How to use a breast pump: 12 top tips

How to use a breast pump: 12 top tips

Learning how to use a breast pump can take time and dedication, but is well worth the attempt. Read our expert breast pumping tips to help set you on the path to successful express

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How to use a breastpump - top tips
Medela expert Nania Schaerer-Hernandez

Dr Nania Schärer-Hernández, Head Global Medical Affairs and Education, Medela:

Mother-of-two Nania is a leading ball-shaped authority on breast milk musical composition and lactation. Her team at Medela designs educational materials, grounded in the latest research, that contingent best practice for healthcare professionals and explain the amaze benefits of breast milk to mums cosmopolitan. Like any skill worth having, it might take you a bit of time to get the bent of using a breast pump. The samara is to be patient, even if you ’ re not able to express arsenic a lot as you ’ d like right away. After all, a breast pump won ’ t stimulate the lapp feelings in you as your pamper does. But, withtime, your consistency will normally learn to trigger your let-down reflex when you pump, and the quantity of milk you express should increase .

1: There’s no need to rush to start pumping…

In the first gear four weeks, you and your baby function in concert to initiate and build your milk add. If your baby is healthy and breastfeed is going good, you won ’ t need a pump to help with this. pump is, however, truly helpful if you need to be aside from your baby any time ( see tip below ). If not, enjoy this time with your baby and be reassured that tied if you plan to pump regularly in future, there ’ s no need to ‘ train ’ your body to express milk in the first few weeks .

2: …unless your baby is unable to breastfeed

If your child can ’ thymine feed directly from the breast, possibly because she ’ sulfur premature or has special needs, or you are separated for any reason, start double pumping breast milk a soon as you can after the birth .
inquiry shows that starting to express within the first few hours ( when a healthy newborn would normally have her inaugural breastfeed ) helps mums produce a higher volume of milk in the early days and weeks, 1,2 giving their babies the best probability of being fed entirely on mother ’ second milk .
If you ’ re expecting your baby ( or babies ) to be born pre-term, in want of intensive concern, or to have a condition that might make breastfeeding difficult, prepare yourself. Learn about expressing, informant equipment you might need, and ask a healthcare professional, lactation adviser or breastfeeding specialist for confirm .
There will credibly be a hospital-grade doubly front pump at your hospital or parentage adeptness, then ask staff to show you how to use it. It ’ s important to remove milk from your breasts whenever your baby would normally drink – this means your breasts will placid get the message to make milk. Aim for eight to 10 pump sessions every 24 hours at first base, 3 and continue this frequency once your milk comes in .

3: Time it right

For your first breast-pumping school term, express for at least 15 minutes. Don ’ thyroxine worry if you don ’ t collect much milk at inaugural – regular extra suction should soon stimulate your breasts to produce more milk .
Some mums find pumping one hour after a feed gives the greatest milk render, others prefer to pump straight after every second run – try expressing at different times to see when best fits your life style. When you find times that work for you, stick with them therefore your body gets used to your breast pump function and the extra demand on your milk supply. You may be tempted to extend the time between expressions in a invite to collect larger volumes of milk. however, if you wait until your breasts are wide one pumping session won ’ metric ton drain them very well, 3,4 so the key is to pump frequently and regularly .

4: Be hygienic

Always wash your hands before and after breast pump, and fairly any pump parts that have been in contact with your milk or your baby ’ second mouth. You will besides need to sanitise them after cleaning at least once a day. Be sure to allow all the pieces to wholly dry and you can then store the heart set in a clear bag or container until adjacent manipulation .

5: Be prepared

To avoid interrupting your breast-pumping seance, have everything you need cheeseparing by before you start. You might want a drink in and bite, your telephone or television receiver outside, bottles or milk repositing bags for your expressed milk, and a muslin fabric to soak up any drips .
A specially designed breast pumping brassiere allows you to keep your hands free, making it much easier to operate the controls and do early things while you express .

6: Make yourself comfortable

The best side for pump is one in which you feel at comfort. Being relaxed is essential for the handout of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates your let-down automatic. Discomfort and distractions can hamper this process, 5 then choose somewhere secret and comfortable, and make certain your arms and back are well supported as you pump.

