Pumping mistakes

10 Pumping Mistakes That Can Decrease your Milk Supply

A good breast pump is the best friend of every mother who wishes to nourish her child by breast milk. It’s very helpful when you’re at the beginner stage of establishing your milk supply and you have to be away from your baby for some time during the day. Pumping may seem easy enough, but it’s not that simple. It may seem uncomfortable, frustrating and tiring for a new mom and they may often be disappointed to see that the amount of milk is less than what they expected at first. New moms often end up doing some common pumping mistakes that can decrease their milk supply.

Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks in advance – I really appreciate it! .

So below is a list of 10 pumping mistakes that can decrease your milk supply.

Pumping mistakes that can decrease your milk supply

1)   Not Drinking Enough Water

80% of breast milk is made up of water. If you’re not providing your body with enough ingredients to make milk, it won’t be able to make sufficient milk to meet the demand of your baby. So, if you want your baby to get enough nourishment through breast milk, you must stay well hydrated. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. It’s also a good idea to have a glass of water before you pump or having one nearby in case you get thirsty. Drinking coconut water can also help you prevent dehydration.

2)   Not Eating a Well-Balanced Meal

A well-balanced diet adds good nutritional value to your breast milk whereas eating junk food and sugary food will not only harm your health but also on your ability to make milk. Certain foods have been known to increase the quantity of your breast milk. These foods include; oatmeal, barley, spinach, fennel seeds, and brewer’s yeast. While there are foods that have been known to give your milk a nasty smell and taste. These foods include; garlic and onions. Some foods have been known to cause gas in your baby’s tummy. These foods include; beans, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. So adjust your diet accordingly.

3)   Supplementing too much and too early with infant formula

You may gear up to return to work and want your baby to get used to a formula in case of unavailability of breast milk or you may want your spouse to have a bonding session with the baby by allowing them to feed the baby with formula. Whatever the reason may be, doing this occasionally will not have much impact on your supply but if you wish to have a good milk supply, then steer clear of a formula for at least the first few months or until your supply is established. Then you can try supplementing with formula but don’t give over two bottles in a day or it may affect your supply.

4)   Slacking on your pumping routine

If you’ve started working again, then you need to pump after every couple of hours for 15 to 20 minutes for the time you’re away from your baby. If you decrease your pumping sessions, it will send the message to your body that baby doesn’t need milk anymore so it should stop producing more milk.

5)   Cutting your sessions short

As the pump doesn’t stimulate breasts like a baby, so it can take longer to express milk.  The general recommendation for pumping is to pump for 15 to 20 minutes on each side and if you are using a double breast pump, then you may see more efficient output. The general rule of thumb is to pump until the milk stops flowing plus five more minutes for a more thorough job.

6)   Not choosing the right equipment

Having the right pumping gear will make a lot of difference in how effectively you’re able to empty your breasts. Some moms may think a manual pump works better than an electric pump, while others may think there’s no need to waste money on any pumps and may find hand expressing better and easier than any pump. However, investing in a quality double breast pump can save a huge amount of time and effort it takes to pump and will also help you in keeping up your supply.

7) Taking certain medicines that can hinder milk supply

Certain medications like oral birth controls that contain Estrogen or other decongestants can decrease your milk supply. So, always check with your doctor before using any medicines and their impact on breastfeeding and milk supply.

8)   Weaning before you’re ready for it

Exclusively pumping women who wean and then change their mind after reaching halfway, may face issues with their milk supply. So, if you’re thinking about weaning, think it through and be sure of your decision. If you’re sure of your decision, then don’t drop too many sessions altogether. Take it slowly and start with dropping one session, and then gradually make your way through.

9)   Not buying nursing bras

Many mothers may think it’s a waste of money to buy nursing bras. However, choosing the right-sized nursing bra can help you prevent clogged ducts and mastitis and it can also make your breastfeeding experience a lot easier.

10)  Taking too much stress

Taking too much stress can weaken your immune system, and that can negatively impact your milk production. So, seek help if you need to and control your stress levels and focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Above are 10 pumping mistakes that can decrease your milk supply. Although breastfeeding and pumping may seem easy at first, it can become easily frustrating when you don’t see the amount of milk you hoped for. Luckily for you, a few small changes can make a lot of difference to your breastfeeding and pumping experience. It doesn’t matter at what stage of breastfeeding you are, it’s very important to know and pay heed to things that can cause bumps in your smooth sailing journey. So, be sure to steer clear of these mistakes to maintain your supply and have an awesome breastfeeding and pumping experience.

Learn how to pump like a pro and make lots of Milk.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top