15 pumping secrets for breastfeeding moms

pumping secrets for breastfeeding moms

15 pumping secrets for breastfeeding moms

With a 3 and 5 year old, I am out of the pumping world but I did nurse/pump both boys for 1 year each.  As most nursing moms understand, the whole concept of increasing your milk supply becomes your world.  The amount of stress you get from just producing 1 oz less can make you lose hair.

My body wasn’t the type that just naturally produced a ton of milk, I had to work hard at it.  I had ups and downs throughout the entire year but to all my nursing moms out there, try not to give up :).  If it gets to a point where you are just more stressed then happy, then I say let it go..you tried and that is all that matters.

As a full time working mom who travels for work quite a bit, nursing and pumping was definitely not the easiest thing to take on as a mom but I figured it out one way or another like we all do…it’s the “mommy superpower” 🙂  Here are some tips from my experience:

  1. No matter what stay relaxed.  This is easier said then done.  I have pumped in bathroom stalls between meetings or even in my car but your level of relaxation has a huge impact on how much you pump.  Keep a magazine or go through the pictures on your phone while pumping.
  2. Lubricate BEFORE pumping:  Lightly lubricate the flanges of your pump before starting.  This will reduce the chance of air pockets and keep the suction strong while pumping.  You can use anything like olive oil or coconut oil to do this.
  3. Pump often not longer:  A lot of moms may think pumping for longer makes more milk come out.  It doesn’t…the more often you pump, your body thinks it has run out of milk so it will start producing more.
  4. Night Pump:  This takes a lot of determination.  I pumped at night every night for a year at 3am.  Working full time I never wanted the stress of not having enough milk when I wasn’t there and this helped me build my extra “stash” in the freezer.
  5. Stay on routine:  Don’t skip pumping sessions because your supply will drop. If you skip you are telling your body that your baby didn’t need a feed at that time so don’t make more milk.  It’s hard to keep a routine at work, I get it and it will take time to get on a good schedule but stick with it.
  6. Chug Water:  Chug a glass of water like 5 minutes before you pump.  Hydration is key for milk supply.  Your body really needs that water to produce milk.  Try making this home made tea to increase your milk supply.
  7. Start pumping early:  This is especially for working moms who won’t be home with your baby.  Even as a new born, it sounds impossible because they feed so often, sneak in a 10 minute pump between feeds.  In the long run your body will produce more milk.
  8. Sneak in an AM pump session:  You produce the most milk in the morning.  I used to feed my little one right after my shower then try to squeeze in a 10 minute pump before I started work.  If you don’t have time..invest in a hands free bra…this is a MUST for busy moms.
  9. Stronger suction doesn’t mean more milk:  Yes we all want to do it..turn it to the highest setting and get the most milk out…start slow mommas and gradually increase as you pump.
  10. Invest in extra flanges and bottles:  The process of cleaning those bottles and pump parts while trying to run to a meeting just isn’t realistic!  Buy an extra set of parts so you can hold off on washing everything until you get home.  It is so worth the money!
  11. Build a stash:  Pumping early is key so start freezing small amounts of milk. That way when you have something come up and you can’t nurse…you always have backup.  This will really relieve stress on you.
  12. Nurse more on the weekends: Nursing your baby boosts milk supply better than pumping, so when you are home try to nurse more often.  Even if it is small feeds, each time your body is learning it needs more milk.
  13. Your supply will fluctuate during your menstrual cycle:  Once you start getting your periods, your supply will drop for a few days.  Totally normal but to make up for it, try eating more oatmeal and drinking more water.  It is also important to pump a bit more at this point to keep up the supply
  14. Invest in Angled Pumping Flanges:  I know it sounds weird but your back starts hurting after leaning over each time you pump.  The way this is designed it helps your flow of milk without hurting your nipples so much.
  15. Each time you pump, give yourself a pat on the back!  This is NOT an easy process and it shows how much you a mom are willing to do for your child.  No matter how long you nursed/pumped…ALL YOU MOMS ROCK!

17 Comments

  • Sarra

    Please help me. I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my first child and I really want to nurse my baby girl but I can’t memtally grasp the idea of putting my boob into a babies mouth. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to
    be immature about this or offend anyone because I think women who nurse absolutely rock! Everytime I think of the idea of having to nurse or pump I honestly tear up because it seems so hard for me to do and I want it so much. Any suggestions? How can I memtaly prepare myself to breastfeed?

    • Brianna

      I completely understand. Congrats btw. When i was pregnant with my first i was basically bullied by the midwives into doing everything natural. I was so against breastfeeding (in my head my boobs were ment for cute tops and attracting my man) because they were such bullies but once my daughter was born i was a little out of it and they put her on my chest and she went to latch right away and I fell in love with the experience. I was only able to breastfeed her for 10 days but i did my best and now im pregnant again 20 weeks along and I cant wait to give it another try, Itll be different since im having twins but im still excited. Its your Choice and it may be amazing but then again it may not be your thing its your baby no one elses! Good luck

    • Lauren

      I was the exact same way. I wanted to nurse but didn’t think it was natural for my nipples to be in my baby’s mouth. Once your baby gets here and you nurse for the first time it will seem a little uncomfortable and weird BUT the more you do it the more comfortable you become and the more you enjoy being able to feed your baby. The best feeling is that NO ONE will have the bond of feeding your baby like you will. Others can can feed her with a bottle of pumped milk but the bond that comes from her latching onto you and you knowing there is no one that can give this to her but you- IT’S PRICELESS!!!!

