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What is Power Pumping and Does it Work?

last year5 min read
Last updated: Jan 23 2023

Power pumping. Cluster feeding. Latch. Let-down. Lip tie. Who knew there were so many breastfeeding terms to learn?

Power Pumping

Your breasts are pretty popular right now with the littlest member of your house — and neither the breasts nor the baby come with a handy instruction manual.

That’s what your Peanut community is for.

So let’s dive into perhaps the most productive of all the breastfeeding terms: the power pump.

What does it mean? Why and how do we do it? And does it even work?

In this article: 📝

  • What does it mean to power pump?
  • What is considered power pumping?
  • Does power pumping really work?
  • How to power pump

What does it mean to power pump?

So what is power pumping?

As the name suggests, it’s a whole lot of pumping in a short space of time.

The idea behind it is that it:

  • Stimulates lactation (A hormone called prolactin is the manager of this whole operation.)
  • Allows you to store milk for later.

And why do we do this?

Well, because breast milk is the good stuff.

Both the American Pregnancy Association and the WHO recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of your baby’s life.

That’s because breast milk has just the right nutrition for your baby to grow, develop and stave off illness and infection.

Enter power pumping.

It also goes by the name cluster pumping.

That’s because it mimics cluster feeding, where your baby needs a number of quick feeds in a short space of time — with minimal breaks in between. Phew.

What is considered power pumping?

The whole point of power pumping is to encourage your body to produce more breast milk. And our bodies are clever like that.

The more we feed, the more our bodies think we need.

During cluster feeds, where your baby is heading to the boob buffet very frequently with little break in between, your body tends to kick into gear by producing enough milk to meet the growing demand.

Power pumping works similarly — except this time, with a breast pump in hand.

![Power pumping while feeding(

Does power pumping really work?

Well, like most things mamahood, it works for some mamas, but not all.

Studies report that continuous, regularly spaced pumping can be an effective way to increase milk supply — and particularly useful if your baby is premature and still figuring out this whole feeding thing.

There are many reasons your supply might be low. If:

  • Your baby was born early, your milk supply might still be rearing up.
  • You are on any medication, it might interfere with your milk supply.
  • Your baby has started on solids, you might not be feeding as often and you might need a boost.

If you’re going back to work or will be apart from your baby for extended periods, power pumping can be a lifesaver.

If you are unsure or are having trouble with breastfeeding in any way, seeing a lactation consultant can really help.

You don’t have to walk this journey alone.

How to power pump

Power pumping is just like regular pumping — but more frequent.

First things first, try to find a time when you can do some uninterrupted pumping.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

Nap times may work well. And don’t be shy about leaning on support.

Having someone look after your little one while you pump can be a lifesaver.

And then, it’s less about the type of pump than how frequently you pump, so use what works best for you.

A double electric pump can be super-efficient, but a manual pump is also an option if that’s what you prefer.

In this study, a combo of electric pumping and hand techniques was shown to be very effective for mamas of preterm babies.

Check out the FDA guidelines on choosing a pump that works best for you.

How many times a day should I power pump?

Once a day should do the trick. More often than this and you could start feeling exhausted and burned out.

While there’s no one way to do this, here’s a rough power pumping schedule:

  • 20 minutes of pumping
  • 10 minutes of resting
  • 10 minutes of pumping
  • 10 minutes of resting
  • 10 minutes of pumping

And there you have it! As for feeds throughout the day, you can continue as usual.

What’s the best time to power pump?

When to power pump depends mainly on how it fits into your schedule.

Studies suggest that your milk is at peak nutrition levels in the morning. But seriously, do what you can when you can.

Some final tips?

  • Keep hydrated.
  • Don’t forget to feed yourself. Keeping up your own strength really matters right now.
  • Know that this shouldn’t be painful. If it is, it might be because the flange is not the right size. If swapping it out doesn’t work, talk to your doctor.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Rest when you need to. ❤️

You’ve got this, mama.

🍼 More on pumping and breastfeeding from The 411:
14 Best Nursing Bras for Breastfeeding & Pumping Moms
Pumping at Work: Tips & Advice
How Often Should I Pump?
When to Start Pumping
A Guide to Exclusive Pumping
All You Need to Know About Nipple Pumping
Caffeine and Breastfeeding: What to Know
Breastfeeding in Public: Tips & Advice
Your Breasts After Breastfeeding: What’s Normal?
World Breastfeeding Week: When It is & How to Celebrate
What is the Best Breastfeeding Diet?
Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding Mamas
How to Warm Up Breast Milk Safely
66 Best Nursing Clothes & Clothing for Breastfeeding Moms
All You Need to Know About the Hands-Free Breast Pump

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