This Simple (But Genius) Pumping Hack Has Breastfeeding Moms Everywhere Applauding

blanscape/iStock

Mom holds bottles as she breast pumps
blanscape/iStock

Every now and then, a mom or dad takes to Facebook to share a parenting hack so genius you think, Duh! Why didn't I think of that?? That's exactly what pumping moms everywhere are thinking this week, after seeing a viral post shared by the Facebook page Milk and Motherhood, which features a simple solution for anyone who's ever stressed about her milk production while pumping.

  • It's a predicament many moms have found themselves in: You try to pump after breastfeeding to boost your supply but spend the whole time stressing.

    You stare at the bottle, as the minutes (which feel like hours) tick by, and the level barely seems to rise. It's tiring, it's frustrating ... and if it feels like the very act of obsessing over how much you've pumped is hindering your production, you're probably right.

    "When I was told to pump after feeding to boost supply, I'd sit there and watch," reads the post, penned by lactation consultant Johanna Sargeant, a certified member of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners who runs the page. "I'd double pump for twenty minutes after ever[y] feed, and become more and more demoralized at the lack of milk in that bottle. I realised that, for my own mental health, I needed to stop watching!"

    Of course, that's easier said than done, the mom admits. But it did get her brainstorming ways to prevent herself from obsessing.

  • Advertisement
  • And that's when (drumroll, please) the baby sock entered the picture!

    Sargeant says she now advises moms to put one of these bad boys over the bottle as they pump, to take their minds off how much they're getting, and says it's been getting "incredible results."

    "Some women are reporting often 2-3 times more milk when they remove themselves mentally from the result of their pumping session!" she continues. 

    Um, wow.

  • And it's definitely not just a coincidence, Sargeant insists. The mind-body connection is strong, in more ways than one.

    "We know that oxytocin release is inhibited by stress, and oxytocin release is required for letdowns," Sargeant continues, "so if you find you are getting stressed while watching, try it!"

    Since sharing the advice on May 31, the post has gone viral, with more than 8,000 shares and thousands more comments thanking Sargeant for passing on the tip.

    "Such great advice," wrote one mom, "wish I’d thought of that in my early pumping days, I used to get so stressed."

    "I remember countless kinks in my neck that my partner had to work out for me due to constantly watching my output," added another.

  • Plenty of other moms have jumped in with their own little tricks too, when it comes to battling low milk production issues.

    "As a NICU mommy I can say pumping in my room while I looked at my baby or smelled his lil beanie increased my output too," wrote one mom. "I wouldn’t even look at the bottles I’d focus on him. Next thing I knew my milk would come sputtering out the flange from overflowing."

    "For our new moms who are establishing their supply for their NICU babes, I suggest a cover up over the chest," added another Facebook user. "This allows them to think happy thoughts of their babies without focusing on the process of pumping. It seems to work well."

    Plenty of moms found that distraction worked best.

    "As an exclusive pumper I found that not looking at my baby and distracting myself with emails and messages helped a lot," wrote one. "If I thought about my baby I would stress."

    Others had to be connected to their babies if they wanted to stimulate production at all.

    "Looking at a photo of your baby helps if you're not with them," commented one mom.

    "I used to imagine a flowing river of milk as it was the only way I achieved letdown when pumping!" added another.

    And for one mom, she credits Netflix for getting her through her pumping days.

    "I never thought to use a sock, but as soon as I started watching Netflix instead of scrolling thru Facebook at work while I pumped, my output increased," she wrote.

    In other words: Even if the baby sock doesn't work for you, keep brainstorming -- something eventually will! (Here's hoping it's Netflix, though ... 'cause that's a great excuse to binge watch in your spare time.)