Beginner’s Guide to Using Breast Pumps - Teddyy Diapers
Beginner’s Guide to Using Breast Pumps - Teddyy Diapers
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Beginner’s Guide to Using Breast Pumps!

By Teddyy 28 Aug 2023
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Whether you’re finally heading back to work, going out for an evening, or simply yearning for a break from breastfeeding, a breast pump can be your lifesaver.

This handy tool also helps you relieve breast engorgement, maintain your milk supply, and share feeding duties. But for new-moms, pumping might seem puzzling and intimidating at first (with the tubes, flanges, and suction, who wouldn’t be!?), but once you get the knack of it, you’ll find it to be a very valuable skill.

Here’s everything you need to know about using a breast pump!

Types of Breast Pumps

Let’s get familiar with the two main types of breast pumps:

Electric breast pumps: One of the most popular choices, and for good reasons too. These pumps are efficient, portable, and adjustable for both speed and suction. While these pumps require electricity to function, some models can run on rechargeable batteries so that you don’t have to worry about plugging in.

Manual breast pumps: Manual pumps are often the most affordable, portable, and are ideal for occasional use. Since there is no motor, these pumps work by the pressing motion of your own hand to express milk. While they can’t be compared to electric breast pumps, they provide a level of control that allows you to adjust the suction strength according to your comfort.

When to Use a Breast Pump?

If you are pumping for a single bottle, then the best time to pump is after your baby’s first morning feeding session. Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of milk to spare after the first feeding. Even if your breasts don’t feel very full, you can go right ahead.

However, if you want to pump for an entire day (maybe you have plans tomorrow, but want to continue breastfeeding your baby), then you’d have to pump more frequently than just the morning. Pump everytime your baby has a feeding; say, 6 am, 9 am, noon, 3 pm, and so on, and store that milk in the freezer for the next day.

You can also pump when your breasts feel painfully full to ease discomfort. On the other hand, pumping in addition to breastfeeding is also a great way to increase milk supply.

How to Prepare a Breast Pump?

If you are using a breast pump for the first time, follow the manual that came with the pump to assemble the pump. Make sure that every part of the pump that comes in contact with milk are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before the first use. Warm, soapy water, or hot water should do the job.

For regular use, after each use, disassemble the pump parts and rinse them with cool. Then, dry them with a clean, dry towel. Avoid using a cloth or paper towel as they might leave fibres on the pump parts. Oh, and it’s a good idea to completely sterilize them in hot water once a day, or every few days.

How to Use a Breast Pump for Beginners?

Most pumps come with an instruction manual for you, and the manufacturers should also have how-to videos online. But let’s take a look at how to use the two most popular breast pump choices!

How to use an electric breast pump?

Before we start, wash your hands. Now, assemble the pump and centre the nipple in the flange (the funnel-like part) and turn the pump on. Start with low speed and gentle suction level, and gradually increase until you find a comfortable and effective setting. Starting with a bang with an intense setting can be jarring to your body.

Sometimes, you may see nothing coming out in the first few minutes, and it’s normal. Just relax, take deep breaths, and think of your baby to encourage letdown. After about 8 minutes of pumping one breast, switch to the other. Your milk flow might differ between breasts, so don’t be alarmed if the milk expressed is uneven.

It’s important to pump for at least 15 minutes every pumping session, even if the milk stops flowing. This stimulates the breasts to maintain milk supply as your baby grows. If you pump only for a few minutes and stop, then you might notice your milk supply slowly decreasing, until the flow eventually stops sooner than it’s supposed to.

How to use manual breast pump?

Start by washing your hands. Assemble the parts of the breast pump and position the flange over your nipple. Gently squeeze the handle to create suction, causing the flange to seal to the breast. Now start squeezing the handle slowly and rhythmically, mimicking your baby’s natural sucking pattern.

Pump for 10 to 20 minutes, or until your hand gets tired. Then, switch to the other breast.

Also remember, breast pumps shouldn’t hurt. If you notice blisters or chafing on your breast or nipples, try reducing the breast suction and make sure you’re using the right size of flange for you. The flange should surround your nipples closely but leave enough space for it to move back and forth without rubbing.

That’s it! With little practice and patience, you’ll get the hang of breast pumps, and they can make your journey of motherhood a little bit easier.

Before you go, we have something more for you. Apart from feeding, which occurs every 2 to 3 hours, there’s another task that happens just as frequently – diaper changes! And what better diaper to provide for your baby than Teddyy Diapers?

Teddyy Diapers are arguably one of the best diapers for newborns. They are super-soft and breathable with stretchable waistband and are designed with a special navel protection feature that ensures your baby’s umbilical cord area can heal and is well-cared for. So, while you’re busy tending to your little one’s needs, Teddyy Diapers have got your baby’s bottom covered!

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How do I prepare my breast for a breast pump?

Preparing your breasts for pumping is essential to ensure a comfortable and effective pumping session:

  • Massage: Gently massage your breasts before pumping to stimulate blood flow and encourage milk letdown.
  • Heat therapy: Applying a warm, damp cloth or taking a warm shower before pumping can help relax your breast tissue and make pumping easier.
  • Relaxation: Stress can impact your milk flow, so find a find a quiet, relaxing space, take a few deep breaths, and try to unwind.
How to most effectively use a breast pump?

To use a breast pump most effectively:

  • Stay consistent: Aim to pump around the same time each day to establish a routine.
  • Pump after feeding: This can help signal your body to produce more milk.
  • Stay hydrated and nourished: A healthy diet and plenty of water can positively impact your milk supply.
  • Stay relaxed: Stress and tension can hinder milk flow. Find ways to relax, whether it’s listening to calming music or looking at pictures of your baby.
Is it painful to pump breast milk?

Pumping breast milk should not be painful. While you might feel some initial discomfort as your body adjusts to the suction, it shouldn’t be outright painful. If you experience pain, check the fit of the flanges – they might be too small or too large. Also, ensure the suction settings are comfortable. If you continue to experience pain, reach out to a lactation consultant or healthcare professional for guidance.

Can I breastfeed right after pumping?

Yes, you can absolutely breastfeed right after pumping. In fact, combining breastfeeding with pumping can be beneficial in increasing your milk supply.

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