Top Tips And Hacks For Moms Who Breast Pump - Comfort And Positioning
Breast Pumping Techniques
Recent research has indicated that 85% of women are choosing to pump their breast milk at least some of the time. This is a huge majority and just goes to show how useful breast pumps are.
Using a breast pump is an excellent way to boost, maintain and increase your breast milk production. Modern breast pumps are efficient, accessible and easy to use.
Sometimes, in their haste and because they are focused so heavily on their beautiful new babies, moms forget to take a moment and think of themselves. Here at the New Mummy Company we are proud to have the opportunity to guide new moms in all aspects of the adventure. One way that we can do this is to offer expert guidance on the best breast pumping methods to maximise mom's breast milk production, and also her comfort.
But first, why are 85% of women using breast pumps?
Boosting Breast Milk Supply
You may choose to pump your milk (as well as breastfeed your baby) to increase your milk supply. Perhaps you are struggling to make enough milk or you have multiples mouths to feed. Using a breast pump is a tried and tested method for increasing your breast milk supply. Your breasts need stimulation and milk removed from them if they are to refill and your supply to increase. You can replicate that stimulation with a breast pump. There are some great breast pump options on the market. The New Mummy Company has two hospital grade pumps that they recommend.
The Medela Symphony double breast pump and the Ameda Platinum double breast pump. If you are in the GTA, we will pick it up and conveniently deliver it directly to your doorstep for free! If you are outside of the GTA we can ship it to you for as little as $20 each way. If you would like to learn more about which breast pump is right for you, visit Maria's video here.
Realistically there will be times that mom and baby will be separated. When you are still in the hospital, there may be medical issues that mean you are physically separated. In this event the hospital will have an electric breast pump for you to use so that you can initiate your breast milk supply. (Many new moms choose to buy or rent a breast pump for when they have been discharged from the hospital.)
There are many reasons why you may still be separated from your baby when you have been discharged from the hospital. You may need to return to work, you may need to see the doctor’s or maybe you deserve a night out with friends. You still want your baby to have breast milk while you are apart. Pumping your milk means that dad (or other family members) can enjoy bonding with the baby too.
First and foremost, breast milk costs nothing.
As long as there are no medical issues, Mom's body will automatically start to produce milk as soon as the baby is born (sometimes before).
As opposed to expensive and less nutritionally beneficial formula, breast milk is free. It is also the best source of vital nutrients for a baby. The milk that mom produces is made up of the perfect balance of sugars, vitamins, proteins and fats. (The only thing missing from mamma's milk is vitamin D, and most experts advise that you buy supplements).
There may be all sorts of reasons that mom cannot or chooses not to feed the baby directly from the breast. The choice is entirely yours. Remember that your baby can still prosper and benefit from your precious breast milk without being latched on. Modern, hospital grade breast pumps are hugely efficient, they are quiet, clean and easy to use. Breast pumps are specifically designed to initiate, increase and maintain breast milk production. It doesn't matter if the baby gets the milk straight from your breast or from a bottle, the nutritional result is the same.
Watch our YouTube video and follow along with the New Mummy Company's baby expert Maria, as she offers her professional guidance on the best breast-pumping methods.
Comfort and position while breast pumping makes a huge difference to your breast-pumping experience. If you are not comfortable you will not make as much breast milk and you may be tempted to give up earlier than you really wanted to. Here are a few of Maria's expert tips for making your breast pumping journey a positive and productive one
Positioning - Avoiding Injury While Breastfeeding
What do we mean when we say positioning? We mean the physical position that your body is in. There are breast pumping positions that will aid your body in producing more milk and there are breast-pumping positions that will be the most physically comfortable.
The best breast feeding position to help boost milk production is to lean slightly forward. This will mean that your pump does not have to work quite so hard to draw the milk out. (We absolutely recommend renting a hospital grade breast pump). It is also the most natural movement. However if you are leaning too far forward it will, over time hurt your back.
Mom's body after she has had a baby needs a little more care and consideration than normal. Having a baby is as natural and normal as the sun setting each day. But, that does not mean that it comes without its challenges. Mom's ligaments and tendons are still soft from the hormones that your body produces to help in childbirth. It is important to position your body carefully so that you are not putting any extra strain on it. Here are a few tips for making sure that you avoid stress or injury on your recovering body.
Don't let tightness or tension build up in your neck and shoulders. Lean back into the chair and make sure that your shoulders and lower back connect with the chair. If you need extra support, then use a pillow or other support to increase your comfort. When you are in position with your back, think about your feet. For your lower back to be free of pressure then you need to raise your knees by putting your feet up. Breast feeding pillows are great for this. It is a relatively cheap item that feels like a luxurious commodity. You can buy body pillows that double as a breast feeding pillow, so you can use it throughout your pregnancy and then for as long as you choose to breast feed. It is an investment that has many years of potential use. A multi-purpose item means good value for your money. We recommend the Medela maternity and nursing cotton pillow, which you can add to your cart here.
Shake off your stress - literally. Raise your shoulders and shake them off. Bring your shoulders down and increase the space between your shoulders and your ears. Breath, thinks happy thoughts. Be present and mind full. Relax mamma and your milk with flow more freely.
Make A Breast Pumping Nook
Although you can use your breast pump anywhere that has an electrical outlet (if you are using an electric breast pump obviously) anywhere, when you are at home it makes sense to create a breast-pumping zone for yourself. Here are a few item that you should have handy to make your breast pumping zone super comfy:
- A TV with the remote within reach
- A good book
- Soft lighting
- Drinks and nibbles
- A blanket
- A breast feeding pillow
Create a pleasant and relaxing ambience in your breast pumping area. Open a window to let in some natural light, have a blanket if you are someone who gets cold, put on a lamp, have it dark.... the choice is dependant on your preference.
When you have a breastfeeding spot all set up, anyone who lives in your household will know what you are doing there. Maybe you will get lucky and be left in peace?
Comfort Is Vital
Make Sure That Your Clothing Is Appropriate For the Job
Make sure that you are wearing clothes that are very comfortable. Start from your underwear and work your way to the outer layers. Obviously, if you are back at work then there may be a dress code that you have to follow. This may mean that you can't wear a tracksuit, but you can make small changes that will make a big difference in comfort level (as least your underwear can be breast pumping friendly).
Maternity Bras or Nursing Bras
If you are going to buy only one item and nothing else then it should be a decent quality-nursing bra. Good breastfeeding underwear is an essential item! We recommend the Medela T-shirt nursing bra, which you can purchase here.
A nursing bra is something that you should invest in a few weeks before your baby arrives. Timing is important at this stage and a few weeks prior to the delivery date is the perfect time to buy your bra. This is because we don't always have control over when the baby will arrive. It is not unusual for babies to make an unscheduled appearance. You don't want to buy your bras too early either, as your body is changing everyday. If you buy your breastfeeding bra too early, it may not fit by the time the baby comes.
Getting a fitting for the perfectly sized bra is recommended. You need a bra that fits well and is supportive without being restrictive. A bra that is too tight can restrict your milk flow.
Pants: Make sure that your clothes are not tight around your stomach, soft stretchy material is your friend after you have had a baby, especially if you had a c-section.
Tops and Sweaters: You want to have easy access to your breasts. Clothes that are restrictive will be uncomfortable and there's a good chance that you will be uncomfortable if you have to remove layers all together. There are lots of maternity clothes on the market that are great for moms that pump their milk.
And there you go. Our top tips for breast pumping. Enjoy.