Moms can find themselves in a lot of situations that require them to pump their breast milk. Whether at the office, going out for date night, or staying at home with a sick child, it is essential to know how to use a breast pump safely and adequately. In this article, we will discuss what you need to do before pumping and tips on how you should be using your breast pump while away from the baby. Check on these tips below.
Always Be Prepared
One of the most important things you need to do before pumping is to make sure that you are prepared. You should be ready with your breast pump, a towel or cloth diaper to place under the flanges for easy cleanup afterward, and some water bottles within arm’s reach in case you get thirsty during pumping sessions. It is also essential to understand the kind of pump you are using. This guide to the Willow Breast Pump provides you with all the information you need to know when using the pump. Ensure that your breast pump is easy to assemble and use correctly.
Ensure that all of your equipment is clean and sterilized before using them on yourself or your baby. This ensures that your baby won’t get sick from bacteria and other infections.
Anticipate Your Baby’s Needs
Pumping sessions should not be long enough to stress you out. Ideally, your baby will need to eat every three hours or so, with most feedings lasting anywhere between 15 minutes and 45 minutes each time. Always make sure that the schedule for pumping fits with your baby’s feeding times.
Make sure to take breaks in between pump sessions if you feel yourself getting tired after a while. Getting too stressed out can lead to problems with milk production, so you mustn’t pump for hours on end without even pausing once in a while. Don’t overdo things when pumping by trying to squeeze the last bit of breastmilk possible from your breasts.
Ensure All Pieces of Equipment and Clothing Are Sterilized
Ensure that all parts of your pump and bottles are sterilized to avoid contamination. When it comes to the tubing, make sure you clean them thoroughly in a cleaning solution or hot water after each use before letting them air dry for later use.
Ensure that you only wash nursing pads with soap and warm water since they are made of absorbent material that can’t be sterilized. Also, always wash your hands with soap and water before pumping to avoid contamination as well. Lastly, avoid wearing clothing during pump sessions that might interfere with the suction or allow for milk leakage, such as tight bras or shirts without built-in nursing pads.
Pump While Breastfeeding
If possible, try to pump while breastfeeding your baby. This can help stimulate milk production since you can practice the same techniques as suckling on your breasts. If this is not an option for some reason or too impractical due to circumstances like having a sleeping child next to you (which makes it difficult for both of you), try to pump at least 15 to 30 minutes after breastfeeding.
When pumping during a feeding session, make sure your baby is latched onto the breast correctly and is not falling asleep while nursing. You can also try switching breasts halfway through the feeding session if you are only pumping one side since this will prevent the overproduction of milk on one side.
Create a Pumping Routine
Create a routine for yourself that allows you to fit in pumping sessions every few hours without too much difficulty. For example, try timing your pump session with the beginning of each feeding, so it’s easier on both you and the baby since they are already used to eating at this time by now.
When creating a schedule for your pump sessions, it’s essential to keep in mind that you should only pump as much milk as your baby would drink during one feeding. Try not to stress yourself out by squeezing the last bit of breastmilk possible from each session since this can affect your overall milk production and increase the chances of infection or other problems.
Always Massage the Breasts Simultaneously
When massaging your breasts during pumping, make sure to do it simultaneously with the suction. This will ensure that you are stimulating milk production properly and not just focusing on emptying one side of your breast at a time.
While some women find that they produce more milk when only using the pump for half of their sessions or less, others report better success when massaging their breasts simultaneously with the suction. If you are not sure which approach is right for you, try out both to see what works best and consult your health care provider if these options do not help improve things after a few days or weeks of trying them.
It’s essential to find the right balance between pumping enough milk and not overdoing it too much. Remember that you shouldn’t pump for hours on end without a break since this can lead to problems with your breastmilk supply. When creating a schedule, try timing the sessions around feeding times so they’re easier on both you and your baby. With these tips, you should use your breast pump effectively and protect yourself from possible infections or problems.