A mom of a two-month old baby boy wrote in asking for tips on breast pumping and increasing breast milk supply generally. In today’s video, I lay out four tips that really helped me. Also, check out the video I published last week on boosting breastmilk supply.
How much milk should I be pumping?
Supply reigns as one of the most stressful issues facing breastfeeding moms. You crave nourishing your baby yet finish a feed and your little one doesn’t seem full. Put on the pump and out peter a few drops of milk. I have been there! Hang in there, mamas. Your supply can wax and wane. Don’t quit. There are many things you can do to increase supply. Here are the things I suggest in my video.
Number one, plenty of rest and fluids and healthy food. A healthy mama makes for a healthy baby. Breastfeeding is stripping many nutrients out of your body and you want to replenish them.Number two, fully empty one breast before going to the second one, and start on that second breast when you next feed. This means that you work past the foremilk (the thinner milk that come out first) to the hind milk (the richer, more nutritious milk that comes second), avoiding an imbalance where your baby is getting the foremilk of both breasts without enough hind milk.
For tip number three, in answer to your question regarding how long to pump, I suggest pumping for just 5-10 minutes after each breastfeeding session. Ignore how much milk you produce. The key thing is that you are stimulating your breasts to produce more milk. If you skip a feed, pump for 20 minutes. Try the hands free bra so that you can spend this time catching up on things or holding your baby.Tip number four is keeping your baby close. The closer you are to your baby, the more your hormones will be stimulated to produce milk. You’ll notice this with your let-down, which is stronger when you are actually with your baby. For more details and explanations, watch my video. Remember mamas, don’t give up.