What are the Benefits of using a Double Breast Pump?

From manual through to electric, single and double breast pumps, it can be difficult for new mums to decide on the right breast pump to support their breastfeeding journey. There are lots of factors to consider and it is important to read up on the differences of each breast pump to ensure you’re choosing the best option for you and your family. Our in-house Lactation Consultant, Sioned Hilton, advises on the benefits of double pumping…

Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump

What are the benefits of using a Double Breast Pump?

When mum breastfeeds both her breasts will have milk ejection reflex– let-down at the same time. The breastfeeding mum on average has around 3-4 milk ejections (ranging from 2-11) and these patterns vary between each mum. Danielle Prime a researcher at Hartman Lactation Institute UWA and Medela identified during her PhD research and subsequent publications that mum has the exact peaks of let-down and frequency with every single feed, a blueprint.

When a mum breastfeeds her baby, the ‘feeding breast’ has milk ejection (MER) but the resting breast also experiences MER and has some breastmilk leakage. As baby isn’t nursing at that time on the resting breast, the milk isn’t removed. Therefore, when baby comes to nursing on that breast, it is known to have already utilised some energy and is in other words, ‘tired.’

The majority of the time however, when babies breastfeed they have pauses and this compensates, resulting in babies feeding from both breasts, removing milk effectively, babies are satisfied and regulate their own needs.

When it comes to expressing, double pumping is proven to get 18% more milk because both breasts are stimulated at the same time. Not only do mums get more milk compared to single pumping, the fat energy rich cells also increase, resulting in higher energy content in the milk. Last but not least, high energy content indicates increased breast drainage, thereby it is assisting in the maintenance of lactation.

Double pumping is twice as fast as single pumping so not only do mums benefit from:

  • 18% more milk in a 15-minute pumping session compared to single pumping
  • An additional milk let-down reflex
  • Higher energy content in her breastmilk
  • And better and more effective drainage of the breast
  • Using a double breast pumps can also save time, cutting an average single pumping session from approx. 30 – 40 minutes to 15-20 minutes, dependent on the storage capacity of the breast and milk flow.

*There is no normal when it comes to the length of pumping sessions or the number of milk ejections a mum can experience. The stats stated above are simply an average and by no means a guide. If you’re concerned or worried about your breastfeeding experience, please contact your GP or local health professional.