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    Complete Guide to Breast Milk Pumping for New Moms

    Baby Care

    Complete Guide to Breast Milk Pumping for New Moms

    Updated on 29 August 2023

    Medically Reviewed by

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    View Profile

    Whether you're heading back to work or just out for the evening (and leaving your critter with a sitter), most new moms eventually need a break from breastfeeding. Enter the breast pump. This practical tool not only allows you to fill a bottle with your breast milk, but it can also assist in maintaining your milk supply, relieving engorgement, and creating a reserve for your freezer. So, once you’ve chosen the right type of breast pump, it’s time to get the (pumping) party started.

    You may also like to read : What Is the Best Way to Clean a Manual Breast Pump?

    When to start pumping?

    If your baby is premature or has special needs that don’t allow you to nurse her from birth, start pumping as soon as you can. If you have multiples, talk to your pediatrician or lactation consultant about pumping to build up your breast milk supply. Otherwise, many experts recommend avoiding nipple confusion by waiting until after the first two or three weeks (assuming nursing is going well) to introduce a bottle.

    Plenty of babies, however, go back and forth between bottle and breast from day one, so do what feels right for you. Even if you don’t feed your baby from a bottle at first, you can pump in the early days and store the milk in your freezer for later use. If you’re planning to go back to work, start pumping a few weeks beforehand to get the hang of it and to build up a stockpile of milk.

    What is the ideal time to pump breast milk?

    If you're at home and are stockpiling milk or trying to increase your supply, try pumping an hour or so after your sweetie’s morning nursing session (or pump one breast while they're feeding on the other). If you're pumping at work, try to pump on the same schedule as your baby's feedings so you keep your milk supply going strong.

    How to pump breast milk?

    Firstly, find a comfortable, quiet spot and try to relax as much as possible to encourage letdown. A quick breast massage or warm compresses can also help launch the letdown. If your baby is close by, try cuddling with them.

    Away from home? Look at your baby's cute photo, or close your eyes and imagine your baby's face and smell to stimulate your breast milk to flow.

    If you're using a manual breast pump, try to maintain the same force as your baby applies while sucking and then increase the flow once things get moving. Do be patient. It may take some time for you to get into a comfortable rhythm. You should pump until the milk starts to slow down and your breasts feel empty. Don't forget to clean the breast flanges after every use.

    How to store your expressed breast milk?

    Many breast pumps like the Mylo Feels Natural Breast Pump come with containers that can be used as storage and feeding bottles; others allow you to use a standard feeding bottle to collect milk. Freezing milk in small quantities (three to four ounces at a time) allows for easy thawing.

    Refrigerate the milk as soon as possible after you express. It can stay fresh at room temperature for up to six hours as long as it's kept away from the sun or other sources of heat. Milk can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to four days and for three to four months in the freezer (six months in a deep freezer). Make sure to label each container with the date of expression, and always use the oldest milk first.

    You may also like to read : How Long Can I Store Breast Milk After Pumping from A Manual Breast Pump?

    Closing Thoughts

    A breast pump is a magical tool that helps new moms increase and regulate their breast milk supply, keep breast engorgement at bay and store breast milk when away from their little one. Now, that you know everything about how to use a breast pump, when to pump and store expressed milk, we wish you well on your breast milk pumping and motherhood journey.

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    View Profile

    Written by

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