By MAM Midwife Katie Hilton
Katie Hilton is a dual qualified nurse, midwife and health visitor and the expert adviser for MAM UK. She is also a mu’ma herself to one cheeky little man.
Introducing A Breast Pump To Your Routine
There are many reasons to start pumping while breastfeeding. You might be returning to work soon, and you need to build a stash. You may just be looking forward to the day when you can leave the baby for a few hours and pop to the shops, time with friends, or a date night. Or, you may want your partner to be able to participate in feeding by giving your little one a bottle of pumped milk.
Here are some low-stress ways to start expressing milk while you’re breastfeeding:
1. Pump on the opposite side baby is feeding.
Try this when your supply is highest, which is usually early in the morning. Get a single electric pump ready in place on the opposite breast you intend to feed. After you get your baby latched, start the suction on the pump. This is such a time-saver, since you’re already sitting down to feed.
2. Pump after a morning feed.
If your baby consistently takes both breasts, you may not want to pump while she is feeding. Instead, pump 30 minutes to 1 hour after a morning feed. The first time you do this, you may not get a lot of milk. Try a few days in a row, and your body will start to adjust to the increased demand.
3. Pump in the evening after your baby goes to sleep, but before you go to bed.
If your baby has started to give you a predictable stretch of sleep during the beginning of the night, pump before you go to bed while relaxing in front of the TV, a few hours after the last breastfeed. If you are looking to boost your supply, this is a great time to power pump!
4. Pick one low-stress feed to replace during the day with a pumping session, and have your partner bottle feed while you pump.
If you are hoping to have your baby take a bottle on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to incorporate it into her routine! To do this, choose a feed when your baby is normally relaxed, and have your partner give her your milk from a bottle while you pump. This can be a great bonding time for your partner and your little one, and ensures that your baby will be used to the bottle when you need her to take it!