These Tips Can Turn You Into a “Pumping Pro” Before You Know It
Believe it or not, pumping breast milk is just like everything else: It takes practice. You might find yourself challenged or puzzled at first by this odd machine and how it operates. But you will catch on over time. The trick is to find techniques that work for you.
Here are some tips that can make the process easier.
1. Make friends with flanges.
Those funnels you place on your breast are not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. They come in different sizes to fit different women. In fact, you might even use different sizes in different pumping sessions, just because your nipples might change from day today.
Get a range of flanges, if you can. If you’re feeling pain or inflammation in your nipple while pumping, try swapping out the flange for a different size. It might do the trick and make you more comfortable.
2. Think of your pump as a mini-sports car with “gears.”
With most pumps, you’ll start pumping on a faster speed to stimulate milk production. Then you’ll switch to a slower speed, to draw out as much breast milk as possible. If your milk output slows down while you’re pumping, try switching back to “high gear.”
That faster speed might create a second milk letdown (the release of milk into your milk ducts). Once your production is revved up again, you can switch back down to a more leisurely pace. Variety is the spice of life, after all. Once you’ve
3. Bring your smartphone with you.
Looking at pictures or a video of your baby is a proven way to trigger milk production. It’s your body’s natural reaction to meet your baby’s needs. So get lots of photos and take the cell phone to work. They’re good for more than just showing off how awesomely cute your little one is.
4. Don’t forget to massage your breasts.
It’s not only relaxing, it helps you move milk downward toward the nipple. Just place your index and middle finger together toward the top of your breast, and massage it in circular motions. Move down your breast little by little, but stop before you get to the areola.
Another tried-and-true technique: place warm compresses on your breasts for 5 to 10 minutes before pumping. Massage and warmth can really get the milk flowing! Once it’s going, make sure to have the appropriate container to store your supply of breast milk.
5. Find an informal “support group” with moms who use breast pumps.
If you’re running into snags with pumping, chances are, other moms have been there, done that. They might have tips and advice to help.
As you get more experienced, you can help the newer and less experienced moms. It’s a great way to keep the circle of mom-to-mom advice going.