Maximizing Pumping Sessions
Melissa Portunato MPH, IBCLC, RLC
Pumping breastmilk for your baby is a huge accomplishment, one that takes time, hard work, and patience. You are already juggling the work of caring for a newborn, maintaining a household, and possibly also working or heading back to school. Finding the time to squeeze into pumping can be a struggle and exhausting at times, but we can help lessen the load! Read on to learn practical tips to help you maximize your pumping sessions and say hello to more free time!
Stop Watching the Bottles
Relaxation is key when it comes to pumping. It is really hard to get milk flowing when you are staring at the bottles fill up slowly and stressing out. Find a comfortable place to pump, where you can feel most at ease. Cover up the bottles with a baby bootie or blanket. Take a deep breath in and out to relax any places of tension that you feel on your body, face, shoulders, and even your pelvic floor! Sip a cup of tea or glass of coconut water (nature’s hydration drink) and put on some soothing background music.
Do the “Milk Shake”
To get started, stimulate your milk ducts by gently shaking and massaging your breasts. Just a minute or two of massaging your breasts before a pumping session can help to stimulate your milk-producing glands, allowing for a faster letdown. Using hand stimulation or vibration on the breasts can help to dilate the milk ducts, increase circulation and encourage milk to flow. Applying warmth to your breasts can also help to maximize pumping sessions. Wrap up your flanges in a warmed towel or dishcloth before applying them to your breasts.
“Hands-on Pumping” is a technique that uses breast massage to drain the breast better and stimulate healthy milk production. Studies tell us combining hand expression, and breast massage while pumping can increase milk volume by 48%. Benefits of Hands-on Pumping are higher milk volumes, increased fat content, and less time pumping! Every breastfeeding mom should use Hands-on Pumping because it’s simple and maximizes pumping sessions!
Watch this video on Hands on Pumping while you pump!
Flange Size Matters
Having the right size flange can make a huge difference in your pumping output. So how do you know if it’s a proper fit for you? During pumping, your nipples should move freely in the tunnel, there should be space around the nipple, and very little of the areola should be drawn into the tunnel. If the flanges are too small, you may experience discomfort as the nipples rub up and down along the sides of the tunnel. If it’s too big, a large portion of the areola is drawn into the tunnel. Improperly fitted flanges can reduce your milk output. Spectra baby USA flanges come in several sizes, 20mm (S), 24mm (M), 28mm (L), and 32mm (XL).
Need breastfeeding support? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our highly skilled Lactation Consultants will continue to troubleshoot with you and help to get you on track with your pumping goals.
At Spectra Baby USA, we’re here for you and support you!
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