Once you have the right pump, it will still take a while for you to learn to read your body and master the process. Following these tips might make expression go a little smoother:
- Relax: Breast pumps are supposed to mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm, so by thinking of your baby, and not the pump motor, your body will achieve let-down faster. It might be helpful to carry a photo of your child or a blanket that smells like him or her.
- Pump both breasts at the same time: We've already mentioned that emptying both breasts simultaneously will cut pumping time. Double-pumping may also increase the production of prolactin [source: Mayo Clinic]. Keep pumping and drain breasts as much as possible to maintain a full milk supply.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine: What you put in your body eventually gets passed to your baby through breast milk. Your baby may become restless if he or she ingests too much caffeine. Smoking is harmful for the general health of the entire family and also can reduce milk production and change the taste of milk [source: Mayo Clinic].
- Prevent chafing: If you're in pain and can't relax, let-down will be that much harder to achieve. Try rubbing lanolin cream or vegetable oil inside the breastshield to lubricate the process [source: Corley]. A properly fitting breastshield will also reduce chafing and minimize friction. Manufacturers offer different sizes and inserts to suit every user.
Breast-pump manufacturers like Medela and Ameda feature helpful hints on their Web sites about their products and the best ways to use them. Another helpful resource for moms is La Leche League, an international organization that educates and informs mothers, legislative members and the community about breastfeeding. If you prefer to talk with someone one on one, contact your local hospital and find out if they employ lactation consultants. These staff members can answer any questions you may have in regards to breastfeeding and pumping, and can show you the best ways of keeping your baby happy and healthy.
More Great Links
- American Academy of Pediatrics. "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk." Pediatrics. Vol. 115, No. 2. February 2005. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;115/2/496
- Bazelon, Emily. "Milk Me." Slate. March 27, 2008. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.slate.com/id/2138639/
- BreastPumps.com "Open Systems vs. Closed Systems." (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.breastpumps.com/open_vs_closed_systems
- Consumer Reports. "Breast Pumps." January 2011. (Feb. 7, 2012). http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babies-kids/baby-toddler/breast-pumps/breast-pump-buying-advice/index.htm
- Davis, Deborah L. and Stein, Mara Tesler. "Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child." Fulcrum Publishing. 2004. (Jan. 29, 2009) http://books.google.com/books?id=MqiApdP8FP4C
- Duncan, Julie. Personal interview conducted. Jan. 16, 2009.
- Human Milk Banking Association of North America. "Frequently Asked Questions." (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.hmbana.org/index.php?mode=home
- Knorr, Sharon. "Exploring the World of Breast Pumps." Leaven. Vol. 40, no. 3. June/July 2004. (Jan. 30, 2009) http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul04p51.html
- Lasker, Edward. "Breast Pump." United States Patent Office. Oct. 4, 1927. (Jan. 30, 2009) http://www.google.com/patents?id=qLB5AAAAEBAJ
- Lauwers, Judith. "Counseling the Nursing Mother." Jones & Bartlett Publishing. 2004. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://books.google.com/books?id=Krm2RwGEYjEC
- Lepore, Jill. "Baby Food." The New Yorker. Jan. 19, 2009. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/19/090119fa_fact_lepore
- Mark, Anne P. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Breastfeeding." Alpha Books. 2000. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://books.google.com/books?id=s5RSGLuMnnEC
- Mayo Clinic. "Breast-feeding: Pumping and maintaining your milk supply." March 15, 2008. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-feeding/FL00120
- Medela. "Can I Buy or Borrow a Pre-owned Breastpump?" 2004. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/tips-and-solutions/14/can-i-buy-or-borrow-a-pre-owned-breastpump
- Miller, Kathirin. "Outsourcing Breast Milk." Time. April 19, 2007. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1612710,00.html
- Minami, Judy. "Wet Nursing and Cross Nursing." Leaven. July/August 1995. Vol. 31, No. 4. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJulAug95p53.html
- Mohrbacher, Nancy. "Are Used Breast Pumps a Good Option? Issues to Consider." Leaven. June/July 2004. Vol. 40, no. 3. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul04p54.html
- Mohrbacher, Nancy. "How to Build a Full Milk Supply with a Breast Pump." Ameda. 2008. (Feb. 8, 2012). http://www.amedababy.com/ssi/pdf/ameda/How-to-Build-a-Full-Milk-Supply.pdf
- Mohrbacher, Nancy. "Storing and Handling Mother's Milk." Ameda. 2007. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.ameda.com/files/pdfs/908805-407.pdf
- Mohrbacher, Nancy. "Working and Breastfeeding: Making It Work." Ameda. 2008. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.amedababy.com/ssi/pdf/ameda/Working_&_Breastfeeding.pdf
- Piedmont Hospital. "How Milk is Made." (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.piedmonthospital.org/diw/Content.asp?PageID=DIW001192
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Breast Pump Basics." July 16, 2009. (Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/ConsumerProducts/BreastPumps/ucm061584.htm
- Walker, Rosanne. "Robinson, David." Encyclopedia of Australian Science.(Feb. 7, 2012) http://www.eoas.info/biogs/P003898b.htm