Hi mama, I’m so glad you’re here to gain some valuable breast milk pumping tips from a former exclusive pumper!
My name is Elizabeth and I’m the creator and owner of loveourlittles.com.
I’m looking forward to enlightening you on some breast pumping tips today! Come pay me a visit for lots more on pumping and breastfeeding!
- When to Start Pumping
- How to Build A Freezer Stash
- How to Pump and Breastfeed while Working
- Pumping while Nursing and Increasing Supply
- Must-Know Breast Milk Pumping Tips and Hacks
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You’re in the Right Place for Breast Milk Pumping Tips!
Unfortunately, not many new mothers are given much information about pumping breast milk by their healthcare providers.
Which leads them on a relentless search to find the answers they need in the midsts of sleep deprivation and desperation.
I don’t mean to sound grim about it, but take it from me, don’t wait to figure out how to pump when you really NEED to start pumping!
Never mind any of that though, because you are in the right place to get some of the best breast milk pumping tips for beginners!
The tips I’m sharing with you today aren’t out of a book, but straight from the boob’s mouth – ha ha!
All joking aside, I know what it’s like to have never touched a breast pump before.
Pumping breast milk is not an innate skill ladies!
As a matter of fact, it may be one of the strangest things we ever teach ourselves how to do!
In The Beginning
Most new mothers hold out the hope to exclusively nurse their babies. However, due to unforeseen breastfeeding challenges and work commitments, that is typically not an option for all of us.
But that’s ok!
Because you now have more pumping gear and equipment than ever before to help you continue your breastfeeding plans beyond nursing.
With that said, I still do recommend that in the beginning you focus on nursing as much as possible before you begin to contemplate pumping.
The reason I say that, is because the bonding experience nursing your new baby provides is a precious experience for both of you.
Even so, this is your journey and whatever is best for you – do that!
When to Start Pumping
There are a few different scenarios to address in order to provide you with the best advice on when to start your breast milk pumping regimen.
- First, depending on whether you plan to exclusively pump.
- Second, if you will be returning to work after baby is born and want to have a freezer stash.
- Third, if you are exclusively nursing, but desire to increase your milk supply.
When to Start Pumping as an Exclusive Pumper
An exclusively pumping mama is essentially providing her baby with breast milk the same way she would be if she were nursing, but without the direct contact.
Begin pumping as soon as your baby would start nursing. Which would expectantly be right after birth!
Maintain a strict pumping schedule that mimics your baby’s natural nursing habits. This means, around the clock mama.
I know that sounds extreme, but no one ever said exclusive pumping is an easier route to take.
Also, it is absolutely imperative that you establish your milk supply with a disciplined pumping routine for the first few weeks postpartum. In most cases, this is between the first 6-12 weeks after you give birth.
Plan on pumping around the clock for this 6-12 week period of time, just like a newborn nurses.
In essence, you’ll be pumping roughly 8-12 times per day and up to 50 minutes each pumping session.
When to Begin Pumping if You’re Going Back to Work
When should a mama who plans to return back to work begin a breast milk pumping routine?
This mama usually maintains the goal of still wanting to nurse her baby when and as often as she can.
She also desires to keep her baby on breast milk while she is working outside of the home. Which requires a stash of frozen breast milk to accomplish this goal.
How to Start Building A Freezer Stash Before Returning to Work
Even as a newbie beginner breast milk pumper, you still know that pumping is hard work. It also takes a lot of dedication and self-sacrifice.
Having said all of that, if you want to have a pretty significant freezer stash stowed away for when you return back to work, here is what you do.
Related: How To Freeze, Thaw and Warm Breast Milk
Breast Milk Pumping and Breastfeeding While Working
Begin a daily breast pumping routine (after 3 weeks postpartum) of 15-20 minutes of pumping after you have nursed your baby. Do this during at least three sessions per day, every day until you return to work and then reevaluate.
A big concern and stress point for new moms is the thought of how to juggle a pumping and breastfeeding schedule. There is no big surprise there as it just sounds like a lot of demanding work!
Another wave of confusion comes in the form of figuring out a breast pumping routine while at work.
How often should you be pumping at work and when?
These are some common questions a breast milk pumping beginner might ask herself.
Not to worry mama, because I have a nursing and pumping routine for the working mom I’ll share with you below!
- 7 am – breastfeed
- 10:30 am – first break / 1st pump at work
- 12:30 pm – lunch break / 2nd pump at work
- 3 pm – last break / 3rd pump at work
- 5:30 pm – resume nursing
When to Start Pumping while You’re Still Nursing
While you’re still exclusively nursing you can technically begin using a silicone pump, like the Haakaa right away.
This silicone pump can be suctioned onto the breast you are not nursing on to catch the drippings of milk that would otherwise be wasted!
This handy little pump is really good at helping you build your freezer stash up without any effort at all!
Doing this trick alone could help you collect hundreds of ounces of breast milk before you even begin a pumping regimen.
Breast Milk Pumping Tips to Increase Supply while Nursing
After your breast milk has regulated, you can begin to assess the amount of breast milk you are producing a day.
If you are still primarily nursing, it may be somewhat difficult to determine the exact volume of breast milk you are feeding your baby every day.
Although, you can always weigh your baby before and after a feeding and note the difference to come up with a good guess.
You could also pump during a normal feeding session instead of nurse (give your baby a stashed bottle of breast milk) and see how much you come up with.
If you are unsatisfied or concerned that your milk supply is suffering, simply add up to 4 short pumping sessions after each time you nurse.
These sessions should only last up to 20 minutes and they are designed to signal your body’s supply and demand switch.
You can also add in a nursing tea: this one’s my favorite!
Breast Milk Pumping Tips and Hacks Every Beginner Must Know!
I don’t want you leaving here without some great breast pumping hacks and tips you will surely use and be so glad you knew about!
These tips will help you to feel more confident and less awkward when you first begin pumping.
As a matter of fact, I know that if I could have seen myself pump for the first times after I had just completed ten months of exclusive pumping, I would have been shaking my head.
The Hands-free Pumping Bra Tip
You MUST use a hands-free pumping bra while you pump. If not, you will be feeling like a prisoner with no parol.
For some reason, this handy little garment didn’t seem like a necessity to me until a few weeks into my pumping journey.
That was unfortunate because as soon as I got one, pumping changed for the better.
You do have one more option that doesn’t require a pumping bra and that is a concealable breast pump kit that can be worn in any bra and they are mobile!
Pumping During the Night Hacks
The dreaded night time pumping sessions are what most moms spend the whole day agonizing over. Night time pumping can also be a big reason why some moms end their pumping goals short.
These tips really only apply to those of you who pump exclusively. Otherwise, you’ll still be up at night nursing in dream feed bliss.
- Have your pumping station ready ahead of time and every part already connected.
- Keep a mini fridge in the room you’ll be pumping in: this one is PERFECT and SO cheap!
- Hook up and go back to sleep, (or wake as little as possible.)
- If you do choose to wake up completely, have something to look forward to.
To Sum Up
As shown above, there are many breast milk pumping tips for beginners and we only just scratched the surface!
I do hope that you feel like you got many significant tips in this read that will be useful for you during your time of pumping for your little one.
The best tip I can give any beginner to pumping, is to be gracious with yourself and to also let you know that you aren’t alone when things get confusing.
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