours Increase Milk Supply?

Yes, to get effective results you can try pumping every 2 hours for the initial two to 3 days. After this, you can shift to pumping once or twice a  day.

4. Should I Keep Pumping if No Milk is Coming Out?

Yes, you must follow your pumping schedule even if milk does not come out. The constant stimulation will eventually make your body work more for milk production and the condition will resolve next time.

5. Can Pumping Too Much Decrease Milk Supply?

Pumping too much can harm your breasts. It can cause much more milk production than needed. As a result, blocked milk ducts, engorgement, and mastitis can occur.

Read Also: Exclusive Pumping – Breastfeeding Without Nursing

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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