How to Use Your Breast Pump

November 27, 2013

New moms have to face many unfamiliar situations during the first few weeks of their baby’s life. Breastfeeding and pumping are often part of these unfamiliar situations, and can be very daunting. In this blog post we will discuss how to use your breast pump so you have the best experience possible.

-Use proper hygiene and make sure your hands are clean before using your pump in order keep from spreading bacteria to your little one.
-Make sure each part of the pump is clean. Wash any of the parts that come in contact with your milk in hot, soapy water. Let them air dry. For extra sterilization, depending on your breast pump manufacturer, you can use microwavable steam bags or boil the parts for five minutes.
-If you are at home, create a comfortable and relaxing spot to pump. Place your pump next to you, either at or above chest level. Make sure to have a glass of water handy! Breastfeeding and pumping can make you very thirsty. If you are at work, try to get as comfortable as possible. Bring a picture of your baby to help your milk let down.

Ready to pump:
– Take the parts out of your bag. Attach your tubing to the machine and to the collection bottles.
-Carefully place the shield against your breast with your nipple pointing straight into the center of the flange. The shield should be covering your areola. This should not hurt or feel uncomfortable. You might find a hands-free pumping bra to be helpful.
-Turn your pump on. Depending on the model you have, you might have to adjust the speed and/or the strength. Turn the strength up until it gets slightly uncomfortable and then turn it down a notch. It should not hurt. If it hurts when you pump you should see a Lactation Consultant to help you get a good fit. If you continue to pump through pain you might end up injuring yourself.
-Relax as much as possible. The more relaxed you are the better your milk production will be. Try not to watch how much milk you are making. This can stress you out and inhibit your milk from letting down.
-Give yourself 10-15 minutes of pumping. You can try to pump for a few minutes longer as your milk begins to slow down. This will help your body create more milk for future pumping sessions.
-After you have emptied your breast, carefully remove the breast shield from your breast. Be careful, because tipping the parts can cause you to spill milk.
-Turn off your pump and remove the tubing from the machine.

After pumping:

-Place milk in a storage bag or sealed bottle. Follow proper milk storage guidelines.
-After you are finished pumping you can clean the parts or you can store them in the fridge until your next session.
-Place the tubing and power cord back in your bag.

You are all done pumping; keep up the great work!

Back to Knowledge Center