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Milk Pumping Tips

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    It’s no surprise that moms often decide to wean when they go back to work. Pumping at the office can be stressful (not to mention a logistical challenge). And even if you build up a freezer full of milk during maternity leave. The stash will start to dwindle quickly. However, there is another option: Have your baby drink formula during the day but continue nursing before you leave for work and after you return home. This will allow your baby to still benefit from breastfeeding, and you’ll both enjoy the quiet bonding time. Within a week or two, your body will adapt to produce milk when your baby needs it. Peaking in the early morning and at night and lessening during the day. Helpful hints: A few weeks before your maternity leave ends. Start pumping once or twice during the day and give your baby a bottle instead of nursing him. This will help your midday supply start to diminish, so that you can avoid becoming engorged on the job. If you’re in pain at work, use your hand or a manual pump to gently express a little milk in the ladies’ room, which will take the pressure off. When you’re not at work, try to nurse your baby for all other feedings to maintain your supply. If you know that adequate sleep is important for your mental health, try asking your spouse to give your baby a bottle of formula at one of the nighttime meals. This will provide the restful break you need while giving him a bonding opportunity with your baby. An added bonus: Your child may sleep a bit longer than usual, since formula takes a bit longer to digest than breast milk and stays in her stomach longer.


    Establishing a routine is one of the most effective breast pumping tips. Pump at the same place, in the same chair, and drink the same beverage. Get your equipment ready in the same way each time; use your mental tricks to relax and pump. This routine conditions your milk ejection reflex. Start at the armpit and use the fingertips of your opposite hand to make small circles on the breast tissue in that one spot. Then move your hand slightly and do it again. Work your way around the breast and gradually down toward the areola in a spiral pattern. (This is similar to the breast exam that you or your doctor use to check for lumps.) Finish the massage with a series of long strokes from the chest wall down to the areola, again working your way around the entire breast. Then massage the other breast. If your milk flow slows down during a pumping session, a few minutes of breast massage is one of the most helpful breast pumping tips that may help get it going again. Drink a couple glasses of water right before pumping. Visualize flowing mountain streams or rivers running toward the ocean as you pump. Or imagine yourself as a fountain of milk–whatever image helps your milk to let down and spray into the pump. Bring along one of your baby’s blankets or a piece of clothing. Enjoy your baby’s smell on the fabric. Call the sitter and find out what your baby is doing right before you pump. To minimize distractions while pumping, try listening to music. You can enjoy your favorite music while you pump, or listen to soothing nature sounds: the ocean, the rain forest, whatever appeals to you.

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