pumping Tag

Mother is feeding newborn baby. A woman feeds a newborn with modified milk from a bottle.

Create the perfect pumping and breastfeeding schedule for you

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.

top tips for breastfeeding and pumping

Top 7 tips for combining breastfeeding and pumping

Pumping offers a number of benefits to breastfeeding mamas. Most nursing moms experience engorgement at some point. Pumping almost instantly relieves the pressure of engorged breasts. Worried about your breastmilk supply? Pumping stimulates milk production and allows you to store away milk for a future feeding – maybe even netting you a day at the spa (or work if that’s your thing). Pumping also allows your partner and other family members and caregivers to feed your little one, and you can even donate your extra milk to moms who aren’t able to breastfeed.

Use the following tips to help you make the most of your pumping sessions without interfering with those special skin-to-skin feedings.

#1 Breastfeed on demand when possible

Pumping will never replace the special bonding that happens when you nurse your baby, and on demand nursing actually boosts production during your pumping sessions. So go ahead and enjoy breastfeeding as your schedule allows.

#2 Pump frequently

Because breastmilk works by supply and demand, more pumping sessions means more breastmilk. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule 15─20 minute pumping sessions every three to four hours. Make the most of those sessions by double pumping.

#3 Avoid formula feedings

Formula is harder for infants to digest, which means it stays in their systems longer. That, in turn, means babies who are formula fed are hungry less frequently. Babies who aren’t hungry don’t breastfeed as often, and that interferes with the whole chain of supply and demand. In other words, the less your baby feeds, the less milk your body makes. If formula is a must, make sure to pump during formula feeding sessions to keep your milk supply up.

#4 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Your breasts naturally produce breastmilk from water, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in your body. Therefore, less water in your body means less breastmilk when baby is hungry. Besides that, water is good for you, mama! Hydration is a struggle we all face, even when we’re not breastfeeding, but it’s especially important to hydrate when you’re drinking for two.

#5 Avoid dehydrating foods and drinks

Even if you drink an abundance of juice, milk, water, and other hydrating fluids, you’ll undo the good work if you’re also consuming foods and drinks that dehydrate you. High salt snacks and high sugar beverages are two culprits that contribute to dehydration. Meats also tend to dehydrate as do fried foods. And of course, alcohol, coffee, and tea can lead to dehydration, which may interfere with breastmilk production.

#6 Try meditation

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase relaxation, which can in turn boost breastmilk production by more than 60%! It also turns your pumping session into a self-care session, which will make you even more relaxed during those precious breastfeeding sessions.

#7 Choose your breast pump wisely

A comfortable breast pump is important to maintaining your pumping practice and will help to boost your milk supply. Conversely, an uncomfortable pump could cause you to throw in the towel early if the discomfort is too distracting. 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.

How does suction intensity affect my milk supply?

How does suction intensity affect my milk supply?

How is breast pump suction measured?

If you check the product description of your favorite breast pump, you’ll see the suction documented as mmHG, or millimeters of mercury. The more mmHG, the more intense the suction. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we carry breast pumps with a range of suction intensity, from the Medela at a maximum strength of 240 mmHG to the BabyBuddha at a whopping 320 mmHG of maximum strength. In between, are Luna at 280 mmHG and Spectra at a maximum strength of 270 mmHG.

Main Takeaway: Breast pump suction, or vacuum, usually falls between 220 and 350 mmHG.

Is a breast pump with a stronger suction intensity better?

Suction does play a role in milk production. A study published in Breastfeeding Medicine analyzed the effect of strength of suction on the flow rate and volume of breastmilk using an electric breast pump. Mothers participating in the study expressed breastmilk for 15 minutes using a pump set at their own maximum comfortable vacuum. Then, they expressed at softer vacuums. The study found that milk flow was greater at the maximum comfortable vacuum, and cream content was higher.

Main takeaway: Pumping at the highest intensity you’re comfortable with is likely to lead to increased milk flow and cream content.

Maximum comfortable vacuum may vary from one mother to another (or even from one feeding session to another)

It hardly needs to be said that every mother is different and, therefore, every mother’s maximum comfortable vacuum will also be different. However, your maximum comfort vacuum may change from day to day and even from feeding session to feeding session. While pumping at your maximum comfort vacuum can increase flow, pumping at an uncomfortable suction can hinder milk flow. If a suction level is set too high, it can cause breast tissue to compress, which can block the flow of milk ducts and potentially irritate them. Furthermore, if the suction level is uncomfortable, your body is less likely to produce the oxytocin that helps stimulate letdown.

Main takeaway: Increase your suction intensity until it is just slightly uncomfortable, and then back it down to find your own, personal maximum comfort vacuum.

Talk to our consultants to learn more about the breast pump most likely to meet your needs

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we know that different moms need different pumping solutions. We’ve had years of experience helping all kids of moms find the best breast pump for their circumstances. Give us a call today to learn how we can help you find a breast pump that meets your needs and your budget. Many of our pumps are 100% covered by insurance.

Will pumping help me lose weight?

What is the “ideal” weight gain during pregnancy?

It’s healthy for women to gain weight during their pregnancy. How much weight gain is normal depends on your weight pre-pregnancy. A woman with a BMI of 18.5-24.9, considered by the CDC to be “normal weight,” should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. A woman who was underweight before pregnancy should put on a little more. A woman who is overweight or obese should put on less.

Women who don’t gain enough weight many deliver an undersized baby, which can make breastfeeding more difficult. It may also put the baby at increased risk of illness and developmental delays. Gaining too much weight can lead to a larger baby, which can result in delivery complications and potential childhood obesity.

Where does the extra weight go?

About 7 to 8 pounds of your pregnancy weight gain is actual baby weight. The rest of the weight gain shows up in larger breasts and uterus, placenta and amniotic fluid, increased blood and fluid volumes, and fat stores. These fat stores, which can account for up to 8 pounds of pregnancy weight gain, are critical to breastmilk production.

Nursing and pumping both help to trim the fat

The “extra” fat that your body gains during pregnancy isn’t actually extra at all. Your body is storing up the main ingredient in healthy breastmilk. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that breastfeeding and pumping breastmilk both lead to increased weight loss after delivery. Your body is using up those fat stores to feed baby. Not only are you shedding the fat that becomes the milk, converting that fat into milk burns about 500-700 calories per day.

One study found that weight loss from one to twelve months postpartum was “significantly greater” in breastfeeding than in formula-feeding women. Another study found that breastfeeding or pumping could have long term benefits. Women who breastfed for more than 12 weeks postpartun were on average 7.5 pounds lighter ten years after their pregnancy than those who did not breastfeed.

How often should you pump?

If you’re exclusively pumping, you can expect to pump 8 to 10 times per day to start. Over time, you may be able to pump less frequently. However, more frequent pumping will lead to speedier weight loss.

Continue to eat healthy while pumping and breastfeeding

It’s normal to want to drop those pregnancy pounds, but remember that they’re the building blocks of your baby’s healthy future. Don’t rush weight loss. Allow your body a month or two to heal and to establish your milk supply. Consume at least 1800 calories/day of nutrient-rich foods while you’re producing breastmilk. By pairing a healthy diet with breastfeeding or pumping, healthy weight loss will come naturally.

Choose a comfortable, easy-to-use breast pump

Choosing a pump that fits your lifestyle and your body will make it easier to pump more frequently and over a longer period of time. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we provide moms with a wide selection of the most comfortable, innovative breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories on the market. Our in-house experts can help you identify the pump that meets your needs.

Give us a call or email us today to learn more about our breast pumps and how to get one that is 100% covered by your insurance provider.