When should I pump?
For any missed Feeding. Your little one needs to nurse 8-12 times daily. If you are missing any feeding, we will need to use a breast pump to simulate those feedings missed, e.g. your baby is in the Neonatal Unit (NICU) and is unable to feed at the breast, you are back at work, or you and your spouse have a night out (you get the picture).
If you are experiencing engorgement. Your body has been making breastmilk (colostrum) since the beginning of the pregnancy and soon after delivery your body begins making a more mature breastmilk (kicking up the production). Typically moms will begin to feel “full” 2-5 days after delivery. At this time the best course of action is to feed your baby frequently, at least 8-12 times daily. The mature milk usually “comes in” in a copious amount (more milk than the baby needs) and the baby will help to keephe breasts well drained. As your body begins to respond to your baby’s needs, your milk supply will be based on milk removal (supply = demand).
Not only will your baby get LOTS of good food, she/he will help you feel more comfortable during this change in milk production. Sometimes during this stage moms feel uncomfortable and may report that their breasts feel full and hard; however, if the baby is nursing frequently and more important, effectively (effectively removing milk from the breast), then this discomfort is usually manageable/tolerable.
However, if moms feel this process is painful, it is important to assess how the baby is doing at the breast. It is a good idea to arrange to see your lactation consultant if you are in pain. Do you see/hear frequent swallowing? Is the baby having the appropriate number of wet diapers (see getting enough)?
Pumping is also used as a tool to manage breastfeeding issues. There may be instances where a pump will be used as a management tool to deal with lactation issues, e.g. Mastitis, a breast infection, or supply issues. Your lactation consultant will advise you in your pumping plan.
What kind of pump do you need (call your lactation consultant, they can assist in your decision making process)?
For Occasional Pumping/Rare – Hand Expression (free), Hand Pump ($30-45)
Occasional to a couple of times/week – Hand Expression, Hand Pump, Single Battery/electric ($100)
More Frequent (returning to work/school) – Double Electric ($150-350), Hospital Grade (rent)
Pumping all Feedings/Maintaining Supply/Management Issue – Hospital Grade