Using a breast pump for pumping milk can prove to be of great use to nursing mothers who wish to go back to work. Read more on how to use it, in this article.
Breast milk can suffice the nutritional requirement of your baby during infancy. Human breast milk is rich in nutrients as well as antibodies. This helps in strengthening the baby’s immune system. While the advantages of breastfeeding cannot be questioned, career oriented women may find it difficult to keep up with the feeding demands of the baby.
During the first few weeks of a baby’s life, she needs feeding every few hours. It is not possible for a working mom-to-be present near the baby around the clock. Such women can benefit a great deal from using a breast pump. It is a device for expressing breast milk, which can be then stored and used as per the baby’s feeding needs. Baby’s father or any other caregiver can use this milk to feed baby while her mother is not around.
How to Use a Breast Pump Effectively
Breast pumps are available in two types: electric and simple hand held or manual pumps. The choice of pump primarily depends upon the utility. If you intend to use pumped milk only once a while, then you might benefit from a manual pump. On the other hand, working moms who will be out for several hours should go for electric pump. Pumping milk from electric pump is very simple and less time consuming. All you have to do is switch on the device and let it do its job.
All the breast pumps available in the market mimic the suckling action of the baby. Suction is used to express the milk out of the breast into the container. While electric breast pump uses electrical motor to create the suction, manual pump requires you to squeeze its handle to create sufficient suction. Given below is a step by step guide on how to use a manual breast pump.
- Breast pump comes with a flange which is to be attached to your nipple. So, your first step is to expose your nipples and attach a flange.
- Choose a quiet corner of your home and relax. Your milk production is triggered only when your body relaxes.
- Next, sit down and lean forward. Your let down reflex works best when you lean forward.
- Start squeezing the handle of the pump.
- Keep squeezing until you empty the entire breast. Repeat for the other one.
- Store the container in refrigerator or in a freezer.
Manual pump takes about 45 minutes to empty a breast, which is same as feeding time for baby. An electric pump can perform the same job in 15 minutes. You may invest in a double pump which works simultaneously on both breasts to cut the pumping time by half. Using hands-free breast pumps is also a good idea if you wish to pump milk while driving or working. A pumping bra can also help you to keep your hands free while pumping milk.
Expressing milk through a pump may seem a little strange in the beginning. However, with a little practice you will get a hang of it. It is recommended that you practice pumping a week or two before you are actually required to pump it. This will give you enough practice, thus you won’t waste time when you actually start working. Use a pump when your baby has fed or between two feedings. Pumped milk can be stored in refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days, whereas frozen milk can last up to 3 months.
You will realize that the more you pump, the more your body produces milk. As baby needs to be fed frequently during the first couple of months, you will need to pump milk whenever possible.