Congratulations on breastfeeding! Being able to breastfeed your child is the best option for you and your baby’s overall health. However, breastfeeding isn’t always the most convenient method for most busy moms I know.
What about when you go back to work? Have to run errands? Or are away from your baby for a couple of hours? You may want to invest and think about getting a breast pump.
So, to help prepare you for this lovely journey, I have put together some tips on how to start using a breast pump.
Get One Covered By Your Insurance
You should be able to get a breast pump from your insurance company. Call your insurance to find out the brand of breast pump they can cover. Then find out how to obtain it. I was anxious when I first thought about getting a breast pump because I wanted to make sure my insurance could cover it. I actually ended up waiting until after my baby was born to get my breast pump.
But, luckily I encountered no problems in obtaining my pump. It was an easy process, and my husband was actually able to pick it up for me several days after our baby arrived home.
Have It Ready To Go
Buy the compatible products you need. I registered for bottles by the same brand, so they connect to the pump. Sanitize everything and be ready to use it, so that when your milk comes in, you can start pumping and begin a stockpile right away. This will be helpful in case you are unable to pump when you need to. Storing milk is also good in case you don’t produce enough milk.
It is important to note though, that the more you pump, the more you’ll need to. People were surprised that I didn’t need to continually pump. However, every child is different, and your body will quickly adjust to the amount of milk your little one needs.
Don’t Wait Too Long
For some reason, I was intimidated at the thought of using my breast pump. There was nothing wrong with it; I just felt overwhelmed at everything that needed to be done to start it. I didn’t want to have to read the manual or clean any parts. I just wanted to feed naturally and be with my little one. Once I finally did use it, I realized it was not as bad as I had made it out to be. It’s very simple.
But, because I waited too long to start it, my baby never took a bottle, meaning that she went wherever I did. I can’t remember when I did start pumping, but I didn’t introduce a bottle until three months. Fortunately, I am very blessed by such a happy, easy-going baby so I love taking her along with me. It’s important to realize that even the best-behaved baby can have trouble adjusting from the nipple to a bottle.
My baby girl has been drinking from a sippy cup for the last couple of months and loved it. If I could go back and redo it, I would have started pumping and introduced it earlier to save on all those shed tears. Make sure you do wait a month before introducing a bottle, as recommended by doctors.
Find What Works
Find the best time of day that works for your milk supply. Some people can pump out more when doing it in the morning. Others find that the evenings work best because they are more relaxed and don’t have to rush. The shower has also been helpful to women in producing more milk, even after feedings. Another tip that may work if your baby only feeds on one side at a time is to pump on the other breast right after feeding.
Purchasing a pumping bra may be a good investment, as it will hold the bottles for you and allow you to pump hands-free. Or you can make your own by cutting holes through a sports bra. Get a double pump if possible because they will help to save time. To save the stored milk, store it in small batches so that none is wasted. Remember, you can always defrost it.
Pump at Work
Working mothers have to figure out when/where they can pump while at work. Most companies are willing to provide a separate room to nurse in. Ask your boss and make it clear that this is a priority. Then stick to the priority and don’t let yourself skip it.
Keep extra bottles and pump equipment at work in case you forget or don’t want to be washing them at work. You will also need a way to store the pumped breast milk, so I recommend using a cool insulated storage bag with an ice pack.
Some women have found that thinking about the baby, looking at pictures, or smelling something of the baby’s can help the milk flow. Find some enjoyable activity to do while pumping at work to make it seem less tiresome.
In conclusion, using a breast pump will allow you to keep up your milk supply and extend the breastfeeding timeline. It is also a great way to catch liquid gold when you have to be away from your infant for a long amount of time. Starting the breast pumping process the right way will help to set you up for success. Pumping can become inconvenient and annoying, but just remember why you are doing it. Happy pumping!
For more information, check out our reviews on the Top 10 Breast Pumps Of The Year.