5 Tips for Pumping Moms
5 tips for pumping moms is a catchy title, right? Well, we really do have 5 tips for pumping moms to offer in this blog post, but it is important to realize that this won’t tell you everything you need to know.
That’s why New Little Life developed an entire program! The Pumping for Working Moms Program is a community of working moms that want to be successful in their pumping journeys. If you join, you will work one on one with our IBCLC and pumping expert, Allison. She will help you find the best pump for your situation as well as the best schedule! The Pumping for Working Moms Program gives moms peace of mind knowing they have somewhere to turn if they need help.
So, the Pumping for Working Moms Program is an ideal setup, but if a quick list is more your thing, read on for five pumping strategies.
(This blog was originally a video. Check it out, here!)
5 tips for pumping moms 5 tips for pumping moms 5 tips for pumping mms 5 tips for pumping moms 5 tips for pumping moms
First: Get a Good Breast Pump
Wouldn’t it be great if there was one perfect pump for everyone?? But that’s not realistic. Everyone has different needs, goals, lifestyles, and work environments. Finding the perfect pump is all about what you’re looking for, and what you need to be successful.
You will need what we call a “workhorse” pump. A good double electric pump (probably the one you got with your insurance) will help you get back to work and maintain a milk supply.
From there, you can decide if you also want to try a portable, or wearable pump, or any combination of those.
Maybe you’ve heard that portable or wearable pumps aren’t great because they don’t empty you fully. But if a portable or wearable pump helps you stick to your schedule because it gives you more freedom, that actually helps you more than being fully empty! There’s pros and cons to everything, and when choosing a pump the most important thing is something that will help you meet your goals! Find out more about this topic in our webinar, here!
Some people like the idea of a hospital grade pump. Those are very expensive, but they can be rented. A hospital grade pump probably isn’t necessary, but if you end up in the hospital longer than you anticipated or your baby’s in the NICU, it might be available to you.
So number one, get a good pump.
Number Two: Set Realistic Expectations
The more you dive into this pumping and breastfeeding together world, the more you will realize that it is not just plug and play. You can’t just put a pump on and expect everything to work out perfectly.
You probably won’t have all this extra milk or a beautiful Pinterest worthy freezer stash. It just doesn’t happen that way.
So, ask yourself, why are you pumping? What is your actual goal? What is realistic?
When you combine breastfeeding and pumping, things look different than if you are just breastfeeding or just pumping. That’s the part that Allison loves to help moms figure out in the Pumping for Working Moms Program. She helps you decide what’s realistic for you and how you can adjust expectations if needed.
Realistic Expectations Combat Anxiety
You can have a textbook experience on the outside looking in but there might be a lot of anxiety wrapped up in that, too. If you’re having anxiety every single day about your milk supply, like “am I making enough?” “why didn’t I make more during that session?” that’s not a great way to spend a year (or more) of your life.
After you go back from maternity leave you’ve got a lot of stuff to do. You’ve got a job, you’ve got expectations at home. There’s a baby now and you’re also lactating. It’s a lot! Daily anxiety over something that might be normal is not a good thing! Having realistic expectations can help combat that anxiety.
Number Three: Have a pumping schedule and stick to it!
We’re using the term schedule loosely. Consistency is key! It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be frequent.
Find that balance between science and practical. You know that you need to express milk often to maintain a milk supply. You should know roughly how much you need to pump to meet your baby’s needs. But what if you can’t practically do that? What if your job is such that it is very difficult to stick to your schedule? How do you adjust from there?
There’s a lot of different things that you can do to help mitigate some of the risks but at some point you’ve got to just find a flow, a consistency, and stick to it. This is where that really personalized piece of support can come into play.
Allison’s personalized expertise in the Pumping for Working Moms Program can help you create a custom schedule. She can suggest ways to fit a pumping session in your busy work day whether you’re a surgeon or a teacher or a business professional with lots of meetings.
Number Four: Know Who to Ask for Help
Think about who is in your corner to help you. Other working moms and friends who have done this before or family is a really good starting point.
But, you can only go so far with friends and family because their knowledge is limited to the personal experiences.
It is important to have that support from someone who really understands where you are and what you’re going through. A lactation consultant can be a really good resource. But remember, lactation consultants aren’t trained in pumping. Lactation consultants may be better suited to help with breastfeeding needs.
Find Someone You Trust
What about looking for tips from social media? Some accounts have really good pumping tips and tricks! It can be hard to find answers to specific questions, though. Finding someone who you trust and you know understands what you’re doing is really, really important.
The Pumping for Working Moms Program is a step-by-step guide to give you the information you need so that you can eventually figure this out on your own. If you do have questions, you have easy access to Allison, a pumping expert! (And we’re hoping to expand our team with more IBCLCs and pumping experts!)
If you join, you will have lifetime access. Isn’t it frustrating when you have to make appointment after appointment, and continue to pay for the same issue? That’s why we’ve set up our program as all-access, all at once. It is an investment, but we think (and hope you will, too!) that it’s worth it.
Number Five: Make Sure You’re Pumping Correctly
This is a big one! All of the important pumping basics cannot be covered in this one blog post. Even if we could write one enormous post covering all the basics, it wouldn’t be personalized to you.
Instead, it is best to have a firm knowledge base of pumping and breastfeeding how it works together. You don’t have to know everything, just really try to understand the concepts and incorporate the best practices in your pumping.
New Little Life has a video about flange sizing that can make a really big difference. But how do you know if you’re doing it right? You can get milk pumping from a flange that’s too big but you will probably be leaving milk behind. It is not going to be as effective as it could be. You might have longer pumping times and really our goal for working moms is to pump fast and efficiently. You’ve got to get all the milk out that you need to but it shouldn’t take 45 minutes. Instead of struggling to figure this out on your own, let the experts teach you.
Don’t Do This On Your Own!
If you’re looking for that step-by-step guide and access to an expert, that’s exactly why the Pumping for Working Moms Program was created. But, hopefully these five things have at least helped give you an idea of some of the basics that you need to make this more effective.
A lot of moms stumble through on their own and make it to the end and some of them have done great and some of them haven’t hit their goals and end up feeling frustrated about it. Some moms do really well and still feel really frustrated. That hurts our hearts, too! A little expectation adjustment might help.
A quote that really resonates with us is, “pumping is an art.” There is not one way to do this. There’s a lot of ways and you’ve got to find the way that works best for you in your life. There are some concepts that are pretty universal and you can tweak them to work best for you, first you have to learn them.
Make sure you’re checking your expectations. How are you mentally, emotionally, physically? If needed, reframe what is normal and what you should expect. This can make a huge difference!
We are Here for You!
We’ve worked with a few moms in our program where their output stayed pretty similar but after adjusting their expectations, their experience was a complete 180. All of a sudden they felt validated having an expert tell them this is super normal, your output is good and you don’t need to spend any more time stressing about this.
Sometimes you just need someone sitting in your corner in case you need them! We want to leave you with that in this post, to just give you some peace of mind that you can do this right and you are not alone! There are a lot of working moms doing the same thing that you’re doing and you’re doing a good job!
Give yourself a little bit of grace. Almost everyone that we work with and see here on YouTube is beating themselves up over something that they don’t need to! You’re putting in a lot of work and you’re doing a great job!