Breastfeeding is an intimate activity between mother and child. It is an expression of love that strengthens the bond between them. However, present times have made it more difficult for mothers to spend time breastfeeding their children. The fast-paced world has shortened days, living expenses have become exorbitant, and new mothers find themselves returning to work immediately.
Fortunately, there is a way mothers can provide their little angels with precious breast milk. This is where the mother should purchase a good breast pump and implement proper breast-pumping techniques.
Breast Milk is best for babies
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Choose the Right Breast Pump
A breast pump is a mother’s partner in extracting breast milk, so she needs one that suits her needs. There are different types of breast pumps for you to choose from:
Manual breast pump – Manual breast pumps are operated by hand. These are the least expensive type and the lightest to transport. This pump can be straining to use; however, you can use this type of pump anywhere you may be.
Battery-powered breast pump – Battery-powered pumps are pumps that require batteries. They offer versatility and can be used anywhere. The downside to this pump is the constant purchase and disposal of used batteries.
Electric breast pump – Electric pumps are plugged into an electric outlet. It eliminates the waste of used batteries and can be operated wherever a power outlet is available. An electric breast pump is perfect for mothers who express milk exclusively. You can use this type of breast pump in your car, provided you purchase a plug adapter.
Tips for Smooth Breast Pumping
Breast pumping sounds simple, but in reality, it can have its share of issues. Different scenarios can disrupt or even hinder a smooth breast-pumping process. Luckily, there are proven helpful ways to have successful and worry-free breast pumping sessions.
It is important to prepare yourself mentally and physically for pumping your breast. After all, breast pumping should not be a stressful situation. Make sure you have all the materials you need, such as the breast pump, milk storage, and cleaning items, among other things. Wash your hands thoroughly before starting the pumping process.
Clean your breasts and nipples
Keep your breast and nipples thoroughly clean before and after using the breast pump. It is important to practice breast hygiene to keep your extracted milk clean and avoid contamination. This also lessens the likelihood of blockage to the nipples. If it can’t apply, your milk ducts may become blocked, and swelling may occur. It is also for your personal hygiene purposes.
Make sure you find a comfortable position so your body is relaxed while pumping your breasts. Reading a book or watching a calming show would help pass the time. Stay in a cool, well-ventilated spot, so sweat does not mix with the breastmilk. It would also be best to clear up your schedule, avoid disturbances, and devote your time solely to breast pumping. You can also listen to soothing music to help you stay calm.
Use a warm face flannel
You should put a warm face towel or washcloth on your breast when pumping or breastfeeding. The warmth helps your breast let down, a reflex that encourages your milk ducts to produce breast milk.
Massage your breast
One way to help pump a good supply of breast milk is to do a breast massage. Studies show that “massaging your breast in a circular motion increases breast milk production.” In this way, massage your breast before and during the pumping process.
Breast milk in the fridge
Store breast milk
After every pumping, you must preserve the milk to ensure freshness and avoid spoilage. You can freeze the milk in its bottle or disposable breast milk bags.
You can expect freshly pumped milk to last up to four to six hours at room temperature. Milk kept in the refrigerator is expected to last up to five days but is best consumed within three days. It would be helpful to mark dates on the stored milk container to know how fresh they are. Repeat the process.
You should conduct breast pumping regularly to maintain and even increase milk flow. You will get used to breast pumping when repeated correctly. Take note that breast pumping should not be painful. If it hurts, it is best to stop and assess the situation.
Breastfeeding may not be as frequent as mothers like, especially with busy schedules. Good thing there is a way to nourish the baby with fresh breast milk. A breast pump helps bridge the distance when a mother is away and cannot breastfeed. Your breast pumping need not be a stressful situation. It may be a tedious process, but if done correctly can be rewarding for you and your baby. You should use a quality breast pump that fits your lifestyle while following good breast-pumping tips.