Breast pumps are a necessary piece of equipment for any breastfeeding mother. Some women use a pump once they return to work, while others use it periodically. However, some mothers might be pumping exclusively and need a breast pump the whole time.
A lot of people enjoy pumping breast milk, as it doesn’t require an intense amount of effort. For some, though, it never becomes something they enjoy doing. That said, we’ve put together some tips to make the process easier for you. These suggestions will increase the milk you produce, making it less daunting and more pleasant.
Pick the Right Breast Pump
The pump you choose is extremely important. Be sure that the pump you ultimately select suits your need. Mothers who need to pump only occasionally will have different needs than mothers who would pump several times a day. This includes a breast pump with an appropriate flange size to maximize breastmilk production and avoid damaging your breasts.
Get Started Early
If you’re returning to work, start pumping a couple of weeks before you return. Most lactation consultants recommend adding at least one pump session daily (in addition to your baby’s usual feedings) and storing that milk. This will help with let-down issues and allow you to build an emergency supply.
Use Breast Pump Often to Increase the Supply
Pumping more frequently rather than for longer periods to try and increase your milk supply. Instead of pumping twice during your day try pumping three or four shorter periods. Pumping both breasts simultaneously can help increase the production of milk.
Don’t Skip Pumping
Skipping a pumping session can hurt milk supply. Pumping for even a few minutes can be helpful. Hand-expressing milk is still beneficial if you’re without a pump or collection device. In the event milk leaks or spills during hand expression, it’s better to use an alternative receptacle like a cup or water bottle and save some milk instead of letting it go to waste.
Schedule Nursing on Weekends and Holidays
When you’re with your baby, take this time to breastfeed exclusively. This will help keep your milk supply abundant and promote bonding between you and your child. Many mothers report that they enjoy not having to pump when spending time with their children. Depending on why you are breastfeeding, you may need to devise a schedule that works for both of you.
Look at Your Baby’s Picture
Sometimes you’ll find feeding the baby to be easier than pumping. If a letdown is a problem for you with a pump, try viewing photos of your baby to help with your letdown. Most pumps already have a spot for this, and many moms record their baby’s coos and play them through headphones while they pump.
Learn How Just to Use Your Hand
A mechanical breast pump, hand or electric, is one of many ways to express milk. Though many moms find hand expressions sufficient, most will not be able to do so while working. Using this method for occasional needs sounds like a great idea and is cheap or even free.
We all know that trial and error is a regular part of parenting. Some people will succeed with pumping after an hour, while others may need longer. The same goes for breastfeeding; it’s different for each person and their children.
Learn How to Destress
Fatigue, stress, and lack of sleep can decrease breast milk supply. As a breastfeeding mother, you need to take care of yourself. Try to eat well, drink lots of fluids, rest whenever possible, and relax and enjoy your time. Remember, healthy mom, healthy baby.
Continue Reading If You Are Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk for Your Baby
Exclusive pumping: It’s a great way to provide your baby with breast milk. Exclusive pumping is a great alternative if you’re unable to breastfeed, can’t find the time to do so, or don’t want to.
Exclusive pumping, also known as EPing, is the process of removing breast milk from your breasts at regular intervals throughout the day. You can then give this milk to your baby by a bottle, tube feeding, or an alternative feeding method.
Exclusive pumping can be difficult and is often reported to lead to exhaustion. The more time you can provide your baby with breast milk, the better it will be for them.
Reasons for Exclusive Pumping
When you’re pregnant and breastfeeding, you’ll have to pump regularly. You may do this exclusively or alternate between feeding from the breast and pumping. There are many reasons a woman may prefer exclusive pumping. They may:
- Have a premature baby who cannot breastfeed
- Find breastfeeding extremely painful but tolerate pumping
- Need to return to school or work right away
- When mothers struggle with milk supply, they normally worry about how much milk their baby is getting.
- Have a baby who has difficulty latching on to the breast
- Have multiples: twins, triplets, or more
- Just do not want to breastfeed
How Often to Pump
A newborn will drink about a bottle of breast milk every 2 to 3 hours, so the first ones should be about 2 to 3 hours apart. As your baby grows, you can space them out and drink more at each one. To produce a healthy milk supply, you should still try to pump at least 8-12 times per day during the first week or two postpartum.
How Long to Pump at Each Time
For the best results, it is recommended that you pump for at least 15 minutes on each side. It can take your breasts some time to produce milk, so make sure you plan accordingly. You also want to empty your breasts because this will stimulate them to make more breast milk. If you have finished pumping and no more milk flows into the container, continue pumping for an extra one to five minutes. This will tell your breasts that there is a demand for breast milk; in response, they should produce more.
You only need to pump for 20 minutes at a time. Pumping every 15-20 minutes throughout the day will produce more milk than pumping less often for longer periods (around 30 minutes).
How Much Breast Milk to Pump
Pump as much milk as you can during each pumping session. Then, store the milk in bottles or storage containers to the amount your baby will drink at each feeding. Newborns typically eat less than older children at each feeding and drink more often than an older child.
- The initial first few days after you’ve given birth, you will only be able to pump and collect a small amount of colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk that your body produces. It is concentrated and very nutritious, so a little bit goes a long way for your baby.
- After the first week, you should be able to pump two to three ounces every two to three hours, or about 24 ounces in 24 hours. You need to double this amount if you have twins, triple it for triplets, etc.
- A couple of months after you start using the product, you will need an average of three to four ounces every 3-4 hours or about 24 – 32 ounces daily.
- Six-month-old babies require six to eight ounces every four hours, resulting in an intake of 36 to 48 ounces.
Bottle feeding is easy, but you must worry about overfeeding your baby. Be sure to only provide your child with what they need in one bottle and not more than that.
How to Maintain and Increase Your Milk Supply
Maintaining a healthy milk supply can be tough when you’re exclusively pumping. It requires much dedication; you must pump regularly and, if possible, during the night.
Invest in Your Breast Pump
When you’re pumping exclusively, it will take up a lot of your time, so it’s important to ensure that you’re using a high-quality breast pump. A double pump is the best choice since it can collect milk from both breasts simultaneously, saving you time and energy.
Whether you’re using a manual or electric pump, make sure it’s comfortable. Essentially, the best breast pump shields will be made to fit your body and protect your breasts from pain.
A comfortable and convenient pump experience can make you more likely to use it regularly.
Frequent pumping helps stimulate the production of breast milk. When your child is smaller and more vulnerable, try to pump every two to three hours. As they get older, you can usually pump less often. However, you should try pumping more often if you’re struggling with a low milk supply. This will help encourage your body to produce more breast milk.
Try Some Galactagogues
A galactagogue is anything you can eat or drink that will support and promote milk production. Breastfeeding moms can try including superfoods, herbs, and teas in their diets to see the best option.
Exclusive Pumping and Family Planning
Exclusive pumping is different from exclusive breastfeeding. The lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) measure, which relies on timed abstinence and breastfeeding, may work during the initial six months of exclusive breastfeeding, but it is ineffective for pumping.
If you don’t want to become pregnant again right away, you and your partner need to use another kind of birth control. Be sure to inform your doctors that you’re exclusively pumping since some contraception contains estrogen and may cause reduced breast milk production.
A Word From Mamabee
Exclusive pumping can be physically and mentally exhausting. Fatigue, stress, and lack of sleep can decrease breast milk supply. That’s when you need to take care of yourself. Try to eat well, drink lots of fluids, rest whenever possible, and relax and enjoy your time while pumping breast milk. Never be afraid to ask for help from your partner, family, or friends; having their support can make all the difference in how long you pump exclusively.
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