Using your breast pump to provide expressed milk for your baby is a great way to provide the nutrients of breastmilk to your baby, while also having the flexibility to always be available. We have found that many of our clients love pumping and find it as a great way to help involve partners, grandparents, and even overnight postpartum doulas in the care of their babies!
Here are some of our favorite tips for using your pump for infant feeding:
Ordering Your Breast Pump
Many insurances companies will now provide a breast pump to pregnant patients! This is a great benefit, but sometimes a bit tricky to navigate how to actually get one. We recommend speaking with your insurance company first and following their guidelines. Usually, they will require a prescription from your OB or midwife, and will then take care of the rest or connect you with a 3rd party pump distributor.
Learn About Your Breast Pump Preferences
Taking the time early to learn about what is important to you in a pump prior to ordering yours is helpful. Are you interested in a closed system or an open system pump? Are you concerned about having hands free? Where will you primarily be pumping and do you have the correct power adaptor? What about having a manual pump? Do you need a spacial hands-free bra?
While you may not know all these answers right now, you can start thinking about what is important to you and begin your search there.
Sizing Your Flange on Your Breast Pump
The flange, or part that goes over your nipple, should be sized to your breast size. Our friends at AeroFlow Breast recommend the COMFY test, which in short says the nipple should move freely in the pump (ie not jammed against the sides), only areola tissue should be in the flange during the pumping session (no breast tissue should enter the flange, and that it should be comfortable!
Hands On Pumping
Massaging your breast while pumping can help maximize your milk production. We highly recommend watching this great instructional video to learn a bit more about breast massage or speak with Emily, our breast massage expert.
Set Up a Comfortable Place to Pump
Just like the set-up you made for late night breastfeeding sessions, make sure your pumping station is equally as comfortable. If it becomes a chore to pump, it will become a less important part of your day.
Share the Love
With pumping comes freedom! Enjoy that new found freedom by sleeping through a feeding so your partner can take a night feeding, or enjoy a dinner out because you know your baby is being well taken care of you by your postpartum doula with freshly pumped milk.
After each pump session, develop a plan to clean your pumping parts. We highly recommend having a few extra parts so that you do not need to clean immediately after each feeding. A few of our favorite clean tips are:
Rinse or soak all parts as soon as possible after pumping
Buy new bottle brush and pumping parts every 6 months
Use micro-steam bags to clean the parts at the end of the day (tons of choices on Amazon)