Stop Buying Breast Pumps!

STOP BUYING BREAST PUMPS! A breast pump is an important tool for breastfeeding moms, but a breast pump is not a magic problem solver. If you are continuing to buy breast pumps to solve a low milk supply problem, if pumping is painful for you, or if pumping sucks and you’re buying pumps to fix this problem, stop doing that!!

Let’s talk about some of the reasons that pumping may not be going exactly like you want it to and why just buying another breast pump may not solve that problem for you.

(This post was originally a video. Check it out, here!)

stop buying breast pumps stop buying breast pumps stop buying breast pumps stop buying breast pumps stop buying breast pumps stop buying breast pumps stop buying breast pumps

If you ask a lactation consultant about breast pumps and pumping, odds are that they probably don’t know a lot about pumping. That’s because lactation consultants are trained to handle really complex breastfeeding issues, but NOT pumping. Lactation consultants don’t get any, or minimal at best, training on pumping so they have to learn it themselves. They have to figure it out and work with enough clients to understand the world of pumping.

Are You Getting the Best Pumping Advice?

It’s important to kind of keep that in the back of your mind when looking for advice about pumping. Make sure you’re working with someone who knows about pumping. Sometimes even a well intentioned lactation consultant can still give bad or inaccurate pumping advice.

Allison from New Little Life has made it her passion to really understand pumping. As an IBCLC, she has the traditional training of a lactation consultant, and through her own process of trial and error, as well as endless hours of reviewing and comparing pumps on YouTube, Allison is someone who gives expert pumping advice.

Check Your Pumping Schedule

Here’s five things that might be going on so you can stop buying breast pumps.

The first thing to look at before buying a new pump is your schedule. Start by looking at supply and demand. If you want more supply, you have to have the corresponding demand. Usually moms think about this with breastfeeding as feeding on demand. You let the baby feed at the breast, they tell the your body what it needs and it happens.

When you’re pumping, it’s a little more intentional. You have to get on a schedule, stick to a schedule, and empty the breasts frequently in order to have the supply. So this is one of the first things to think about before buying a new pump. Are you actually pumping enough? Are you emptying the breast enough that you’re getting enough milk? The problem might not actually be the pump it might be your schedule.

Combining Breastfeeding and Pumping

When you start combining breastfeeding and pumping, this is where it gets really tricky because it can be really hard to know what is actually low supply, what is a pump problem and what is just normal.

For instance, if you pump after your baby feeds and you get a quarter of an ounce, that might be really discouraging but in all actuality your baby might have just emptied your breasts very well and your baby’s growing and eating and healthy. This doesn’t mean you have low supply, or that there’s a problem with your pump, it just might be normal. Anytime you’re combining breastfeeding and pumping things get a little trickier. It’s really helpful to work with a professional if you have questions about what is normal. You might not need to spend money on another pump.

Check Your Flange Size

Second thing to check before buying another pump is your flange size. (Watch this video for an in depth tutorial on flange sizing!) Having the right flange size is hugely important.

Here’s a story from a mom from the New Little Life Pumping for Working Moms Program. She was using a flange size that was too big, (which is not unusual since a lot of moms don’t know their correct flange size). We found the right flange size for her and her output almost immediately doubled. Now, she was pretty early postpartum when milk supply is still regulating. Since she wasn’t getting milk out efficiently because of the wrong flange size, when she got the right size she was actually pumping out the milk that she had. Her supply didn’t exactly double, but now she was actually getting the milk out that she needed to.

-A mom from the Pumping for Working Moms Program

That’s a pretty drastic example that doesn’t always happen when we adjust flange sizes but having the right flange size usually leads to better output. It may take a little bit of time for your body to adjust the supply if it has been functioning at a low supply for a while because you haven’t been getting the milk out effectively.

Buying another pump is not going to fix this problem if it’s a flange sizing issue. Save your money, and let’s figure out if this is the problem and go from there.

Check Your Letdowns

Third thing to check before buying a new pump is whether or not you get a letdown while you’re pumping. (Check out this video for more information on letdowns).

You probably have an easier time getting a letdown while you’re feeding baby at the breast. The oxytocin just flows more easily you’re holding a baby. The baby is sucking, you’re getting stimulated in a lot of different ways with the baby’s hands, sound, smell all of that. So let downs tend to come just kind of automatically.

When you’re pumping, you’re hooked up to a sucking machine robot. For some people, letdown just happens. It’s might be easy, like milk just comes out. But for some, getting a letdown can be more of an intentional process.

