Exclusively pumping or multiple forms of triple feeding is becoming more and more common as the breast pump technology improves, women have to go back to work earlier, or bubs are sick and in the hospital. There are multiple reasons why a family chooses this feeding journey, or maybe it just chose them. It is time that these families feel supported in their journey and recognized for all the hard work they put in! Aside from the time spent actually caring for your baby, you also need to pump, clean the parts, store, manage and rotate the breast milk correctly as well as prevent clogged ducts and mastitis while keeping your supply high.
If you are an exclusive pumper it has been found by mother’s own experience that spending 120 minutes a day on the pump is beneficial for maintaining your supply. Of course, with every general guideline there will be outliers and pumpers who are able to maintain their supply with less time on the pump, or have to pump more than 120 minutes. It is very individual and also based on where you are in your lactation journey and what your goals are. If you are struggling to figure out a plan that works for you please book in with one of our Lactation Consultants to sort something out.
Below we have some tips to help make your pumping journey a bit easier on you:
- Go hands free – and double pump at the same time. This saves time and allows you to multitask while pumping. We love the Haakaa Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra. This bra is a great pumping bra that is comfortable enough to wear all day, you don’t need to put on and remove every single pumping session.
- Don’t sanitize your parts between every pump – CDC guidelines suggest sanitizing pump parts and bottle brush at least once daily. This is especially important if your baby is less than 3 months old, was born prematurely or has a weakened immune system due to illness or medical treatment.
You can also try the “Fridge Hack” – where you put your dirty pump parts in a plastic bag or container for up to 8-12 hours before you wash or sanitize them. This saves a lot of time, but it is not safe for all babies and situations. Dr. Anna Bowen, epidemiologist and CDC medical officer, told Parents “Although refrigerating used pump parts between uses might be OK if the pump kit is not contaminated, cleaning the pump kit after each use is safest and is particularly important for babies who are younger than two to three months old, were born prematurely, or have weakened immune systems.”
- Be creative on how you will get your pumping sessions in – Get comfortable pumping on the go. As you have more kids, finding the time to fit pumping sessions in gets harder and harder. Sometimes it is easier to pump while out for a walk or while driving and all the kids are strapped into their car seats. This involves setting up some logistics like having a cooler and ice pack for your milk, and a way to power your pump or making sure the battery is charged.
- Get a proper sized flange – Having a proper sized flange could make all the difference to your pumping journey. It can help increase your supply as well as take away the pain experienced while pumping. Book into our flange fitting appointment today!
- Pump into the bottles that your baby drinks out of. This saves time cleaning bottles and being able to pump and feed right away. If you pump with a spectra but feed out of Dr. Brown’s bottles there are connectors that you can purchase to make the Dr. Brown’s bottle’s fit directly into the Spectra pump. If you are pumping and you know the milk will go directly into the freezer you can also purchase connectors that allow you to pump directly into a freezer bag.
- Have a back up plan – There are lots of moving parts and losing one is quite easy. You need to have a back up plan if this happens as you will still have to pump. This might involve purchasing two sets of pumping parts or having the skill of being able to hand express if need be.
- Find a system to store and transport milk – Not only will you have to store and rotate milk in your fridge and freezer at home, but also need a system of how you will safely bring milk out of the house to feed. Check out the product Ceres Chiller, or you can simply bring an esky with ice packs to keep the milk cold until ready to use. Breast milk is good at room temperature for 4 hours, so also take that into consideration when planning your outing!
- It is OK to combine milk from different pumping sessions – the milk needs to be the same temperature when it is combined though.
Please get in touch with our Lactation Consultants if you have any questions or need support in your breast feeding/ pumping journey. You can book online or call the clinic directly at 03 9376 7474