Do you need to pump if you’re exclusively breastfeeding? Many moms use a breast pump to stack milk so someone else can feed their baby while mommy can rest. Breast pumps are great, especially if you have to stay away from your baby while they require your breast milk. However, if your breastfeeding is going well and you have no plans to part from the baby, you don’t need a breast pump. On the other hand, you can also use a breast pump to remove some milk since it gets really painful because of a clogged duct. It gets easier to unblock a duct using a pump instead of massaging or warming it. Let’s go ahead and see when you need a breast pump and its advantages. Keep reading to find out if you need to pump while breastfeeding.
Do I Need Pumping While Exclusively Breastfeeding?
A straightforward answer to this is no; you do not need a pump if you are exclusively breastfeeding. You can use it when you need to stack some milk for later use. It can also be used when you need to get rid of extra breast milk. Other than these reasons, there is no need to use a breast pump.
Other Ways to Pump Additional Breast Milk
While a breast pump is convenient, it is not the only way to express extra breast milk. Another trick you can do is hand expressing, where you gently press the breast behind the nipples. This excellent option can help express milk from an engorged breast and bring back comfort levels. You can also use it as an alternative to a breast pump to express enough milk for a baby. However, take help from a professional or watch some video to do it properly.
Advantages of Breast Pump
Here are a couple of reasons why you would need a breast pump.
- If Your Baby Can’t Breastfeed
If your baby can’t breastfeed, you can use a pump to stimulate the milk supply until your baby can easily suck the milk from the nipples. Pumping eight to ten times a day is suggested by many as it will express enough milk for the baby to drink.
Hand expression might be cheaper, but using a pump is more convenient and easy. If you plan to use a pump for a month or even less, renting a hospital-grade pump is a good option. However, if you plan to use it again in the near future, purchase a breast pump from renowned brands.
- If the Baby Is Not Getting Enough Milk
In this case, pumping after breastfeeding can increase the milk supply as it thoroughly drains the breasts and helps stimulate more milk production. A regular breast pump would be enough for this kind of job, but if it starts causing pain while pumping, it is better to use a hands-free pump.
- Engorged Breasts
If you feel swelling, tightness, or a sudden increase in your breasts, it means they are engorged. This happens in the stages of breastfeeding, and if you take care of it quickly, there is nothing to worry about. Using a pump, you can easily remove enough breast milk to bring the breasts back to their comfort levels.
- If You Return to Your Work Routine
If you want to return to your office routine after four or five months, it is better to pump some milk and leave it for the baby. On the other hand, if you want to take the baby to the office (not recommended), it is quite convenient to feed the baby using a baby feeder. You can also leave the baby at home with their grandparents or your family members, and they can feed them.
- If You Have Nipple Problems
If you have flat, inverted, or dimpled nipples, the chances are that your baby can’t suck them properly. You can use a breast pump to evert your nipples, making it easy for the baby to latch and suck the nipples. This is important in the initial days when the baby is way too weak to suck the nipples properly.
- Helpful in Nights
If your partner is willing to help feed the baby, it is better to pump some milk before going to bed. When the kid is up and crying for food, your partner can feed the baby while you get extra rest. On the other hand, if you fell asleep without feeding the baby and the baby didn’t demand food as well, the chances are that you’ll feel pain in your breast. So, pumping some milk before bed is helpful to reduce the chances of engorging.
Disadvantages of Breast Pumps
While it is convenient to have a breast pump, there are some issues that you should watch out for.
Breast pumps come in different sizes and at different price points. It is obvious that a breast pump with more functions will be costly compared to a regular breast pump. If you are unsure, which breast pump will suit you, search for the best ones, check their reviews and purchase one with good features but a low price.
Breast Pumps require thorough cleaning, which consumes a lot of time, especially if you have an automatic pump. On the other hand, some pumps require disassembling before cleaning, which becomes troublesome as reassembling them might not be easy.
- Hygiene Concerns
Unless your breast pump has safeguards and a closed system, you’ll need to clean it every time before using it. Moreover, if you leave it for several days after usage without cleaning it, the chances are that it will contain bacteria that’ll cause breast infections.
- Oversupply and Less Supply
Too much pumping can increase the milk supply, which might start causing problems. On the other hand, you might feel a difference in your milk supply if you breastfeed your child after weeks of breast pumping.
Do I need to pump if I’m exclusively breastfeeding? Not necessarily unless you want to leave some milk for the baby. Breast pumping on an excessive scale can lead to problems that might become painful in the near future.