Expert Breast Pumping Tips: How to Use Breast Pumps
Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to ensure your baby gets all of the nutrients they need, and it is an excellent chance for some mommy-baby bonding. However, new moms can benefit from a break from breastfeeding at one point or another. Whether you are going back to work or heading out and you don’t want to use a formula in a bottle, a breast pump can come in handy.
Figuring out whether you should go with an electric breast pump or a manual breast pump and reading through thousands of breast pump reviews is only half the battle. After you find the best breast pump for you, you need to learn how to actually use it. The good news is that it is not complicated when you get the knack of it. And it’s well worth the time and dedication. Here’s everything you need to know about breast pumping and one of the most popular hands-free breast pumps among our customers.
Do I Need a Breast Pump?
The answer to this one depends on your lifestyle, employment, feeding preferences, and how long you plan on breastfeeding. If you plan to go back to work after the baby is born and you want to continue breastfeeding, then a breast pump is a must-have.
Even if you decide to breastfeed exclusively, there are reasons why having a breast pump is a good idea. Breast milk production follows the demand and supply law. A breast pump will help you maintain your milk supply when your baby won’t nurse or you can’t nurse because of the medication you are using.
3 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Breast Pump
One of the best-selling breast pumps on the market is the Elvie breast pump, and for a good reason. It comes as a single pump or a double electric breast pump and ticks off all the boxes regardless of which option you choose.
The design is sleek and minimal, with intuitive, straightforward controls and white casing. It is small, lightweight, easy to clean, and perfectly fits inside a nursing bra, allowing moms to pump anywhere.
The Elvie hands-free pumps have been designed to operate silently so you can use them whenever and wherever you want, be it at their office desk, in the car, or at home.
One of the most common misconceptions first-time users have about pumping is that it involves tubes, wires, and expensive carrying bags. The Elvie breast pump has only five parts and takes mere seconds to assemble with no cords. And most importantly, the pumped breast milk is collected into the bottle for added convenience.
How to Use an Elvie Breast Pump
First things first, make sure you wash your hands before you start pumping and after using the pump and clean all parts of the pump that have come in contact with the milk. All parts of the Elvie pumps except the hub are dishwasher safe and can be sterilized in boiling water or a microwave sterilizer. The hub itself can be cleaned with a clean damp cloth. Make sure to allow all pieces to completely dry before use, especially the breast shield seals, as it can affect the suction.
Set up the pump
Elvie Breast Pump is designed to be worn with your standard nursing bra. Make sure it is firmly pressed against your breast and that you get the nipple alignment right. Different bras have different levels of support, so you can get the pump perfectly aligned with your breast without any gaps in between.
You can start the pump manually or through a free smartphone app. The manual pump controls allow you to turn it on and adjust intensity levels. Using the smartphone app, you can select one of the two modes (stimulation and expression) and adjust suction by selecting one of the seven suction intensity settings.
It’s worth noting that the pump will automatically begin operating in stimulation mode and transition to expression mode after two minutes or if the sensor detects let-down.
If you are planning on regular pumping, consider getting the double breast pump. In addition to the convenience and faster pumping, there are other benefits you should take into consideration.
Double pumping has been found to increase the level of prolactin, the milk-producing hormone. Not only that, but some women report an additional let-down in each pumping session when double pumping, which can result in an extra bottle in just a few pumps.
Find your comfort zone
During the expression, pump at the maximum level that does not cause you discomfort. Your threshold might vary, so start with lower levels and increase the suction level until it becomes slightly uncomfortable. Then, simply lower the suction level a notch. Remember, breast pumping should not be painful, so if you notice any discomfort or chaffing, lower the suction level.
One of the major benefits of the Elvie smart pump is its milk volume sensor that signals to the pump to stop pumping when the container is full, so you don’t have to worry about milk overflow.
Massaging your breasts before and during pumping and applying a warm compress to warm your breasts has been reported to increase let-down. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby might also increase let-down because it causes your body to release oxytocin.
In fact, if you use a single breast pump, you might want to use it on the other breast while breastfeeding your baby, which will make expressing more productive because of the added stimulation.
Elvie breast pumps were designed with comfort and convenience in mind. It will cut the hour-long feeding process down to minutes. Elvie wearable breast pumps will help you regain your freedom as well because they let you pump on the go. In addition to the sleek, minimal design and revolutionary silent technology, it can be connected to a smartphone app that helps you monitor your milk volume in real-time and track pumping history for each breast.