9 Tips for Using a Breast Pump
Breastfeeding your baby is an intimate act. The warm, comforting feeling of nursing affects the flow of milk, which is controlled by hormones that are highly sensitive to our emotional state. This is why having something that reminds us of our baby is one way to help milk to flow more freely when expressing milk with a breast pump.
Many mothers carry a photo of their baby with them, or perhaps a piece of clothing that smells like them. If they pump milk while out and about, some mothers call home to hear their baby’s voice. This happens because the milk flows more easily when the mind is stimulated with memories of the baby – even from a recording.
And even though picturing your baby is a very effective strategy to stimulate milk flow, the main thing that you can do to use your breast pump correctly and efficiently is to relax.
Breastfeeding is the bond of love that makes our children healthy, strong and happy
For many women this is obvious, but then, we often overlook the obvious. In any case, remember that to use this device, you must be relaxed. Otherwise, you will not achieve much.
So, if you are out of the house and you are going to pump milk from your breasts, try not to think about everything that you have to do when you get home. Forget about that last meeting at work. Go somewhere calm and comfortable to pump milk, where you can relax and think about your baby.
Using a breast pump is effective while breastfeeding
If you are going to use a breast pump at home, there are some tips that can help you to relax a little more, and can make the experience less painful. You can apply heat to your breast before and during pumping. Heat helps to dilate the vessels that the milk flows through, making it easier to express.
However, if your breast feels full, tense and painful, it is a good idea to apply a technique called “reverse pressure softening”, in addition to heat, before beginning to pump.
It is also a good idea to massage your breast before using a breast pump. Before expressing milk, give your breast a gentle shake. During pumping, use light compression massage.
Similarly, you should take your breast away from the pump from time to time. Shake your breast lightly, and when the device starts pumping again, the milk will flow more easily.
Another trick is to use the pump while your baby is nursing. This way, you can take advantage of the reflexes that your baby stimulates as they nurse, using the other breast to fill the container where you will store the milk. Remember, nothing gets milk flowing like a baby. The easiest time to use a breast pump is when you are feeding your baby with your other breast.
Stress can inhibit the flow of milk, so it is best if, in addition to being relaxed, you can do something enjoyable while you use the breast pump.
Many women entertain themselves by reading, watching television or chatting to a friend while they pump milk from their breasts. This state of relaxation will help you to get all the milk out.
In fact, one tip for using a breast pump is to go back to the first breast when you have finished with the second. A little more milk may flow, even though you emptied it out before.
It is very important to get all the milk out from your breasts. The last little bit of milk is fattier, and if it doesn’t come out, your production may drop. The more you pump milk, the more you will produce. The only thing that increases milk production is emptying out the breasts periodically.
Practice makes perfect
Using a breast pump requires experience, which you will gain with patience and practice. The more you practice it, the easier and faster it will be, so don’t lose hope if you have problems at the beginning. As we all know, practice makes perfect.
Remember that there is no magic formula or perfect solution. Some tips will work perfectly for some women, while others will be less effective.
The ideal is for you to find what fits in best with your day, and arrange your schedules and routines around that. There is not a right time to use a breast pump. Some prefer to pump milk in the morning, others at night, and every mother has to find the moment that works best for her.