You’ve nailed the breastfeeding, now it’s time to take on breast pumping! But how? We go over you some tips in today’s blog!
Finding the Right Breast Pump for You
If you haven’t found a breast pump yet and don’t know where to start – here are a few tips: First, how much are you willing to spend on a pump? Second, how do much do you plan on pumping? Depending on your plan and needs, there are many options out there that can also fit your budget! Additionally, you should check with your health insurance to see if they cover your breast pump.
We don’t recommend buying used or gently used breast pumps. There is no way you can guarantee it is completely clean and bacteria-free.
The First Session
For your first breast pumping session, make sure you find a place where you’re comfortable and your pump kit is ready to use. Make sure you read and follow the instructions from your breast pump kit before getting started! Set aside at least a half-hour for your first session, as first time pumping can be a bit tricky!
- Getting adjusted to the pump: try to fit your nipple to fit comfortably in the middle of the flange.
- The first couple of seconds is going to feel weird: it’s sometimes been described as a tingling or “pins and needles” feeling as your nipples start to stretch. It should not hurt. If it starts to hurt, lower the suction level, or stop the machine. Check the machine to make sure the parts are put on correctly and try again. If there is still pain, you should stop and consult your doctor or lactation consultant.
- Trouble with your milk flow? Try triggering it by looking through photos of your baby or keeping your baby’s scent near you. Also using warm compresses and massaging your breasts can help.
- How much milk should I expect my first time? Your amount of milk will vary depending on the time of day, type of pump, your baby’s age, and more. Your first time may only express a few ounces. Keep practicing and finding a routine that helps you get the most out of your breast pumping sessions.
After your first breast pumping session, make sure to properly store your milk right away. You can safely store breast milk at room temperature (77 degrees) for up to four to six hours, but you should put it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Milk can be last for up to 5 days refrigerated. You can also freeze milk for up to six to 12 months! We recommend adding dates to your stored milk so you can keep track of which milk is the freshest.
Future Tips for Breast Pumping
As you get used to breast pumping more, you’ll find your own tricks and routines that will help you get better at breast pumping. Here are some extra tips that can help you with your breast pumping:
- Typically milk production is higher in the morning and decreases towards the evening
- Try to stick to your baby’s breastfeeding schedule as a guideline to get the most milk from pumping.
- Keep your breast pump clean and keep your pump in good condition
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Practice, practice, practice as best as you can. Everyone has different challenges with breast pumping (as you do with breastfeeding). You’ll get the hang of it with enough time!
If you have any questions about how breastfeeding or milk production, any of our doctors are happy to help: make an appointment with us today!