- Using a breast pump may help protect your milk supply for your baby.
- To build up a good supply of extra breastmilk, pump 2 to 4 times every day in addition to breastfeeding.
Below are some common tips to keep in mind when using a breast pump.
Correct flange size
The flange, the cone-shaped part placed over your breast, is available in different sizes from most pump companies. It should fit comfortably on each breast—you may even need a different-sized flange for each breast. If you experience discomfort during or after pumping, a poorly fitting flange may be the cause. Ask a lactation consultant for help with selecting the right flange size for you.
Cycle and suction pattern
Whether using a manual or an electric pump, always start pumping with small and frequent cycles using medium suction. Once your milk begins to flow freely, slow down the cycle speed and increase the suction level until just before it becomes uncomfortable.
Massage your breast
just before and during a pumping session to help increase the amount of milk pumped at each session. This helps to drain the breast properly and can help increase supply.
Pump until the milk flow has stopped, then massage and compress your breast for a minute or two before resuming pumping for a few more minutes until the flow stops again. An average pumping session may be 20 to 30 minutes on each breast. Using a dual electric pump allows both breasts to be pumped at the same time.
After ending a pumping session, don’t just pull the pump flange off your breast. Make sure to have the pump set at negative suction, then place your finger between the flange and the area around the nipple to break the final suction.
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