Monday, February 2, 2015

Tips from exclusive pumpers

This post will be about tips I have learned during my pumping experience, as well as what other pumping mama's have shared with me. I hope you find this helpful and please leave comments if you don't see a tip you found helpful during your pumping experience or if you have a question about something you don't see here.

- You should be treating your pump like it is your baby; you should be pumping every 2 hours. (2-3 is recommended and 8-12 pumps per day is also recommended, including 1-2 pumps during the 12am-6am hours (middle of the night- MOTN)) Keep up this schedule for at least the first three months. 

-pump for at least 20 minutes. It may take you longer to empty (for some moms it takes 20 minutes, others I found it could take up to 60 minutes. It NEVER took me 60 minutes, but as I dropped pumps it would take me a little longer to pump in the morning. Longest ever was 45 minutes. 

I always pumped 5 more minutes after I emptied (just had small drips) especially in the first 3 months to stimulate or "tell my breasts" that I needed more milk or to make sure I didn't get another let down. 

-Massage while pumping. It will help get the milk out. A pump will never empty you as well as a baby so massaging really helps push the milk out. 

-Use the let down button on your pump. I never knew what this was for until I finally asked! It will help possibly stimulate another let down. I would have 2-3 let downs during a pump, sometimes more. 

-get a hands free bra (holy miracle this saved. My. Life!!) You can make your own hands free bra with a sports bra by cutting two small holes in the bra where your nipples are and you can put the flanges through there. This is the one I use.

Air out your tubes- the tubes are what connect the pump to your flanges. Sometimes they can get condensation in them (mine do all the time) if your pump parts are not completely dry. This is ok as long as you air out the tubes. To do this just leave your pump on for an extra 10-15 minutes unattached to the flanges. It will dry them out. 

Make sure you have the correct size flanges. It will make a huge difference in your pumping experience, as well as your output. I was using the incorrect size flanges and it was so painful. (I use a medela pump in style advance and the standard flanges that come with the pump are 24mm flanges. I use 30mm flanges. The sizes are:

-21mm S
-24mm M
-27mm L
-30mm XL 
-36mm XXL

Please see this website for more details to get the correct size flanges. See the "COMFY" word to help determine if your flanges are the right size. 

-Your diet is a HUGE factor in your supply. If you plan to exclusively pump (EP) long term (even breastfeed) don't plan to diet. You burn about 20 calories for every ounce you pump. I was pumping about 45-50oz a day for a while. That means I was burning 900-1,000 calories a day just by pumping.
-My go to meals were Thai, and burgers and fries from smash burger. Fajitas also allowed for a great morning pump! You want to make sure you're consuming more calories than you're burning in one day. 

Other foods that mom's have found helpful:

-coconut water

-Sleep is another factor. The more sleep you can get the better. Quite ironic since our little ones (LO's) are up every 2-4 hours :) 

-Drink water like it is your job! staying hydrated is very important to maintaining your supply.

-Try and make sure you're as relaxed as possible during your pumps. Try thinking about your baby, looking at pictures and/or videos.

-Don't be afraid to pump in public, or anywhere else for that matter. It's hard to work up the courage to pump in public or in front of anyone, but eventually you'll get the hang of it!

-Do your research on pumps; some are better than others. Medela is a very popular brand and I have two of them. I have the Pump Instyle Advance (PISA) and the Free Style. The PISA is my favorite pump and I will recommend it to anyone I talk to who is looking for advice. The Free Style is a great pump if you're traveling. It is battery operated and it's very small.


-when pumping use coconut oil go "line your nipples so they slide nicely through the flanges

When freezing breastmilk lay the bags flat so they stack better in the freezer/deep freezer. 

-Refrigerate your pump parts! You only need to clean them once a day!! It saves so much time! 

-If you find that it takes you a long time to empty or you get clogs often try taking Lecithin. (sunflower is better than soy) 

-after milk sits undistubed for a while it will separate into hind and fore milk. You will want to swirl the fat back into the milk. Do not shake the bottle. If you find you cannot get the fat off the side of the bottle run it under warm water for a minute or so. Not hot water. You don't want to curdle the milk. 

This post will be updated as I remember or think of more tips! Please feel free the leave comments of tips you have! 

No comments:

Post a Comment