Okay, so now that the baby has arrived, it’s time to plan the feeding and this is a very important aspect of the baby’s early development. It is no debate that the best source of nutrients immediately after birth is breast milk.
But here’s the problem (or problems), you’re planning to go back to work or school soon and hence, are not always going to be around to nurse the baby every hour of the day. What to do? That’s where pumps come in. Today we’ve got tips for you on how this works and why it works.
But before jumping right into it, you need to know why you pump as well as when you can start pumping.
What Do I Gain By Pumping?
Regardless of the reason, be it a return to the workplace, an evening outing, or just fatigue, moms need a break from breastfeeding. Some may not be able to lactate. Whatever the cause, pumping of breast milk is almost an inevitable solution to breastfeeding issues.
The whole idea looks daunting at first, but that’s how all new things look, and just like every new experience, it gets easier with time. And what’s more, there are tons of benefits of pumping, some of which include maintenance of milk supply, extra bottles of milk for emergencies, and for feeding when mommy is not home.
So with all said and done, when can you start pumping? How often should you pump? What do you even do when you pump? Relax, we’ve got you.
When Can I Start Pumping?
The timing of the pumping of breast milk depends on the timing of your lactation. The time varies and could start immediately after birth for moms who can’t nurse their babies. This may be due to premature birth or the baby being born with special needs.
All in all, it’s important to start the process early. If you plan on getting back to work soon, start pumping 2 to 3 weeks before time to get an adequate supply down.
You can also wait till breastfeeding has been established to start pumping. This gives you time in between sessions to start pumping when your breast milk will be flowing at its peak.
Also, the best time to start pumping depends on the time that works best for you. However, the best pumping schedule is centered on the normal feeding hours of the baby. If you’re pumping away from home, try doing so at the early hours of the day as well as the same time you would normally breastfeed your baby.
How Do I Pump?
The first few attempts at pumping could prove challenging. But with time, and the steps we’re about to show you, you should be a pro in no time. So what steps do you need to follow when pumping breast milk?
- Get Relaxed: Find a comfortable place to get your mind settled. Take some deep breaths, do some stretches, do yoga, or even a short meditation to clear your mind.
- Stimulate Let-Down: Some gentle strokes around the nipples helps to relax the breasts and prepares them for a let-down
- Hold Your Baby (Imaginary) Close: This is the mental stimulator you need to trigger let-down. Get a picture of your baby and hold it close. Or if the little one is around, hold them close as long as they don’t mind getting so close to breast milk they are not going to get.
- Create A Good Seal: Moisten the flange with water for a tighter seal.
- Center The Nipple: In the middle of the flange before starting the pump.
- Prime The Pump: The main event. The pump begins to mimic the suckling style of the baby which stimulates let-down. It could take a while for regular flow to occur but when it does, ensure to keep the suction level normal.
Pumping of breast milk is the stress-reliever every mom needs to ease the tension of having to make sure that the baby is properly fed, especially when they’re not home. The timing and frequency vary among different moms and should be based on the baby’s feeding patterns. Ensure that the breast milk pump is washed with soap and hot water after every use.