A lot of new mothers, especially the working mothers, rely on pumping and expressing breast milk to feed their babies so that they can get back to work but still continue nursing. This is for the simple reason that breast milk is the primary source of nutrition and is very important to increase the immunity of the baby. In short, breast milk is a super food. Because of its nutritional value, it is not a wise to stop the breast milk in the early developmental stages of the baby. However, there may be situations in which the baby is not nursing well or the mother is not able to feed the baby well because of some temporary health issues. During such situation, it is important to express the milk to establish and maintain milk supply. By expressing, you will also have your milk available to feed the baby when you are away from the baby for work. Continue reading to know more about pumping and expressing breast milk.
Expressing is a method of taking breast milk from the breasts of the mother without the baby needing to suckle. This can be done by using:
The expressed milk can be used for feeding the baby later.
Not all mothers are able to feed their babies on demand, as they may not be able to stay with their babies round the clock due to various reasons. A mother may consider pumping her breast milk:
Some women who breastfeed start pumping the breast milk soon after their baby is born to increase the milk production. If you are returning to work then it is advisable to start pumping a couple of week beforehand to get the hang of it.
Until there is well-established milk supply, it is important to get no less than 8-10 pumping sessions in 24 hours. Ten sessions per day are better, especially if you have twins or multiples. Even if not spaced evenly, what you have to remember is:
Usually, electric pumps take around 15 minutes to pump both the breast whereas a hand pump will take around 45 minutes to finish pumping both breasts. Eventually, the mother can find out the pace and routine of expressing milk.
The quantity of the milk that should be pumped depends on different factors like:
Exclusive pumping should aim to express 750 – 1035ml of milk per day (the quantity increases when there are multiples). However, this will not happen initially. The baby mostly consumes more expressed milk than during breast-feeding session, as expressed milk provides faster and steadier flow.
Pumping and collecting as much breast milk as possible helps to maintain milk supply as well as increase the milk production as empty breast urges the body to produce more milk. Therefore, if the milk production seems less, increase the number of pumping. However, overdoing it can cause adverse results. Never spend more than 3 hours per day on pumping breast milk. Also Read: Storing Your Breast Milk