How to Start Pumping While Still Breastfeeding
Are you breastfeeding your little one?
Has something come up that has caused you to need to start pumping your breastmilk too?
Are you wondering how to start pumping while breastfeeding?
If you’re breastfeeding your baby but also need to pump, you’re not alone. There are plenty of moms who are in the same situation, and although there are a lot of different reasons that might bring you to this point, you’re probably feeling the same level of confusion as your fellow moms.
But don’t worry! You’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explain the situations in which you might need to start pumping while still breastfeeding, and we’ll also walk you through the five most important things to know when you’re pumping for the first time.
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have a solid foundation of information on how to start pumping while still breastfeeding. So let’s get started!
Why pump while breastfeeding?
There are a lot of different reasons why you might choose to start pumping while breastfeeding. If you feel like this is the right decision for you and your little one, remember that you know best. Other well-meaning moms may try to talk you out of it and may even tell you that you’re doing something wrong, but remember that you and your child are individuals with needs that may differ from those of other people you know. Remember, too, that you should always discuss these types of changes with your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician.
With that said, however, it’s a good idea to understand the different reasons that may lead you to try pumping while breastfeeding. Here are just some of them.
5 Things to Know for First-Time Pumping
1. Materials needed:
You’ll need a pump, and electric is the way to go. A double pump can help you save time, but it may be more complicated to use and more expensive than a single pump. Make sure to stock up on spare parts in case something breaks at an inconvenient time, and always choose a pump that can be easily sterilized. Also pick up bottles to use for storing your milk (see #3 for more on storage). Finally, you’ll need some wipes for keeping pump parts clean until you can sterilize them at home. Make sure you have sterilizing cleaning pads and/or supplies to boil your pump parts for sterilization, too.
2. Develop a schedule:
Your body has likely already gotten used to feeding your baby at certain times of the day. If this is the case, you need to stick to that schedule or slowly transition your body to a different, more doable schedule over time. If you try to change things suddenly, you’re going to run into problems from day one and will probably not be able to get enough milk when you pump. If you’re going back to work soon, try to get started working on this schedule before you have to go back. This way, you won’t confuse your body when you suddenly need to start pumping on your lunch break.
3. Store breastmilk safely:
You can keep breastmilk at room temperature for up to 6 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you store it in the fridge, make sure you keep it away from uncooked or undercooked food like raw eggs or fish. You can also freeze it for up to two weeks. No matter which way you choose to store your milk, make sure you keep it in a sterilized container such as a plastic bottle or breastmilk bag. You can keep it in glass bottles at room temperature or in the fridge, but don’t keep glass bottles in the freezer or you may risk them cracking or fracturing.
4. Encourage milk flow:
Did youknow that you can encourage milk flow just by thinking about your baby? Pictures of your baby, sounds of your baby’s voice crying or cooing, or checking in on your baby with a webcam while you’re not around can all help encourage your milk flow to pick up when you need to pump. Some women have also reported seeing results when eating a lot of oatmeal, but there aren’t any scientific studies to back up this word-of-mouth recommendation as of yet.
5. Relax while you pump:
Make sure you’re very relaxed while you’re working on pumping. If you’re tense from a busy morning at work or nervous from watching something scary on TV, you’re probably going to notice less beneficial results. Stay relaxed and give yourself enough time to finish pumping before you need to get back to work or whatever else you may be doing at the time.
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For the most part, there’s no reason not to pump while you’re breastfeeding. In fact, in certain situations, you may find that it actually helps with your milk production or with other issues you may be experiencing during your breastfeeding time. Just remember that it’s always important to speak to your child’s pediatrician as well as to your own doctor before making this type of decision. Understanding all the possible risks and benefits is a crucial step toward making the right decision about anything you may change in your child’s diet or lifestyle.