An Ultimate Guide to Power Pumping and Milk Supply

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosures here.

Have you heard of power pumping to increase milk supply?  

Furthermore, do you know how powerful of a breast pumping tool this can be to quickly save your breastfeeding journey?

If you’re shaking your head no, then you’re in the right place!

Because I’m going to introduce you to the dynamic effects power pumping can have to quickly turn around a decreased breast milk supply and ramp it up to it’s full potential!

Let’s jump in!

Power pumping is a powerful cure for low milk supply

What is Power Pumping?

Let’s get this question answered and out of the way real quick so we can move on and get into the powerful pumping stuff! 

The method of power pumping to increase milk supply is basically the mechanical mimicking of a baby’s cluster feeding habits.

A baby will cluster feed usually during a growth spurt, when they are requiring more milk and/or to soothe. 

Using a breast pump to copy this behavior is the best way to produce the same results and get a quick boost in milk supply!

The strategy of power pumping is to utilize a full hour of breast pumping broken up into shorter start and stop segments. 

Keep reading to see visual infographics of power pumping in action that you can save for later to your Pinterest account!

What does power pumping do?

The main reason why power pumping is so effective at increasing milk supply is simply because it triggers the supply and demand switch.

Every time you fully empty your breasts to complete emptiness, your body begins to work hard to replenish that vacancy and MORE – and that is the trick!

The purpose of power pumping is to encourage your body to not only replenish what was already there, but to go above and beyond the previous demand.

The more you demand of your milk supply, the more your body will get the signal that it needs to up the supply and produce more milk!

Aren’t our bodies ingenious machines? 

When is Power Pumping Necessary?

This answer depends on your unique breastfeeding circumstances. For some women, who have an over-supply, power pumping is not even on the radar.

However, for those of us who aren’t quite so lucky to be an abundant over-supplier, we may need a little extra push and pull to help us power through those low milk supply moments.

For instance, my milk supply would dip if I skipped too many middle of the night pumping sessions. It also took a hard crash right before my period would start.

And then, there’s the slacker boob that always needs that extra attention, (so high maintenance).

These are all common examples of when power pumping may be necessary for you.

Where to Add Power Pumping into Your Pumping Schedule

Now that we’ve established answers to a few of the most common power pumping questions, lets go a little deeper into detail.

I think it’s ideal to have two different scenarios for the purpose of addressing the exclusive pumpers and the duo breastfeeding and pumping mamas.

I’ll start with the exclusively pumping power pumping schedule.

Power pumping schedule ideas for exclusive pumpers

Assume you are pumping 6-8 times per day, 20-30 minutes or more at each pumping session.

To effectively perform a beneficial power pumping routine, you will want to turn two of your already existing sessions (per day) into a power pump. 

I would recommend choosing two times per day that your milk supply is at it’s peak. This is usually morning and evening time, but that is not a golden rule.

You may find that your milk supply is higher in the middle of the day, and that’s fine too! 

Just be mindful to try and power pump during your most ample times of the day.

See Also: Exclusive Pumping Schedule: From Birth and Beyond

When Should Nursing Moms Power Pump?

Say you are nursing your baby exclusively, he or she usually does a pretty good job of regulating your milk supply to the perfect amount that particular baby needs at that stage.

However, for example sake, power pumping while you are nursing is also a good way to begin building a freezer stash to have on hand before you head back to work.

I should take a quick moment to make you aware of a fantastic resource for back to work breastfeeding moms that I think is beyond helpful!

Use this link to go check out The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class video course for solutions to all of your pumping at work questions and concerns beautifully delivered via video – online, on demand and in the comfort of your own home!

P.S. Get my exclusive pumping and milk supply course for free when you enroll in any course I recommend from a link on this site. Learn more here.

Related: Must-Know Pumping at Work Tips for a Successful Transition

Power Pumping Schedule Ideas while Nursing

Now let’s get back into some ideas on when you can implement some power pumping into your nursing routine. I would recommend choosing a couple of times per day after your baby has nursed and is ready to be put down for a nap.

This will give you the uninterrupted hour you need to pump and it won’t interfere with your nursing session. 

I know that you probably are cringing at the thought of giving up your freedom during your baby’s nap time to do a chore, but you don’t have to be tied down to pump!

Not with a portable breast pump!

These are my favorite portable breast pumps because they are compact, sleek, super powerful and mobile.

If you pair one of these mobile pumps with Freemie Cups you are totally free to pump and do anything you want!

Related: Pumping in Public and in Front of People: How to Pull it Off

How to Perform Power Pumping 

This is the section of the article where we get a little more technical. I am going to break down and show you how power pumping can be performed.

Use this method of start and stop pumping twice per day for 60 minutes each session.

Pump for 20 min./Pause for 10 min./Pump for 10 min./Pause for 10 min./Pump for 10 min. – End

Save this for later to your Pinterest account (can use share button at the end as well)

Power-Up breast pumping infographic to demonstrate power pumping

This pumping schedule is definitely a time commitment and takes a lot of determination and love!

You’re probably wondering how soon you will begin to see results from a power pumping plan like this.

