Knowing how to express properly can help when a breastfeeding mother needs to stock up on milk for her baby in advance, which can be expressed manually or with an affordable breast pump.
The mother must decide how to express milk after understanding the possibilities and needs. You can quickly learn the art of pumping milk safely and comfortably. Depending on how often and how much you need to express milk, you need to choose the method that works best, manual expression or a breast pump.
Expressed milk is stored in the refrigerator or frozen, and after defrosting and heating to a temperature of about 37 degrees Celsius, it is given to the baby.
Breast care while expressing milk
It must be ensured that no matter what method is chosen for expressing milk, the breasts should always be sufficiently comfortable, that the breasts must not be squeezed during pumping; this can damage the milk alveoli and lead to inflammation of the breast.
Which pumping method to choose?
If you need to give your baby milk only occasionally, for example, if you need to leave the house and leave the baby in the care of a trusted person, all you need to do is learn how to express milk manually.
Using a manual or electric breast pump will be useful in situations where you need to express large amounts of milk frequently or when you need to leave the house without your baby. Mothers decide to express milk with a breast pump also in the following cases:
- The baby is too weak to breastfeed, for example, due to premature birth
- Child and mother not together, for example, due to hospitalization
- Mother returns to work or college, and the breaks in feeding necessarily become longer
How to express milk with an affordable breast pump?
If you express a little, you can buy a manual breast pump, making sure that the suction power is regulated, some mothers prefer very gentle pumping, others a little more intense. A good breast pump should also be easy to clean and steam.
A manual breast pump is cheaper, quite trouble-free, and silent, but it requires some physical effort to work. Even if you can't breastfeed regularly, pumping skills can help keep your milk flow constant. If you have questions or concerns, you should talk to your midwife or lactation consultant about how you can support and encourage lactation.
An electric affordable breast pump is faster, but sometimes it is less convenient and not silent during operation. There are also breast pumps with massage cushions that mimic the sucking of a baby, but not all women find this necessary.
What factors should be considered before buying an affordable breast pump?
When a decision is made to buy an affordable breast pump, it is worth considering devices that have a good reputation, reviews, and warranties. When using the breast pump for the first time, it is necessary to apply it to the breast according to the instructions on the package, do it so that the nipple is in a special hole.
Start expressing milk with minimum suction power, gradually increasing the power of the breast pump. Pumping can be a little painful at first, but a special ointment for cracked nipples can help.
Things to remember when pumping
Choose a quiet and comfortable place for pumping, relax, think about the baby, and put a warm compress on your chest. Lightly massage the breast with your fingers, moving in a circular motion closer to the nipple, or stroke it in that direction.
Take the chest in your hands, holding them one above the other and rolling it out, moving your hands in different directions, do not shake your chest, gently roll the nipple.
It is necessary to correctly put your hand on the edge of the areola and feel small lumps under the skin, these are the milk ducts. Place the index finger in this place, and the thumb on the opposite side of the chest. If it is more convenient, you can turn the thumb and forefinger over, with the rest of the fingers, or on the other hand, you need to support the chest.
Next, you need to massage your chest to express milk, bring your fingers to your chest again, bring them together, and then move forward slightly, relieving pressure. You need to repeat these movements until the milk begins to flow from the milk ducts.
Pregnant women often wonder if they should buy a breast pump and if they should take it with them to the hospital. A breast pump is useful in the first days after childbirth, so it is still worth buying. Even if it is not needed immediately after childbirth, it can be used later, while breastfeeding.
Types of Breast Pumps
There are two types of breast pumps - manual and electric.
A manual breast pump is easier to use and involves the use of one or both hands during pumping. It is more compact than electric, and its price is much less.
An electric affordable breast pump is more comfortable and has several modes of operation. When using it, you do not need to work with your hands, you just need to correctly install a special nozzle on the chest and press the button.
When choosing, first of all, you need to think about how often the breast pump will be used. Lactation for everyone proceeds individually; therefore, the frequency of using this device will be different for everyone.
If you need a breast pump for regular use, then you should think about the electric option. And if you use it only in extreme cases, then there is no point in overpaying, it is easier to choose a manual breast pump.
