Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

A Mother’s All-Inclusive Guide to Power-Pumping

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

📝 Editor’s Note: There must be many questions brimming in the minds of concerned mothers. Power pumping is a pivotal step that needs to be taken with precautions. However, it is essential to stay vigilant and kind to oneself because the body is already going through a plethora of hormonal changes whilst feeding another soul. So, this is a reminder for all mothers to be kinder to themselves.

With the quintessential subsequence comes a vast array of responsibilities that entail nurturing a tiny tot into existence. In this day and age, the utmost best ways to feed children have also been circling the horizon. Meanwhile, concepts like power pumping have made the mum’s life a tad bit easier. To further explain power pumping efficiently, here is a one-stop guide devised to answer all the questions a new mother may have about power pumping.

What Makes Power Pumping Effective?

Power pumping or cluster pumping is a technique used by lactating mothers to extract milk from their breasts in order to feed their newborn child. The process of power pumping is recognized to stimulate cluster feeding in babies. The foremost ideology behind power pumping is to prepare the mother’s body to produce more milk to meet the requirements of the child. 

Although the internet may argue over what might be the best technique to power pump, it is arguably the most effective way to combine both hand massaging techniques along with electric power pumping. It is also deemed most efficient if the procedure is carried out during the mornings, as breast milk production tends to be the highest during that period of time.

It is noteworthy that this procedure does not equate to breastfeeding the baby and must not be replaced like so. Nor the regular pumping sessions for lactating mothers. Frequent breastfeeding sessions coupled with proximate power pumping sessions are necessary on a daily basis to increase the breast milk supply. 

This form of the pumping schedule harnesses the concept of supply and demand in terms of making milk. The more the milk is removed or extracted, the more milk should be made by the breasts.

Pros and Cons of Power Pumping 

Now, moving on to the pros and cons of power pumping, they will help you in understanding more about power pumping and maybe come to a decision about them too if you are an expecting or new mom. 


  • The stimulation, which usually comes as a bi-product of power pumping, results in a surge in the mothers’ prolactin levels. [Prolactin is an essential hormone that aids the milk production process. An enhanced level of prolactin commands alveoli in the breasts to produce milk; the greater the surges, the greater the amount of milk will be produced. 
  • Power pumping provides leeway for mothers with a low supply of milk and gives them an opportunity to boost the dwindling milk supply to meet the needs of their babies.
  • Not only it aids mothers with low milk supply, but also it allows busy mothers to stash their breast milk in advance to provide for their babies.
  • It mimics the babies’ cluster feeding.
  • With power pumping, the breasts are repeatedly emptied, signaling to the mother’s body that more milk needs to be produced. This allows the process of milk synthesis to increase.


  • It can cause engorgement of the breasts, further causing painful swelling.
  • It can also cause an oversupply of breastmilk.
  • The procedure must be handled carefully, as too much pressure can rupture the breast tissue, inadvertently damaging and reducing the supply of milk.
  • May cause breast inflammation. 

Who Should Try and Avoid Power Pumping?

Before initiating power pumping, the mother must ascertain the reasons behind the drop in milk supply. A significant increase in stress and the frequency of a work-laden schedule can adversely affect the proximity of milk production.

Some reasons that could cause the decline in milk supply might be improper breastfeeding or the child refusing the breast. These issues must be discussed with a lactation specialist, who would further abet the process by introducing the mother to the proper techniques to induce more milk supply.

In terms of who should avoid power pumping, the mothers who are not facing issues in producing enough milk to cater to their child’s needs need not use power pumps. It is also advisable to avoid power pumping if the child is already exhibiting cluster feeding patterns. 

As this will naturally boost the mother’s milk supply. If the mother is experiencing sore nipples or any kind of nipple trauma, the additional stimulation will evidently make it worse. In such cases, lactating mothers should avoid power pumping.

How to Personalize Your Own Power Pumping Schedule?

Creating a calm and positive environment for this procedure beholds utmost importance, as the more relaxed the mother is, the easier the milk will let down.

A rough skeleton of the schedule to power pump could look like so:

  • Pump 10–20 minutes
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Pump 10 minutes
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Pump 10 minutes
    Power Pumping Schedule

Picking a time slot most comfortable and fleshing this rough skeleton out according to each mother’s requirements is indispensable. 

