Not every woman will need to use a breast pump, but there are some situations when it can be helpful or necessary.
If you’re breastfeeding and need to be away from your baby, you can express breast milk. You may also need to use a breast pump if your baby won’t, or can’t, feed at the breast.
To keep a good milk supply, it’s essential that you regularly remove breast milk. So if you want to keep your milk supply and your baby is not breastfeeding, or breastfeeding only a little bit, you need to express milk by hand or use a breast pump.
If your baby isn’t breastfeeding at all for some reason, you’ll need to express milk at least eight times every 24 hours to keep your milk supply. If this is happening to you, you should get some help from a lactation consultant.
If you’re trying to increase your milk supply, you can express after each feed. You may need to do this
for a short or long time, depending on whether or not your baby is feeding at the breast, and how much your supply needs to increase. You should get some help from a lactation consultant.
In some situations, pumping may help a mother to increase her milk supply if she’s doing this as well as breastfeeding. But in many situations, pumping can actually interfere with breastfeeding This is because pumping, breastfeeding, and bottle-feeding is a massive workload for most women and it can become impractical. Rather than doing all three, a woman may continue to pump and bottle-feed
rather than breastfeed. If you’re facing some challenges breastfeeding, it’s generally a good idea to seek help and support
Maybe you also want to read about ” technique Hand Expression of Breast Milk ”
For many women, pumping doesn’t stimulate their milk supply the same way a breastfeeding baby does. Women who breastfeed will generally not have a period for six months or longer, but women who pump will usually ovulate within the first six weeks of giving birth.
Babies with teeth can’t bite your breast if your nipple is in the right place. Most babies never bite their mother’s breast. If a baby bites, it’s usually at the end of the feed when they’ve partially unlatched and your nipple is further forward in the mouth. If your baby does this, talk to your midwife or lactation consultant about how to stop it. This is not as big a problem as breast pump advertising sometimes suggests.
* Store expressed breast milk in plastic or glass containers with airtight, sealed lids. Use BPA-free plastic wherever possible. Label each bottle or container with the date and time. If you’re taking the milk outside your home, write your baby’s full name on the label too.
* Store milk in amounts from around 60 ml to 200 ml, making sure there’s some empty space at the top of the bottle. Milk expands when freezing, and if the bottle is full it will spill over the top.
* If you’re planning to express a few times a day and you’re getting small amounts each time, you can put the expressed milk at the back of the fridge. When next expressing, also put the new milk in the fridge. When the second bottle of milk has cooled to fridge temperature, you can mix the two bottles. You can do this for any milk you express within 24 hours, as long as you always cool the new milk before adding it.
* Never add warm milk to cold milk or to frozen milk. This can cause some thawing of part of the milk and may lead to bacterial contamination.
Thaw frozen breast milk slowly in the fridge. If you need to thaw it quickly, put the bottle of milk in warm water.
Never use a microwave to thaw or heat breast milk. This can cause uneven heating, which can scald a baby’s mouth. It also damages some of proteins that pass immunity to your baby.
Warm the expressed breast milk in a jug of hot water.
Test the temperature of the milk by shaking a few drops on to the inside of a wrist.
Do not re-warm breast milk that has been defrosted and previously heated.
Breast milk can vary in colour and does not look like cow’s milk or formula milk.
It can be yellowish, bluish, or quite pale and watery looking. All these colours are normal. Sometimes the fat separates during storage and goes to the top of the milk.
If this happens, shake the bottle gently before using the milk to mix the fat back in again.