As a new or expecting mum you might be overwhelmed by the idea of breast pumping (which is completely normal!) Whether you are exclusively bottle feeding, increasing your supply or heading back to work, there are a few tips we have gathered from other mums like you to make it as easy as possible to fit into your everyday life.
1. Regulate your supply
It's best to establish breastfeeding first (if you are able/ choose to of course) before pumping, so your supply has time to regulate and your baby is confident breastfeeding before introducing a bottle. Of course this isn’t always possible as lots of mums don’t breastfeed for a multitude of reasons, in which case it will just take some time for your body to regulate pumping milk, the same as it would breastfeeding.
2. Practice at home
If you are going back to work it’s much easier for you to start a few weeks before regular pumping so you can get comfortable with the breast pump and fit it into your daily routine. It will take a little while for this to work like clockwork but it will help reduce any anxiety of pumping in public places if you have practiced beforehand and you are comfortable with what you are doing.
3. Don’t get disheartened
Babies are always more efficient at extracting milk than a breast pump, so don't get disheartened if you collect less than your baby usually feeds. This will take time and the amount of milk will naturally fluctuate more than breastfeeding. Just keep going, you are doing a great job!
4. Stick to your schedule
Try to pump as often as you would breastfeed where possible. We know this can be hard when you are trying to get back into a routine and daily life will always get in the way but it will make it much easier for your body and also for you to know when to allocate time to pump especially if you are going back to work.
5. Make sure the pump fits
This may seem obvious but using the wrong sized nipple attachment for your breast can cause pain and discomfort. If you are struggling to use a breast pump and feeling any sort of pain, we would advise checking that the attachment is the correct size for your breast as this could be the cause.
6. Think about your clothing
If you are pumping at work or out in public it will be easier to wear something stretchy or that opens at the front for easy access. You don’t want to have to undress every time you pump!
7. Look after yourself
Our most important tip is to take care of yourself! Make sure to eat well, stay hydrated and take regular naps wherever you can to reduce stress and keep up milk production. Your milk supply needs all of these things to be able to operate and can effect how much you can pump.
All imagery supplied from Lola & Lykke.