How much milk should I be pumping

Whether you go out for the evening, come back to work or need a break from breastfeeding, at one point, most new moms rely on a milk pump. The practical gear can do a lot more than allowing you to fill a bottle with your breast milk. A milk pump is also convenient for storing a milk book in your freezer, which helps maintain your milk supply and prevent clogging. But for new moms, the process of pumping breast milk can seem daunting. When should you start pumping breast milk, how often should you pump and how will you react? We have your answers.

How much milk should I be pumping
How much milk should I be pumping

When to start pumping breast milk

When to start pumping breast milk “depends a lot on the experience that mother and baby have,” says Jenny Thomas, MD, IBCLC, a pediatrician at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee and a member of the Executive Committee for the Americas. Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Breastfeeding. But if breastfeeding is fine and mom does not return to work immediately, experts do not recommend pumping breast milk for the first four to eight weeks. “The baby has a natural rhythm [sucking] that can help increase the milk supply, which one pump does not have,” says Thomas. “Plus, a pump does not remove as much milk as babies.”

However, there are certain circumstances in which a mother should start pumping breast milk sooner, says Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC, RLC, a lactation consultant and owner of All About Breastfeeding, a lactation consulting service in Peoria, in Arizona. The most common reasons are:

• If the baby is born prematurely or has a health problem. “The first reason I suggest that a new mom starts pumping breast milk is if the baby is unable to breastfeed, is born premature, has a health problem, is in UTIN or has to be separated from his mother, “says Isenstadt.

• If the baby loses too much weight. If the baby is not able to have enough milk to breastfeed, “the pumping will let mom feed baby with breast milk to eliminate continued weight loss,” she says.

• If mom has to go back to work. “I suggest that mom start pumping and storing breast milk about three weeks before returning to work,” says Isenstadt. “This will give him enough time to keep enough milk for his first days back to work.”

How many times do I have to pump?

To make sure your milk supply is not favorable, the general rule is to pump each time the baby is fed from a bottle, so your body always gets the signal to produce more milk.

If you’re preparing to go back to work, start pumping breast milk about twice a day, says Isenstadt. “Always pump very soon after the baby has breastfed,” says Isenstadt. “If you pump too close to the next breastfeeding, the baby will probably be frustrated by a low volume, which will cause a bad feeding session.”

Once you are back to work, try to pump breast milk about every three hours. If baby takes three bottles while you work, pump three times when you are out of the house. If baby makes four bottles when you are gone, pump four times during your work.

How much milk should I pump?

How much milk you need to pump depends mostly on your milk supply and your age and weight. “Moms usually generate enough milk to meet the baby’s daily needs, about one liter a day,” says Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, head of adolescent medicine at Cooper University Hospital and professor of pediatrics. at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey. “But it depends on the mother; some can only pump an extra 3 to 6 ounces more than they already produce to feed the baby, while others can store the equivalent of what they feed the baby.”

Of course, if you keep breastfeeding or use pumping alone, you can determine how much milk you should pump. “Before going back to work, if you are pumping shortly after breastfeeding, you can only pump about 0.5 ounces to about 1 ounce per session, depending on your overall volume,” says Isenstadt. “Once you’re back to work and the pump completely replaces breastfeeding, you have to pump the same volume that the baby takes from each bottle.If you pump more, it’s great.”

Regarding the duration of the pump, once your milk has entered, you should aim to pump until your breasts are soft and empty, or until about two minutes after the last drop of milk, for to make sure of everything. Depending on your milk supply and the type of breast pump you use, pumping sessions can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

We recommend reading the article: weaning from breastfeeding

How to pump breast milk

There are a variety of ways to pump breast milk. But before switching to a pump, it’s a good idea to learn how to express your milk by hand. “It’s good for moms to feel comfortable using their hands in the expression,” says Feldman-Winter.

Apart from the expression of the hand, the pumping of breast milk can be done using an electric pump or a hand pump. Exactly, how to pump breast milk depends on the type of breast pump you use. “The pumps are slightly different concerning the handheld, the only electric (once a time), the electric double (both breasts at a time), the hands-free and so on, so it does not matter. There is not one set of specific guidelines that will be relevant to all moms, “says Isenstadt. That said, there are some general instructions on how to pump breast milk:

• Step 1: Start by cleaning your hands and cleaning the equipment from the bottle.

Step 2: Place the bridles on your breast tissue, making sure that the flange opening is centered around your pacifier.

• Step 3: Hold the pieces against your chest with your thumb on the top of the bridle and your remaining fingers flat against the bottom of the harness. Be careful not to press so hard on the breast tissue that it leaves marks on the skin.

Step 4: Follow your pump’s instructions on how to adjust the dials. You start with low suction and fast speed. Once you have a steady flow, which usually takes about one to three minutes, you can reduce the rate and increase the suction.

