Getting your breast pump to work the best for you
Depending on your anatomy, milk let down, how you work basically, sometimes your breasts need to get use to your pump and giving it an extra hand while expressing helps towards this.
Here are some effective ways
Relax as much as you can. Pumping is more effective when you do
The following list of tips may help you find your own routine. Pumping can even provide you with welcome breaks from everyday stress.
Establish a set time of day to express so your body can prepare for the extra demand on your milk supply.
Take your time. Stress impairs your let down, so feeling rushed will not help you. Try deep breathing exercises and positive thinking. Imagine your on the beach, relaxed in the warm sun.
Seek a private area with no or less distractions
Have everything you need ready and in reach
Apply warm compresses to your breasts to enhance let-down and milk flow, before you express. This can be a warm wet flannel or a wheat pack
- Massage breasts before pumping to encourage the let-down reflex.
Relax your shoulders and make sure your back and arms are well supported.
Hold the breast shield from your pump between your thumb and index finger. Use your palm and other fingers to support your breast. This helps maintain a good seal between your breast shield and breast and avoids too much pressure from the edge of your shield on the breast blocking milk ducts.
Expressing with your baby in the room is beneficial. If you cannot do then then look at a picture or smell an item of clothing from baby.
Have a drink and healthy snack before and after you express. Keeping well nourished and hydrated is an essential key to maintaining milk supply. It is so very important not to go hungry or dehydrated during these breastfeeding years, especially when you need to boost supply. SEE OUR BOOSTING SUPPLY TIPS HERE
Get as much rest as possible.
If you find that you are not getting as much volume of milk as you think then try these tips:
- Use the silicon breast massager ensuring it is tightly sealed around the edge.
- Ensure the nipple funnel on the breast shield is not too small for you causing friction. Request a larger shield
- While pumping apply manual hand expressing motions to the breast to help release milk ducts
- Ensure you are using the settings right. Refer to your manual. Start at a very low level and slowly make your way up. Most mothers do not need to go to max. If using the Forte do not turn the dial right up to max straight away. If using the Allegro start at 1 and slowly make your way up to level 4-5. It will create a memory for next time. If double pumping start at 4 and work your way up to 7.
- For the Minuet LCD, start with gentle massage mode and after 2 minutes move to expressing mode while only increasing suction approx every 30 seconds until you are comfortable and milk is flowing efficiently.
- Try pumping with one shield only. This can sometimes produce more flow for mothers than double pumping.
Read how to pump more milk using HANDS ON EXPRESSING here