Breast-feeding and pumping: 7 tips for success

Breast-feeding is a commitment — and your efforts are worthwhile. If you're pumping, follow simple tips for maintaining your milk supply, from pumping often to drinking plenty of fluids.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Breast-feeding is based on supply and demand. The more you breast-feed your baby — or pump while you're away from your baby — the more milk your breasts will produce. Consider seven tips for pumping success.

1. Relax

Stress can hinder your body's natural ability to release breast milk. Find a quiet place to pump. It might help to massage your breasts or use warm compresses. You might want to think about your baby, look at a picture of your baby or listen to relaxing music.

2. Pump often

The more you pump, the more milk you'll produce. If you're working full time, try to pump for 15 minutes every few hours during the workday. If you can, pump both breasts simultaneously. A double breast pump helps stimulate milk production while reducing pumping time by half.

3. When you're with your baby, breast-feed on demand

The more you breast-feed your baby when you're together, the greater your supply will be when you pump. Depending on your schedule, try more-frequent evening, early morning or weekend feedings. If you have a predictable schedule, you might ask your baby's caregivers to avoid feeding your baby during the last hour of care — so that you can breast-feed your baby as soon as you arrive.

April 08, 2015 See more In-depth