• Step 5: To complete a full pumping session, you will want to pump for about 15 to 20 minutes.

• Step 6: Once you have finished pumping, gently break the suction of the bridles and remove them from your breast. Carefully remove the baby bottle from each flange (if using a dual breast pump) and place on a flat surface. Unplug your pump, put a lid on each bottle and stay cold.

• Step 7: Clean your pump using the instructions from your pump manufacturer.

Keep in mind that pumping should never be painful. “If breast milk hurts, something is wrong with the configuration of the machine,” says Thomas. “Either you have the wrong size bridles or the suction level is too high.If it still hurts after making adjustments, look for a lactation counselor and bring the pump so that she can help you get the good fit. ”

Tips on pumping breasts

To make the process as gentle and successful as possible, keep these breast pump tips in mind:

Invest wisely.When buying a breast pump, assess your priorities, such as budget, portability, and baby’s needs (there are specially designed pumps for moms with premature babies, for example), then ask their friends and their experts. If you prefer not to buy one, many birthing hospitals rent quality milk pumps, and most women’s, infants’ and children’s offices (WICs) can provide loan pumps, as needed. moms. You can even get a free chest pump through your insurance. Note: It is best not to buy or borrow a worn pump because of the risk of cross-contamination. (Hospital rentals are built with protective barriers and approved by the FDA for multiple users.)

• Pumps always with milk pump flanges that fit correctly. This might not be as obvious as it may seem. Many chest pumps come with adjustable straps or a range of size options. A sign that they are well adapted: There is a little space around your nipple, letting it move freely in the bridle. You do not want the areola to make a rub on the flange side or be pulled into the flange tunnel when pumping. “A breastfeeding expert can help you find the right fit for you,” says Laura María Gruber, IBCLC, lactation consultant and founder of Breastfeeding Housecalls, a breastfeeding clinic near San Antonio.

• Enter a good mood before pumping. “Anything that causes stress is not good for the volume of milk, so agree when you start to pump breast milk,” says Thomas. “However, you do it depends on you.” Some people bring pictures of their children, and some pumps allow you to record a soundtrack of your child, so when you start pumping, you can hear it rolling. ”

• Buy a hands-free bra. “This allows the bridles to be supported by the bra,” says Isenstadt, “so mom does not need to hold the bridles herself, releasing her to do something else with her hands as she pumps the breastmilk.”

• Do not skip the pumping by night. Some women, wanting a good night’s sleep, pump extra milk before going to bed and then have their partners offer a bottle when she wakes up in the middle of the night. But be careful – as the baby continues to feed, he reads as a missed diet for your body. If this happens too often, it affects the supply of milk, “says Thomas.

• Wait. “Ironically, the best pumping advice I can give is to harden as long as necessary, so that mom’s milk supply has time to build with the baby’s latch and need,” says Gruber. “Moms who pump too soon can sometimes cause overproduction, which comes with its problems, such as connected ducts, mastitis, and energetic disturbance,” that is to say when too much milk comes out too quickly.

How long does breast milk last after pumping?

How long breast milk lasts after pumping depends on the storage method. Breast milk can last up to six to eight hours on the counter, five days in the fridge and about six months in a freezer with a separate door. Be sure to store it in the back of the freezer instead of the door, which tends to be warmer.

“The more fresh breast milk is, the better,” says Thomas. “The milk is intended to pass from the breast to the baby. Whenever there is an interruption, it changes the components of the milk, but not enough to make it better than the formula. Refrigeration does not affect the components almost as much as the gel. “Once breast milk warms to room temperature, it should not be re-refrigerated or refereed.

The best breastmilk storage option for moms who are new to pumping are solid containers with tight lids, such as screw caps or hard plastic cups with tight caps, as the bags of breast milk can be squeezed break. “As they feel comfortable, moms can venture to use bags,” says Gruber. “Putting the breast milk storage bags down will make thawing considerably easier, as it will freeze in a thin layer of ice that melts easily in hot water.” Remember that the milk expands when it freezes, so be sure to leave some extra room when sealing the bag.

Pumping of breast milk

Pumping power or pumping at frequent intervals during the day has made a lot of buzz as an easy way for moms to increase their milk supply. There are different ways to power the pump, but a simplified approach is to set aside one hour a day to pump breast milk, pump for the first 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, then continue to alternate pumping and resting. Every 10 minutes for Rest of the time.

“Theoretically, it mimics the supply and demand of a baby undergoing a growth spurt, which is thought to stimulate the release of prolactin, a hormone that produces milk,” says Thomas. “But it’s very theory-based, and I do not know of any research that [supports the claim], I’ve never recommended it, I think it would be tough to do.”

Feldman-Winter agrees, saying, “This method is not supported by the best evidence and may be useful for some women, but not for all.” Like everything else when it comes to pumping, just listen to your body.

You may also be interested in: Choose and maintain baby bottle nipples.

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