Parallel Pumping is a feeding technique that involves nursing a baby at the breast on one side while simultaneously using a breast pump on the other breast.
Why Parallel Pumping?
Many parents are prescribed Triple Feeding (nurse, pump, and feed baby) when baby is having trouble getting enough milk from nursing alone. In theory, Triple Feeding can continue to keep baby fed, encourage nursing, and keep milk flowing. Yet, the reality for many families is an overwhelming, time consuming, and exhausting situation that often results in early weaning.
You may experience a stronger letdown reflex while nursing and pumping together rather than pumping alone!
When To Parallel Pump
Early mornings are generally the best time to pump. You can also parallel pump any time if your baby regularly takes only side when nursing.
How to Parallel Pump
Start with your baby and pump nearby. Using a hands-free bra, nursing tank, or wearable pump, get yourself comfortable, latch baby first, set up your pump and turn it on.
Allow your baby to feed as long as they'd like, using gentle compression to keep milk flowing if baby's swallowing or suckling slows down.
• If you don't have a wearable pump, you will likely want to use a football hold and pillows to support baby. Make sure to still line baby up with their body tucked close and their head gently tilted back so they come in chin first with the nipple at their nose level. Move baby, not your chest to get the best latch.
• If you are using a wearable pump, set this up first and you can hold your baby as you usually do.
• If baby is inefficient at nursing and leaves milk behind, you can pump on the first side after baby is done nursing (limit this to about 15 minutes) and have another adult help bottle feed baby after
• If you are experiencing low supply, you can use an at-breast supplement device (like a SNS) to give baby the pumped/donor milk or formula supplement they need.
• Feed back with early feeding cues as this type of pumping and feeding requires a bit of set up time.
Using this method, can save parents a lot of time with their feeding routine and can allow you to continue longer than you would with Triple Feeding