For some moms, feeding their baby at breast isn’t an option. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t experience all the wonderful benefits of breastmilk. Exclusively pumping moms have a unique breastmilk feeding experience with a different set of challenges. So, here are some tips to make exclusive pumping a success.
Use the Right Pump for Your Needs
Exclusively pumping moms should pump frequently to maintain supply. Most Lactation Consultants recommend pumping 8 to 12 times or a total of 100 minutes in a 24-hour period. For that reason, it’s critical moms use a pump that’s fit for everyday use. A hospital-grade rental pump, such as the Medela Symphony is a great option for exclusively pumping moms. Other moms may prefer purchasing a double-electric personal use pump like the Pump In Style Advanced or Freestyle. To help determine which pump best fits your needs; you can use our interactive product selector to guide you in the right direction. We also suggest talking to an LC about your needs and what they’d recommend.
Take Care of Yourself
To an exclusively pumping mom, relaxation, comfort and a healthy lifestyle are some of the best ways to support your breastfeeding goals. First of all, make sure you take some mommy time to unwind and relax. Stress can actually affect your supply and make pumping more difficult. Also, be sure you’re prepared with products and accessories that keep you comfortable. First of all, make sure you have a properly-fitted breastshield. Remember, pumping should never be painful, so make sure your breastshield is sized so your nipple can glide through it without pulling. Also, consider items like lanolin or hydrogel pads to soothe sore nipples.
Be Prepared for Storage
As an exclusively pumping mom, be ready to allocate some of your refrigerator or freezer to breastmilk storage. Depending on how much you have to store, some moms find it beneficial to have a deep freezer just for breastmilk storage. Other moms can just keep a few bottles or storage bags in their refrigerator or freezer. Be sure you’re labeling your pumped breastmilk with the date it was expressed. That way you can be sure you’re sticking to proper breastmilk storage guidelines. Also, when freezing breastmilk, don’t overfill your storage containers. Naturally, breastmilk expands when frozen and can cause cracks or leaks if the container is filled too much. So, try to store breastmilk in no larger than 2 to 5 ounce portions. They’ll be easier to defrost and use later, too.
Set Realistic Pumping Goals
Because you’ll always be pumping into bottles with measurements, it’s particularly easy for exclusively pumping moms to stress about their breastmilk supply. But, the truth is, every mom and baby is different. Setting a pumping output goal can be helpful, but over time you’ll learn just how much your little one eats and can probably adjust your expectations. For reference, the average size meal for a baby between the age of one and six months is three to five ounces and, in a day, babies typically consume between 19 to 30 ounces.
If you ever have questions or concerns throughout your breastmilk feeding journey, remember our Lactation Consultant is here to help. Also, don’t forget, you have the support of many moms in our Facebook community, too.
Are you an exclusively pumping mom? Share your tips in the comments below.