As a nursing and breastfeeding mother, breast pumping allows you to continue providing your baby with nutritious breast milk while you are away, be it briefly for work or for a prolonged period. The more the baby nurses, the more breast milk production increases. Experiences may, however, differ from one mother to another. Some pump only once in a while when they need to. In contrast, others may pump up to a couple of times a day. Also, breast pumping milk is unnecessary for some, which is also okay. Most nursing mothers, however, struggle with breast pumping as they don’t find it enjoyable and comfortable compared to breastfeeding. Well, we have compiled this guide to help make breast pumping comfortable and most importantly, enjoyable
Create a Pumping Routine
To meet your baby’s needs, creating a pumping schedule that mimics those needs is essential. For instance, most babies feed every three to four hours. Therefore, you can begin pumping in the morning when milk production is at its highest. You can continue to pump regularly depending on what works for you for the rest of your day. For best results, experts recommend pumping at least eight to ten times daily, with each pumping session lasting between ten and fifteen minutes. Pumping more frequently as opposed to more extended periods increases your milk supply.
Massage your Breasts Before Pumping
Compressing and massaging areas of the breast that feel firm can help you as a nursing mother increase milk expression. You can massage your breasts In a circular motion or any other way that feels comfortable. Before putting on the flanges and pumping, ensure you rub your breasts for about one to three minutes. Massaging your breasts before pumping allows enough stimulation for maximum milk production.
Pump both Breasts simultaneously
Higher levels of prolactin hormone, released by the pituitary gland, are released when mothers pump simultaneously instead of alternating. Higher levels of prolactin translate to more milk production. Therefore, more milk is pumped when you pump your breasts simultaneously.
Pick the Right Pump
It is crucial to pick the right pump to meet your needs fully. Depending on the pumping frequency, needs differ from one nursing mother to another. The requirements of a mother who pumps several times a day will vary from those of a mother who only pumps occasionally.
You could even go for a hands-free pump, particularly if you are a working mom. This is a great and affordable pick for any nursing mum that allow you to do basic things such as talking on the phone and snacking without necessarily having to hold the pump. The Willow hands free breast pump is an excellent option with an in-bra design with no cords, tubes or dangling bottles whatsoever. It has advanced smart pumping features where you get to control your pump from the app. You can also track volume in real time, and keep tabs on your pumping history.
Create a Relaxing Environment
While pumping, stay as relaxed as possible, and sit in a comfortable chair when you pump. Ensure your back is adequately supported by a pillow to ease pressure on your back and stomach as you sit up and still pump. A comfortable chair with good support also prevents fatigue and muscle tension. Additionally, you can create a calming environment by playing soothing and relaxing music, looking at your baby’s photos, or even grabbing a warm blanket. Milk will ooze out sooner and faster if you are relaxed and comfortable.
Learning how to use a breast pump effectively might take some time, just like learning any other skill. Be patient if you cannot express milk as you want. Eventually, you will hack it. In case of any discomfort, please consult a specialist.