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How to Power Pump to Boost Milk Supply?

One of the "best kept secrets" for increasing supply is called Power Pumping. This is something intended to mimic cluster feeding. which a nursing baby will do when they need to get some more milk. And yes, babies who are fed via bottle will still cluster feed! Not just nursing babies.

The process of increasing demand via extra pumping sends the signal to your milk production factory to ramp it up a bit. A power pump is not intended to yield immediate results within that pump session, but to send the message that you need more production.

I'll keep this post short and sweet because that's really all there is to it!

how to power pump to increase milk supply


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I am a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist. However, the advice and tips on my pages is not personalized individual medical advice and you should always discuss concerns with your healthcare provider or seek the help of a lactation professional. I do not currently offer consults or counseling, just general information.


A power pump is very simple, and you can do in any time amount but the "recommended" time amount is as follows:

Pump for 20 minutes

Rest for 10 minutes

Pump for 10 minutes

Rest for 10 minutes

Pump for 10 minutes

You can shorten this in any way that fits your schedule, but this is the example typically given across the board. Some people will just add one rest and pump segment to their pump sessions throughout the day, whatever they can make do with.

Example for a shorter power pump:

Pump for 10 minutes

Rest for 5 minutes

Pump for 5 minutes

Rest for 5 minutes

Pump for 5 minutes

This can be done using any comfortable vacuum setting and cycle speed, more suction does NOT equal more milk! Never crank your suction to where it feels uncomfortable. I would recommend starting off each new pump segment on letdown mode (bacon mode, the squiggly line button on pumps that makes faster shorter pulls) and then switching to expression mode when milk starts flowing. Remember, don't overdo that suction!

It's very important to remember that you may not see extra output DURING this power pump session. The point is to do this for some time to see results after increasing the demand on your body, because milk production is heavily based on supply and demand.

power pumping program to increase milk supply

Some other important things to make sure you have set up to maximize comfort and efficiency with power pumping:

  • Correct flange size. Measuring your nipples to ensure you have a good flange fit (usually anywhere from 1-3mm larger than your measurement, but depends on personal comfort and flange type. Read my flange post here and find a free printable nipple ruler to check your size yourself)

  • A decent pump. I wouldn't recommend relying on wearable pumps, they are notorious for not being efficient enough for full time use. I always recommend a standard "good pump" with tubing and flanges. Popular pumps include Spectra S1, Motif Luna, Unimom Opera, Pumpables Genie Advanced, Baby Buddha, and more. No two pumps work the same for two people, and we all have our preferences. Some moms are unicorns and can pump with anything, but that's not super common for everyone.

  • A hands free bra! Set up and free your hands to tend to baby, scroll your phone, eat, play toys with older kids, anything you need to do. I have a post on my favorite bras here if you'd like to read my recommendations!

  • Patience. Trust the process, once again I should say there are not immediate results during your power pumping session. Keep this up for a week or more and watch for results. I would do once a day or twice depending on your schedule and how much of an increase you need to see.

  • Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't look at other people's pump output pics and think less of yourself. Ounces do not define you.


Check out some of my related posts for more info on milk supply and exclusive pumping!

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