Letting your newborn latch on to your breast is still the best way to feed your baby, though there are many reasons why mothers may opt to pump milk instead. Whether it’s to ease the pressure when moms are producing too much milk, or if you need to make sure that your baby will be able to feed even if you’re at work, breast pumps have become an indispensable tool to help mothers make breast milk easily accessible for their children.
Milk pumping has become a practiced and delicate life skill that is a necessary part of motherhood — it is more vital than ever for all new mums to learn the proper way to operate a breast pump for a safe and comfortable experience.
Here are some things to note to make sure you are using your breast pump correctly:
Make Sure To Clean Your Breast Pump Before Using
Every day, your breast pump comes into contact with you and the milk that you’re giving to your baby, so it’s only prudent to make sure that it is clean and free of anything that might contaminate the milk. Boil clean the flanges, diaphragms, milk storage bottles and lids but don’t put them in the steam bottle sterilizer. For electric pumps, do not boil the tubings, adapters or parts of the machinery -- rather, wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth.
Get The Right Fit
Before you even start pumping, make sure that you get the right flange for your breasts. Inappropriately sized flanges can lead to painful and uncomfortable pumping, and it can even damage your nipples in the long run.
To ensure that you have the right size for the flange, your nipple should be able to move freely inside the flange opening. You would know if the flange is too small if the sides of your nipple are touching the sides of the flange, and it is too big if part of your areola is already being sucked in as well. Oversized flanges will not pump milk effectively, while flanges that are too small hurt your nipples and make pumping painful.
Whether you’re using a manual or an electric breast pump, make sure that you centre the nipple in the flange and hold it up straight. The flange on your breast should be airtight.
If you’re using a manual pump, hold the breast up to support it and start pumping in a rhythm that mimics the suckling of your baby.
If you’re using an electric pump, you just need to switch it on and set it at the suction and speed of your choosing. It’s better to start with high speed and low suction until you’ve induced the let-down, otherwise known as the milk ejection reflex. Once the milk flows freely, you can adjust the suction at a level comfortable to you.
Amount Of Milk
When it comes to breast pumping, mothers tend to worry about the amount of milk they are producing. The right amount really depends on how much your child feeds and whether they are already eating solids.
For mothers exclusively feeding their babies using pumped milk, you need to pump 8 to 10 times within a 24-hour period to produce at least 750 to 1,035 mL of breast milk for your baby.
To promote the oxytocin that signals milk production, you can hold your baby or think about them to help your body adjust to the breast pump. You can also let the pump continue on your breast even after your milk has decreased, just to signal your body that you need to produce more.
Know When To Pump
Pumping can be tricky because your milk production is not always on-demand. Some recommend pumping 30 minutes to an hour after nursing, or at least an hour before feeding your baby. Many mothers opt to pump in the morning when they are producing a lot of milk, but it really depends on what works for you and your child. The important thing is to make sure that when you’re pumping, you can do it in comfort.
Find a quiet and comfortable place, and bring snacks and a drink if you must. Pumping milk is as much about the mother as it is about your baby, so don’t be ashamed about pampering yourself. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to extract milk.
For the most comfortable breast pumps for you and your baby, you can check out the wide range of models and brands at Our Little Lamb! We also have milk storage bags and nursing pads that cater to the needs of all mothers:
Chicture Double Electric Breast Pump Model 2212MB
MeCoo Ultra Slim Disposable Nursing Pad
Ebelbo Disposable Milk Storage Bag (250ml) 30ct
Grace Double Electric Breast Pump Model 2219M2
Freeture 3D soft pumping Manual Pump Model 2301S
Modish Multi-functional Breast Pump Bag (split) Model 116MBS (Pink)
Creature Double Electric Breast Pump Model 2224MA
Beature Single Electric Breast Pump Model 2233MA
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