breastfeed and pump at the same time

How to Breastfeed and Pump at the same time

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There are many reasons why breast pumping is becoming increasingly popular today. The fact is many mothers want to give their babies natural breast milk. Knowing how challenging it is to pump breast milk, it is easy to imagine the trouble of breastfeeding and pumping at the same time. There are different reasons why you may want to pump breast milk such as:

  • The baby’s special needs or complications after birth which led to a brief hospitalization,
  • Baby’s inability to have a good latch,
  • The convenience of the process,
  • To return to work after the maternity period,
  • To involve your partner in every aspect of your baby’s growth.

Whatever your reasons may be, it may not be easy to breastfeed and pump at the same time. However, with a few useful tips and guidelines, you will be able to master some skills in order to breastfeed and pump at the same time. These tips include:

#1. Get the right equipment

This may sound mundane and irrelevant, but it is important if the pumping process is to be effective. You want to have a pump that fits your needs, taking into consideration the amount of milk production. Choose whatever feels more comfortable for you or suits you better. There are different Pumps with a lot of positive reviews such as a double pump like the Medela electric pump, a manual pump such as the Phillip Avent pump, or a single pump like the Medela Swing single electric breast pump should work for you.

#2. Speed and Suction

Do not use high-level suction, to begin with! It is more advisable that you start with low suction at a quick speed for maximum extraction. This will help to stimulate milk production and establish a steady flow. Once this is done, you may now lower the speed and increase suction.

#3. Relaxing is key

The importance of a quiet and stress-free environment while feeding cannot be overemphasized. It helps to focus your energies on the task at hand, and the same is true for pumping. Have things around you that help you relax, whether it be a pillow to recline on or a phone in which you can scroll through your baby’s picture.

Be in a good mood by either playing a game, watching television or listening to music. It could also be helpful to hold your baby close or to Skype with the baby if you aren’t together.

#4. Get a Routine

Set a blueprint of how you want to do it and let it guide you. In doing that, you may consider:

  • Pumping both breasts simultaneously thirty to forty-five minutes after nursing in the morning. This is because you are likely to have a higher volume of breast milk in the morning hours.
  • Pump one breast while nursing your baby on the other. The suckling action of the baby helps to release hormones that increase milk production. So, take advantage of that. Make the experience easy for your baby by using a storage bag instead of a container to ensure your baby is comfortable.
  • Try to pump before you go to sleep: After the baby has been settled in bed, take time to pump before you retire. It will afford you a chance to store more and have some milk to feed the baby in the morning.
  • Alternate as you pump: While you pump, switch back and forth between both breasts to let each gather some milk for you to collect. This process could also serve as a stimulant for the breast not being pumped.
  • Pump after breastfeeding: After nursing your baby, your body is still stimulated to produce milk and so there would still be some letdown of milk. This is a good time to attach your pump and extract a good quantity for your baby.

#5. Expression:

Skin to skin always works wonders. Therefore, as you pump, you can also try expressing and massaging the breast with your hands to help initiate let down. The skin to skin contact helps to improve the amount of milk extracted.

#6. Take short breaks

In your bid to store as much breast milk as possible for your baby, you may unknowingly forget yourself. The pumping process will be stressful, you will get it wrong the first few times. The best way to remain optimistic during the process is to take breaks to get some water and rehydrate. This helps to relax you and ensure that you come back with a freshly rested body. The rest may allow the body to recover some milk which you can then extract.

#7. Do not pump at every nursing

Although very tempting, breastfeeding and pumping simultaneously is not advisable all the time. Pick certain instances where you breastfeed and pump at the same time and others where you just relax while the baby feeds.

#8. Wait till you feel full

In your bid to store a lot of breast milk for your baby, you may be pushed to pump at any given opportunity. This is not advisable, it is, however, better that you wait till you feel full to be able to have an appreciable extraction for your baby.

#9. Pump what is required

Do not excessively pump in order to store more. This may lead to having a very dry nursing time where the baby cannot stimulate the breast enough to have adequate milk.

#10. Stick to your routine

Once you have a working pattern of how you pump your milk, be consistent. Also, take note of how frequently you need to pump per day and stick to it. The frequency of umping per day really depends on your baby’s age and weight and how much milk you can produce.  Do not skip days and do not change how often you pump.

Now you can breastfeed and pump at the same time

Using these steps will help you through the rigors of the entire process in one piece. It would also help to ease some problems along the way.

Ensure that all collected milk is properly stored to prevent any bacterial growth and the pumping equipment is washed thoroughly.

Finally, make sure you use your pumping equipment exclusively, letting another person use it is ill-advised and unsafe for you and your baby.

Check out the Ultimate Breastfeeding class to become a pro at breastfeeding within 90 minutes!

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