How to Pump More Breast Milk – And Fast!
When I went back to work and needed to pump breast milk for my son, I had to really work for it.
Pumping started out great (once I figured out what to do), but then he started to eat more and I just couldn’t keep up. While I never voiced it, I started to feel like I was failing him. I just wanted to make enough milk!
I ended up usually just scraping by by adding an extra pumping session in after he went to bed. It was exhausting.
This time around, it’s a totally different story and I could dance about how much happier I am with my experience.
To get straight to the point:
I outpump my daughter every. day.
And I have to say – it feels awesome to be less stressed about whether or not I have enough milk. This time around I’m able to pump twice as much breast milk as I did with my son while at work.
Think 6 oz. vs. almost 12 oz.
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Pumping More Breast Milk: 1st Baby Vs. 2nd Baby
Okay, so here’s the deal. Here’s the real differences in pumping with my 1st baby vs. my 2nd baby.
This time around, I currently pump 3 times at work and have a bottle of about 11 oz of pumped milk for my daughter by the end of the day.
Flashback to two years ago, when I would pump 4 times a day to barely make the same amount of milk.
I don’t know about you, but cutting a whole pumping session out and getting the same amount of milk is HUGE to me.
Think of it this way:
10 minutes less of washing pump parts, 20 minutes less time stuck to the pump (away from my kids and husband), and SO much less time worrying about how long I’ll be able to keep up this game of just barely pumping enough milk.
Okay, so how did I do it? I followed a few simple steps and I really believe they’ve made all the difference.
*Just a quick note. I can’t promise that this will be the trick for you, but this method really did work great for me.
I’m planning to go more in-depth with this on exactly how I did it. If you’re in be sure to grab my super inexpensive ebook – you can join the waitlist here!
Okay, so here’s the secret recipe to my pumping success:
How I Pump Twice As Much Breast Milk (with my 2nd baby vs my 1st)
1. Start Early
I started pumping breast milk almost immediately. But not in the way you think.
I used a silicone breast pump for the first few weeks, just to catch any extra milk. And I was able to save up an easy extra bottle of milk for my baby within a few days!
It was a great way to give my little one a chance to get used to taking milk from a bottle (I knew she’d need this skill eventually) and start building my milk freezer stash.
Then, when my baby was about a month old I would pump breast milk with my Spectra Breast pump.
Related: Why You NEED A Silicone Breast Pump (+Bonus tips on how to use it)
2. Pump Once A Day After Feeding Your Baby
As I mentioned, once my baby was one month old, I started to use my breast pump. But only once a day – if that.
I would usually only pump on weekdays and only after my baby’s morning feeding session.
If something came up where I wasn’t at home or wasn’t able to pump I didn’t.
I tried not to stress about that pump session unless I really needed it, like we were going on a date or going to be away from our baby for some reason.
This helped trigger my body to make more breast milk.
Related: How Breastfeeding Really Works
3. Use a Silicone Breast Pump (Haakaa) During Every Feed (that I was at home for)
The next thing I did was use my silicone breast pump at every feeding session.
If my baby ate on the left, I attached the Haakaa on the right.
And the next session I would switch.
This was by far the easiest way to get that little extra milk by doing almost NO work. I’m not joking here momma, you just attach it and watch that breast milk stock rise!
I love the Haakaa (or the generic version) and think it’s a must have for all breastfeeding moms.
4. Eat Lactation Boosting Foods (I eat two of these every day, and they’re easy to make at home!)
The last time I was breastfeeding and pumping (for baby #2), I bought a supply of lactation cookies when my supply dropped.
They definitely seemed to work, but I stopped buying them after I got the boost I wanted and then found myself fighting for “just enough” milk.
This time, I make these lactation power balls and eat two for breakfast every day. I think they are a huge part of my pumping success now.
5. Create a Pumping Schedule at Work (+1 extra pump)
This is a big one.
Create a pumping schedule at work and don’t be afraid to adjust it as needed.
Even though I use the silicone breast pump at my daughter’s morning feed, I still pump 2 hours later.
I find that this earlier pumping session seems to give me a great amount of milk (just as much as if I’d waited an hour later to pump). Then I pump again over my lunch break 3 hours later. And once more 3 hours later. *Note this is only about an hour and a half before I go home and feed my baby. However, your body is constantly making more breast milk, so you should definitely have enough milk to feed your little one once you get home.
Tip: Figure out your best time to pump with the Pumping Printables Pack
6. Manually Express After Pumping
Chances are good that you’ve read somewhere (or everywhere!) that you should fully empty your breasts while pumping.
So how do you do this?
Here’s a quick secret: you don’t.
Since your body is constantly making milk, you are never really completely emptying your breasts. But you can get close.
So how do you know do it?
I completely swear by manual expression. No joke! If you’re not doing it, it’s time to give it a try.
Manually expression is a fantastic way to be sure you’re emptying your breasts as completely as you can. I’m betting that if you’ve never done it before you could get some serious breast milk out by giving it a try.
I have gotten an extra ounce or two just by doing this at the end of my pumping sessions.
7. Snack When You’re Hungry
Last time around I was very concerned with getting back to my pre-baby weight. Now, if my body is telling me I’m hungry, I grab a snack!
I try to choose something healthy and filling to meet my working body’s needs, but I don’t stress about it. Listen to your body and allow yourself a mid-day snack.
Check out these great, easy to grab and go snacks for breastfeeding moms.
If you’re concerned about losing weight while breastfeeding, I highly recommend the Postpartum Cure. It’s created by a mom (who’s a crazy smart prenatal/postpartum fitness specialist) for moms!
Do You Have Low Milk Supply?
Many moms might think they have low milk supply, when they really don’t.
The USDA recommends NOT worrying about these things:
- If your breasts feel full or not. Your breasts will adjust and milk levels will stabilize as your body gets used to making the right amount of milk for your baby.
- If your baby doesn’t breastfeed for as long as other babies (or as long as you think he/she should!)
- If your baby seems to want to eat a lot (or cluster feed). This is very normal!
- When you pump or express milk, you don’t get much. Your baby is much more effective at getting milk than anything else.
So how do you know if you have a low milk supply issue? Count your baby’s wet and poopy diapers, and be sure that he or she is gaining weight. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or lactation consultant.
Reasons to Increase Your Milk Supply
If you’re not making enough breast milk for your baby or you’re cutting it too close for comfort, you might want to boost your breast milk supply.
Did you know that being stressed can cause your supply to dip? Talk about a never ending cycle!
1. Getting on top of your milk supply and pumping enough milk can make a big difference in how you feel and how much milk you produce. Reducing stress can be huge for new moms.
2. If you’re going on a trip or just want a date night out, you may need to increase your milk supply. You can build a freezer stash for those what if or spur of the moment moments.
3. If your baby isn’t gaining weight or doesn’t have enough wet/dirty diapers. If your baby isn’t gaining weight appropriately, your doctor might recommend you supplement with formula or give your baby more breast milk with a bottle feeding.
*Always be sure to talk to your doctor if your baby isn’t gaining weight or you’re worried.
Other Way to Increase Your Milk Supply
While these were the tricks I used to increase my breast milk supply, there are many others you can consider.
Here are the most common:
Stay Positive, I’m Cheering for You
Best of luck to all you mommas that are working hard to make breast milk for your baby. I know it’s not an easy job, so I hope this explanation of what I did helps – even a little! ♡