Oh, pumping… I wish I would have loved you more. Since my breastfeeding journey was so hard, pumping was all I could do. I spent so many hours on my pump that I started resenting it. My milk supplies was really low and no matter how much I pumped, it just wouldn’t increase my milk supplies. I pumped for 6 months, whatever I got I would give it to Calvin and supplement the rest with formula.
I’d say I’m pretty proud of myself for lasting that long pumping but I will say that for my mental health it just wasn’t healthy. I felt drained, tired, and very emotional. Some moms enjoy pumping exclusively and that’s amazing but if you find yourself struggling to pump, please don’t feel guilty about not doing it. Everyone’s experience is different, let your journey play out and do what’s best for you and your baby. Everyone will have an opinion on your breastfeeding journey take advice with a grain of salt. Heck, you don’t even have to take mines. Just know I’m rooting for you!
Finding a pump that fits your lifestyle is so important. If you’ll be staying at home with your baby, a more manual pump may seem fit, especially one that can be used while breastfeeding. If you’re a working mom outside of the home you may want a double electric pump. It’s faster and gets the job done quickly.
Being comfortable is so important during breastfeeding and pumping. A relaxed body helps your body produce and let down milk easily.
Drink lots of water and make sure to eat! Very important! You may want to create a snack basket to have near your pumping area.
Applying heat to your breast helps with let down, engorged breast, and any soreness you may feel.
Using the proper parts for your pump and using your pump correctly will make your pumping journey a lot easier. Read the manual or watch videos.
How Many Times a Day to Pump
How often to pump depends on your child’s age. A newborn will take a bottle of breast milk approximately every two to three hours around the clock. So during your baby’s first few weeks, you should try your best to pump at least every two to three hours (about eight to twelve times a day) to stimulate your body to produce a healthy milk supply.
As your baby grows, they will take more at each feeding, but go longer between feedings. As long as your milk supply is plentiful, you may be able to go longer between pumping sessions, as well.
How Long to Pump at Each Session
“At each session, you should pump for at least 15 minutes on each side. It can take a few minutes for your milk to begin to let down, so give yourself enough time. You also want to try to empty your breasts fully. Emptying the breasts is an important part of stimulating the production of more breast milk.
After you drain your breasts and no more milk is flowing out into the collection container, continue to pump for one to five minutes longer. Since breast milk is made based on supply and demand, the extra stimulation will tell your body to make more.
You don’t have to go longer than 20 minutes, though. Pumping for 15 to 20 minutes more frequently throughout the day will generally produce more breast milk than pumping less often for more extended periods of time.”https://www.verywellfamily.com/is-it-ok-if-i-decide-to-pump-and-bottle-feed-my-baby-431746
There are many reasons why mothers choose to pump or bottle feed if you have decided that pumping/ bottle feeding is best for you that’s okay. Breastfeeding isn’t the only way to feed your baby. I personally could not breastfeed due to low supply, premature baby, and difficulty latching due to the baby being tongue tie. You may find that you want to breastfeed and also bottle feed. Late-night feeds can be hard and perhaps you may feel like you want some support, having your partner feed the baby could be helpful on days/ nights you feel overwhelmed. Below you will find some items that I found helpful as a pumping mom and items that others have recommended. You don’t need all this stuff, think about your lifestyle, baby, and how much you want to be pumping a day.
Items That Could be Useful for Your Pumping Experience
- Medela Manuel Pump
- Breast Pump Duckbill
- Nursing and Pumping Bra
- Silicon Manuel Pump
- Pumping Bra
- Storage Milk Bags
- Wipes to clean your pump parts
- Another kind of storage bag
- Cooler to take to work and back home
I hope you find this post helpful, have any more tips for pumping mom? Leave a comment in the section below.