What is double pumping breastmilk and how do I do it?
What is double-pumping?
Double-pumping is exactly what it sounds like: using a breast pump that allows you to express milk from both breasts at the same time.
What are the benefits of double-pumping?
The most obvious benefit to double-pumping is the time savings. Rather than pumping one breast and then the other, you can pump both at once. Using a bra like the Medela Easy Expression™ bustier frees up your hands for other tasks, saving even more time. According to research conducted by Medela, double-pumping can save up to two hours per day compared to single-pumping.
In addition to saving time, double-pumping can boost the volume and nutritional value of your milk supply. Medela’s research showed that mothers who double-pumped produced on average 18% more milk volume than those who single-pumped each breast, and the milk from double-pumping had a higher energy content at 8.3% fat content compared with 7.3% fat content for single-pumping.
- Stay relaxed. Stress inhibits the production of oxytocin, the key hormone for milk production, so try to maintain manageable expectations around breastfeeding and pumping. Worrying too much about milk production can actually harm milk production, so stay relaxed. We recommend meditation as a way to turn double-pumping sessions into a more calming experience.
- Massage your breasts before and after pumping. Speaking of relaxing, try using your fingertips to gently massage your breasts. You can lightly move from the top down to your nipples as well as in circular motions to loosen clogged ducts, soften firm areas, and encourage milk flow.
- Use a warm compress. Dampen a soft cloth with warm water and apply it to your breasts to further stimulate letdown and encourage milk flow.
- Adjust your breast pump to your own personal maximum comfort vacuum. Not too long ago, we wrote on the affect of suction intensity on milk supply. The main takeaway was the value in experimenting to find the optimal pump suction for your body. Finding that setting can lead to increased milk flow and higher cream content in your milk.
- Choose a strong, comfortable electric breast pump. Ideally, the pump you choose for double-pumping will have a strong suction and a comfortable fit as the combination of those two factors is critical to milk production.
Elvie Stride: the ultimate double-pumping time saver
Elvie, the woman-owned company that produces very cool femtech to make women’s lives easier, recently released their newest double breast pump The Stride. This lightweight, wearable pump fits into any standard nursing bra, and you can control it with a small remote. You can also pair The Stride with your smart phone using The Elvie Pump App, which allows you to track milk production and create setting preferences once you’ve found your personal maximum comfort vacuum. We love the Elvie Stride for double-pumping, and we think you will too.
Call or email us if you want more information on The Elvie Stride or double-pumping in particular. We’re always happy to hear from nursing moms.