How to Get More Letdowns and Maximize Your Pump Output:
1️⃣ Ensure that you're using the optimal flange size. The best flange fit should maximize your milk output without causing pain or discomfort. Check out the hashtag #lmflangefridays for more info.
2️⃣ Start your pump in stimulation mode (fast speed, lower suction) until a letdown is triggered. Then switch to expression mode (slower speed, higher suction) while the milk is flowing and increase to your maximum COMFORTABLE suction level -- this varies for each person.
3️⃣ Apply warm compresses to your breasts, back and shoulders for about 5-10 minutes before pumping. You can then slide the heat packs into your pumping bra to continue heating your breasts while pumping.
4️⃣ Try doing deep breathing exercises/guided meditation or listen to the Feher relaxation recording. (See Feher Guide highlight for more info).
5️⃣ Look at videos and pictures of your baby or watch a funny tv show/scroll through social media. Try not to stare at the pump bottles.
6️⃣ Massage your breasts before and while pumping. See the Challenge highlight for demo videos on hands on pumping.
7️⃣ When your milk flow slows, switch back to stimulation mode on your pump to see if you can trigger another letdown.
8️⃣ When milk flow slows to a trickle, stop pumping and massage each breast for 1-2 minutes. You can then choose to continue double pumping, single pump (using both hands and the pump on one side and then the other) or hand express to complete the session.
Later into your breastfeeding journey, you may notice it takes longer to trigger a letdown. This is common both with a baby at breast and with long-term pumping. What works early on may change over time. Some women report improved results later in lactation, after they change to a different pump or use a different flange that fits the breast better.