While researching preemie mom breastfeeding and pumping tips, I ran across the pro-pumping pins and patches of Milk Making Mama run by a London-based, German mom of two little girls, Maria. These items are so cheeky and empowering. They’d be a great gift for any milk-making mom.
In addition to being a full-time mom, Maria is a trained antenatal teacher, birth educator, doula, and certified breastfeeding specialist who had two very different breastfeeding experiences with her daughters which inspired Little Peach a website and online community where moms can get together to motivate, educate, and support each other throughout their breastfeeding and pumping journeys.
Her Instagram posts and Instagram Stories are SO GOOD. Each one will inspire you to stick with your milk-making journey, whatever it looks like, and gives you simple troubleshooting tips for things like engorgement, poor latch or increasing milk supply.
Because she exclusively pumped with her first daughter, Maria totally gets the challenges faced by preemie moms who start their motherhood journey hooked to a breast pump.
“My first breastfeeding journey was extremely difficult and I ended up exclusively pumping for one year,” Maria says on her website. “With my second daughter, I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding for more than a year, and still going strong. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience what a smooth breastfeeding journey can be like.”
Maria is so passionate about helping moms breastfeed, she offers FREE online and virtual breastfeeding coaching sessions! Be sure and check out her social media and website if you could use some encouragement or troubleshooting on your pumping or breastfeeding journey.
I’m THRILLED that she’s sharing her top supply-boosting tips with us on the blog!
10 ways preemie moms can boost milk supply
In my 12 month pumping venture I learned a lot about what got my milk flowing. Here are my 10 tips to get a good let down and boost milk supply :
- A strict pumping routine of every two hours in a 24-hour period. This also means nighttime pumping. I know that may be hard but to establish a strong supply and to start of your breastfeeding journey successfully it is crucial to also pump during the nighttime. My tips for nighttime pumping are to create a nice, cozy spot with only a dim candle lit, cozy blanket, even an eye mask (can recommend space mask) to just keep in a relaxed state of mind.
- A strict routine and the combination of doing power pumping sessions will show an increase in milk supply. A good routine may be to do your regular pumping routine every two to three hours and on the weekend or two to three days in a row add an extra power pumping session. This will really boost your supply.
- Moist heat, massage, nipple stimulation and a little hand expression with getting your milk makers ready. Stimulation will help a lot to increase your supply. Wearing warm breast comfort packs (I can recommend Lil’Buds Comfort Packs) all day and especially before and during a pumping session can really help the flow of milk. Massage before and during your pumping session will also help you have a quick let done and an increase in milk.
- Hand expression. Many mamas find that the expression of milk using their hands has brought them a bigger output so this may be a great thing to try and master as well and see if it makes a difference, especially during the early pumping days. The thick colostrum will only get stuck in the parts of the pump so hand expression will be a wonderful tool to master.
- If you can, 15 to 30 minutes of skin-to-skin with baby before a pump will help. Now I know this may not be possible with all premature babies but if you do get to snuggle with your little one, pump right after as it will help you get your milk flowing.
- Trick your body. Our bodies are designed to react to reoccurring things. Pumping in the same place, with the same smell, music, drink or food will help your let down.
- I also found that playing a video of my baby crying gave me a quicker let down. Sounds cruel but nature has designed these milk makers to lactate to the sound of a crying baby, because we know milk dries baby tears. I also found that if I have the pump on whilst massage and hand-expressing, the noise of the pump also triggered a let down.
- Relaxation and visualization. Making sure you are in the most relaxed state is key to a good milk output. This again can be very be tricky as this is probably the most vulnerable and stressed you have ever felt. Having some relaxing music on or even a guided meditation makes all the difference in your milk flow as well.
- Frequency over length. The more frequently you empty your breast the more milk you will produce. For example, if you pump five times a day for 20 minutes compared to eight times for 10 minutes, the later will show a larger milk supply.
- You can also try and add natural lactation boosting products and foods to your diet to help boost your lactation.
It is also very important to look after yourself. The stress and worry will seem all-consuming right now but it will also have an impact on your supply. Making sure you get plenty of rest, eat and drink well will make all the difference to your milk supply.
I know this it not how you imagined the start to your journey as a mother and you may be questioning everything that went wrong or that you did wrong right now. But Mama, you did amazing. We don’t always know why some babies choose to enter this world earlier then they should. Perhaps they are eager to finally meet you. But it is not something that is your fault nor anything you could have done differently. But what you are doing right now, providing the best nutrition and pouring all your love and devotion over this baby is amazing.
You are strong and you can do this. Right now you are moving mountains!
And I for one am so proud of you, because it is not easy. Every day brings a new challenge and you have conquered them all–and you are pumping and nourishing your baby.
Well done, you SUPER MAMA!
Maria, Little Peach