Discovering the joys of breastfeeding is an amazing, difficult, and rewarding experience. Navigating all the “joys” of pumping, though? Not so much. But pump you must when you’re a breastfeeding mom away from your baby. Make it easier on yourself with these pumping tips for breastfeeding moms.
- Remove Moisture in the Pump Tubing
If you have stubborn moisture in the tubing of your pump that just won’t dry up, try out this trick: Run the pump for a few minutes with just the tubing connected – nothing else. It should dry it out in a flash.
- Extend the Life of Pump Parts
Make your pump parts last longer and avoid the in-between cleanings. Just place your parts in a plastic bag, like a wet/dry bag, and place it in the fridge between pumping sessions. The parts can typically be stored safely for 12 – 24 hours, though you might want to double check with your doctor or lactation consultant prior.
- Avoid the Sticky Bottle-to-Bag Transfer
When you’ve finished your pumping session, transferring the breastmilk from bottle to bag can be a tricky, sticky mess. Save every drop of your liquid gold by using your pump’s detachable flange as a funnel. Just place it in the bag and pour the milk into the funnel. Voila – no more spills.
- The 1-2 Squeeze
Try to get a bit extra out of your pumping session with this little trick: Towards the end of pumping, squeeze your breasts in synchrony with the pump. Squeeze, squeeze, pause. It might just result in another letdown – and more milk!
- Double Up on Bottles
If you want the ease of combining your pumped milk only once or twice a day, bring double the bottles for every pumping session and just cap it and put the bottles in the fridge to be combined later. Dr. Brown’s bottles fit popular pumps and the travel caps make it easy to store in the fridge until you’re ready to feed from the bottle or freeze for your stash. It’s also convenient when you need to send the bottles off to daycare the next day; no transferring between bag and bottles required. Don’t forget to add an ice pack to your pumping bag to help keep the milk cool during travel.
- Make Milk To-Go Bags
When you’re in a rush in the morning and you need to gather up the right milk bags with the right amount of milk for the day, it can get a little time consuming. Instead, food prep for baby by storing a feeding’s worth of milk into each milk bag. Put enough of those individual bags into one large bag in the freezer and date it. Then each day, you can just grab and go.
- Nursing Pad Stand-Ins
There’s going to be a day, inevitably, that you forget to bring nursing pads to work or wherever it is you need to go. Before running to the store and worrying about finding your brand, do this: Dig in the depths of your purse or desk to look for a panty liner. You can even ask a female coworker – and don’t be afraid to ask for a few. Cut the panty liner in half and put the sticky side on your bra.
- Make Your Own Pumping Privacy
Pumping in public can be less than ideal for some moms. If you’re at work, it may be particularly tough to get privacy. Make your own private space with these two printable hotel-esque door tags that tells everyone to not disturb you. Hang it on the door knob when you go in, grab it off when you leave and easily stick it in your pump bag to take it with you wherever you go. We made it easy for you. You can download and print a free do not disturb door tag or privacy please door tag right now.
- Bring Baby with You, Sort Of
Sometimes, pumping doesn’t produce the kind of milk you produce when baby is actually on the breast. That’s those old hormones at work, which encourage your body to produce more milk. There are a couple things you can try, like bringing pictures of your baby with you to your pump session, or even recording baby’s voice (and hungry cry) for stimulation. You might even get more milk from a guided relaxation meditation that soothes your psyche.
- Get Milk Bags That Pass the Drop Test
Have you ever pulled a frozen milk bag out of the freezer and accidentally dropped it? Even a single drop of lost milk is agonizing, let alone a whole bag. Get a milk storage bag that passes the “drop test” like Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk Storage Bags. The thick lining stands up to drops so you don’t have to worry about anyone’s butterfingers.
Pumping breastmilk for your little one can be a roller coaster ride of fill ups and letdowns. But when you’re armed with knowledge, patience, a few tricks, and a printable “do-not-disturb” door tag, pumping just might become less unpleasant and more about getting in some quiet time. Reach out to Dr. Brown’s for questions on any of the products mentioned in this article!