Combining Breastfeeding and Expressing Milk with a Breast Pump

2 min read

Combining Breastfeeding and Expressing Milk with a Breast Pump

Combining breastfeeding and expressing milk with a breast pump can be intimidating, especially for first-time mothers. However, it doesn’t have to be so daunting. With the right techniques and some practice, you can successfully build a stash of breastmilk for caregivers to provide to baby. Let's break down how breastfeeding and expressing milk can work together.


Preparing For Successful Pumping

The first step is preparing your body for successful pumping sessions by consuming plenty of fluids throughout the day and eating food that is balanced in protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Additionally, if you are feeling tired or stressed out, try taking some time out of the day to relax or meditate before pumping. This will help your body produce more oxytocin which helps letdown while pumping.


Breastfeeding First

The best way to ensure optimal production when pumping is to start off with breastfeeding your baby first as this will tend to trigger letdown faster than expressing alone. After feeding your baby on one side, switch them over to the other breast and use that side as an opportunity to express milk on the side they have fed from, into a bottle or milk storage bag until your milk flow has stopped. You may need to massage your breasts gently or switch between different types of flanges in order for more breast milk to flow after your baby has fed. Another good tip is adding warm compresses or using a warm washcloth on the breasts before starting each session in order to help stimulate milk flow even further. If you find you are unable to express any milk straight after breastfeeding, don't stress, your body is designed to make just enough to meet your baby's needs, you can try to wait 20min after feeding at the breast, then try again.


Save Time with Double Pumping

Once you get accustomed to single pumping sessions, consider double pumping as it helps save time by allowing you express milk from both breasts at once instead of switching back and forth between each side after every feed. It also helps increase prolactin levels which are responsible for milk production while also reducing stress hormones such as cortisol which can interfere with milk production overall. Consider investing in a double electric pump if you plan on doing regular pumping sessions as they tend to be more efficient. Milkbar pumps are great for expressing breast milk specifically due to their ability to mimic a baby’s natural suction pattern better than other pumps do.


Combining breastfeeding with expressing milk is certainly possible! With proper preparation and technique, you can successfully build up a stash of breastmilk for caregivers without too much difficulty! Remember that consistency is key when it comes building up your supply over time—be sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day and eating well-balanced meals in order keep your body primed for successful expressing sessions every time! Additionally, don’t hesitate seeking out professional help if needed in order ensure success when combining these two activities—it will all be worth it once there is enough pumped breastmilk available for caregivers.

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