Whether you’re returning to work or planning for a night out with the girls, pumping offers breastfeeding moms a little bit of freedom. That being said, you may feel some stress when you think about the logistics of it all. For example, how do you fit pumping into your already full schedule? Don’t worry, mama. We’ve got some ideas to help you seamlessly integrate pumping into your day.
Add pumping to your regular on demand breastfeeding schedule
If you’re able, continue to breastfeed your baby according to their usual schedule. For most babies, that’s about every two to three hours, though that may vary at different times of the day and as baby grows. To get the most out of those normal feeding sessions, pump the breast that baby is not nursing. That allows you to meet your newborn’s demands while also collecting milk for storage.
Use a newborn’s nursing schedule as your guide
If you’re unable to breastfeed on demand due to work, travel, latching difficulties, or other challenges, use your newborn’s nursing schedule to plan out your pumping sessions. As previously mentioned, that’s probably a pumping session every two to three hours during the early months. As baby grows (or if situations don’t allow for that frequency), every three to four hours will suffice.
Try cluster pumping
When they’re going through growth spurts, babies tend to “cluster pump.” That means that they nurse more frequently in shorter bursts. You can mimic this feeding style by breaking up a twenty-minute pumping session into three ten-minute pumping sessions with a five-minute break between each expression.
Add a morning pumping session
Many women tend to have fuller breasts in the morning, so try adding a session an hour before or after your baby’s morning nursing session. By the evening, most of us are tired and stressed, which inhibits the hormones that trigger the letdown effect, so adding an evening session is usually out of the question.
Recruit help and hold them to it
If you’ve got a partner in this thing called parenting, find ways to help them help you. Pumping does involve some assembly and maintenance, so ask your partner to take over that part so that you’re not solely responsible for the work involved in breastfeeding and pumping. Encourage your partner to take over some of the feeding sessions as well, using all that milk you’ve stored. You can add another pumping session while your partner cuddles and feeds baby.
Try a hands-free pumping bra to make sessions more productive
Okay, first, remember that you do not have to be productive all the time, mama. As a woman creating milk from her body, you’re doing work even when you’re doing nothing. However, we all know that even the most self-care-oriented mama often has a full to do list. A hands-free pumping bra paired with a lightweight, portable pump like the Evie or the BabyBuddha makes it a little easier to fit another pumping session into your schedule.
Find the right pump for your situation
A comfortable breast pump is critical to a successful pumping session. If you’re not sure which breast pump is right for you, get in touch with your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby. We can help you choose a pump that maximizes both your comfort and your breastmilk production.