I’m going to be very honest here….I HATED pumping my breast milk. I found it extremely annoying and cumbersome. I just didn’t have that knowledge and I didn’t know where to turn for help. It is a steep learning curve, yet we’re pretty much left on our own to figure it out.
Why do folks pump their milk?
Great Question! Here is a list of common reasons:
- To establish or increase milk supply because:
- Mama has a low milk supply
- A parent delivered a baby prematurely and they’re unable to latch onto breast yet
- Wanting to chestfeed again (relactate) after a period of time
- Non-gestational, adoptive or transgender parents wanting to bodyfeed (yes its possible!)
- To store milk for future use
- People choosing to pump exclusively
- Maintaining milk supply while away from baby
- Maintaining milk supply while undergoing certain medical treatments
- They need to manage lactation after an infant loss, abortion or adoption
- Plans to donate their milk
- There is sexual trauma and having a baby latched onto the breast is triggering
- It is faster than hand expression
- Because they want to!
What types of breast pumps are out there?
There are all sorts of brands but you will find these common types:
- Electric pumps like the one I have
- Manual pumps
- Battery-powered pumps
Can I pump milk from both breasts at a time?
Absolutely! Especially when using a battery-powered or electric pump like Instagram mom Bree @mama.bree20
View this post on Instagram
I have a medical issue, how can I get advanced help?
There’s a list of resources currently in the links section of my website. For those local to New York City and need support from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), you can check out The Bridge Directory, The New York Lactation Consultant Association, and the Tri-State Breastfeeding Association.
So…How do I pump??
The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. website has an excellent page with great tips about expressing and pumping human milk. I like that they’re using the latest evidence from the body of lactation research. One extra tip though! There is no need to pump longer than 20 minutes in a single session! This tidbit may be in one of the shared links, I wanted to type it out directly since this is a common question. Here is a preview of their site to get you started: