Your tips for exclusive pumping moms

June 07, 2013

Bottles_of_Pumped_Breast_MilkAre you an exclusively pumping mom?

We asked fans on our Facebook page for their best tips on exclusive pumping, and here is what you told us!*

Pumps and other supplies

“Get a hands free bra or at least cut holes in a bra so you have free hands.”

“Get extra parts.”

“Consider getting bigger flanges.”

“Store a nursing cover in your pump bag in case you can’t pump in a discreet place. I pumped while riding in the car quite a few times.”

“Even if you have a double electric pump, you should periodically rent a hospital pump to help maintain supply.”

“Change membranes once a month or if they break to increase suction.”

Managing frequent pumping

“Put your parts in the fridge when done pumping so you don’t have to wash them until the end of the day.”

“Set up a calm environment, an iPad with Netflix (I went through several TV series that I had never gotten around to watching).”

“Find a place to put your child while pumping that they like.”

Pumping

“Follow the ‘rules,’ especially in the beginning.”

“Manually express after you finish pumping. It really helps with supply.” (See Stanford University’s ‘Hands on Pumping’ video’)

“Holding baby if you can while feeding helps let down. I pump while nursing but I can not pump without hearing him cry or seeing him.  I’d suggest an MP3 of baby’s hunger cry to listen to if she is unable to hold baby or exclusively pump.”

“Pump every time your baby eats the first 12 weeks.”

“The old 15-20 minutes of pumping [advice] is not going to allow you to keep your supply (unless you have over supply).  Most EP’ers pump for 30-45 minutes.”

“Clean out each breast [fully empty] to avoid clogs.”

“Don’t get stuck on the idea that you should let down at the industry standard of 2 minutes (as electric pumps are set).  Better for your pumping output and breast care to know if you need more time at the let-down setting before proceeding to expression setting.”

“Lube the shields up with olive oil to help with friction.”

“Manual expression for when you don’t have your pump available. It can also help you to increase your supply and empty your breasts more completely.”

Learn “How to increase supply when baby goes through a growth spurt. I get asked for help/advice on that frequently.”

“I still pump for my son who’s 14 months and it frees me up at work to play on my phone, catch on work or reading.  It makes the time pass easier if I am free to find something to do.”

“Try different things.  There is no one way to exclusively pump.”

Support and attitude

“Support from loved ones was a necessity.”

“Get help and support or you can feel like the only one.”

“So many of my pumping friends quit early because they felt it was such a strange experience.  They didn’t like feeling like ‘milk cows.’  So I worked on spending my time pumping (when my daughter wasn’t around at least) meditating on what a great thing I was doing for myself and my daughter. Focus less on the awkward and more on the awesome!”

“Don’t give up!!!  It’s tough to exclusively pump..at least for me I felt like all I did was feed my son, pump, change diapers and repeat!  The worst was growth spurts.  I had to pump constantly to get my supply up every time!  Still doing it 10 weeks in and wouldn’t change a thing!”

Resources

“There’s a great group on FB for exclusive expressing with every tip they could ever want or need and supportive women in the same boat.”

“Babycenter.com has a great exclusive pumpers board.”

“Natural Parents Network: 35 Tips and Tricks for Pumping Mamas.”

LactMed and other resources regarding medications and herbals” (see Infant Risk Center)

*Some of these tips we received from more than one reader.

Image credit:  Wikimedia Commons

Tags: breastfeeding breastmilk breastpump exclusive pumping hands free pumping bra hands on pumping hospital grade pump let down nursing cover plugged ducts pump flanges




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