Music_Pic_EditedPumping moms may be surprised to learn that rocking the tunes while pumping can have an impressive impact on milk output. In a study for Advances in Neonatal Care, researchers showed that mothers pumping milk for their preemies in the NICU produced more milk while listening to music—two to three times more milk, in fact!—than those who pumped without a musical soundtrack. And it wasn’t just the quantity but the quality of milk that improved: the milk these moms made while listening to music had a higher fat content and more fat equals faster growth.

More flow and better milk just by cranking up the music? Sounds too good to be true, but researchers speculate that music’s relaxing properties increase the amount of oxytocin released into the mothers’ bloodstream. And, as we know, oxytocin stimulates milk letdown, and faster letdown means more milk at every visit to the pump. Working moms get an extra benefit, too: playing music while pumping is a sure-fire way to muffle that embarrassing, telltale “I’m-pumping-in-here” noise. 

Want even more milk? Pick your favorite baby pictures, the ones that really make you coo, and gaze at them while you pump. The same study established that moms who looked at images of their babies while pumping boosted milk production even more. Again, it’s oxytocin—the so-called “love hormone,” which bonds mothers to their babies and stimulates milk letdown—that’s responsible.

Other studies have shown that a warm beverage can improve letdown, so grab a cup of joe, cue up your milk-making playlist, whip out some pics of your little cutie, and make some serious milk!