driving your breastpump...

(Trying not to think of the spam that might follow that title!) Lately I have found that a lot of moms just 'try out' pumping without reading the (boring) instruction book that comes with this breastfeeding technology. Can't really blame you there, but I can add a few little tricks that can make a big difference when learning to operate the breastpump.

Most of the newer pumps for sale have the 2 phase cycling built in, but even the older ones can be used in a similar pattern. This means that you start to get milk flowing on one setting, and adjust later when the flow is stronger (as during a let down). The two phases, as I like to call them, are quick and light, and long and slow. You can also call them 'stimulation' vs. 'extraction' phases, but bigger words are harder to remember in the early postpartum phase!

So for quick and light, you start with low suction and the highest speed you can get to, and with long and slow you take the speed down and increase the suction to what you can comfortably stand.

Here is the key. Once you have been through one cycle of both phases  with your pump, don't stop. Switch back to quick and light for another minute or two, and then go into long and slow again, even if you don't have another let down. This can trick your body into releasing more milk and getting more milk for your time during the pumping session.

One mom I worked with this week didn't get much from the second cycle, but she did a 3rd and got another bit that increased her output by 30%!

More milk, less time equals a more positive pumping session that also primes your body to make more if you are struggling with supply (and many moms who rely heavily on the pump are indeed struggling).

Just wanted to remind you that just as you can drive your vehicles and technology more efficiently, you can do the same with your pump!