Pumping and storing your milk allows you to breastfeed while working or just getting some time away from your baby. It's a good idea to have a plan for when you'll need to pump, select the right breast pump for you, and know how to store milk safely. These will help set you and your baby up for long-term breastfeeding success.
- Plan ahead to breastfeed at workPlan ahead to breastfeed at work. Planning can help you sort through details, such as where you can pump and how often you'll need to pump. Regular pumping will ensure that your breasts produce enough milk and will keep your breasts from becoming uncomfortable and engorged.
- Select a breast pumpSelect a breast pump. There are many types of pumps that you can get. You'll want to think about which kind is most practical for how often you'll need to use it.
- Store breast milk properlyStore breast milk properly. Stored breast milk is the next best thing to fresh breast milk. But you'll need to know how to safely prepare breast milk for storage and how long you can keep it.
Pumping and your milk supply
If you often feed your baby pumped breast milk, your milk supply may decrease. This is because your body releases less prolactin than it does when you feed your baby at the breast. To help keep your milk supply when you pump frequently:
- Breastfeed your baby whenever possible. For example, if you are working, breastfeed your baby frequently before you go to work in the morning, in the evening, and throughout the weekends.
- Keep a regular pumping schedule. Don't try to make up for missing a session by pumping longer at the next one. This can lead to breast engorgement and decreased milk production.
- Use a double electric pump, which expresses milk from both breasts at the same time.
- Talk to a lactation consultant about how to manage a decreasing milk supply.