The Ins and Outs of Pumping

The Ins and Outs of Pumping

Little did I know the intricacies of breast pumping. Why do women pump? How to pump? How to assemble/clean the pump? All these are reasonable questions and I had to ask many friends and look at many blogs to figure all of this out. Women pump for many reasons including: allowing someone else to feed their baby when they are away or need a break from nursing, creating a milk supply for when moms return to work, and increasing their milk supply if they are having supply issues, to name a few. If you are pumping to create a breast milk supply for your little one, then pumping is the most efficient in the morning, women have the largest milk supply in the morning (another tidbit I didn’t learn in medical school), or 1.5 hours after you feed so that you have time to replenish before your next nursing session. If you are pumping to increase your milk supply, you should pump right after you nurse to make your body believe it has a higher demand and thus your supply will increase. How long to pump varies- it should mimic a nursing session. Some people pump based on time (20 minutes is what I recommend most patients), while others pump for a few more minutes after they notice they aren’t producing any more milk. How to assemble and clean a pump. Obviously follow your pump instructions but before I had a baby I didn’t realize there were so many different pump parts- the phalange, the piping, the bottles you pump into, storage bags…and most of these parts need to be cleaned. During the first three months of your baby’s life you will need to sterilize the pump parts- there are many options for this. We found using a machine like the babymoov to be easy, but all you need to do is boil hot water and put the parts in there. Make sure not to get the piping wet though!

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