by maipham

June 6, 2022

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

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With good self-care, enough nutrition, sleep and rest, most moms will have enough milk for their babies. However, this is not always the case with the modern world.

Not only do moms need to balance between working from home, house chores, taking care of their families but also need to to spend time taking care of themselves, working out and even the side hustle (myself included!). And God knows that there are not enough hours in a day!

Therefore, many moms experience not having enough milk for their babies, especially during growth spurt. As a result, some need to start to power pump. 

In this article, we will find out what power pump really is, how to power pump with a single pump or manual pump and how to boost your milk level the fastest.

What is power pump?

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

Power pumping is a pumping method that mimics cluster feeding, when a baby nurses in shorter and more frequent spurts. Power pumping involves expressing breast milk in several shorts and almost back-to-back sessions. 

This sends a signal to the mother's body to produce more milk.

Having said that, power pumping is not easy to do and is not always a success. There are pros and cons when it comes to power pumping and if you are thinking of doing it, make sure you know what is waiting for you.

Who should power pump

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

If you want to increase your milk supply, you can try power pumping. There are many reasons why you might consider power pump:

  • If you naturally have low milk supply and your current milk supply cannot meet your baby's demand.
  • You just got sick and your milk supply has reduced significantly.
  • You want to build a milk stash before returning to work.
  • Your baby is going through growth spurts and wants to drink a lot more milk. 

However, it's best to acknowledge that power pumping is not for everyone. It requires so much effort, hard work and patience. 

Sometimes even if you have all those things, you should not do power pumping.

Who shouldn’t power pump

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

The main purpose of power pumping is to increase the milk supply. So if you are not having a low milk supply issue, do not power pump. 

Other situations when you shouldn’t power pump even if you wish to increase your milk supply:

You get clogged milk ducts easily

As a mother who can get clogged milk ducts easily even if I clean my nipples every time after breastfeeding or pumping,  I couldn't power pump.

As power pumping will boost your milk supply, it can also increase the risk of getting clogged milk ducts.

You are having clogged milk ducts

If you are having clogged milk ducts,  let's try not to worsen the problem. Focus on trying to clear your clogged milk ducts instead of increasing the milk supply at this time.

You have health problems

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

If you have health problems, don't try to power pump. Being alone to power pump, getting up in the middle of the night to pump, sitting too long,... might worsen your health problems. 

Take care of yourself first, then you can dedicate yourself to take care of your little ones better.

You are suffering from sleep deprivation, stress or postpartum depression

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

Believe it or not, your mental health contributes greatly to your milk supply. If you believe you can, you can. If you believe you can't, you are right.

I strongly believe that the best breast milk you can get is from a mother who is happy and content.

You have no one to share the house chores or help taking care of the baby when you power pump

Don't try to make yourself stressed, tired or frustrated by trying too hard. If you don't get the right support from your family and your partner,  don't try to force it on yourself.

Best time to power pump

For the best results, you’ll likely need to devote at least an hour a day over at least a week to power pumping, although some mothers power pump for up to 2 hours in a day.

You can pump at any time in the day, but some moms prefer to power pump in the evening after their babies go to bed as it best mimics cluster feeding. On the other hand, some other moms enjoy doing it in the morning as the milk supply is the highest so lots more milk is expressed.

How often should I power pump

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

Don’t worry about staying topless all day to power pump. To power pump, you only need to do it once a day. If you can manage your time, it has no harm to power pump twice a day. 

However, don’t try to squeeze in power pump too many times in a day as you don’t want to push yourself over the edge of misery and exhaustion. 

How to power pump to increase milk supply?

Power pumping is not much different from your regular pumping session. You don’t need a special breast pump for it, but over the course of an hour, you will need to pump for several short spurts.

Many women notice an increase in milk supply after power pump for 3 to 7 days. And to maintain that new milk supply level, you don’t have to keep power pumping, the regular pumping schedule will do.

To start power pumping, try the following:

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

For the rest of the day, pump or nurse like you normally would.

How to power pump with single pump

How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

If you have a single pump, you still can power pump. So instead of pumping both sides for 10 minutes and rest for 10 minutes alternatively, you can take turn to pump each breast for 10 minutes.

So the schedule will be something like this:

  • Pump the left breast for 10 minutes
  • Pump the right breast for 10 minutes
  • Pump the left breast for 10 minutes
  • Pump the right breast for 10 minutes
  • So on and so forth.

The 10 minutes range is just something for you to easily follow. You can change it to 12 minutes, 8 minutes or something similar to adjust to your own schedule. However, do not pump one side for too long (longer than 20 minutes).

How to power pump with a manual pump

How to store breast milk?

Only have a manual pump and still want to power pump? No problem. Just follow the same method as how to power pump with a single pump above and you are good to go.

When you use a manual pump to pump, make sure you keep massaging to stimulate letdown even more.

Using a manual breast pump is a lot more work than using an electric breast pump. You can shorten the power pumping time for each breast to switch hands.


How To Power Pump With A Single Pump

How can I make power pumping easier?

To make power pumping easier for you, you should get yourself a dual electric breast pump and a good pumping bra. This helps to take the hard work off from your hands so that you can relax and produce even more milk.

You can watch TV shows, read a book or skin care while power pumping.

How to maintain the amount of milk?

In addition to maintaining the power pump for the appropriate time, to ensure an abundant milk supply each day, mothers should:

  • Have a suitable postpartum diet
  • Limit stress
  • Massage before pumping
  • Drink warm water or milk before pumping 15 to 20 minutes

Can I power pump just one side?

Yes you can. If you have your baby with you, you can power pump on 1 side while nursing your baby on the other side. But power pumping should not be used exclusively for 1 single breast. As it mimics cluster feedings, it will stimulate both of your breasts to produce more milk.

Can I power pump every time I pump?

You can power pump every time you pump. However, I strongly advise against it. As power pumping is time-consuming, you should only integrate 1 session into your normal routine.

Will power pumping once a day increase supply?

Most moms reported that their milk supply increased after power pumping once a day for 3 to 7 days.

how to power pump with a single pump


If you are living with low milk supply, power pumping can be your answer. However, make sure you read the should and shouldn’t when it comes to power pumping to decide whether it is the right one for you. 

Even if you cannot power pump and give your baby breast milk all the time, you always can supplement with formula.

At the end of the day, not breast milk or formula milk is better, but FED is best.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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