Breast-pump is the savior for all the moms who are working, feels uncomfortable while nursing in the public, has to leave the baby to run some errands or has low milk supply.
It’s quite a challenge to let your infant get used to solid foods and even if they do, you don’t want them to spare the nutrition of breast milk.Breast-pumping has become a rescuer in so many ways. So below is your complete guide for the breast pump: buying, using, washing etc.
Types of pumps?
- Manual pump: In this type of pump you manually use the handle to pump breast milk. This is used by the mothers who will not spend a lot of time away from their baby. It is useful since you can maintain the same sucking speed with which your child breastfeeds. Using a comfortable suction speed can help express breast milk better.
Try these here: Option no.1 / Option no.2
- Electric Pump (Some run on battery and some on electricity so there is no point in specifying another segregation for that): Electric pumps are very useful for those mothers who are going to be away from their child for a long time. They also don’t tire you since it runs by itself. Plus if you are wearing a pumping bra you can do your own work while pumping the milk.
There are two types for these. Although double is more popular between them.
How to use?
- Read the instruction manual carefully. Familiarize yourself with all the attachments that are included in the pack.
- Wash your hands and make sure all the parts are cleaned and washed even if they are new.
- Select the correct size of breast shield. That is very important since most of the problems that occur like pain, insufficient flow etc. arise due to this. The breast shield should not rub against the wall of the nipple when it’s going back and forth.
- Stimulate your breasts by massaging them. Try to pump when your baby is around. If he is not around thinking about him or smell some of his clothing. This will trigger hormones that will initiate milk supply.
- Find a comfortable place since the milk production would be limited if you are not able to relax.
- It should NOT be painful. If there is any kind of discomfort contact a consultant since discomfort or pain would just hamper the milk production.
TIP: Carry your breast pump in your hospital bag so that you can ask a lactation consultant at the hospital itself to guide you through pumping.
- Start pumping.
- In the case of a manual pump, start the motion of the handle as specified for the machine. Milk will start to come after some time. As soon as it starts flowing try to pump in the same way as your child sucks.
- In the case of an electric pump, the milk will start to flow in 2-3 minutes and as soon as it does most of the pumps would adjust the flow by itself. However, you can change the setting to the speed you prefer.
- Don’t stare at the pump since it might reduce the supply. Think about your baby (this releases prolactin- the milk secreting hormone), relax or do some other work.
- Once you are done turn off the pump and clean your breasts.
- Close the bottle and wash all the attachments. Let them air-dry.
How to get maximum milk or increase milk supply?
- The best time to pump the milk is in the morning since the morning milk is richer in protein. Milk supply is also better in the morning.
- Try pumping after every second breastfeeding session for around 10-15 minutes since it really helps in increasing the production of milk supply.
Some very useful tips:
- Try to pump at the same time every day. Take a warm shower and relax before you start pumping. Massage your breasts and eat foods that increase milk supply.
- Don’t worry if the milk supply is low or none at first skip the pumping at that time and try it again after you are done with two sessions of breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding works on the principle of supply and demand it will increase by itself in a while.
- You can try pumping using manual pump while your baby is feeding on the other breast or use an electric breast pump. Just make sure if you are using a double breast pump you cover the pump you are not using with your other hand.
- Keep the pump in a way so that it mimics the way in which your baby nurses. For eg lean forward or put the pump a little below your chest.
- You will pump more milk if you had spent more time with your child for eg. on Monday the production might be really good if you had spent a lot of time with your baby on the weekend.
- Try different breast shield if you have done your best and still can’t get enough supply.
- When you start to pump, pump for around 10 minutes after every feeding.
- Double pump and pumping bras are real time savers. Buy pumping bra here. It ships to INDIA.
- Start pumping early which is when you have become used to breastfeeding and your baby is at least a month old.
How to store breast milk?
- Store breast milk in any sterilized bottles or plastic bags. DO NOT use disposable bottles or plastic bags. Try this one here.
- Label the bottle with the date. ( VERY IMPORTANT )
- Milk would stay safe to drink:
- At room temperature for about 6 hours.
- In ice box for about 24 hours.
- In the refrigerator for about a week.
- In fridge’s freezer for about 2 weeks.
- In the deep freezer ( at 18o C or lower) for up to 6 months.
- If you want to add warm breast milk to the frozen one add it only to the one you have frozen on the same day.
- If you want to add more milk to the frozen milk freeze it before adding it to any previously frozen milk.
- For unfreezing the milk:
- Let it warm at the room temperature.
- Put it under running water (warm or cold)
- Put it in a container full of hot water.
- DO NOT heat it.
- Milk can get separated but that’s okay. Just shake it up again to mix it well.
- Some babies might just take cold milk and some needs it at the same temperature as breast milk. So you might have to try to give it at various temperatures.
Breast Pumps can sometimes become a hassle to buy and use. Therefore, we have tried to include each and everything we could in this guide. If we have missed out anything or you have any other valuable tip of yours, Mention them in the comments box below.