Tip Number One – Relax!
Relaxation is key, oxytocin is the hormone that is involved in milk production and triggers the letdown reflex. If you are stressed or anxious, the oxytocin release can be inhibited temporarily. By using simple tools, we can help prepare our mind & body to release oxytocin, for example…
– Create an oxytocin-filled environment and get comfortable.
– A warm compress and gentle breast massage before expressing.
– Breathing techniques, positive affirmations, or listening to guided relaxations.
– Skin-to-skin time with your baby if you are together, or looking at pictures and videos of them, or even smelling the baby’s clothes.
– Cover the collection set with a sock to take your mind off expressing. Watching it closely may lead to stress, therefore, restricting oxytocin which means fewer let downs and less milk!
– Try watching your favourite TV.
It is individual to you, whatever helps you relax!
Tip Number Two – Correct Breast Shell Size!
This is the plastic shell you place on your breast, having the incorrect size may affect how much you express.
Signs you have the correct size include:
– Pumping being comfortable.
– Little to no areola in the tunnel.
– Your nipple moving freely.
Tip Number Three – Hands-on Pumping!
A study showed that parents who used their hands while pumping expressed on average 48% more milk. For this it can help to be hands free while expressing, you could buy a special bra or make your own with an old sports bra by cutting holds in each side to feed your breast shell through. Start by massaging both breasts with your hands. While expressing compress your breasts as much as possible. After expressing massage your breasts again and finish by hand expressing into the breast shell.
Tip Number Four – Double Pump!
This helps to increase supply and also saves time!
Tip Number Five – Power Pumping!
Power pumping involves expressing multiple times during a short period of time to mimic a baby cluster feeding to increase supply. The Ardo Alyssa Double Electric Rechargeable and Bellis breast pump have a one-hour power pumping programme that mimics a baby cluster feeding for you at the press of a button! You can even control the pump from the app.
Two Bonus Tips!
Try expressing in the middle of the night, the milk-making hormone prolactin is higher at this time.
If you are also feeding your baby directly from the breast you could try expressing from one breast and feeding your baby from the other one.
Watch Ilayda Gill, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, explain on YouTube