Virtually all moms today choose to pump their breast milk. Whether it’s to start a supply of milk for the future, or because of breastfeeding issues, pumping has become common practice amongst many moms.
The very first breast pump was invented in the 1850’s and this device has consistently gained popularity throughout the years for its convenience and efficiency.
Choosing a Pump
While it may seem a little daunting at first, pumping becomes quite easy once you get the hang of it.
First of all, you have to choose the pump that’s best for you. That will depend on how often you use it and how much time you can devote to pumping. For example, if you don’t have a lot of time because of other obligations, you’ll need an electric pump that can do the job quickly. However, if you only need to pump occasionally, a manual pump may work just fine.
Once you have a breast pump that will work for your needs, you will want to start pumping as soon as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t collect a lot of milk at first. This is completely normal and your main goal in the first few weeks is to feed your baby and establish your milk supply. Every little bit you pump will be beneficial for your baby.
Store your milk in the freezer in 2oz containers. This will reduce waste, since once you thaw frozen milk; you have to use it within 24 hours.
The Benefits of Pumping
The most common reasons to pump breast milk are so your baby can have it when you’re not around and to maintain your milk supply for when you’re together. If you are going back to work, make sure you start at least two weeks beforehand, so that you can stockpile a supply for your baby. Also, make sure your breastfeeding relationship is well established before you introduce your baby to the bottle, as trouble-shooting nipple confusion can add unnecessary stress to your life.
Pumping means your baby is getting the best possible nutrition even when you’re not around. Your partner (or another helper) can feed your milk from a bottle, allowing you to rest or take a break that would otherwise not be possible. Also, letting dad take over some of the feedings helps him bond with his baby!
The best way to pump is to sit in a relaxing environment, with calm music and a picture of your little one at hand. Comfort and relaxation are key in order to have a proper letdown.