How to Get Started Pumping Breast Milk
Whether you're pumping breast milk because you're headed back to work or want to add bottles into the mix, your breast pump will be your new best friend.
1. Shop Around
Check to see if your health-insurance plan will cover the cost of buying or renting a pump. If you'll be pumping daily, go for a double electric model, which will better stimulate the breasts and allow you to get the job done faster.
2. Time It Right
Since your body tends to make the most milk in the morning, try to pump after that first feeding when you're likely to have some left over. Any time Baby does not fully empty both breasts, you can also pump the breast that still has milk.
3. Get Pumping
Attach the breast shields to the bottles, then fit the shields to your breasts. Turn on the pump and gradually turn up the vacuum's power so that your breasts are stimulated enough to let down (release milk) without causing you pain.
4. Finish Strong
Pump for a minute after the flow stops so your breasts are drained. Turn the pump off and use a clean finger to press on your breast above the rim to break the suction. Then roll the rim down so the top of the shield lifts off your breast first.
5. Keep It Fresh
Breast milk will keep for about four hours at room temperature, five days in the refrigerator, and six months in the freezer. (Date it!) Once you thaw frozen breast milk, you'll need to keep it in the refrigerator and use it within 24 hours.
- Schedule pump breaks every two to three hours during your work day, and block out 15 to 20 minutes for each session. When your baby gets older, you can drop a session.
- Your supply may dip those first days at work. Nurse more at night and on weekends. The more milk you move, the more you'll make!
- Take your phone to the lactation room. Use it to get the milk flowing by scrolling through fave newborn photos or watching videos of Baby cooing.
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