If you are getting ready to use your Willow pump, you may wonder how long you should pump with the Willow and what suction strength you should use.
Most moms will pump between 15 and 25 minutes with the Willow. The amount of time that you will need to pump will vary depending on your own body and how you respond to the pump.
Also, do not worry if you are new to using the Willow and you need a little bit longer to pump. You may need to double-check your pump flange size and get used to the rhythm of the pump.
I found that the convenience of being able to multi-task while pumping was very freeing and made the time pass more quickly.
Here are some recommendations on how to know how long you should pump with the Willow.
I typically would pump for 20 to 25 minutes with my Spectra or Medela pumps. I usually pumped for about 25 minutes with the Willow. With both of the pumps, I would switch between the Stimulation and Expression mode a few times.
The Willow has a few lights that can also help you know if you have pumped long enough.
The pump will automatically turn off after 25 minutes, or it will turn off sooner if you fill the containers or milk bags with the full four ounces each.
If you see a pulsing white light on the Willow, it means you have hit the time limit of 25 minutes. If you need to pump longer, you can re-start the pump.
If you see a solid white light, it means the containers or bags are full. You will also get an “All Full” notification in the app. If you feel that you are empty after pumping this amount, you can stop pumping.
Here are more details on how much milk the Willow pump holds.
Willow Pump Suction Strength
Willow will start pumping in Stimulation mode. This is to help you get a let down. After you have pumped about half an ounce, it will move into Expression mode. This is to help draw more milk out.
If you are used to using another pump like the Spectra or Medela, you may be used to switching back and forth between Stimulation and Expression mode.
If you do this with another pump, you can try doing it with the Willow as well. Your body may be expecting the Stimulation mode two or three times in order so you can get multiple let downs.
There are 3 levels of suction available in the Stimulation phase, until you have pumped about 0.5 of an ounce.
After you have pumped more than 0.5 of an ounce, then there are 7 levels of suction available on the Willow pump.
When you are deciding which level of suction to use, you should not be feeling pain. You may feel some tugging, but if it is painful, it will prevent your milk from flowing.
Usually the best way to choose the right suction strength is to turn up the suction to the point it is uncomfortable. Then, go down one level so the suction is no longer uncomfortable. This will help you to pump the most milk in the least amount of time.
This article has tips on how to pump more with the Willow.
If you are looking for the best deals on the Willow pump, you can check them out here.