Often we hear people say, breastmilk is the best. What they don’t tell you is how difficult it can get for a new mom. For some, it comes naturally while others struggle a lot when trying to latch on to a baby. Whether you face latching trouble or decreased supply, it can get frustrating.
So, for the mothers out there who want to breastfeed their babies but are facing these issues and finding breastfeeding more difficult than they thought, exclusively pumping can be of great help. It can also come as a blessing for working mothers who wish to give their babies breast milk.
Now, with that said, here is a list of 25 exclusive pumping hacks that will help you in becoming a pro at pumping.
1. Get an Electric Double Breast Pump: The first and most important exclusive pumping hacks is to Invest in a good quality double electric breast pump. These will help you increase your supply in less time as they are more efficient than a manual pump which means more milk in less time!
2. Buy a Pumping Bra: The second pumping hack is to get a good pumping bra. Pumping can get time-consuming and you may want to do something else in your free time instead of pumping. So, definitely invest in good quality pumping bras as they can allow you to pump while being hands-free. If you are short on money, you can also convert your old sports bra into a pumping bra by cutting holes.
3. Get a pump that suits your lifestyle: For exclusively pumping you will have to take the pumping gear with you wherever you go so as not to affect your supply. If you have a battery-operated pump, then you are good to go but if you have a pump that needs to be plugged in then consider getting a car charger. This way you can pump in your car as well.
4. Have a manual pump on hand in case of emergencies or if your pump needs to be repaired.
5. A nursing cover will help you in case you have to pump in public.
6. The sixth exclusive pumping hack is to build up the milk supply. Consider pumping 8-10 times a day. Especially for the first three months.
7. If you feel your supply dropping, these foods and herbs may help; garlic, ginger, fennel, fenugreek, and oatmeal.
8. Between 2 am to 5 am your body produces more milk. It may seem difficult to get up in the middle of the night for pumping even when the baby is sleeping but if you want to increase your milk, you will have to pump at night.
9. An oversupply of breastmilk will keep your freezer stash full. This pumping hack will help others in feeding the baby in case you have to go somewhere. Plus, you can also quit pumping early as you will have enough stash to continue feeding the baby for months even after quitting.
10. A lactation tea contains a lot of herbs beneficial in increasing your supply. So get some for yourself.
11. If you are struggling with a letdown, heat can help. Apply a warm compress to your breast or take a hot shower.
12. Massaging while pumping can help in getting more milk out.
13. It has been proven through science that smelling your baby’s head can trigger milk-producing hormones. So, keep your baby’s hat by your side while pumping as it can help you produce milk.
14. Skin to skin contact with the baby can help with letdown and thus it becomes easier to pump more milk. You can also pump on one side while the baby is breastfeeding on the other.
15. If you feel your supply dwindling, try using power pumps. This is an important exclusive pumping hack. It is a useful tool to increase milk supply as it copies the baby’s cluster feeding habits to produce more milk. It involves numerous pumping sessions infrequent progression.
16. Store your breast milk in the freezer in a horizontal position. In this way, the bags take up less space in the freezer and thus allowing for more bags to be stored.
17. Use flanges as a funnel to pour milk from bag to bottle as it will prevent milk from spilling (worst thing that can happen to a pumping mother).
18. As you can’t refreeze the milk that has been thawed, try not to fill the storage bags to the brim. Instead, fill each bag at about 4 to 5 ounces. You can use two bags if the baby is really hungry. This way you won’t have to waste half of the milk.
19. If you store the sterilized parts of your pumping equipment in a fridge in a ziplock bag between your pumping sessions, you will only have to sterilize it once a day.
20. As precious as your pumped milk is, it is also perishable. Utilize the oldest milk first. Write the dates on the storage bags and put them in an organized manner (oldest on top, new at the bottom) to make sure that the oldest milk is being consumed first. Also, never refreeze thawed milk. Discard it if not in use.
21. Use recycled cardboard boxes to create a partition in the freezer or buy freezer containers to store milk in an efficient and organized manner.
22. Relaxed pumping sessions will yield more milk. This can be achieved by sitting in a comfortable position on a comfortable chair, listening to calming music, reading a good book, or watching your favorite TV show.
23. Sleep well, stay hydrated, and consume a healthy diet. A lactating mother needs even more calories than a pregnant woman.
24. Stay away from things that decrease oxytocin. Decreased oxytocin means less milk. Things that affect oxytocin levels negatively are; pain, fear, sadness, alcohol, cold, and worrying.
25. It is important to leave at least one inch of space between the top of the freezer and your stash because liquids expand when they freeze.
Exclusive pumping hacks that can turn you to a pro!
Above are super 25 exclusive pumping hacks for you. Although it is difficult and it will require lots of effort but with a little patience and perseverance, you will get the hang of it. Just try these hacks if you are facing supply issues and before you know it, you will pump a lot more milk than you need. Happy pumping!