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We suggest expressing an hour after feeding your little one and giving your body at least an hour or two before needing to feed again, as you may still be wanting to feed while you build up your supply, expressing at the same time of the day will help signal to your body that you need more milk at that time.
Most mums find pumping for 15-20mins is a good amount of time, this can vary, it commonly takes expressing both sides to get a full feed for your little one too. Typically you will see an increase of how much you can collect over a week of routinely expressing, as your body adjusts to the new sensation and as you add in a new feeding session.
It is over to you how many times you pump during the day, many mums find four-hourly to work when maintaining supply, and will increase the number of sessions if trying to increase supply. Research says a breastfed baby needs 30ml per hour that you are away from them, so that’s always a good place to start when working out how much expressed milk you will need.
To assist in getting a let down while expressing (especially as you are starting out) you can try use a warm cloth on the breast while massaging, look at photos or video clips of your baby which will help to release oxytocin, practice breathing exercises or pop on some calming music to help you relax and get the most out of your pumping session. With your breast pump start by using the stimulation mode and waiting until you have a strong letdown before changing to expression mode. You may find you need to adjust the suction level to suit (sometimes a different level is required for each breast, this can change over time as you get used to the sensation) to get a let down.
1. Keep Hydrated!Keep that water bottle near at all times, before during & after expressing or breastfeeding
2. Ensure you have the best suction kit fit, this will ensure optimal results (remember this fit can change over your breastfeeding & expressing journey!)
3. Take your time - ask Hubby to take the baby (and perhaps toddler!) for a walk so you can familiarise yourself with your pump, the fit and getting into a comfortable position and space
4. Don’t stressabout the amounts you are pumping initially - work on being relaxed during your pump sessions, remember to check out those cute baby pictures/videos - the less you stress the more you’ll express!
5. Reach out and ask for help! Minor tweaks and a chat with our team or one of the wonderful lactation consultants can make a world of difference
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