Do you pump multiple times a day? If so, you’re definitely considered a “frequent pumper.” Congratulations! With frequent pumping comes joy and the knowledge that you’re giving your baby the very best. But breast pumping can also bring uncertainty, questions and even concerns. Here are some great tips and tricks designed to make frequent pumping a smoother, more enjoyable experience. You might just find that when your pumping world is more pleasant, so is the rest of your world. Share your own tips with us in a comment below!
- Get a good breast pump, preferably a double electric pump like the Pump-In-Style Advanced which helps produce more milk in less time.
- Consider purchasing a nursing bra, camisole or bustier for hands-free pumping.
- Stay hydrated! Keep a large water bottle with you all day. There’s no need to force drinking, but try to drink to quench your thirst.
- Create a “station” or area in your kitchen where you can clean and store pumping parts.
- Ensure that your pumping kit fits appropriately. Here are some tips for choosing the correct breast shield.
- Whenever possible, find a quiet, private place to pump so you can relax.
- Try to use two kits so you can constantly rotate one as clean and one as dirty for efficient turnover of pumping parts.
- If your baby is not with you, keep a picture or other visceral cue (such as a blanket, toy, or even watch a video of them on your phone) with you to help stimulate let down.
- Consider frequent, short pumping sessions rather than less-frequent, longer ones.
Pumping at Work
- Schedule and plan your pumping breaks in advance. If you can, block out time on your calendar for pumping so coworkers see that you’re busy and are less likely to schedule meetings during your pumping sessions.
- Consider keeping a second pump, like the mobile Freestyle, at the office so you have less to transport at the beginning and end of the workday.
- Type out a list of all the parts and pieces that you need, and hang it on your refrigerator or somewhere you can see it every day. When you’re in a rush in the morning, one quick glance will help you remember everything.
- Keep some extra parts at work in a clean, sealable bag. If you forget something one day (like a breast shield, bottle, or connector), you’ll be happy to have a backup!
- If you can’t keep extra parts at work or want to be extra-prepared, consider storing a hand pump like Harmony as a backup. Every mom forgets something at some point in her journey, so it’s good to be ready with a “rainy day” plan.
- Pump directly into storage bottles or transfer milk into storage bags while milk is still warm. As milk cools, fat can separate into layers making it difficult to transfer later.
- Store milk in small batches. It’s quicker and easier to defrost 2 – 4 oz. than 8 oz., and small batches also help ensure not a bit of your precious milk is wasted.
Every mom’s breast pumping journey is precious, and carries its own unique ups and downs, ebbs and flows. If you have a tip for new pumping moms (or moms who have been pumping for years!) please share with a comment below. Don’t forget you can also send a question to one of our professional Lactation Consultants any time!