Power Pumping to Boost Milk Supply

Categories: Breastfeeding, Parenting, Pumping, Working Mamas
April 6, 2022

If you are looking for ways to increase milk supply, chances are you have heard of power pumping. What exactly is power pumping, and how does it boost milk output?

What is power pumping?

The concept behind power pumping is straight forward. More demand = more milk. Power pumping sessions are a way to mimic cluster feeding, where baby nurses frequently in short bursts, with a breast pump. Just as when a baby cluster feeds, more pumping sessions signals to your body that more milk is needed.

How to power pump

The general rule for power pumping is:

  • Pump for 20 minutes
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump for 10 minutes
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump for 10 minutes

Infographic explaining how to power pump

Does it work?

The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Dr. Fiona Jardine conducted a study of over 1,700 pumping parents, and in her research, she found that 82% saw an increase in their milk production. There are also countless articles and anecdotal evidence from lactation professionals and moms stating the same thing. In many cases, power pumping does indeed work. It’s important to keep in mind that results vary from person to person. Results can even vary from day to day and session to session.

How often to power pump

While there are no hard and fast rules for what power pumping should look like, there are a few methods that have worked well for pumping mamas.

  • Once a day for one week – This method works well for mamas who are both pumping and breastfeeding. One week of power pumping sessions can be enough to help boost your milk supply, allowing you to get those extra ounces. Repeat as needed.
  • Once a week – If you are exclusively pumping, power pumping once a week can be enough to stay ahead of any potential supply dips and stand in for times a baby might cluster feed.

With both methods, keep pumping even if there is no milk coming out. This continued stimulation of the breast will signal to your body that more milk is needed.

Tips for successful power pumping sessions

  • Get your pump station ready. Make sure you have everything you need to get started. Get your snacks, water, and entertainment ready. Even though you will have a few 10-minute breaks, being prepared will make it easier to relax, get a letdown (or multiple!), and be in it for the long haul.
  • Stay hydrated. Yes, water was mentioned above too. Proper hydration is crucial for breastfeeding and pumping mamas. Even for your overall health. Keep a water bottle near you, like this one with motivational time markers, so you can keep pumping the fluids and milk at the same time.
  • Make sure your flange fits correctly. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How do I know my flange size?” Not using the correct flange size can have a tremendous impact on milk production. Check out this flange sizing guide to make sure you are using the right size.
  • Use a hands-free bra. If you are going to be spending more quality time with your pump, you will at least want your hands free to carry on with the day. Getting a hands-free bra like this one will make a huge difference. Trust us!
  • Stay observant and remain flexible. If your body doesn’t have a letdown for 8-10 minutes, extend the power pumping sessions. If milk supply seems to be lower in the later part of the day, try power pumping in the afternoon to encourage more letdowns and get extra milk. Understand that fluctuation in production is normal, so try to look at longer trends instead of singular pump sessions and days.

For more tips on how to increase milk supply, check out this article.

Breastfeeding and pumping are not always easy. You don’t have to go it alone though! Feel empowered to enlist support from lactation consultants, your doctor, other nursing and pumping mamas, parenting groups, and your pediatrician. There is an entire community out there that is happy to cheer you on throughout your journey.


*This post contains affiliate links, which means Acelleron may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.