For a caring mother, one of the worst things that can happen is not to be able to breastfeed her baby. Yes, it can be excruciating for a woman to deal with this fact. But it’s ok not to want or be able to breastfeed.
One option is to pump exclusively. Exclusive pumping is an excellent method to try if breastfeeding is not possible. It is a modern way of providing breast milk to a baby without the added stress of training your baby to breastfeed, which in itself can be stressful.
Exclusive pumping requires a healthy and nutritious mommy, and this includes a few things that you would never need to think about if it was not for needing to produce breast milk. The fact your body now needs to produce milk means different vitamins or superfoods are required now for lactation, which we will talk about below.
Exclusive Pumping – What is it?
Here is a short explanation, exclusive pumping involves two things: a bottle and a breast pump.
Now, the primary difference between breastfeeding and exclusive pumping is that your baby feeds from a bottle after pumping. When it comes to breastfeeding, well, you know how it works.
What Is Needed To Pump Exclusively?
The first thing you need is a breast pump – There are options of either manual, or as most women prefer an electric pump, and a “set of two” in most cases as it quickens the whole process. (Many times these can be covered by your insurance, so make sure to ask).
Other items that are very helpful during pumping include:
A hands-free pumping bra if you are not using the Elvie pump
Extra sets of pump parts - Saves time needing to wash parts when pumping regularly
Breast pads - to stop leaking
Why Should One Choose Exclusive Pumping?
Exclusive pumping is ideal in many ways, as many women switch to it when their child grows. Moms use pumping for a lot of reasons, including:
Your infant cannot latch onto your breast properly
You have triplets
You have a job that you need to get back to right away
You cannot produce sufficient milk for your baby
You baby is premature
You find breastfeeding painful and irritating, but you are willing to pump exclusively
Or, you are not happy with the idea of breastfeeding
Ways to Increase & Maintain Your Milk Supply
A new mom's life is full of joys and a lot of hard work, but it all pays off in the end. Initially, it can be exhausting to maintain a sufficient amount of milk while exclusively producing.
It requires dedication and commitment because you have to keep pumping for months, regularly.
But, it would be best for you if you did not let stress and life get in the way. Here are a few tricks to increase your milk supply healthily.
Try Lactation Foods
A proper lactation diet such as our Blueberry Walnut Lactation Granola supports a breastfeeding mother to produce more than enough breast milk. You can find plenty of breastfeeding teas, herbs, and superfoods that will help you maintain and increase your milk supply. Make sure to choose organic, high-quality products that have ingredients such as fruits, brewers yeast, fennel, flaxseed and more.
Purchase A Great Quality Electric Breast Pump
Exclusive pumping means a lot of pumping! Moms have to spend a lot of time on a breast pump, so consider the quality of the breast pump as you have to use it for a long time.
You can purchase or rent a breast pump that is suitable for long-term or daily use.
Whichever pump you decide to go with, make sure it fits well and feels comfortable to prevent damage or pain to your breast tissue.
If you spend some time increasing your comfort in exclusive pumping, you can pump regularly to produce a good deal of breast milk.
Make Pumping A Part Of Your Life
An interesting fact about frequent pumping is that it can enhance the production of breast milk. So try to pump every one or two hours.
As your baby grows, you can start to “drop a pumping session” and still produce enough milk, which means you begin to change your pumping schedule so that at first you pump one time less in 24 hours. After a week, you can drop another and another (make sure you are still spacing your pumping out evenly throughout the day).
Pumping Hacks for New Moms
If you are struggling with the number of responsibilities that have hit you, know that you are not alone, there are many mothers also finding this stage hard, and the best way to progress is to give it a chance. Because it is more than likely that it will work out if you give it a little time.
To help you survive the months of pumping, we have put together a few hacks as sometimes it just takes trying something a little different as not everything works for everyone.
A good idea to distract you from looking at the bottle to check the amount of milk pumped is to set your pump with an app. It is the part where you go hands-free. You can read everything off from the app.
Make sure to use a pumping bra because this will make pumping so much more comfortable for you. Your hands are free, and there is less “drag” to cause pain.
When it comes to storage bags, you do not need to use overly priced bags because you will eventually throw them out. Use cheap plastic breast milk storage bags to store milk and refrigerate them.
If you have breast pain related to pumping, then there is a chance you are pumping with the wrong size nipple shields. The first thing you should check is your shield size. Each pump brand is unique, so make sure to check the manufacturer's size guide. (You may assume you are a size or have used a specific size with a different brand, but this may be different with your current pump brand).
Use coconut oil before and after pumping to prevent soreness or irritation. It’s natural and will not affect breast milk.
The most important thing is to feed your baby. Whether it’s breastfeeding, exclusively pumping or formula, pumping is less physical and more psychological. If you look at things from a positive view, you will achieve excellent outcomes.