    • Chelsea

      Just remember that that what boobs are intended for. That’s why we have them. If the idea of putting your breast into your babies mouth weirds you out, you could try using a nipple shield. Or even just investing in a really great pump and pump your milk for you baby. That way she gets the benefits from the breast milk, without being put on your boobs.

      The idea of breast feeding seems strange, up until that moment when your baby is placed in your arms and that mommy instinct kicks in. You never know until you Atleast try it once.

    • Brandy

      I can tell you the feeling of feeding baby from breast vs a man sexually using your breast is totally different. The idea is hard to wrap our head around sometimes. I was a first time mom at 18 so I know exactly how you’re feeling and now 10 years later I just had my second and am nursing now…but like others have mentioned once baby gets here and you actually experience it you will not be freaked out anymore. I wouldn’t change it for the world!! Don’t stress about the uncertainty, take all the advice from the lactation consultants and nurses while you are in the hospital. I am not one to take direction well all the time…. especially when I think I know what I’m doing….but they are the experts and their advice really does help. I hope everything goes well with your little one, congrats!!!

    • Meghan

      I felt the same way before I had my first baby, but after you get the hang of it…and trust me it is frustrating in the begining, you will start to feel empowered by it, and the bond is amazing! Good luck!

  • Kels

    Try to look at it in a way that you, yourself are providing the nutrients that your baby needs. It is a beautiful and natural thing, I am currently breastfeeding my 8 month old and it’s so rewarding knowing that I can do that for her.
    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

  • C

    Sarra, you are not alone. When I was pregnant I felt weird about nursing, though I wanted to very much, because I had always thought of my breasts as sexual appendages. I went on to nurse my son for 2.5 years. As a mom, things that seemed weird or odd to me changed and I came to think of my breasts more like bottles in my first nursing session. My biggest advice to you is to get help from mature and reliable friends who can encourage you, La Leche League or a lactation consultant. Most of all, stay off the internet with this. Too many haters.

  • Jo

    I felt the same way but when the baby came my motherly instincts just kicked in. I no longer view my breast the same. They are merely feeding tools for the baby and I can even breastfeed in public (using a cover since my husband doesnt want creeps looking at us lol). Try hiring a lactation consultant becasue it is a hard task to do properly. Took me a while to get the hang of it.

  • R. Marshall

    Once the baby arrives everything changes and you will be willing to do anything for them.
    Try and relax and don’t worry about it so much right now. Find out if your hospital has a Lactation Consultant and arraigned for her to come to your room as soon as you get there with your baby and it’s time to nurse.
    Just think of it as you giving food to your baby and that the breast is simply a wonderful way to do that.
    Good Luck and congratulations.

  • Rachael

    Thank you for your tips. I had a baby in June and he was not gaining weight so I had to start supplementing. All I can get when I pump is about 2 oz. I am not ready to give up, but I am about to start teaching and it’s about to get even more stressful. Your tips were very helpful and if there is anything else yoj can share please do. Did you only get up once at night, 3 am?

    • Neesha

      Hey Rachael,

      I love that you are so determined. I did only get up once a night because if I did twice a night I would not be able to function at work. Just stay on routine as much as you can with your pumping and if you supplement try and make sure you pump. Good luck with it all and give yourself a big congrats for staying so determined 🙂

  • Shannon

    Girl I felt same way I tried with my other girls but I pumped with them for about 4-5 months, my 3rd baby I breastfeed her every two hours, gonna prolly start pumping son but I want to get ahead first, but you do whatever you feel, I’d say at least try to breastfeed once, its addicting lol, also its free, and you will save soooo much money!!!!! So I’d at least try and give it a chance.

    • Shannon

      Oh btw way its 7:41am when I left the comment, don’t know why it says the wrong times hahaha

    • Puja

      This is so true, and yes exclusive breastfeeding is definitely awesome. Thank you!

  • Jessica

    Hi I’m a mom of a 7 , 5 and now a 3 week old baby girl,
    From her first day she latched on right away and has a pretty strong latch! But I haven’t been producing enough milk for her. I had to take her to emergencies when she was 1 weeks old because she wasn’t having bowel movements for over 48 hours! I was told to breastfeed and give her formula which I have been doing.
    She loves to be latched on but she gets frustrated because she is hungry and it’s not coming out fast enough and there’s isn’t enough supply coming out of me either

    What can I do? I have tried the pink stork liquid gold, also the upspring milk flow capsules and no luck

    Any advice?

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