Looking for ways to pump more breastmilk? We talked to Spectra Mums about when they pump and how they get the most milk. Here’s what they had to say.

Pump more breastmilk at night

Did you know that you produce more breastmilk late at night and in the early morning hours? If you notice you feel at your fullest in the morning, even if baby has fed throughout the night, you’re not alone. Levels of prolactin, the milk producing hormone, are highest at night. Therefore, you’ll produce more breastmilk at night. If you’re looking to pump more milk, try pumping a couple hours after your baby has gone to bed. Don’t worry about not leaving enough milk for baby – breastmilk production is all about supply and demand, so your body will regulate quickly to make more milk during these times.

I find night pumping most successful for me. Baby is more predictable. He goes to bed at 7:30ish … generally wakes 12:30 -1:00am so I pump at about 10pm so I get a decent amount with enough time to regenerate a good feed.

– Kate

pump more breastmilk at night when levels of prolactin are at their highest.

Try tandem breastfeeding and pumping

Have you considered pumping one one side while baby is feeding on the other? Many women experience letdown on the opposite breast while breastfeeding, and that milk goes to waste in a breast pad! You can set up your Spectra breast pump as a single pump to pump on one side while bub is breastfeeding on the other. Or, you could use a manual breast pump, or a suction style silicone breast pump to catch the extra milk. If your goal is to pump more milk, using an electric breast pump will be most effective.

Spectra Mum Joanne tandem pumps and feeds every night so she can donate breastmilk. She recommends setting up before bed to make things a little easier during the night (our blog has more tips for breast pumping at night).

Set it up before bed as a single pump and attach to the side he isn’t feeding on.

– Joanne

Increase breastmilk production by tandem breastfeeding and pumping
“I upgraded to a Spectra so I could get better output.”

Power pumping to increase milk supply

Power pumping is one way to boost your milk production. Power pumping is pumping in short bursts of time over the course of 1-2 hours. It’s designed to mimic cluster feeding, which is what your baby does during growth spurts or times of illness to signal that he needs more milk. To power pump, set yourself up to be comfortable for a couple hours. Many women find power pumping after bubs goes to bed to be most effective because there are fewer interruptions – plus, you get the highest levels of prolactin, the milk producing hormone, late at night. You can queue a movie or TV show to watch while you pump. Pump for 5-10 minutes, pause for 5 minutes, and pump for 5-10 minutes more. Repeat this pattern for 1-2 hours.

You can read more about power pumping and other ways to use your breast pump to boost your milk supply in our blog:

Power pumping with a single pump

You can still power pump if you’re using a single pump. Joanne, who sets up her Spectra breast pump as a single pump to tandem breastfeed and pump at night, sometimes lets her bub sleep through pumping sessions. Here’s how she power pumps using a single-pump setup:

If pumping in one side at a time just pump the other side during the “rest” time for power pumping.

– Joanne

tandem breastfeeding and pumping

Drink plenty of water while breastfeeding

It’s important to drink a lot of water when you’re breastfeeding, especially if you want to pump extra breast milk. Non-breastfeeding adults should normally drink between 1-2 litres of fluids each day, but you should drink closer to 3 litres of water each day while breastfeeding. A good method to follow is for every time you pump or breastfeed, drink one glass of water. Remember, if you’re ever feeling thirsty or dehydrated, or your mouth is dry, make sure you’re drinking water.

Pump 20 mins to 30 mins minimum as it takes a while to get a let down. Drink loads of water and eat well (lots of fresh fruit & veges) also eat oats. You can try taking Herbs of Gold breastfeeding supplement. Are you using a pumping bra? You get more milk with one. I use a maternity singlet with a built-in bra & slits cut for the flanges.

– Angela

It’s also important to eat a healthy diet while you’re breastfeeding. Certain foods can also help increase your breastmilk supply.

Pump often to maintain supply

Last but not least, if you want to pump more breastmilk you should pump more often. Breastmilk is all about supply and demand, so the more the pump, the more you will produce. Try pumping between breastfeeding sessions, power pumping, or increasing the amount of time you spend pumping during one session (a good rule of thumb is to continue pumping for 5 minutes after you’ve noticed milkflow has slowed or completely stopped).

tandem breastfeeding and pumping

I pump to donate. I do this 2-3 times a day and then do a pump 2-3 hours after the little one goes to bed. I upgraded to a Spectra so I could get better output and help more bubs.

– Joanne

 

 

3 thoughts on “Tandem Breastfeeding and Pumping

    • Georgie says:

      Hi May, thanks for your question.

      It really depends on what you are needing from the pump. 🙂
      Knowing which kind of pump is best for you can be a little confusing at first but there are a two main groups to choose from;

      Hospital Grade (S1, S2 and Dew 350)
      or
      Personal Use (9+ and M1)

      If you have a premmie, are pumping for medical reasons, exclusively expressing, need to pump more than once a day or have low supply, we would suggest a hospital grade pump. All of pumps can be used as single or double pumps. The S1 includes an inbuilt battery, which makes it portable. The S2 and the Dew 350 require access to a power point to be used.

      If you are returning to work, or want someone else to be able to give your baby a bottle of breast milk occasionally, a personal use pump would be perfect. The 9+ has a display with a counter, and the M1 has the buttons on top for adjusting the suction settings. Both can be used as single or double pumps, and have inbuilt batteries making them portable too!

      If you would like more info on our pumps, you can check out some videos that will help.

      https://spectra-baby.com.au/choosing-a-breast-pump-first-step/

      https://spectra-baby.com.au/types-of-breast-pumps/

      https://spectra-baby.com.au/wanting-compare-breast-pumps/

      If you have any further questions, feel free to send us a message to [email protected]

      Have a good day.

      Best
      Georgie
      Spectra Team

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