When their first few maternity days are over, many working mothers are faced with the tough decision of continuing breast feeding or switching to formula feeding. Breast Feeding is essential for both the mother and the baby. But it could cause some difficulties if you are an employee of a company. Though breastfeeding's advantages will give one's child makes it the more recommended and preferred route of feeding a baby. Breast Feeding is essential for a newborn baby. There is ample evidence of its benefits over formula feeding. The breast pump is the best ally during this journey for nursing mothers. Here are the benefits and tips for using a breastfeeding pump.
What is Breast Pump?
Breast pumps are nothing more than a mechanical or electrical device used to extract milk from the breasts of breastfeeding women. This is essential because this can guarantee your baby from being fed with maternal milk, which is vital to him or her. Breast pumps are mechanically similar to those milk machines used in commercial dairy production.
Why you need breast pumps:
Breast pumps are also pretty useful in some other situations, such as:
- It can also be used in order to reduce and relieve engorgement. This is a condition that is usually painful, and it happens when the breasts are overfull.
- Another reason that women use electric breast pumps has to do with the fact that some women want to keep breastfeeding their baby with human breast milk even after she got back to work. This way, she can store the milk and the nanny or whoever takes care of the baby can feed their child.
- Women, who have a daily high amount of milk production, sometimes use breast pumps in order to store the excessive milk - not used by their baby - and donate it to milk banks in order to provide human breast milk to babies whose mothers cannot provide it.
The milk extracted with breast pumps can be stored for up to 6 months if kept in a deep freeze at a temperature of 0 (zero) degrees Fahrenheit (-18ºC), which gives the mothers the opportunity to keep feeding their baby with breast milk even after the period of the hormones produce it.
How to use a Breast Feeding Pump?
The breast pump has a part called the breast shield. You can start by adjusting your nipple in the breast shield. If the breast pump is operated on electricity, then switch it on. When the milk starts to flow it should go into a collection container provided with breast pump accessories. They also provide standard-size bottles, which you can easily fit the breastfeeding pump. You can combine milk from each breast and store it in one bottle.
Tips for expressing breast milk using a pump
Make yourself comfortable
You should be in a relaxed mood when you use a breast pump. The stress arisen from your work can suppress your body's ability to release milk. To increase your breast milk, massage your breast regularly or apply warm compresses on it.
Pump at night and in morning hours:
Consider breastfeeding your baby at night and in morning hours. It is beneficial for both you and your baby. It may help you to increase the supply of milk when you pump. You may also increase your feeding frequency on the weekends.
Eat healthy food:
The most important thing is taking care of yourself. Eat healthy food, which provides nutrition to your body. Also, eat fruits containing plenty of fluids.
Make pumping schedule:
Create your work schedule in such a way that you get maximum rest. Avoid extra workload. Limit your work hours too. And don't hesitate to ask for any help from anybody.
Wash the breastfeeding pump, as well as your hands. Germs may get transferred inside the pump when you use it. It's not as important to wash your breasts, but some mothers do not take any risk.
Storing Breast Milk
- You shouldstore breast milk in a clean bottle. The bottle may be made up of hard plastic or glass. You can also store breast milk in milk storage bags.
- Store your milk, at room temperature, for at least 6 hours. Then, your breast milk should be refrigerated if you are storing it for the next 48 hours. If you decide to store your breast milk for more than 48 hours, it should be kept in the freezer.
- Do not overfill the milk in the bottle. Keep some extra space, because milk starts to expand when it is frozen.
- You can use a refrigerator's freezer to store milk for at the most 4 months. You may use a deep freezer for storing milk for up to 1 year. The deep freeze would mean at least a temperature of -20C.
- Do not refreeze your milk. Instead, throw away the wasted milk.
How Much to Pump:
Most breastfeeding moms want to know how much they need to pump. The pumping frequency may vary and depend on many factors that include the time of day, your child’s age, pump type (manual or electric), when you last pump or feed your baby, whether you are stressed or relaxed during your pumping session and your pumping experience. If you are breastfeeding, then you can expect:
- Milk production will be increased in the morning hours.
- During the day time and in the evening, milk production volume will be decreased gradually.
- The volume of breast milk production depends on many variables. Each breast may not produce the same volumes of breast milk.
How to maintain full milk production:
If the breastfeeding moms reach the limit of 750-1,050 mL (25 to 35 oz.) per baby in a day, then you have met your daily goal. Most mothers can pump a few times in a single day to maintain milk production.
- Maintain your schedule to produce around 750 to 1050 mL of breastmilk each day.
- Once you manage to maintain your maximum milk production, you can sleep more.
- Once your full milk production is developed, pumping in the morning and pump right before going to bed.
- Keep your pumping time shorter. It should be 10 to 15 minutes.
- Write down your milk production in a 24-hour period. This way, you will know how much your milk production drops or increase.