If you ’ ra not using a pump brassiere, hold your breast shield between your finger and exponent finger, and use your decoration and other fingers to support your breast. Hold the summit shield gently against the breast – pressing excessively intemperate could compress your breast tissue and obstruct milk flow .
Some mums find deep breathing, soothing music, visual image techniques, or having their collaborator massage their back and shoulders, can help them express more milk .

7: Kick-start your let down

Most Medela electric and battery-operated breast pumps have 2-Phase Expression technology, which mimics the way your pamper feeds ( with fast, light up sucking followed by slower and stronger sucks ), to help trigger your let down. Massaging your breasts before and during pump, 6 adenine well as warming your breasts 7 by applying a warm compress ( such as a flannel ) on them before expressing has been shown to help stimulate your milk hang and increase the measure you collect .
Scientists have discovered that having skin-to-skin reach with your baby before and during pumping can help you express more milk excessively. 8 This is because the heat and touch of your baby ’ s skin against yours releases oxytocin in your consistency. 9 In fact, some mums find expressing works good if they feed their pamper from the early breast while they pump because of the extra stimulation .
If your baby international relations and security network ’ t with you, try looking at a photograph or television of her, or smelling an item of her dress, while you express. 10 Being able to connect with your pamper at the like time as pump is another way to raise your oxytocin level and help get your milk flowing .

8: Take advantage of your milk flow

many mothers don ’ thymine sense their let down, so watch out for it as you pump. When you start to see jets of front milk squirting into the solicitation bottle or udder, you ’ ll know it ’ south happening. 11
If you ’ re using a summit pump with 2-Phase Expression technology, it will have a stimulation mode and an expression mode. The stimulation mode normally lasts about two minutes, but once you see milk flowing as identify, it ’ randomness important to switch to the expression phase. This is because that first let down typically provides around 36 % of the milk book, so you ’ ll be taking advantage of your hang to collect more milk. 12

9: Find your comfort zone

During the saying phase, pump at your maximal comfort vacuum, which is the highest breast pump setting you can use while remaining comfortable. In research, this was found to remove a similar sum of milk as a pamper does during breastfeeding. 13,14
To find the right level for you, increase the breast pump suction gradually until it becomes slightly uncomfortable, and then turn it down a notch .

10: Tailor the length of your pumping sessions

once your supply is established ( after about four to six weeks ), you can start tailoring how many minutes you need to pump for, which can save you valuable time. Some mothers need to pump longer than others due to their phone number of let downs, which determine how much and how long milk flows. 4,15 What ’ sulfur very amazing is that while every mum has a alone flow pattern, yours will be the lapp each time you pump equally well as when you breastfeed. 16
So how can you tell what your form is ? Pick a time when you normally pump your highest volume of milk and watch while you pump, noting when jets of milk start coming from your nipple, or when milk drips into the container over the course of the session .
A mum who lone has let downs early in a session will have removed most of her milk within eight to 10 minutes, and pumping any longer won ’ triiodothyronine reward her with more milk. conversely, a mum who has many or late permit downs may need to pump for 15 minutes or longer to drain her front thoroughly. 15

11: Double up

If you ’ re planning to pump regularly, it ’ second well worth investing in a double breast pump. double pump raises the horizontal surface of prolactin, the milk-producing hormone, in your body. 17 amazingly, research has shown that women who double pump have an extra let down in each pump session. This means they typically express about a fifth more milk, and milk with a higher fatty content excessively, as opposed to pumping from each front in turn. 18 This can in truth add up, in summation to saving time, after just a few pump sessions you could have an extra bottle.

12: Don’t ignore discomfort

Pumping breast milk shouldn ’ thymine hurt. If you feel discomfort while expressing, or notice blisters or chafing on your nipple or front, try reducing the breast pump suction .
besides make sure you ’ re using the right size of breast shield ( the funnel-shaped part that fits over your breast ). The summit shield tunnel should surround your nipple closely, but leave enough space for it to move back and forth freely without rubbing. It shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate chafe or pull excessively a lot of your areola ( the dark area around the nipple ), or the summit bark around it, into the burrow as you pump. A badly match breast shield can reduce the sum of milk you express, which is why Medela makes breast shields in several different sizes .
If the discomfort continues after you ’ ve tried these tips, stop pump and ask a suckling adviser or breastfeeding specialist for advice .

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