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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!