Characteristics of a Good Affordable Breast Pump
A good breast pump should have:
Simple design, as few small parts as possible, which can quickly be lost when cleaning the breast pump.
Silicone massage funnel. It imitates the movement of the baby's mouth, which stimulates and facilitates the release of milk.
Properly built neck between funnel and bottle: This is necessary so that the woman can sit comfortably and lean back while pumping.
Affordable breast pump mode (This applies to electric breast pumps). It should be based on at least two pumping modes. 1. Stimulation mode, to stimulate milk flow. 2. Deep pumping mode. It is also important that mom can adjust the suction power according to her needs.
All of these features contribute to improved pumping efficiency.Reasons for needing a breast pump
There are many situations when a woman may need a breast pump in the first hours after childbirth:
Not all children begin to suckle the breast in the first minutes after childbirth; you should not worry about this, because the child received nutrition inside the woman's body. This is enough for the first few hours after birth. It's a little more difficult when the baby stays like this at every feed.
Of course, this situation is normalizing, but a woman, at this time, should additionally stimulate milk production with a breast pump.
An affordable breast pump is really necessary for those mothers whose babies are in the neonatal intensive care unit. Of course, if possible, such children are taken out of incubators for the duration of breastfeeding, but, unfortunately, there are situations when this is not possible. In this case, the baby must receive expressed milk from the mother.
How to correctly extract milk from an affordable breast pump?
The beginning can be difficult. It should be remembered that properly attached to the breast is the key to the correct amount of milk in the breast. When the timing of breastfeeding is disrupted by external factors, such as improper latch-on of the nipple, the entire feeding process is unfortunately disrupted.
It turns out that the child eats too little and loses a lot of weight. In this case, it is necessary to correct the mistake when applying the baby to the breast and additionally stimulate lactation using the “7-7-5-5-3-3” method. This method consists of expressing milk with a breast pump, 7 minutes from the right breast, 7 minutes from the left breast, 5 minutes from the right breast, 5 minutes from the left breast, 3 minutes from the right breast, and 3 minutes from the left.
The first unusual situation that mothers often have to face after returning home is the stagnation of milk. The attack happens about 5-6 days after birth. This is due to an increased amount of blood flowing through the breast and an abnormal amount of milk.
Both breasts are full and heavy, and the woman experiences considerable discomfort. If the nipple and areola are so full that the baby cannot latch on, it is recommended to express a small amount of milk to soften the area and feel relief in the breast.
During an attack, you should not express milk until it is empty. In such a situation, this will be a signal for the body to immediately begin to produce a large amount of milk.
Why breast pump is useful?
There are many other situations where a breast pump is very useful. Sometimes a woman has to take medication and because of this, she cannot breastfeed for some time. To prevent suppression of lactation, it is necessary to express breast milk regularly to stimulate the breast to continuously produce milk.
If you plan to leave the baby for a couple of hours with your grandparents, you should take care of a sufficient supply of breast milk in advance. The affordable breast pump makes it easy to express milk. It must be remembered that milk can be stored in suitable containers or disposable bags adapted for this.
Fresh milk can stand at room temperature for up to 4 hours. If the milk is stored in a conventional refrigerator, at a temperature of +4 degrees, this time increases to 96 hours. And in the freezer, milk can be stored for up to 6 months at -20 degrees.
Breasts Pump Supports Mother’s Body
Unfortunately, one day, maternity leave ends and the mother has to return to work. If a woman wants to continue breastfeeding, then it is worth taking a breast pump to work and expressing milk in her free time. This will bring relief to swollen breasts, allow you to prepare a portion of baby food the next day, and keep lactation at the proper level.
But what if you want to finish feeding, but there is still a lot of milk in the breast? In such a situation, it is also worth using the help of a breast pump. It is necessary to express milk, but only to feel a slight relief because the same principle applies here as in the case of "overload".
Pumping every last drop sends a signal to the brain that more milk is needed, and the breasts will produce more and more of the nutrient.
The breast pump greatly facilitates the life of the mother and child, especially in situations where there are difficulties in the process of lactation. Thanks to the breast pump, the mother can be sure that the baby will always be able to get healthy food.