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Are you a pumping mama or mama-to-be? There are so many forms of breastfeeding, pumping included.
If you haven’t read about my breastfeeding journey as a mom of three, read this post. Breastfeeding has never come easy for me but I have also pumped for all three of my kids, as well as for other’s babies.
As an experienced pumper, I have some tips to share below:
- Use a hands-free pumping bra.
Believe it or not, I didn’t use a pumping bra with my firstborn. And I was an exclusive pumper! I do not know how I managed to pull that off, but I was a new mom and was very unaware of the best products to use. When my second baby came along, there was just no way I was going to be able to sit there and hold breast pump bottles to my chest each time I had to pump.
I highly recommend using a pumping bra, making it easy to pump while having your free hands to do other things. This is perfect for using at work, at home and on the go.
2. Buy/rent a hospital grade breast pump if your insurance doesn’t cover it.
I actually had pleasant experiences with my pumps – the Hygeia Enjoye and Medela Pump In Style Advanced, but I also used the Medela Symphony which was my absolute favorite! I hear the Spectra is loved by many pumping moms, but I didn’t want to buy one when I already owned three other double electric pumps.
3. Use the proper flange size.
Using the correct flange size is extremely important in maximizing your output and minimizing breast pain and discomfort. The best way to do this is by consulting with a lactation consultant. Your local hospital might offer free lactation support with a consultant or they can connect you to one. Keep in mind, your flange size can change over time.
4. Replace pump parts according to the manufacturer’s suggestions.
When you receive your breast pump, read the product manual carefully. If you are unsure, contact the manufacturer. Since I use my pump parts several times a day, they experience a lot more wear and tear, so I have to replace my pump parts every few months.
5. Massage your breasts or use a lactation massager.
There are so many benefits to using a lactation massager, but if you don’t have one, a quick manual massage with your hands will help trigger a letdown as well as help remove clogs.
6. Apply warm compresses.
Warm compresses are not only soothing, but they help promote breast milk production. If you can take a hot shower before you pump, this will help get your breast milk flowing. You can also wet a washcloth with hot water and apply it as a compress for 20 minutes before you pump.
7. Pump on baby’s feeding schedule.
This one is extremely important. If you are a working mama, remember to stay on top of your pumping schedule as if your baby would be ready for some milk. If your work doesn’t provide you with enough time to pump, be sure to use a hands-free pumping bra and portable battery pack so you can pump anytime! But let’s be real, they better make time for you to pump!
The same goes for all pumping mamas, whether at work or not. If you are away from your baby for a longer stretch, bring your pump with you and pump on your baby’s feeding schedule to keep your supply up and to prevent clogs.
8. Invest in accessories to be able to pump anytime, anywhere!
Like I mentioned above, a hands-free pumping bra will allow you to pump anywhere and anytime. If your pump doesn’t come with a portable battery pack, you can buy one for your pump so that you do not need access to an outlet for your ac adapter.
9. Use natural lactation support products like these.
I love Bundle Organics entire line of nursing support products. If you are looking for products to help boost milk supply, these are my favorite!
10. Drink lots of water and replenish calories.
This one is a given. Remember that you need to stay plenty hydrated and eat extra calories so that your body can produce enough milk for your babe. I think the general rule of thumb is eating 500 extra calories per day and drinking 2-3 times as much water.
My pumping mama must haves:
Are you struggling with your milk supply? My readers can access this limited promotion with Kabrita for a FREE can of goat milk formula to try! It is perfect for supplementation.