Breastfeeding and pumping go hand-in-hand. If you’re doing one, chances are you’re probably also doing the other one as well. Most moms pump because they know they are going back to work at some point, or just need some time away from the home, and still want their babies to receive breast milk. Working and breastfeeding can present special challenges.
Below, we have compiled a list of helpful tips for moms who are breastfeeding full-time, but also want to build a breast milk inventory for when they’re not around during the day.
- Invest in a great breast pump. A powerful electric model that pumps from both breasts simultaneously (and mimics the sucking action of your little milk monger) is your best breast-pump bet. High-quality, double electric pumps aren’t cheap—models can run up to the several-hundred dollar range. However, you can rent one instead from your local hospital, pharmacy, or La Leche League chapter.
- Start pumping early on and pump once or twice a day to build up a stockpile. Even if you’re just pumping a little bit at a time, over several months you will have a nice inventory.
- If possible, when nursing on one side, pump the other. This can dramatically increase the flow of milk.
- Listen to soothing music and look at pictures of your baby. Studies show that when moms listened to a recording that included both music and a guided relaxation while pumping, in addition to looking at photos of their babies, pumping output was increased even more.
- Invest in a good pumping bra, like PumpEase by Snugabell. Great pumping bras include a special layer that holds the horns in place for easy and comfortable hands-free pumping.
- Know your rights at work. By law, companies must provide unpaid time to pump and a private space that is not a bathroom.
Make sure to store expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Reset your expectations of how much you will be pumping. According to KellyMom.com, “It is typical for a mother who is nursing full-time to be able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session.” Don’t get discouraged if you are trying to build up a freezer stash when nursing full-time and don’t get much milk per pumping session—this is perfectly normal and expected.
Do you have any additional pumping tips? Please share with us in the comments below!