Breast pumps have been around for more than a century, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely intuitive. Like any technology, you’ve got to figure out how your new pump works, and you’ll also want to customize your breast pump to suit your unique needs. Try these seven tips to simplify the transition to pumping.
Start pumping before its necessary.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, lactation experts recommend that you wait four to six months to allow time for breastfeeding to be initiated and established. Mothers who plan to nurse exclusively may start pumping as soon as their milk comes in. If you have plans to work or travel outside of the home, you’ll want to begin pumping at least three weeks in advance. This gives you time to build up a stockpile of milk and get the hang of pumping in different circumstances.
Give yourself grace when you’re getting started (and the rest of the time).
If you’re new to pumping, give yourself time to get comfortable with the process. It may take some experimenting to find your maximum comfort vacuum, and it’ll take practice to get familiar with pump settings and maintenance. If you’re also recovering from delivery, you’re likely to feel tired and maybe even a little foggy-headed. Try incorporating some low pressure meditation into your pumping routine to associate the time you spend pumping with relaxation rather than stress.
Wear your breast pump for more freedom.
Sleek new wearable breast pumps like the Elvie Stride offer modern moms freedom that previous generations couldn’t begin to imagine. You can slip the Stride cup into your nursing bra and pump anywhere. It’s quiet, discreet, and completely hands free. Plus, you can connect it to the Elvie app to track your pumping sessions and breastmilk production.
Take advantage of breast pumping technology.
Not every breast pump integrates with an app; however, there are lots of free and premium breastfeeding and pumping apps available to moms. In addition to allowing you to track breastfeeding, many apps offer complementary data tracking for feeding, sleeping, crying, weight, height, and head circumference, pumping times, and self-defined events. Apps like the Android Breastfeeding Tracker also allow you to sync with your partner, nanny, or grandparents to share vital information.
Establish a routine.
A breastfeeding or pumping app can also help you establish a routine, and by the time pumping becomes routine, most of the stress will be gone. To get to that place, it helps to have processes in place for washing bottles and components, storing breast milk, and even settling into a pumping session. Pair processes with a well-stocked pumping station and you’ll be able to pump on auto-pilot.
Invest in extras for easy living.
The CDC recommends cleaning breast pump components as soon as possible after pumping sessions. Stocking up on extra sets of pump parts gives you a little extra time if you haven’t gotten around to washing components or if components are not completely dry when it’s time to pump. Extra parts also ensure you can continue pumping if a piece goes missing or gets worn out over time.
Share the labor.
If you’re making the meal, let someone else do the dishes. Sometimes moms feel as if they’re responsible for all things breastmilk-related because they’re making the breastmilk. However, everyone in the family is benefiting from your efforts. You’re providing your newest member with the healthiest food at the lowest possible cost. Let other family members pitch in by washing the pump components and bottles.
Ready to start pumping?
At Milk N Mamas Baby, we have more than two decades of experience in the medical device supply industry, with specialization in breast pumps, pumping essentials, and breast pumping accessories that anchor us as a leading breastfeeding shop based in the United States. Our company’s history is rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms, including lobbying for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it. Our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas and babies every day, one mother at a time. Get in touch today to see how we can help you ease into pumping.