When I got pregnant with my oldest, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I bought nursing bras and covers to get ready for public breast feeding. I read books and scoured the internet for tips and tricks, never even looking at pumping; because in my perfect world mouse was going to latch like a pro. Spoiler alert: she didn’t. I exclusively pumped for her for 10 months. Cut to baby number 2 and I once again prepared for an exclusive nursing baby. Spoiler alert to the sequel: we’re exclusively pumping again.
I know a ton of new moms are in the same position I was / am. At first I was stressed and disappointed. My supply dipped and I thought I was failing as a mom. I want to disclose that I do not think formula feeding or pumping means you failed. Remember fed is best. It wasn’t until I found a great support team, stuck to a pump schedule, and discovered a range of food and drinks that boost my supply.
If you’re pumping/ thinking of pumping you came to the right place
I’m going to talk about
- Different types of breast pumps
- Pumping schedules
- Supply Boosting foods and drinks
- Support systems
They’re are so many types of pumps. Each has different benefits. Make sure to do research to find what works best for you.
Double electric : this pump is ( you guessed it: electric and has the capability of expressing milk out of each breast simultaneously. This is good if you have multiples, want to start a freezer stash, or simply like having the extra milk.
Single electric: This pump is an electrical that has the capability of expressing one breast at a time. This is perfect for single births. This pump allows you to empty the breast baby is not latched to, or for exclusive pumpers, stimulate baby switching sides. Most double electric pumps can convert to a single electric pump.
Manual: This kind of pump uses the power of you. The pump usually has some type of lever that is pumped by mom to allow milk to flow. You control the suction strength and speed by squeezing the pump lever. Personally I believe every pumping mom should own one. (I learned that the hard way when I lost power and my electric wouldn’t work.)
Silicone: This pump uses a vacuum like suction to collect milk. This is perfect to collect extra milk from a leaky boob. You know the one that baby’s not feeding on, because baby already fed on that one and you have to let him feed on the other. It is also perfect for clogged ducts I’ve used a combination of warm wash cloths to relieve plenty of clogged ducts.
Hand Expressing: I wanted to include hand expressing since it is a way to express milk. This isn’t the best method to collect breast milk, since you might only get a little at a time. I personally HE several times a day; when I finish a pump session, to make sure I’ve emptied the breast; during baths, for some reason sitting in a relaxing tub makes my milk come down fast, I go from empty to engorged in five minutes.
Personally use a combination of a manual and a double electric that is converted to a single. I realized about a month in that my right boob wasn’t producing as well as my left. I was using a double electric. One day I decided to use my manual, I was too last to set up my electric, and I noticed my right boob produced an extra two ounces. Since then I’ve been using the electric on my left and manual on my right. Remember every body is different and so is every boob.
Sticking to a schedule is a key point in keeping up supply. It is ideal to pump as often as baby feeds. Make sure to pump every 3 hours for the first 3 months at 3 months you can start skipping the middle of the night pumps if you wish.
This is just a suggestion, feel free to tailor the schedule to your needs.
Nuts, seeds, and grains
Black sesame seeds
Herbs & spices
Body Armour drinks
Herbal teas ( this one can be tricky it is best to use teas designed for breastfeeding mothers)
Pumping is hard. Like very hard. Seriously you will pump almost 30 hours a week. That’s a part-time job! It’s tough and totally normal to want to call it quits. ( If you decide that’s what you need to do, know that you are still an amazing mother)
Having a support team is what helps me get through the days pumping. Having a supportive husband and family to be there when my supply dipped, helped me out of a slump. It’s also good to have a support team that is going through the same thing you are. Now unless you have a few friends going through what you are, you might be wishing you had another pumping mom to talk to. Social media is a great place to start. You can usually find a local breastfeeding page. I personally am in a wonderful supportive a Fancy community. No for real it’s called Fancy Pumpers. The group has a public page but also private groups that are 100% judge free zones. Other groups include:
Fancy Talk a general mom discussion group.
Fancy Fit Mamas a group for fitness/ mom’s trying to get healthy
Fancy Foodies a place you can exchange recipes and post pictures of that food you slaved over.
Fifty Shades of Fancy a NSFW group that allows you to talk openly about sex and relationships after baby.
Fancy Pregnancy this group is for those who are pregnant. You are welcome to be part of the group up until baby is 6 weeks old.
Join a group today, it doesn’t have to be the ones I mentioned. You can also talk to your child’s doctor to see if they have a local breastfeeding support group, or even just a mommy support group. Whatever you do remember to talk to someone and if you feel overwhelmed or stressed let someone know.
A lactation consultant can help with latch issues, or answer answer any questions you have
If you feel depressed, or have difficulty bonding with baby you could have Postpartum Depression.
If you feel like you might harm yourself or others call these numbers
Being a mom is hard but it is the best decision I’ve made. Thank you for allowing me to give my advice and I hope you subscribe to our Email list for updates on more blog post.