A breast pump is not as efficient as your baby, and it can be a challenge to squeeze pumping sessions into an already busy workday, so you'll want to have a few helpful tricks up your sleeve.
The morning is usually the most productive time for pumping. Heisner pumps on one side while her baby nurses on the other, making letdown a cinch. "It's nice to do it all at once," she says.
No one knows why, but eating oatmeal seems to increase milk supply, as can taking herbal supplements such as fenugreek and blessed thistle. And plenty of water is a must. But the best way to increase supply is to keep pumping and nursing. If your supply is lower by the end of the workweek, try nursing exclusively over the weekend. By Monday, you might find that things are back to normal. Sometimes, though, pumping isn't enough, so moms may mix formula with expressed breast milk.
Pumping can seem overwhelming in the beginning, but there are rewards to sticking it out. "I'm really happy I've been able to pump," Moyal says. "But it took time until I got it right."
Originally published in the February 2009 issue of American Baby magazine.