How to Maximize Breast Milk
At some stage of parenting, a mother will likely need to pump her breasts, whether it be for work, due to illness or breastfeeding difficulties, or just for a night out and away from her baby.
Learn to express quickly and easily while maximizing breast milk with the simple tips below.
Have The Correct Flange Size
When using a breast pump, make sure you have the correct flange size so you get full stimulation of the nipple. It may be difficult to tell what size flange you need just by looking at your nipple, as suction will cause them to enlarge. The best way to tell is to check that the areola moves freely within the flange and behind it during a pump session. If only the tip moves into the tunnel then it's likely you need to go up a size.
Use Breast Compression
Performing breast compression while pumping will help to maximise the amount of milk you express. To do so, start by holding your breast with your thumb on top and fingers underneath, then lift up to locate the glandular tissue on the top, which should be a hard spot. Press down firmly on the spot and hold still in that position.
When done correctly, the pressure will cause milk to splurt out quicker, which in turn leads to an increase in the amount of milk being produced. When it stops flowing, adjust your thumb to find another spot of the glandular tissue and compress firmly. A breast can never be completely emptied when pumping or nursing as milk is always being produced as it is removed.
Set The Right Environment
Get milk flowing by creating a comfortable, clean setting. Pump in a private space, and if it helps, bring something to remind you of your baby, such as a photo or piece of clothing.
Feeding and pumping frequently and according to a schedule is a great way to keep up milk supply. To maximize breast milk when pumping, try to follow the same schedule as you breastfeed. If this is not possible, try to fit in at least a pump in the morning, midday, and in the afternoon.
Find The Right Pump
A good breast pump will help to establish and maintain your milk supply. Finding the most suitable pump will depend on various factors, like how frequently you will be pumping, and your budget.
For moms expecting to pump several times a day, consumer-grade electric breast pumps are a good option. These are found in baby stores and generally come with a case containing all the parts needed to start pumping. These come in single or double pumps accompanied with tubes, flanges, bottles and other parts.
If you plan to pump on occasion, you can opt for a battery operated or manual breast pump. These types also remove milk well, are more travel-friendly, and affordable. A great option is the electric breast pump from Little Martin’s Drawer, which is compact, travel-friendly, and has the option to be operated wirelessly. It is recommended for busy moms who need to pump on-the-go, or to prepare milk ahead of travelling.
- Agnes Yoon