Every woman is different, but most women do start to see an increase in milk supply by the end of the first week. However, it can take a few weeks for others.

If you have been religiously power pumping for weeks with no results, I would recommend that you contact a lactation consultant before you continue on.

You do not want to cause damage to your breast tissue!

See Also: Breast Pumping 101: When to Start, How Often and How Long

Free Pumping Schedules

An image of a cell phone with a free pumping schedule on the screen.

The Best Breast Pump for Power Pumping

There are a couple of pumps I recommend that are best for power pumping in my expert opinion. The first one being the Medela Pisa because of it’s rapid speed cycle and quick pulls.

Use this link to see if you apply for a free Medela Pisa breast pump through insurance. I did and it was super easy and so worth it!

I always felt like the Medela was in just as big of a hurry to get through a pumping session as I was, and I liked that lol!

The second breast pump I would also suggest using for power pumping is the Genie Plus.

I like the idea that the Genie can be paired with Freemie Collection Cups (use Amazon Prime for free shipping) give you the ultimate portable pumping experience.

Having your freedom could be a key factor to the success of you following through with an adequate amount of power pumping sessions. 

Can I use A Manual Breast Pump for Power Pumping or do One Side at A Time?

The answer to both of these common power pumping questions is technically yes, but you may not want to and here is why.

Power pumping is already a time commitment and doubling up on time to pump one breast at a time may just not be sustainable.

However, if this is the method of pumping operations you choose to use, here is how your single breast power pumping session would look.

Manual breast pump/single electric breast pump (one breast at a time) power pumping schedule 

  • Left Breast – 20 min.
  • Right Breast – 20 min.
  • Left Breast – 10 min.
  • Right Breast – 10 min.
  • Left Breast – 10 min.
  • Right Breast – 10 min.
  • Left Breast – 10 min.
  • Right Breast – 10 min.

As you can see you are pumping non-stop for a long time and using your “breaks” as the time off of the breast you aren’t currently pumping.

See Also: Pumping while Driving: How to Pump in the Car Safely

Extra Pumping Tips and Tricks

The ultimate goal of power pumping is to increase your low milk supply fast.

To compliment your power pumping routine, here are some other tips to help speed up the recovery of your milk supply:

Eat galactagogues 

What is a galactagogue? It is by definition a food or drug that promotes or increases the flow of a mother’s milk.

These breast milk promoting foods and herbs can be easily incorporated into your breastfeeding diet.

There are also lactation supplements you can take in liquid, pill or powder form.

Next, you can read up on everything you need to know about lactation supplements and milk supply.

Here’s a short list of practical and common galactagogues you can start incorporating into your breastfeeding diet right away!

  • Oats
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Flax
  • Nuts and nut milks

I also have a free eBook you are welcome to download with some of my top tips and recipes to pump up your milk supply. 

Are Your Pump Parts in Good Working Order?

Here is another tip that can have a huge affect on your milk supply. Your breast pump kit needs to be regularly replaced with fresh parts every few weeks.

Some parts that you should be regularly replacing are:

  • Valves and membranes
  • Tubing
  • Breast shields (remember to check proper flange sizing occasionally) 

Correct flange fit diagram for exclusive breast pumping

Valves and membranes should be replaced every 4-6 weeks or more frequently.

Check for gapping on your membranes where the membrane and valve meet, you want to make sure the two pieces are flush with each other. 

I recommend using a duckbill valve instead of a valves and membrane set up. The duckbill valves are one solid piece of plastic that is easier to clean and they seem to wear longer.

See Also: How to Use Breast Pump Parts and When to Change Them

Conclusion

I believe I covered every power pumping detail I could think of. You should feel pretty empowered now to take back control of your milk supply.

I’d like to go over the most important points we covered and do a quick recap for your convenience. 

  • Power pumping is the mechanical method of mimicking cluster feeding to increase milk supply.
  • This powerful pumping technique turns up the supply and demand switch.
  • You can use this breast pumping schedule when your supply has dipped.
  • Pump for one hour that is broken up into start and stop intervals.
  • Save the power-up infographic to your Pinterest account for later.
  • Discount code for BabyBuddha breast pump.
  • Download a free eBook with tips to increase your milk supply even more!
  • Take a free breast pumping online course to help you avoid pumping, breast milk and milk supply mistakes.

Read Next: How to Pump More Milk and Maximize Your Pumping Efforts!

How to Power Pump

How to Power Pump

Yield: More Breast Milk!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty: None
Estimated Cost: None

The best breast pumping method to encourage extra lactation and increase milk supply.

Materials

  • Double Electric Breast Pump
  • Hands-Free Pumping Bra
  • Cell Phone or Timer
  • Breast Pumping Kit

Instructions

  1. Pump 20 min.
  2. Pause 10 min.
  3. Pump 10 min.
  4. Pause 10 min.
  5. Pump 10 min.
  6. End

Notes

Power pump 2x per day for one week (morning and night).

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pin for later and share!

Please Share!

FREEBIES!

✔︎ Pumping schedules

✔︎ Milk supply solutions

✔︎ Pumping signs

...and so much more!

Free breastfeeding and pumping resources

  This is just what I need!

Love Our Littles logo bottle