Breastfeeding can be difficult. Pumping can also be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. Being a mom for the very first time can put you in a situation of frustration, confusion, and stress to you and your baby.
So the question becomes, how do I breastfeed and pump in creating effectiveness of milk production and adequate feeding to your baby. Here are some tips that could help you out with all of this.
Pump Often And Effectively
Whether you plan on strictly breastfeeding or not; pumping is always available and can play an important role. The key take away is to often pump and stay consistent. The more you pump in between breastfeeding sessions, the more milk your body will produce.
What you can do is try to pump on both beasts at the same time. Most breast pumps come with two suction cups so you can work both sides at the same time, which can cut your pumping time in half. If you can, try to pump every few hours for 15 minute sessions.
Breastfeed On Demand
The more you try to breastfeed your baby, the more milk you will produce. Many new moms scramble in trying to fit this into their new schedule. It is very important that you make a schedule for breastfeeding and you stick to it. Try to breastfeed early morning, in the evening, and on the weekend. Its understandable not every mom can feed on demand; just try your best and that’s all you can do.
A couple things you can try if you can squeeze it in throughout the day to help improve milk production. One, gently press on your breasts a few times which can help increase milk flow and emptying. Second, apply a warm compress on both breasts which can also help in milk flow.
If Your Breastfeeding…
Over time, many moms found out that if you breastfeed first thing in the morning, you will get more milk output. This all has to do with your hormones and how they function on a daily basis.
Plan to pump between breastfeeding sessions; that’s 30-60 minutes after nursing or at least one hour before breastfeeding (this should leave plenty of milk for your baby for their next feeding). If your baby wants to breastfeed right after you finish pumping, then that’s ok as well (some babies are more patient than others, and will just feed longer to get the milk they need).
If Your Breast Pumping…
Plan to pump 8-10 times in a 24hr period. Full milk production within a 24hr period should be around 25-35 oz, as some may produce more or less than others. Once you have reached this amount, stick to a consistent schedule that will allow for your body to produce the milk that is needed.
Establish this schedule based around you and your baby’s needs, and try not to force it and just go with the flow. As mentioned, not every mom produces the same amount of milk. One of the most important factors to consider is having an adequate breast pump, which can ultimately lead to better suctioning of the milk out of your breasts.
Stress has been around you in trying to figure everything out. More stress in the body can increase cortisol levels, which can lead to a decrease in milk-making hormones. This contributes to the overall effectiveness of pumping that can decrease milk supply.
There are many ways you can do as a mom to decrease the amounts of stress in your body, and you can even do it while you pump. These include listening to music, meditation, distraction of some sort, and even taking a look back at some of the pictures you took of your baby when they were born.
Lots of moms have found it helpful is to find a quiet place to find; it keeps you focused and calm.
Avoid Or Limit Formula Feedings
Formula feedings believe it or not can reduce your baby’s demand for breast milk, which as you know by now lowers your milk production. It’s important to pump either before or after your baby has a feeding which will increase the demand on your body for the production of milk.
Remember, the more you breastfeed, the more your body will produce milk. The extra milk pumped will be stored appropriately for future use.
Hydration is crucial for us as human being, but even more critical when you start to breastfeed. Breastmilk is made primarily of 80% water, and that is why you need to stay hydrated. You can drink some milk, juice, and obviously water to stay well hydrated.
Something you want to keep in mind is that you want to limit the amount of carbonated drinks and coffee as these have shown to cause irritability to your baby or might interfere with their sleep cycle. If the consumption of alcohol is an option, avoid breastfeeding for two hours after finishing drink.
A good way to help with all of this is to make a habit of having a drink nearby as you breastfeed.
Breastfeeding and pumping is lots of work and can be demanding to many new moms. Try talking to other moms that have been through this already as they can help you navigate through these stressful times by giving you some pointers. Another thing was found helpful was to talk to your lactation specialist from the hospital you delivered in. These specialists have all the information you need in making your time worthwhile.
Don’t become discouraged if your milk supply doesn’t work out to how you wanted it to. It can be tough and rough on the body. Just try your and hope for the best.