Breast pumping but low milk supply?
Double breastpumping verses single pumping
If you are struggling with milk supply, then double pumping may be the option for you.
The milk ejection reflex, along with the hormone oxytocin, is vital for milk removal and maintenance of lactation. The MER (Let-down) is triggered by the release of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone contracts the cells surrounding the alveoli (where breast milk is produced) and releases the milk. Milk ejection is initiated in the mother's breast by the act of suckling by the baby or by breast pumping. mothers can have varying numbers of MERs during breastfeeding/breast pumping with a range of 1-17. some mothers will remove milk quickly while others will need a bit more time.
Many factors can effect the release of oxytocin which leads to a poor milk ejection reflex. This can be due to sore or cracked nipples, separation from the infant, a history of breast surgery, or tissue damage from prior breast trauma, stress...Read here for tips how to increase oxytocin and milk supply.
Double Pumping: Not only is double pumping twice as fast, but is also shown to increase let down and prolactin levels.
Extra Let Down- If you are breast pumping, studies have shown that double pumping is more effective at yielding more milk volume and stimulates an extra milk ejection reflex.
Increasing Prolactin- Prolactic is the hormone responsible for milk production. Studies have shown that during double pumping with an electric breastpump, higher prolactin levels were produced.
Our Allegro mini electric breast pump can be upgraded to a double pump while using higher suction levels ( designed for part time expressing only, up to x per day). If you are exclusively pumping and need a heavy duty pump with more suction power, then our Unimom hospital grade Forte is your best option.
Instructions for using the breast pump to increase your supply.
Pump for 10-20 minutes every 2-3 hours (when possible). Keep your pump in a convenient place ready to go. Place equipment in the fridge after each pump, sterilising at the end of each day if very busy.
*Remember a breast pump is not as effective as your baby sucking. Use other suggested techniques to aid this process and increase oxytocin.
HANDS ON PUMPING FOR MORE MILK:
Hands-on pumping can be used by any mother who wants to improve her pumping milk yield or boost her milk production. Drained breasts make milk faster, and hands-on pumping helps drains your breasts more fully with each pumping.
1. Massage both breasts.
2. Double pump, compressing your breasts as much as you can while pumping. See our hands free pumping bras to help with this. Continue until milk flow slows to a trickle.
3. Massage your breasts again, concentrating on areas that feel full.
4. Finish by either hand expressing your milk into the pump's nipple tunnel or single pumping, whichever yields the most milk. Either way, during this step, do intensive breast compression on each breast, moving back and forth from breast to breast several times until you've drained both breasts as fully as possible.