Having trouble getting enough milk while pumping?

Many working moms realize that when nursing their babies at home, their babies get enough milk.  But when at work pumping, they can’t seem to replace what their babies take by bottle at home.

Try these tips:

1. Check your pump parts. Be sure they are working properly. An IBCLC may be able to test your pump to be sure the motor and pumping strength are still optimal.

2. Make your surroundings calm. Play some relaxing music, perhaps a lullaby or song you hear or sing when nursing your baby. Dim the lights. Make sure it is private and that you are not rushed.

3. Look at a picture or video of your baby, perhaps a video of your baby nursing on your smart phone. Think about your baby while pumping. Bring a lovey or a onesie from home with your baby’s smell on it.

4. Lubricate the inside of your pump shield tunnel with organic olive oil to reduce friction.

5. Cover your bottles and shields so that you can’t see the amount that you are pumping. Sometimes the stress of amounts can inhibit milk flow.

6. Stronger suction isn’t always better. Too strong or too long can actually have the opposite effect. Pumping should be comfortable.

Just as oxytocin drives effective labor, it drives effective milk flow. We know that stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline counter-act oxytocin. Relaxation exercises and removing the stress of your work environment in whatever way that is possible and practical will help your milk flow better.

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