Most mothers who choose to pump breast milk are combined for the reason to keep their milk while being away from their child for part of the day (or more) and keep milk for their baby when they are not there.
There are different types of breast pumps and their use can be confusing at first. Ideally, you should try to practice using the breast pump for several weeks before you need breast milk and you should also make sure that you have been breastfeeding for a while before you give your child a bottle of pumped milk. This article will explain how you can pump breast milk both by hand and using an electric pump.
Advantages of Pumping Breast Milk
- In addition to pump breast milk when away from home, it is also useful if you are at home. It allows you to get some rest and not be the only one able to respond to the hunger of your child. If your partner is part of the diet, using your pumped milk in a bottle, it is also a great bonding opportunity for them.
- Using a breast pump is also a great way to boost your milk production by stimulating the production. It can also help relieve the pressure and pain of engorged breasts and helps a premature baby who is unable to hold on to your breast. Keeping in mind, though, that if you are too congested, the pump can aggravate the problem.
- Pumping breast milk can also help you in case you need to start taking medication that could affect your child for any reason, or if for some reason you are hospitalized or unable to breastfeed during the day. In both cases, you’ll need a milk supply expressed at hand so that your baby can always get food.
How to Pump Breast Milk
1. Pump By Hand
- Advantages: Most women who choose to express milk by hand only do so from time to time because the process can be much slower than using a pump. In addition to helping storing milk, expressing milk by hand can help you soothe clogged or congested channels.
How to pump: Before you start pumping breast milk by hand, always wash hands. Some women like to put a hot towel on the breasts or give them a massage to help. When you are ready to start, sit in your chair and lean forward. Then put your index finger and thumb around your chest (about an inch behind the areola). Bring your fingers toward the chest wall and then move them gently together. Always make sure to compress the nipple areola up and stick a roll. When you have the right and move up, you squirt milk. As you milk the breasts, turn your fingers so they go around your areola.
2. Use an Electric Pump
- Advantages: Most women who pump breast milk use one (or manual) electric pump because they are easy to use and quite fast compared to do hand.
How to Pump: When using an electric pump, you place breast shield (flange) on the nipple, then turn on the machine that will suck the milk in the container which is attached. A hand pump will use a flange, but instead of automatically expressing milk, you will use a piston or squeeze mechanism with your hand. To pump both breasts of an electric pump is usually about 10 to 15 minutes so that it could be 45 minutes using a hand pump.
When you have a good breast pump, it will not do you any pain because it mimic the sucking that the baby would do. For best results, make sure that the flanges are of the right size and properly positioned. You can also find hands-free pumping bras that allows you to do something with your hands while the bra holds the flanges in place.
To produce and deliver more milk, you need to be calm and relaxed. When you start automatic pump you will feel a tug and because of this, you should always start with the aspiration to the lowest level and increase it if necessary. Although it may feel weird, it should not hurt and you should always clean the pump after.
Watch a video on how to pump breast milk:
Tips for better Breast Milk Pumping
- Try massaging your breasts for a few minutes before pumping your milk. Start with your armpits with your fingers and make small circles in a field. Move your hand a little and repeat the process, working your way around your entire breast move towards your areolas with a spiral pattern. At the end, take long walks from your chest wall to your areola. You can also try to massage your breast if the milk flow decreases during pumping.
- Have a few cups of water before the pump.
- Have things that may remind you that you are near your baby, as an image, a blanket or garment.
- You should try to reduce distractions while pumping breast milk and a good option is to listen to the sounds of music or relax with your headphones.
- If your nipples are sore during pumping, reduce the suction setting. You can also try using a different type of pump and you should ensure that your nipple is not rubbing on the flange when pumping.
- After you pump, your nipples can be painful if you try to apply a small amount of an emollient (such as Lansinoh for nursing mothers). To apply this, soften with your fingers, then gently pat it on.
- You have to pump as often as your baby would suckle,this should be about every three hours. If you want to increase your milk supply, pump more often as more frequent expressions stimulate milk production better than to express longer.
- You can also add a pumping session early in the morning because you will have the largest amount of milk then.