Effective Pumping breast milk is an essential part of breastfeeding, and it can be a tricky process. Here are 10 tips to help you pump breast milk effectively and minimize the stress of breastfeeding.
Pumping can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. It feels a little strange because it’s a new skill to learn, and sometimes can be frustrating to figure out. It’s important to remember that no pump is as effective at milk extraction as a baby. Below are some tried and true tips to help you get started.
10 Tips for Effective Pumping Breast Milk
1. Use a Decent Pump
You may not need a full size pump if you only pump occasionally as a stay at home mom, but it is still worthwhile to learn the differences between pumps. The range is broad; from hospital grade double electric to manual pump and it helps to know your individual needs. Don’t discount hand expression-many mothers get quite good at this. Avoid a previously owned pump; in addition to being against FDA regulations due to contamination, pump motors often wear out gradually. You may still feel suction, but the motor may be impaired by age, or even storage conditions in extreme temperatures (such as an attic), and can impact your supply. Read more about this here:
2. Pump When You Are Comfortable
Don’t make the first time that you pump a “gotta”. Pump after a feeding to see what it feels like and to learn about your pump. You won’t get much, but that doesn’t matter. Be sure that you are comfortable, sitting up straight with your back supported by a pillow or cushion if needed. When you are at work or school, pump where you will be undisturbed; if you can listen to music, this may increase your sense of privacy.
3. Adjust Your Suction
High suction doesn’t necessarily mean more milk; it usually means pain! Additionally, too high suction can collapse the ducts and prevent milk flow-leading you to believe that you are losing your supply. Instead, adjust your suction setting to a comfortable place and leave it there.
4. Adjust Your Speed
Depending on the type of pump, you may also have a speed adjustment. Start off at the highest speed-a hungry baby sucks vigorously. When your milk starts to flow with let-down (which you may or may not feel), slow the speed down to the mid range. If you want to trigger another let down, increase the speed again when milk flow slows to a trickle.
5. Think of Your Baby
To trigger the MER (or let down), think of your baby. Pump where she is so you can watch her. If you are at work or school, bring a picture to look at. In addition, breast massage before and during pumping can help you relax and allow the ducts to empty. Inhaling his scent from an item of clothing or a blanket serves as a form of aromatherapy and helps with let down.
6. Plan Ahead
If you are preparing to return to work or school, start early-at least two weeks before you return. This will help you create a stock pile of milk, and also prepare your body for the adjustment of exclusive pumping during the day. The same rule applies if you will be separated from your baby such as a trip or hospitalization.
7. Tenderness While Pumping
If your nipples feel sore while pumping, first check the suction settings (see #3). You can apply a little olive oil or nipple butter at the bend of the pump flange where the nipple is centered to reduce friction. Avoid lanolin because it creates a drag on the skin due to the stickiness of the ointment, increasing your soreness. If this still doesn’t help, talk to a lactation consultant to evaluate whether or not you have the correctly sized flanges.
8. Lamaze Breathing
All of that Lamaze breathing that you learned in childbirth class can help you pump as well. Slow deep breaths help with relaxation, contributing to milk let down.
9. Longer Isn’t Better
Longer times pumping usually only lead to soreness, not more milk. It is actually better to double pump for 15 min duration at more frequent intervals to stimulate higher levels of hormone release.
Pumping can get really boring. Once you get used to pumping, you can do other things at the same time. This can provide a distraction, and can also help with let-down. Some things that you can do while pumping are working on the computer, talking on the phone, writing, watching TV, or eating-something moms don’t always have time for!
By now, you must have gotten an idea of how to pump efficiently. Now it’s time to pay attention and mother some adorable babies!
In case you still haven’t got any idea about how to go about Effective Pumping Breast Milk, just try out the above-mentioned tips that we listed for you. And when it comes to latching your baby on the breast, don’t forget that a great latch is more than half the battle already won. So keep practicing till you get it right!
Frequuently Asked Questions
What are the recommended breast pumping techniques?
Some medical professionals advise using the “massage, stroke, shake” method in conjunction with either manual expression or breast pumping. Others advise massaging in a circular motion akin to a self-exam of the breasts. Before you put the flanges on your breasts and start pumping, make careful to massage your breast for one to three minutes.
What makes breast pumping easier?
By unwinding, applying a warm compress to your breast, gently rubbing your breast in a circular motion, and thinking of your baby, you can encourage your milk to let-down. When pumping away from home, many mothers find it beneficial to glance at a picture of their child. A tiny image in your breast pump bag can be helpful.