The many benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby are well documented, but it’s not always convenient to nurse your child. And sometimes it’s downright impossible, due to life circumstances. The solution? Pumping.
It’s ideal if you’re going back to work or trying to increase your milk supply. It also allows your baby’s dad, caregiver, or other family members the opportunity to bottle feed your baby.
Let’s face it: Pumped milk offers much-needed flexibility for mom and baby. But it can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. It feels a little strange because it’s a new skill to learn (after all, you’re hooking yourself up to a machine), and it sometimes can be frustrating to figure out.
Every mom has questions about the process. The good news is that there are lots of ways to make it easier and more natural. Pumping even for a few minutes rather than your usual amount of time is still beneficial. For additional information, check out these 19 tips.
We asked our Facebook fans for their top tips.
“Drink plenty of water and don’t stress over the times that you can’t pump on your normal schedule. If that happens, when you can, squeeze in an extra pump session or two and your supply will perk back up!”
“I pump in the morning, place seven to eight ounces in a bottle for dad, and the rest I donate.”
“Pump on one side every time you nurse on the other. Add in an extra pumping time (mine was 5 a.m.) when the baby isn’t nursing.”
“I pump an hour before I nurse to keep my supply strong.”
It’s okay to experiment—the techniques that work for some moms may not work for others. Once you find out what works best for you, pumping breastmilk will become more natural and surprisingly satisfying. And both you and your baby will benefit from your efforts.