Maybe you might have heard about breast milk pumps many times, or if you are new to this, you might have a lot of questions about how the pump works. Perhaps, you witnessed this device used by your mum or your friends. In fact, it is a common thing, as most mothers use it for expressing milk. But how does a breast pump work? To what extent is it helpful to the mother’s needs?
A breast milk pump proves to be a huge help to many breastfeeding parents. It is an excellent option for many instances that they are confronted with. Conversely speaking, don’t get carried away yet because it can lead to breast issues like plugged ducts and engorgement if you lack awareness of how it works.
If you want to benefit most from using a breast pump, let’s talk about its purpose and bits of other relevant information.
Breast pumping is an alternative method for breastfeeding. It is used by mothers whose availability for their babies is limited because of work, business, and other transactions.
While it bridges the gap between breastfeeding sessions, it also helps to stimulate milk production to suit the baby’s needs. Doing it regularly tells the mother’s body to prepare more milk.
For new mums, it could cause a bit of a tense feeling. They might be worried about the possibility of not doing it successfully. Added to it is the discomfort of having a machine hooked upon their breasts. But they could practice it at home, especially on matters such as setting it up to get the most milk.
Whether you use a breast pump or not, you need to know its purpose. It is a device designed to collect milk that can be immediately or stored for future use. Depending on its type, a breast pump helps in different ways. In essence, it mimics the sucking actions of a baby to stimulate milk production.
You can use either of its three types based on your situation:
- Manual pump: you squeeze its handle repeatedly until you reach the desired level of milk.
- Electric pump: a more efficient and convenient type as it pumps automatically.
- Hospital-grade pump: preserves breast milk from getting in contact with air or germs.
How To Use Breast Pump Effectively?
It is a popular notion that to get most milk from your breast is by exerting a brute force. But this is not the case because it could give you excruciating pain. Worse, it can lead to breast issues.
The best thing to extract the right amount of milk is to imitate your baby. You’ve got to.observe his sucking frequency and strength of his suction. Once you’ve got it, make adjustments to your pump to match it. Do not follow how other mothers do it because it is a personal. Pay attention to his suctions and do gradual experiments until all is in place — you feel better and sufficient milk is extracted.
Best Pumping Techniques
It is always your goal to collect milk for immediate and future use. But to get the assurance of getting the right amount of milk supply, have good relaxation skills and breast compressions.
Relaxing while Pumping
To pump under a relaxed state of mind and feeling makes up a better pumping. To do this, sit back on your chair with relaxed shoulders. Support the bottles to avoid meaning forward. Spice up this moment with soothing music. Pull out baby pictures to keep the atmosphere even more cosy if you’re doing this in a private workplace. Look away from the bottles to reduce the stress of slowly seeing ounces of milk filling in your bottles. It can affect your pumping skills and strength.
This technique helps to drain all milk ducts completely. This technique helps to drain all milk ducts completely. To achieve this activity:
- Massage one of your breasts with your hand while you are pumping.
- Let it start from your armpits towards your nipple.
- Gently increase the pressure, and end it with a few firms squeezes like when you are expressing milk.
For maximum effect, apply a “massage-stroke-shake,” a breast massage method. Dislodge the pump when milk stops flowing and massage both breasts in the same way. You may cup your breasts while bending over and give a gentle shake. Afterwards, put back the pump and see more milk flowing.
As you can see, using breast pumps is not just about hooking them on the breasts and extracting milk. There’s more to learn about it if you explore more.
As discussed, there are many reasons why breast pumps are used. One is to relieve yourself from engorgement occasionally, which helps to save milk. However, the frequency of pumping activity can send a message to your brain that you have more than one baby. As a result, you may gain enormous milk production. This is advantageous but could be a problem when it becomes excessive in supply. So, watch out whenever you use a breast pump.