Everything You Should Know About Combining Breastfeeding and Pumping
Though breastfeeding feels incredible to every momma out there, not being able to move out at all to prevent your baby’s feeding schedule from being disturbed can be exhausting. In such a case, you will find it taxing to continue breastfeeding for a long time.
So, why not combine breastfeeding and pumping? If you are new to the gang, then let us lead you through all the crucial things you should know about this combination feeding. It has worked for a lot of mothers, and we are sure it will work for you too.
Why Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping?
Combing breastfeeding and pumping have a plethora of advantages. If this form of combination feeding were not beneficial, mothers wouldn’t resort to this in large numbers, and it wouldn’t become a trend. So, let’s find out how combining breastfeeding and pumping actually help.
Takes Care Of Your Baby’s Nutritional Needs In Your Absence
Exclusively breastfeeding requires you to be there around your baby all the time. Simple activities like going to work, the gym, or a gentle stroll in the park become a luxury. This might make you feel caged and exhausted after a while.
Even if you choose to breastfeed exclusively, there might be times when illness and certain unavoidable circumstances pull you away from being physically close to your baby.
Combining breastfeeding and pumping allows you to have a stored supply of milk that any caregiver other than you can tap into when you are away. As a result, your flexibility in life doesn’t come at the cost of your baby’s nutritional needs.
Increases Milk Supply
Lactation works on a demand-and-supply basis. The more milk you express, the more your breasts produce. So, when you combine breastfeeding and pumping, your breasts get the message that there is an increased demand for milk. Hence, your milk supply increases.
Allows Others To Bond With Your Baby
When you breastfeed, only you are involved in your baby’s feeding session. But when you pump and store, your partner, your parents, or any other caregiver can feed your baby from the bottle. This gives them an opportunity to bond with your baby. This helps your baby grow up with beautiful relationships fostered with different people, not secluding them to the confines of just their parents.
How To Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping?
When you start combination feeding, deciding on a suitable breastfeeding and pumping schedule can be tricky. Do not panic because you are not alone. We have all been there, and we know it can become quite overwhelming.
Therefore, to ease your process a little, we have a few suggestions for you. However, what suits you and your baby must go up on the charts. Your needs are unique, so don’t let others’ schedules influence you. Do what works best for you.
1.When You Are At Work
If you have resumed work and spend considerable time away from your baby, then it is best to pump as many times as your baby would breastfeed if you were with them.
This will keep your milk supply established and prevent engorgement and mastitis due to the accumulation of milk in your breasts. Besides, you can build a milk stash that you can tap into whenever required.
2.When You Are At Home
If you are home with your baby, you have more liberty to choose your breastfeeding and pumping schedule. Your breasts usually produce more milk in the morning. Therefore, scheduling a pumping session after hours of nursing your baby might help you pump milk in desirable amounts.
If pumping in the morning doesn't work for you, you can pump anytime during the day at your convenience. However, make sure to feed your baby first. After your baby has their fill, you can express the extra milk.
Leaving an hour gap between each breastfeeding and pumping session allows your breasts to restore the milk supply. You can also try pumping immediately after nursing your infant to store every drop of milk your body produces.
3.When Your Baby Is Nursing
Babies often feed from one breast. When they are latching on to one breast, you can hook up the breastmilk pump to your other breast. That way, you can capture the milk produced by both your breasts.
However, you don’t have to take this approach. Only if you find comfortable pumping while nursing, go for it; otherwise, find your own time to pump.
Power pumping might do the trick for you if you want to ramp up your milk supply. This emulates cluster feeding, where a baby breastfeeds more often than usual. The ideal length of a power-pumping session is an hour. It should start with a 20-minute power session, followed by a 10-minute rest.
In the remaining time, you can alternate 10 minutes of pumping with 10 minutes of rest. This boosts the milk-producing hormone prolactin, increasing the milk supply. However, your breasts might take some time to process the increased demand for milk.
Things to Remember
●Say No To Stress
Keep stress at bay when you are pumping milk. Studies show that increased stress affects the letdown of milk as the adrenaline secreted during stressful conditions inhibits the hormone oxytocin that helps release milk from your breasts.
Therefore, find a comfortable pumping position. Without that, pumping can become frustrating and painful. Play songs of your choice, and make the environment conducive. Smelling your baby’s clothes and looking at their pictures might stimulate increased milk production. Envelope yourself in self-care and enjoy a calm pumping session.
●Get The Right Breast Pump and Keep It Clean
Choosing the right breastmilk pump goes a long way in deciding your pumping experience. You can either choose to express by hand or invest in a manual, electric, or hands-free pump at your convenience.
Wearable electric pumps like the one from MomMed are the perfect fit for modern-day moms. As you work, cook, and drive, you can get your milk stock ready just by fitting the hands-free pumps under your bra.
Whichever pump you choose, make sure to clean the parts thoroughly after every use to prevent the growth of infectious microbes, which can harm you and your baby.