Exclusive Pumpers: Never Give Up! Never Surrender!
Breastfeeding can be hard. Exclusively pumping can be hard. I get it. But just try to stick with it! I am sure that you wouldn’t be reading the blog if you weren’t planning on trying or did and you get high fives!
I pumped for 13 months and I will say that I am extremely proud of myself. I breastfed for the first month but we were just having issues latching on and I was pumping at the same time to get my supply going and pumping just kind of took over. It was also nice so then my husband could feed her, which he loved.
These are some of the tips or advice that seemed to help me get the best out of my pumping. These may not work for you since every boobie is different.
1. Make sure you have the right size flange.
This is a huge one that will DESTROY your pumping experience and I am convinced this causes a lot of moms to stop. I used the flanges that came with my pump and they ended up being too small….YEEOOOUCCH! They don’t cost a lot of money and I bought mine on Amazon, but try to get another size up. You can google breast pump flanges and see how they are supposed to fit properly.
2. Pump Often.
Your fun bags are actually extremely smart, which seems a bit oxymoronic. They know that if you breastfeed or pump a lot, that they need to start producing more. If you start breastfeeding first like I did, you should always try to pump afterwards to make sure that all of the milk is out. Your jubblies will only product what they emptied so if you don’t empty them, they won’t produce as much the next time. The instructions even say in the pump to continue to pump after the last drop for about 5 minutes and I think that is why I ended up producing so much and ultimately allowed me to get away with only having to pump 3-4 times a day. I started out pumping at least 6-7 times a day until about 10 weeks and then slowly started to do fewer pumps but longer sessions to readjust the jugs to my upcoming work environment.
3. Take supplements if you have to.
There is no shame in taking herbs or making lactation cookies to help your supply. I got sick at about 9 months and had to take a Z-pack. Even though the doctor said it wouldn’t affect my supply, it definitely did. I went down about 6-7 ounces each day, which is a lot if you don’t have a huge stash in the freezer. Fenugreek is extremely helpful as well as these supplements that have a little bit of everything. Mother’s Love Supplements have lots of different herbs that definitely helped to maintain my current supply and not let it dwindle. I ultimately did add another session to my day. Lactation cookies work great as long as the recipe has the 3 main ingredients: oats, brewers yeast, and flax. Unfortunately the recipe that I originally followed had like a cup of ground flax. My stomach churned the rest of the day anytime I ate those, but they did certainly work. That is the only reason why I am not posting a recipe. Just search Google and you will find a lot.
4. Replace the white membranes often.
These are the little white flaps that…well flap…inside the bottle to drop the milk in. If they get washed to hard or generally worn out they don’t provide a proper seal and decrease the amount of suction necessary. These little things are dirt cheap and you can buy a large amount of them to have in your bag for when you need them.
5. Wash your pieces carefully.
I’ll be honest, I hated washing my breast pump pieces. Breast milk is very oily and sticks to everything and you always need to devote a good amount of attention to give them a deep cleaning. I did find that the little brush that comes with the Dr. Brown bottles is EXTREMELY handy when cleaning the main part. It just fits perfectly and bends around in the little crevices.
The one piece of advice that I found saves you so much headache….DON’T WASH THE TUBING! For crying out loud….no milk comes in contact with the tubing and when you put water within the tubing, it is near impossible to get all the water out and therefore it can get into the motor and mold. Yes..mold. It even says in the manuals that washing the tubing is not necessary. If you were researching pumps like me, and lots of reviews say they hated the pump, because water got in there and it molded, it is their own damn fault. They are the dumb reviewers that put I hate this product because the person shipping it didn’t wrap it nice enough…..what?
Some perks to pumping?
– Most to all insurances cover really nice pump for free
– You legally get breaks at work to pump. Some mothers complain that their workplace is not very nice about them pumping or they make it difficult. It is your right so stand up for yourself. If they make you feel ashamed, don’t. It is their own damn insecurities and they should be ashamed themselves.
– It’s free! Woop Woop!
– For an introvert like myself…it’s your “Get out of Jail Free” card to not have to socialize or leave places early.
What were some tips that got you through pumping or what are some perks of pumping for you?