Using an electric pump wisely

Using a manual breast pump is largely self-explanatory. However, an electric pump may need a little getting used to. Here is how you may use your electric pump. Every kit comes with a set of instructions that you must read through carefully. These instructions will tell you how to assemble the pump. If you are unable to do so, you may ask the specialist at the hospital to give you a quick rundown on the process.

Once you have the breast shield covering your nipple and areola, with the nipple being centred, you may set the pump on the lowest suction level it has. When you begin to express milk, if you find that your breast is hurting, chances are that the nipple is not centred. Stop expressing and adjust yourself properly.

Initially you will find that the sessions of pumping will be short. As you get more comfortable with the machine, you will be able to lengthen the duration of the pumping, expressing more milk each time. If you are pressed for time, it would best to get yourself a double breast pump which will speed up the process for you. Here too, you will have to ensure that the shields are placed in the right manner and that you are comfortable before you begin to express.

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What you have to keep in mind is not express milk with a machine in the first few days after your delivery. You will produce only a small amount of milk and this is referred to as the colostrum and must be expressed by hand if not suckled by the baby.

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Discuss the amount of milk you will need to express for your baby’s feeds with your primary health care giver. This will give you an idea on how much you need to express. With this in mind you will also be able to plan a schedule to express milk comfortably.