Another example of this procedure could be:

  • Left side – 12 minutes
  • Right side – 12 minutes
  • Left side – 8 minutes
  • Right side – 8 minutes
  • Left side – 8 minutes
  • Right side – 8 minutes
  • Left side – 8 minutes
  • Right side – 8 minutes

Although there may be a plethora of tips and tricks available, despite this abundance, the most important thing for a mother to consider is that not every day is going to produce the same results. So listening to their bodies and being kind and patient amidst this hard work is extremely prominent.

Ways to Extract the Utmost Power Pumping Results

Being patient with this process is going to be the way forward. For the following, continuing through the entire hour of stimulation is vital. Hydration is even more so fundamental during this stage of life. Drinking plenty of water not only makes the process of extracting milk smooth for the baby but also ensures the body is healthy and free of toxins, furthermore improving the quality of the milk. 

Likewise, keeping the mother’s body nourished is absolutely non-negotiable as she is providing for not one but two bodies. In this case, having an extra snack or two in order to fuel the body only comes with benefits, with the added advantage of extra milk production. As the whole process takes about an hour to accomplish, it is recommended that an electric pump must be used (even though it is not necessary) as it will help the mother feel less tiresome.

Some other recommendations include nursing on one side while pumping on the other, relaxing as much as possible for a rampant decline in stress levels, and continuing pumping even if nothing comes out. The continued pumping will likely activate additional milk production for future necessities.

Types of Breast Pumps and How to Choose the Correct One for you?

Knowing your needs and the type of product that will cater to them is rudimentary. Which is, getting well-versed with the types of breast pumps is crucial. 

Here’s a glossary for reference:

types of breast pumps
  • Closed-system breast pump

A closed-system breast pump establishes a barrier between different parts of the breast pump. It prevents liquid, such as the breast milk itself or the moisture from the heat of the mother’s body, from deteriorating the electric motor. It also maintains a more hygienic environment for the milk produced. 

closed-system breast pump
  • Open-system breast pump: Open-system breast pumps are devoid of separation between the pump parts and the motor, unwittingly causing the milk to get into the motor. The milk is at greater risk of contamination with an open system, and the hygiene of the milk is at risk. 
    Open System Breast Pump
  • Electric breast pump: Electric breast pumps come with an electric motor that creates suction. These breast pumps are ideal for frequent users who need to express a significant amount of milk at a given time to stash for readily available feed for their baby. 
  • Manual breast pump: A manual breast pump is a machinery that requires the manual removal of milk.                     
    Manual Breast Pump
  • Double pump: A double breast pump allows the mother to use the pump on both breasts simultaneously. Surmounting to be the most efficient way, a double pump is especially beneficial if excess milk supply is required. 
Double Breast Pump
Double Breast Pump
  • Single pump: A single breast pump only allows pumping from one breast at a time, which may come in handy if the mother pumps from one side while nursing the baby from the other. 
Single pump
  • Hospital-grade pump: These types of breast pumps offer a higher level of suction and are more efficient than some of their less innovative counterparts. 
    Hospital-grade pump
  • Wearable breast pump: A wearable breast pump, also known as a cordless or wireless breast pump, is one that the mother can wear inside the bra and the device doesn’t require being connected to any cords. 
  • Hand expression: The hand expression is the process of manually extracting milk without a pump. This can be done by forming the letter “c” with hands around the breasts and gently squeezing from the outer breasts towards the nipple.
    Hand expression

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Still stumbling upon some questions about power pumping? No worries. Please feel free to go through this elaborative list of questions that will hopefully ease concerns.

Ans: A study conducted by Fiona Jardine suggests that 82% of lactating mothers experienced an increase in their milk supply upon using power pumping.

Ans: It is advisable to either do this after 30–60 minutes of nursing or at least one hour before breastfeeding.

Ans: Excessive usage of breast pumps may cause sore nipples, irritation, and painful swelling. It must always be done in moderation, with precautionary steps taken care of.

Ans: An ample amount would be 1-3 power pumping sessions, each of them separated with at least an hour between them.

Ans: 1.5 to 3 ounces between the intervals of every 2 to 3 hours.

Ans: It takes between 3 days to 3 weeks for it to work.