1. FREQUENCY - how often you pump is MUCH more important that how long you pump. You want you body to constantly be making milk. For the first 8-12 weeks I recommend pumping every 3 hours.
2. SCHEDULE - Having a schedule is also very important! You need to set a schedule that is similar to you baby's eating pattern. Your body will adjust to routine and will begin to engorge right on schedule after a few weeks. If you are exclusively pumping, try setting the schedule to every 3 hours and pick times that will be the best for you and baby like maybe right before they typically wake up from a nap. A common pumping schedule for the first 8-12 weeks will look like: 12a, 3a, 6a, 9a, 12p, 3p, 6p, 9p
3. CONSISTENCY - You need to be consistent with your pumping, even if you only get an ounce in the whole session. In the beginning, its very common for moms to do a whole20 minute pumping session and only get a few drops - that's okay! You are teaching your body you need more milk and the more consistent you are with your demands the more likely the success. Just the opposite if you only pump when you can fit it in pumping for 10 minutes then skipping 8 hours of pumping and then trying to pump again, you'll quickly kill you supply and if you're at least partially established in your supply you're likely to get clogged ducts. What ever you do DON'T SKIP A SESSION!
4. NO STRESS - Stress is a big killer of the milk supply. The more relaxed a mom is while pumping the more the milk will flow and the more likely she is to have breast pumping success!
5. WATER - You have to stay hydrated! Think about it if you're trying to pump out 20-40oz of liquid per day from your body, it's going to need to pull fluids from somewhere. The more water you drink the more hydrated you are and the more likely you are to have a full and successful pumping session.
There's lots of other methods out there like fenugreek, special teas, and supplements some are proven to help build a good milk supply when pumping and others not so much. More on these to come!
Pumping breast milk certainly isn't the easiest option for moms but it's one more and more are choosing. If you have questions or want more support email me or go on line and search there's lots of wonderful Exclusive Pumping Groups out there to help!