New mothers might think that pumping is better than breastfeeding. It helps them rest, and anyone can feed the baby. However, you don’t need to use a breast pump to provide for your child exclusively. If you get some knowledge, you can combine breastfeeding and pumping. This gives you an edge as you can breastfeed the child when you are awake and fresh and pump milk for later use. This article covers how you can combine breastfeeding and pumping.
Breastfeeding is a solid commitment, and you must stay close to your baby. You never know when your baby asks for food, and letting them cry is not a choice. Exclusive pumping has some risks. We have covered them in another article, be sure to check it out. For the best results, combine pumping with breastfeeding so the flow remains smooth and you won’t experience the tiring effects of breastfeeding.
The complication starts when you don’t know how to combine them. It looks simple, but you must adjust your routine to get the best results. You must understand your baby’s routine and how much milk they demand each time. Once you have this schedule, you can easily combine pumping and breastfeeding.
Why Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping?
Now that we got your attention towards combining breastfeeding and pumping, we must share the benefits, so you get a better idea. Here are some benefits of combining breastfeeding and pumping.
- Pumping can help you spend more time away from your baby.
- Another person can bottle feed the baby, thus giving a good chance of bonding.
- Pumping is a good strategy to increase milk supply.
- Pumping provides your baby with breast milk while you are away at work.
- Combination feeding can make breastfeeding less stressful and allow you to continue your breastfeeding journey for longer.
While it is preferable to breastfeed your child, certain times require pumping. Expressing milk using a breast pump is not difficult. You can follow the box instructions or watch videos online to understand better. However, you should not store expressed milk for a longer time. Unlike boxed milk, breastmilk won’t survive for long after storage, and it might become hard for your baby to digest. It is better to express milk daily so you can provide your baby with a fresh supply.
On the other hand, if your baby hesitates to go near someone, your breast milk can be a reason they can bond. Since babies are more interested in getting milk, anyone feeding them has a higher chance of getting close to them.
If you have problems with your milk supply, pumping can improve it, but that might become a problem if you start exclusive pumping.
How to Choose a Breast Pump
The first thing you’ll need to do is to get a breast pump that is more suitable for you. Manual pumps are better if you want to express a limited amount of milk. Automatic pumps are excellent if you want to relax while the pump does its job. If you have insurance, that company is responsible for providing you with a breast pump. Another thing is to check if you want to use a pair or solo breast pump. A pair is better if you want to express milk in a balanced amount. A solo pump is better if you want to save money and have a general idea about balance breast pumping.
How to Use a Breast Pump
You can watch tons of videos online to get an idea about pumping, but here are some tips to improve the results. If you are stressed while pumping, the chances are that you might hurt yourself. Breast pumping is the same as feeding a baby, so be careful not to hurt your nipples or breasts. Using the right technique, you can express more milk each session, which improves milk supply.
On the other hand, you should be relaxed while pumping, so your body should pay more attention to expressing milk. Do not interrupt the process, and don’t make any big movements while expressing. Moving while pumping can lose the shields, and you might spill the milk or hurt your nipples.
Don’t disconnect the pump immediately after you feel like your milk flow has stopped. Let the pump run for a few more minutes to increase the demand on your breasts. Your milk production should slowly increase as you continue to use your breast pumps.
A session of 15 minutes is enough to express and increase the demand for breast milk. You can engage in a session every three to four hours to have enough supply for the next time your baby asks for milk. Using a double breast pump can increase this process, but a double breast pump is expensive.
The first thing is to clean your breasts and see if there are any signs of damage. Sometimes people use breast pumps carelessly and end up hurting their nipples. Moreover, get some rest and eat something, as you’ll lose energy while expressing milk.
That naturally depends on how much your baby drinks every session. An infant might not drink lots, but they’ll require more milk as they grow up. A thumb rule is to pump 1oz every hour if you are away from the baby. 9-10oz on average is enough to last a day, but this amount can alter based on your baby’s demand. Always check your health after each session. If you feel weak or dizzy, it means you are forcefully expressing milk, and lowering the amount would be advisable.
If you want to have a peaceful experience while nursing your child, it is better to learn how to combine breastfeeding and pumping. That way, you can breastfeed the child at home, and someone else can feed the child when you are at work.