Breastfeeding and Pumping - 5 Tips for a Little Freedom
Now that you have decided to breastfeed your baby, you may have a few questions about pumping. After all, there is a first time for everything, and pumping, although a relatively uncomplicated process, may initially be frustrating. There are some good reasons for doing it, however. For moms preparing to return to the work force, it gives them the chance to continue supplying their little one with nature's milk. Even a stay-at-home mom will appreciate a little flexibility in their lives. Preparing bottles of breast milk in advance of a commitment or a leisure activity away from the baby offers enough freedom to make the process worthwhile.
There is no doubt that breastfeeding requires a commitment. Being willing to feed your baby on demand. Sleep when your baby sleeps if at all possible, and eat a healthy diet are just a few habits that you will need to adopt. Buying a breast pump might also be on your list of things to do. If you haven't purchased one yet, the La Leche League offers great advice on possible best choices. When you are ready to begin, here are a few things to remember.
- Avoid stressing out. The more you can prepare yourself for pumping by relaxing and getting into the right frame of mind, the easier it will be to produce the milk needed. Find a quiet spot where you won't be interrupted. Don't feel like you need to rush. If you are pumping at the workplace, establish in advance a place to accommodate your needs.
- Pump often. Since breast milk production really is dependent on how often you feed a baby, pumping makes it possible to keep the flow going in order to fill future demands. - Stockpile milk if at all possible. Having it handy when needed makes things a lot easier for mother and baby. How much? Fifty to one hundred ounces is not unreasonable, especially for working moms. Continue to add to the stash as you use what is available. Breast milk can be easily frozen in plastic storage bags and laid flat in the freezer.
- Massage your breasts toward the nipple which helps to squeeze milk out. Or, try pumping for 10 minutes, taking a break, and pumping again for 10 minutes. This may encourage a second let down of milk. Sometimes, gradually increasing the length of time that you pump makes a difference.
- If you find that you get distracted by family or work noises, minimize the disturbances by listening to music on headphones.
It may take a few tries, but eventually pumping will get easier. Like anything new in life, practice makes perfect. The freedom that pumping affords a mother who is committed to breastfeeding is priceless.
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