Generally speaking, a mother will produce enough milk to feed her baby at each stage of development. So, if baby is two weeks old and eats approximately 2.5 oz of milk per nursing session, that’s what we expect mom to be producing. In other words, a mother’s milk supply is established based on supply and demand. You must remove milk from your breasts frequently for your body to know to make it.
It is normal for a breastfed baby to nurse up to 10 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. Your body also responds better to your baby than the pump, so you may notice that your baby is able to get more milk from you than what you can express when pumping. That is okay! Likewise, sometimes you may have a low milk supply. In this blog, we’ll cover how to increase your milk supply with parallel pumping while also caring for a newborn.
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Why Parallel Pump?
Sometimes mothers do experience a low milk supply, which can occur for a variety of reasons. If mom has a low milk supply, the best way to get it up is to increase the frequency of baby’s nursing sessions. In addition to more frequent nursing sessions, you can also pump. There is a multitude of different pumping methods and one of them is parallel pumping. Parallel pumping requires less time, and you may experience a stronger letdown reflex while nursing and pumping together rather than pumping alone.
The main reason to parallel pump instead of choosing other pumping methods is to get time back from triple feeding. Triple feeding occurs when a mother is working to increase her supply while maintaining a strong breastfeeding relationship. It looks like this: 👶Step one: Put baby to the breast for every nursing session. 👶Step two: Once baby has emptied mom’s breasts, pass baby off to another adult to get the rest of their meal (because mom has a low supply and is not currently making enough for each feed). 👶Step three: While baby is finishing their meal, mom continues to pump to increase her supply.
Why Babywear While Parallel Pumping?
As you can imagine, this takes time and leaves little room for mom’s personal needs. To save time, a nursing mom can feed baby on one side and pump on the other. Allowing both baby and pump to empty her breasts simultaneously. She can then use the milk she has just pumped as part of the bottle baby gets to finish his/her meal. Thus, eliminating a step and saving herself some time.
In addition, after the first week or two of leave, many moms are left home alone with the new baby or multiple children. Cue introducing babywearing while parallel pumping. Babywearing can be done skin to skin which also will help to increase mom’s milk supply. It also allows mom to be up and moving around to get things she may need (drink, snack, etc 😊) or to monitor and help other children.
When NOT to Parallel Pump and Babywear
Paralleling pumping and babywearing can be a total game changer for moms looking to increase their milk supply and manage their kiddos. However, there are times when it’s best to avoid doing both at the same time.
First, don’t use this practice when you’re having difficulty obtaining a good latch. Second, if you have cracked or damaged nipples, be sure to avoid this approach. It’s important to deal with these issues on their own before proceeding.
Tips for Parallel Pumping and Babywearing
Parallel pumping and babywearing makes the most sense if you have a portable or hands-free pump and a good nursing bra that allows you to pull the strap down to expose your breast on one side while holding the flange in place on the other side.
Parallel pumping also works best if baby is already used to being worn in a baby carrier and nursing is going well. I tend to get baby latched on first before attaching the flange but you could start with setting up your pump first if that is easier for you.
Have you ever parallel pumped to increase your milk supply? Share your tips with us in the comments below!