Let’s face it, pumping breastmilk takes time and if you are an exclusive pumper, it requires a lot of patience and commitment. Even for moms totally committed to pumping, and who see the value and understand the benefits of breastfeeding, it requires a certain amount of perseverance. While you can hand express or pump one breast at a time (even while the baby is feeding on the other breast) you might want to consider double pumping. Double pumping can be your best friend and the most efficient way to pump milk from both breasts at the same time, with any extra milk produced being frozen and stored for use in the future.
Medela double pumps offer a very good performance and can be “personal pumps” like the Swing Maxi and Freestyle or “hospital pumps” like the Symphony. Double pumps can reduce pumping time by 50%, and while saving time is a great benefit of double pumping, some new research shows that there are additional benefits too. Studies have suggested that double pumping causes a boost in the prolactin hormone, which stimulates milk production. It also results in 18% more milk volume than pumping one breast after the other. This means that double pumping helps to maintain the mother’s milk supply, and may help moms with low milk supply boost their milk production.
It won’t surprise you to hear us say that we think that Medela double pumps are highly efficient double breastpumps. For example, our Symphony breastpump is used in many hospitals for mothers who need to express breastmilk after the birth of their child, or if necessary in the NICU with their babies. Medela’s personal use electric double pumps available include Freestyle and Swing Maxi and both are powerful and reliable pumping partners when you are trying to establish a good milk supply in the early days.
As mentioned, double pumping is also a great solution if you are exclusively breastpumping for a preemie or if your baby has to spend time in the NICU during the early weeks of life. If you are an exclusively breastpumping mom, choosing a strong, electric pump can make all the difference in what is a very challenging commitment. If you are trying to choose between a double pump and a single pump, keep in mind these two important benefits of double pumping. It offers a significant time saving, and helps you to remove more milk. Here’s a quick overview of these two benefits again.
Double Pumping Saves Time
For a mom, time is a precious commodity. Every minute of your day is in-demand from your baby, your home, partner, and other responsibilities and interests. Especially if you are a working mom, getting a double pump is almost a necessary requirement. With limited time to pump in a work environment, this removes just one more level of stress, and it is amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes of double pumping!
Getting a double pump will also help you pump more milk more efficiently – again saving time for you to get on with other things. Double pumping can free up significant time in your day while also helping your pumping sessions be more efficient. It also allows you to multitask while pumping using the Easy Expression bustier. While your hands are free you can read a book, knit, do e-mail, or check Facebook. In a way, double pumping might just help you to give yourself permission to relax a bit, to slow down and take a break.
Double Pumping Increases the Amount of High Energy Milk
Double pumping stimulates an additional milk ejection or ‘let down’, and this means that moms express up to 18% more breastmilk compared to single pumping one breast after the other. As milk is removed from the breast the cream content steadily increases. Since more milk is removed during double pumping the expressed milk has more of this cream and therefore has a higher energy content. This is especially beneficial for preterm infants. By removing more milk from the breast, the body is told to make more milk, and this can then help to boost milk production.
Double pumping might sound a little extreme at first – but it’s really just as simple as single breastpumping. Once you get accustomed to using the double breastpump, you will hopefully find that your sessions are faster, more comfortable and more efficient than ever before – leaving you with more free time and more milk. Those are two big benefits of breastpumping that moms and babies can agree upon! Just think of what you will be able to do with extra minutes in a day - the possibilities are endless.
What do you think? Have you tried double pumping? Which breastpump do you use? Leave a comment and let us know, or join the conversation on the Medela Facebook page.