Breastfeeding Pump Tips For New Mums
Once you have established a consistent breastfeeding routine with your baby, you may begin to think about using a breast pump to store your milk.
Perhaps your maternity leave is coming to a close, and you’re preparing to return to work. Or maybe you’re considering placing your baby in daycare for a few days a week. Reasons for using a pump differ from mother to mother. But knowing that you can still provide your baby with the sustenance found in breast milk, while you are not with them, provides many with better peace of mind.
In this article, we have shared a few helpful tips and tricks for first-time breast pump users, who have previously exclusively breastfed. For a complete guide to breast pumping for beginners, you can see our comprehensive article here. This list of handy hints aims to assist you and your baby in getting the most out of your breast pumping experience. Simple checks, changes and pieces of knowledge can make all the difference to your breast milk pumping journey.
Choosing the right breast flange
Much emphasis is placed on buying the right breast pump for you, as it should be! But choosing the correct breast flange for your nipple size is just as important. Trying to pump breast milk with the wrong size flange is uncomfortable and can result in less milk production. Not to mention increased nipple soreness, which, in this instance, can be avoided. The part of the flange that varies in size is the width of the opening. Your nipple should fit in the breast flange tunnel with a small amount of space around it. Keep an eye on how your nipple is moving within the flange tunnel as you pump. If your nipple is rubbing against the sides of the tunnel, this is an indication that the breast flange is too small. If too much of your areola is being drawn inside the tunnel, causing rubbing against the sides, this is a surefire sign that your breast flange is too large. You want your sizing to be just right. The perfect breast flange fit will have your nipple moving freely within the tunnel, with only a small amount of areola being drawn in with it.
When to pump breast milk for best results
Mothers typically make more breast milk in the morning. This is because your body increases in prolactin overnight. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates the development of your mammary tissue, which, in turn, assists with your milk secretion. If you’re worried that pumping too close to when you wish to breastfeed your baby will result in depleted milk supplies for nursing, follow these simple rules.
- Use your breast pump 30-60 minutes after nursing OR
- Pump breast milk at least one hour before breastfeeding.
How to encourage let-down
Let-down, or the milk ejection reflex, is when a hormone-induced trigger reaction results in the milk stored in your breasts making its way through your breast ducts so it can be expressed through your nipples. Aiming to stimulate three to four let-down reflexes during a breastfeeding or pumping session will assist to drain your breasts fully and produce more milk. You can encourage a milk ejection reflex by concentrating on at least two of your five senses. It can take a little more effort to stimulate a let-down while using a breast pump. But following these tips will help.
- Listen to a recording or watch a video of your baby crying or cooing.
- Gently massage your breasts or apply a warm cloth to your nipples.
- Smell one of your baby’s blankets or items of clothing.
- Take a few deep breaths and visualise milk flowing from your breasts.
The best containers for storing breast milk
When storing breast milk, think carefully about how long you will need to keep it, and how much you intended on stockpiling. Plastic breast milk storage bottles are often the go-to container for milk collection. But store’N pour breast milk storage bags are very space efficient, can be connected directly to your collection kit, and are suitable for the freezer too. They’re super convenient for mothers who are short on freezer and fridge space. Many Mums swear by glass breast milk storage bottles, but these cannot be placed in the freezer, and as long as your plastic bottles and bags are BPA and DEHP-free, they’re safe to use. For more information on storing breast milk, see here.
Ameda Australia are leading suppliers of high-quality breast pumps and accessories. Contact us today for more information on how to get the most out of your Ameda breast pump, or see our blog for further helpful advice for breastfeeding mothers new to pumping breast milk.