Tips and Tricks for Pumping: Increasing Your Supply

So many women struggle with milk supply for a variety of reasons, some women exclusively breastfeed, pump exclusively or a combination of both.  Much of this information could be applied to any women in need in an increased supply.

When you start to do any of the below suggestions, please give it at least a week or two before considering it a failure.  Some women might see a change after a day or two, but others it could take a week or two.  For me, when I made a change in pumping it took about 7 days to notice a change.

Increasing your supply

  • Different types of herbs CAN help increase your supply.  I tried Fenugreek, and a few others with my first time pumping and it did not work.  Later I found out there’s a rumor that some blood types don’t work well with the stuff, O, which is what I am.
  • Try Power Pumping, 10 min pumping, 10 min resting…continue for an hour or as long as you can.  If you are able to nurse try feeding the baby as often as possible, many times skin to skin contact can help even if the baby isn’t actually nursing.
  • If you are nursing, it also wouldn’t hurt to try pumping as well as nursing to get your supply up.  If you pump on the opposite side or right after nursing it can help increase your supply and still have milk ready for the baby.  The milk you pump can be frozen for future use or donated to a baby in need.
  • If your still breastfeeding you can also try pumping the opposite side the baby is feeding from.  This essentially is the same as double pumping.  It can be challenging at first, but if your body is expressing milk from both sides at the same time it really can make a huge difference.  If you can’t manage it yourself you can always try a hands free setup.
  • Try pumping for 5 min longer after your last letdown. DOUBLE PUMP!  It saves time and helps keep up your supply.
  • Do breast compressions while you pump.  You can Google it and find video or more information if needed.  Basically you want to help Squeeze out the milk.
  • Gatorade has been known to help increase supply due to the electrolytes.  I bought large containers of the powdered stuff and found it helped.
  • Beer with a higher content of Hops can help increase supply; typically IPA’s work the best.  But drink responsibly.
  • There are recipes for breastfeeding cookies and breakfast bars, it seems oats and Brewers Yeast are the main ingredients that help increase your supply.
  • Some women find hand expressing after pumping can increase supply.  It’s not easy and can take a little bit to get used to.

If you haven’t read the previous posts on Getting Started and General Information you might want to check it out.  Also look for the next post on Traveling and a future post on Freezing milk.

About Amy

Hi, my name is Amy and I’m in my late 20’s. I’m married to an amazing stay at home dad and we have two kids (a Boy and a Girl). I work full time in IT as a Business Analyst and recently went back to school full time for my MBA. My family and my career are both very important to me; I’m constantly trying to find better ways to provide my family with the best.
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