Oh the days of pumping...I remember them. I wish I could add "fondly" to that, but personally I was not a fan.
However, it was absolutely necessary in order to supplement my first child. I'm thankful that a lactation educator made the suggestion to me to pump. With this information and experience, I'm going to talk about how to make the most of pumping.
While pumping breastmilk is not always necessary, there are breastfeeding mothers that need to pump in order to supplement their baby (ie going back to work, occasional bottle, increase breastmilk supply, etc). And at times, mothers will pump to be able to offer the occasional bottle to their baby. Whatever your goals are for pumping, here are tips to help you pump as efficiently as possible.
Willow Pump is hands-free for when you need to pump.
Tips to increase your milk supply while pumping
- Pump enough (every 2 hrs you are gone from baby or when baby would’ve normally fed).
- Pump during a consistent time each day and night (if you pump at night).
- Relax and be at peace while pumping – taking a few deep breaths and looking at pictures of your baby will help get you to this relaxed state.
- Reduce stress and anxiety/worries about breastfeeding – seek breastfeeding support and believe in your body.
- Simple things like more sleep, better nutrition, less worry make a difference.
- Fenugreek, such as Mother’s Milk but taken exactly as the directions on the bottle also helps.
- Take a weekend where it’s just you and baby all day together and as much of that in bed is known to jump start your supply again.
A breastpump flange does not fit all and does not fit always
Make sure your flange is the right size for you. It’s very very common (but very very unknown by mothers) that the flange size needs to be changed during your breastfeeding journey, so even that will make a difference too.
At the breast is best for stimulation
Stimulation at the breast will increase your milk supply. If you're concerned about your milk supply decreasing, you will need to add either more breastfeeding and/or more pumping sessions.
Human milk for human babies
If you find that you need to supplement your baby with additional milk, the World Health Organization recommends supplementing with another mother’s breastmilk before considering formula. However, when choosing a formula, I recommend asking your pediatrician for recommendations and also asking other mothers for their favorite brands.
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Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post to products that I have personally recommended to mothers. As an affiliate, I may get a small thank you commission if you purchase through the links, which goes towards continuing to offer free resources to mothers and pregnant people.