Last summer, we interviewed our friends at Ardo and learned a wealth of information about the emotional experience of breastfeeding and pumping as well as preparing for it before baby even arrives.
If you are planning to breastfeed, chances are, you might have a need to express milk with a breast pump as well. In honor of August being National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we are once again sharing some of the fabulous tips from Ardo.
“I can’t tell you how many calls we get from stressed out moms trying to use their breast pump for the first time in an hour of desperation- and then they wonder why they aren’t getting any milk,” Sheri from Ardo said.
She went on to explain that just like breastfeeding, pumping breastmilk is a hormonal and emotional response.
Babies have a hormonal trigger for mothers, between their smell, the connection with their eyes, and their touch while nursing to help new mothers form a positive association with feeding them. Your breast pump, well, it is safe to say you really have no love for that machine!
Sheri's suggests three practical tips for new pumping moms.
1. Do your research Learn about what type of breast pump might suit you, your needs, and your breast best. A skilled lactation consultant like our friends from Nurturing Expressions or possibly connected through your OBGYN or Midwife’s office can help you determine which pump might suit you best.
Do you need it to very quiet? Do you have sensitive nipples? Do you need it super portable? Do you plan to use it daily?
These are all good questions to ask to help determine the right pump for you and in turn will hopefully make your pumping process the best it can be.
2. Be prepared Don’t wait until a dire moment to try your breast pump for the first time! Be ready, early on, to just give the breast pump a try after a feeding, when your partner is there and baby too. Create a peaceful experience with your pump for the first time, by having your partner there to assist and only pumping for a few minutes the first time. A moment of tears and engorged breasts is not a good introduction to using your pump.
3. Include your partner in the process An initial positive experience with the breast pump will most certainly help future pump sessions. Simple ways for the partner to create this positive environment is to hold baby next to mom while she is pumping, tell her she is doing a great job, rub her neck or shoulders, or just put an arm around her for physical touch and support!
Your partner helped make the baby, and now they may wonder how they can help when it comes to a mom who is breast feeding.
Being a positive emotional support for breastfeeding and pumping is a critical role for partners and for the success moms will find in this endeavor. This is important, especially the first few times using the breast pump.
For more inspiration, tips, and fun articles be sure to find a copy of the latest Savvy Family Magazine with our Baby Bump Special Feature. Savvy Family Magazine 2018 issues can be currently found throughout the Puget Sound region.