The following 9 Tried and True Breast Milk Pumping Secrets is a guest post by Natalie Michele. Read more about her below!
Are you struggling to express enough milk? Well, you are not alone; most moms pump milk for hours only for the sessions to yield just a few drops of milk. Most moms think pumping is just as easy as a direct latch, which ultimately renders a fit of frustration when expressing milk becomes difficult.
Breast milk pumping is an art that every mom learns over time; with more practice and experience gained, you will be able to express milk efficiently (for the most part).
Here are some breast milk pumping best practices that will ensure you get the most milk from your breasts.
9 Tried and True Breast Milk Pumping Secrets
Express your milk ahead of feeding time
It is advisable to express milk during the early hours of the day as the milk supply is usually highest at that time and decreases significantly throughout the day. This also allows you enough time to express more volume of milk to feed your baby. You can express more milk if you pump an hour or 30 minutes before nursing your baby than when you pump milk after feeding the baby when your breasts are drained.
Get a high-quality breast pump
It is advisable for every mom to invest in a breast pump that works very well and one with preferably a closed system. Furthermore, ensure that the breast pump tubing is connected securely so there is no compromise of your milk during expression.
To get the most from your breast pump you will also need to choose the proper breast shields for your boobs. Keep that in mind while shopping around, and know that a good quality breast pump will make your breastfeeding experience super easy and possibly even fun.
Think of your baby while pumping
You will be able to express milk if you think about your baby during the pumping process. If you can have, your baby close by you will realize that the milk expression process will be easier for you. You could also keep a cloth that has your baby’s scent; something in your body is triggered causing you to produce more milk.
It is also important for you to stay relaxed. Milk letdown will only be easy if you think of happy thoughts and find a private place where you feel comfortable.
Lastly, know that your breast milk is the best solution to fortify your baby and by no means should you even think of using cow’s milk.
Make use of a nice hot shower and massage
If you are struggling to express enough milk to nurse your baby, a hot shower and massage will do the trick for you. Hop into a shower, afterwards, take a seat and massage your breasts towards the nipple as you think super nice thoughts of your little one. This process will make certain that you enjoy breastfeeding.
Gently squeeze your breast as you pump
Hands free breast pumps are very convenient as you can multitask as you express milk. However, if you want to get the most milk from your breasts, you will have to gently squeeze your breast while pumping.
Reposition your breast shield
Repositioning the breast shield without necessarily changing the location where it was will enable you to recreate the vacuum and increase milk production significantly. You can use this trick with either a manual or electric breast pump.
Have more frequent and short pumping sessions
When you are away from the baby, most moms tend to pump mil one or two times for long durations. Instead, consider pumping milk several times for shorter periods as it increases your milk supply. For example, instead of having two pumping sessions each 30 minutes, have three pumping sessions each 20-minute and express more milk.
Pumping sessions in between nursing not only goes a long way to produce more milk but also saves on time. The emptier the breast the faster the process of expressing milk than when the breast is full. When pumping is done less often, the breasts receive signals that milk should not be produced then but later.
Express milk when prolactin is at its peak
During the wee hours of the night and early hours of the day, prolactin (the hormone that is responsible for milk production while nursing) is usually highest. For this reason, nursing moms are advice to express milk during this time.
This is a golden time for you pump the most milk from your breasts; you will notice that your breasts feel fuller than other times of the day.
Simultaneously pump and breast-feed your baby
This practice not only saves on time but will also send signals to your breasts to produce more milk. Pumping and nursing at the same time significantly stimulates the milk letdown making it easier for you to express all the milk from your breasts.
There you have it! If you are still experiencing challenges in pumping milk, keep practicing. And lastly, do try and enjoy breast pumping because the next step is the process of weaning your baby and it is just in the horizon.
Natalie Michele is a mother of two and pregnancy consultant who prides herself in assisting women transition into motherhood. You can reach her on Twitter and Facebook!
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