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Single or double pumping? That is the question!

Posted on by Ardo Medical

Breastmilk supply works on a supply and demand basis – the more you express, the more your amazing body will make!

However, many of the ladies we speak to here at Ardo often ask whether they should be expressing from both breasts at the same time, from alternate breasts each pumping session, or from just one breast, because that one always feels full.

The answer to this question will depend on your circumstances at the time. There aren’t really rules, as both single and double pumping can be used on varying occasions and will also depend on whether you are also breastfeeding, or exclusively pumping. However, you will find what is right for you and your baby and we are here at Ardo to support you.

If your baby is breastfeeding and you want to express milk for those times you can’t be there for their feed – maybe you are going back to work or having an evening out with your partner – then you might find that expressing from one breast whilst baby feeds from the other is really effective. When you feel the let-down reflex from baby feeding, you will benefit from getting the let-down reflex on your other side, which means your milk may flow more easily when you pump. This makes it a good time to take advantage of expressing some breastmilk to store for later use. Alternate the breast your baby is feeding from each time if you are doing this regularly.

Sometimes baby has a preference for one side only, and  mum will pump the other breast during feeding, to ensure that it doesn’t feel full and engorged. Doing this helps to protect their supply on the side that baby isn’t feeding from, while mum arranges for some breastfeeding support to ensure their milk supply is kept at a good level for when baby is able to feed from both breasts.

If you find you have a high milk supply, and need or want to express more often, you can use the Ardo breastpump between breastfeeding. This is when it is really beneficial to use the Calypso double pump, as you will be encouraging the let-down reflex from both breasts, to keep your milk supply at a high level, and save you time in collecting more of your precious breastmilk!

If you are not breastfeeding but exclusively pumping, then double pumping is going to be the best option for you. Not only is it going to save you time, but it will maximise the hormonal release – the oxytocin and prolactin hormones that will control milk flow and production, keeping your supply high and milk flow easy. Research also suggests that double pumping increases the fat content of the milk you will be expressing. You will want to regularly express your milk to avoid your breasts becoming engorged, and to keep the supply high. The usual recommendation is to pump roughly eight times in 24 hours, and not going long periods where milk isn’t being removed.

If you’ve been researching the best single and double breastpumps on the market, you will have noticed that the price increase from a single pump to a double pump is usually very steep. However, with the Ardo Calypso this is not the case, with the Calypso Double priced at only £10 more than the single. The Double Calypso can also be used as a single pump, and furthermore, the Ardo Kombikit transforms the pumpset into a manual pump – the Ardo Amaryll – so you can have three in one and use how you desire! Even Mumsnet have rated Ardo as the best-value double pump on the market, that also includes all the breast shell sizes.

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