Breastfeeding and Pumping

Breastfeeding and Pumping Breast Milk

You are doing such a wonderful thing for your baby. Read more about the benefits of breast milk

Reasons why a mother might want to pump her breast milk

  • She might be returning to work. She will pump in order to store milk.
  • A mother may want to pump extra breast milk for times when she needs a break or if her husband or other family members would like to feed the baby. This is great because Mom can get some rest, while Dad has some bonding time with his baby.

Breastfeeding and Pumping

Pumping Breast Milk Tips

How to start pumping breast milk & breast pumping tips

  • First find a breast pump that is suitable for your specific pumping needs.
  • Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. Relaxing will help the milk flow.
  • Be gentle while working with your breasts. Make sure that the suctioning speed and level are comfortable, as not to hurt your nipples or breast tissue.
  • Ensure that the breast cup fits your specific breast size. If they are too small they might restrict the flow of milk.
  • If your milk takes a while to start flowing, you can think of your baby whilst you pump or have your baby nearby, so that you can look at him/her; his brings on the hormone Oxytocin, which helps to encourage a "let down". 
  • How many ounces of breast milk should I be pumping? There is no specific time period that you need to pump, and there is no specific amount of milk that you need to express during a pumping session…everyone is different. The average time spent expressing is between 30 – 45 minutes.
  • A breast pump can be kept in the fridge for later use during the day, but should always be sterilized with hot water and soap at least once per day.
  • Read more here about safe breast milk storage tips and guidelines.
  • Get yourself a different breast pump if you are having trouble pumping. Sometimes it’s best to use an electric, hospital grade breast pump if your main objective is to increase milk supply.
  • Pumping both breasts at the same time can help save time and should increase milk flow.
  • Exclusive pumping (pumping without breastfeeding).
  • Make sure that your nipple is in the middle of the shield before pumping, if it is not, you will have trouble expressing, and you increase your risk of sore nipples.

What about expressing breastmilk by hand? Read more here

When should I Start Expressing?

If possible, it's best not to express breast milk until your breast milk supply is fully established. If you are worried about nipple confusion you can read more about feeding your baby via alternative feeding methods.

First breastfeed before you pump, this is so that your baby can stimulate your breasts as much as possible (the pump can never work as well as a baby’s suckling).

If you are having trouble introducing the bottle you can read more about “from breast to bottle"

Breastfeeding and Pumping 

Pumping to Increase Breast Milk Supply

paced bottle feeding

What about pumping instead of breastfeeding?

Pumping does not stimulate a mother's breasts as well as a baby does, and therefore her milk supply might drop a lot if she only pumps, but exclusive pumping is possible and has been done successfully by many moms. 

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