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Getting More Milk When Pumping

Many moms are concerned about their milk supply (even if it’s plenty!!). Moms want to know if their baby is getting enough and often worry when it seems like they don’t pump very much milk, or less than what they feel comfortable with. We always reassure moms that babies are better at extracting milk from the breast than the pump! In fact, the way babies drink milk from the breast us very different than the mechanism the pump uses–the pump works on a suction and pull mechanism, the baby actually draws milk out in a wave like motion with his tongue. That being said, some moms are separated from their babies (e.g., babies in the NICU) and mom must pump to provide her milk. Sometimes it also takes a little longer than expected for mom’s milk to increase in supply after birth, so what can moms do?

Recent research (Acuna-Muga et al. 2014) has shown that moms pump on average an ounce more per pumping session when she pumps in the same room with her baby, right after holding her baby skin-to-skin, compared to in another room in the hospital and no skin-to-skin care. Even moms who pump while holding their baby skin-to-skin pump significantly more milk than those moms who pump in the same room as their baby (Acuna-Muga et al. 2014). This study was conducted on moms with babies in the NICU but the principle also applies to moms with their babies at home. Try pumping after you have held your baby in just a diaper, naked, against your naked chest…you will likely see a greater yield in milk expressed!

If you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding, contact your local lactation consultant today! Simply the Breast serves Camarillo, Pt. Mugu, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Moorpark, Simi Valley and Westlake Village areas of Ventura County.