Saturday, June 21, 2014

9 Rules for Successful Pumping that Every New Mommy Should Know

Frozen Stash
One of the most common questions I get is: when do I pump?  If I’m feeding my new baby for 40 minutes every 2-3 hours, how do I find time to pump without messing up my next feeding? Sound familiar? Here are my general rules for new Mommies, although some specific situations call for other modifications...

1. It is best to pump right after a feeding. Do not try to stagger nursing and pumping or you will find yourself on constant “boob duty” with little down time.

2. Milk supply is completely, totally, without a doubt: supply & demand.  If you find you are not getting the quantities you need or want, continue pumping for an extra 5 minutes after the milk stops flowing to demand more.

3. You should not be pumping and nursing with each feeding.  That schedule is very intense to maintain and ultimately causes an over supply problem.

4. To build a SMALL (please don't go crazy) stash of frozen milk, start by pumping immediately after an early morning feeding…you can add to what you get over a few days, and then freeze it if you would like.

5. Try to freeze in varying quantities, have some 5 oz., 3 oz. and 2 oz. bags frozen...

6. Make absolutely sure you are drinking a gallon of water per day.  If you are not replacing your fluid intake your body doesn’t have much to make the milk.

7. You must have rest time, or you will struggle with making enough milk.

8. Be sure to do breast compressions the entire time you are pumping.

9. Most moms need to increase the pump flange size; I have never had a mom who successfully went to a smaller flange.  During engorgement it is even more important.  Increasing flange size will typically yield more milk.

There is so much to learn about how to correctly use a pump, how to appropriately manage your supply without creating big problems and how to schedule your day that pumping is a great reason to bring in a lactation consultant!

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