If you’re not able to have those hormones release the milk down, you’re not going to get good output, right? And it can be really frustrating when you’re pumping half an ounce after a twenty minute pumping session. Something’s not right there. It might be a problem with letdowns.

Letdowns Can be Stressful when Pumping

It’s also a lot easier to notice letdowns when you’re pumping. Some moms never notice letdowns when they’re breastfeeding, it’s just happening. You might actually notice it more when you’re pumping. You’re more aware of this particular part of the process because you can see and hear the milk letting down. It’s so visual when you’re pumping.

Sometimes that can stress you out a little bit. You’ve gotta be careful not to go the other way and be stressing, “where’s my letdown?” or “when is it coming?” But also, you’ll just probably be more aware of of this step.

There might be a problem with your letdowns if pumping stresses you out, you hate it, or you’re tense at work. It might be stressful and if it is, it’s gonna be hard to relax and let that oxytocin flow to get the milk out. Recognizing your letdown and whether or not you’re having one is something to consider before buying a new pump since a new pump is not going to solve that problem.

Check Your Expectations

The fourth thing to consider before buying a new pump is whether or not you have realistic expectations.

Sometimes when moms are shopping around for a new pump, they’re like “I’m not getting enough, I need a new pump!” But really, when we look at it, they are getting enough. They are able to feed their baby, their pump is working fine, but they follow someone on social media or they have friends or something that pump more per session than they do.

Maybe you have even had these thoughts:

  • I’m not pumping enough so I need a new pump.
  • This pump is obviously defective.
  • It doesn’t work for me.
  • I don’t respond well to it.

How to Set Realistic Expectations

Everybody is different and everybody’s output is going to be different, too. People do respond differently to different pumps, that’s absolutely a thing, but it is so important to really nail down your expectations. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • How much milk do I actually need?
  • How much milk do I need to feed my baby?
  • Am I making what I need?
  • Is my pump helping me get to my goals?
  • Are my goals a little bit unrealistic?

Moms sometimes spend hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars on new pumps, pumps they think are better pumps but what they actually need is some support and reassurance that they’re doing the best they can.

Moms need help. They need someone who understands pumping and who can help them meet their goals. You would be way better off investing that money into a program, like the Pumping for Working Moms Program by New Little Life! This program was set up to help you find the support and confidence you need to make this all work.

working moms program

Get the Confidence and Support You Need

The Pumping for Working Moms Program will maybe even save you money in the long run since you won’t be buying a bunch of different pumps. Pumps cost between $200-500! It does not take very many unnecessary pump purchases to pay off this program, right? You could have just joined and been supported through this whole thing made it way easier on yourself.

A lot of moms are still joining the Pumping for Working Moms program even after they’ve spent lots of money on different pumps. It’s so sad to see you guys wasting your money when you don’t need to! Stop buying breast pumps and instead get some support!

Check Your Pump Parts

The last thing to do before buying a new breast pump is to really check to see if all of the parts of your pump are actually working. Because sometimes you really do just need to buy a new pump.

Sometimes you end up with a sub-optimal pump.

(Remember, the New Little Life YouTube channel compares a lot of pumps side by side. There is no perfect pump. You don’t have to have the absolute best one to meet your goals. There might be one that’s like really middle of the pack in the New Little Life comparisons that works really well for you. Most pumps are good pumps and most are good enough to help you meet your goals).

Sometimes You Might Need a New Pump…

There are a few pumps, however, that are not good pumps and that typically don’t work very well or that a lot of moms continually struggle with. Sometimes you do actually need a better pump, or a different style of pump to better meet your lifestyle.

But, you don’t need to figure this out on your own! Please reach out. The Pumping for Working Moms Program was set up to help moms pick the pump that we think is going to be the most effective so that you don’t have to waste money buying a bunch of different ones.

Pumping for Working Moms Program

Obviously, we can’t guarantee that we know exactly the perfect thing for you but we can narrow it down very very close. The Pumping for Working Moms Program will look at your goals and help you figure out what parts of your life are not functioning regarding pumping. You might need a wearable pump because you’re skipping pump sessions because your lifestyle just is not allowing you the time to sit down and pump connected to a wall. On the other hand, maybe a wearable pump doesn’t empty you quite as well as you need it to and you need to adjust.

There’s a lot of different things going when you’re working and pumping so sometimes you do need a new pump! But a lot of the time, buying another pump, especially to fix low output, is not the solution.

Stop Buying Breast Pumps!