Whether you’re pumping for a premature baby who cannot breastfeed yet, have low supply, are pumping while at work or pumping to give yourself a break, it can be very frustrating.
If you’re breastfeeding and pumping it’s hard not to look at the amount you have pumped and worry that what you are pumping is an indication of what your baby is getting. Be assured that the amount you pump doesn’t indicate how much milk you are making it simply indicates how much you can pump. Every one is different and our survey revealed that only 17% of women were able to pump over 150ml in a sitting with 25% of women getting under 50ml so there is a wide range of normal.
If you are pumping to establish supply with a premature baby or a baby that is not able to breastfeed you will need to be matching what your baby would be feeding. Most newborn babies feed 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period on average so you will be trying match this. Make sure that you pump during the night as well, ideally between 2 – 4 am.
If you are pumping to establish your supply with a baby who is able to breastfeed but is small and easily tired, pump after every feed.
If you are in hospital you will be given an electric hospital grade pump to help establish your supply. You will get given the correct size parts and shown how to sterilize the equipment. Head here for more info on sterilising. If you are getting discharged from hospital without your baby or your baby is well enough to go home but you still need to establish your supply hiring a hospital grade pump can be of great benefit.
How long do I pump for?
Breast milk production works on a supply and demand system so the more frequently your breasts are emptied, the more milk they will make
If you are pumping alone you will be aiming for 15 -20 minutes per side using either a single or a double pump. If you are breastfeeding and pumping, pump for 10 minutes per side or for 5 minutes after your milk has stopped flowing (dry pumping is important extra stimulation).
Remember that all women are different and able to pump different quantities. Lactation booster, Galactogugue, can also be of great help when trying to increase your supply. Head here to SHOP lactation boosters.
Boost your supply by power pumping!
Basically you will be mimicking cluster feeding with your pump to increase supply. As your breast milk is safe to keep at room temperature for 3 hours. You will wash and sterilise your pump and continue to pump at small intervals of 5 – 10 minutes for at least 5 times or as many times as possible during the 3 hours period. This can be a great way to increase your supply especially if you breastfeeding and pumping and have other dependants and aren’t able to pump after every feed.
And remember to keep yourself fueledHead here to SHOP Fueling Mum