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The Basics of Using a Breast Pump

Here's why a breastfeeding mom might want to use a breast pump, and how one works.

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-Hi, I'm Jessica Hartshorn from American Baby Magazine and I'm gonna talk a little bit about how breast pumps work. A breast pump works to mimic the way your baby nurses. You wanna align the shield to your chest and turn the pump on or start pumping if it's a manual pump. Most electric pumps have a speed and suction button that you can adjust to what feels right for you. Some also have automatic modes that will pull faster in the beginning and then slower to mimic the way a baby drinks fast to help your milk let down and then slower to drink the milk. The number of ounces you get in any 25- or 30-minute pumping session can really vary. It's important not to obsess over how many ounces you get, but you might find it varies even by the day of the week where you might get more milk on a Monday after you've spent a weekend with your baby and less on a Friday or vice versa depending on how much you pump. You can help your pump along by staying really hydrated, drinking a lot of water all day, and eating really healthy. That will help give you more milk and that is how you can help your breast pump give you great breast milk for your baby.