I would like to share my pumping technique where I was able to maximized my breast milk output using Medela Base manual pump and Medela Freestyle double electric pump.
Before I purchased my breast pump, I researched first, what breast pump are highly recommended? All reviews said that chose a breast pump that mimics how baby suckle from breast. So far from reviews, its Medela breast pump that are highly recommended. I chose Medela brand for its after sales services and comes with 2 year warranty with accessible service center at Medela House where I had my breastfeeding classes and other mommy trainings and seminars.
I really wanted Medela Freestyle double electric pump but I can not afford it since I had high risked pregnancy and I stopped working for 8 months. I opted to buy the Medela Base manual pump, where the regular price is at Php 1,800.
But I got mine for a Mommy Mundo bazaar with 500 pesos off. Medela Base manual pump have adjustable suction level. After 3 months using the Medela Base manual pump, I was able to acquire the Medela Freestyle with the help of my boss who gave me cash advance that I can pay for 3 months.
Before using a pump, read the instruction/manual of the pump but I highly recommend attending a breast feeding seminar or research on-line or read books on breast feeding and understand how the breast work. click here for more info. Learn how to store milk and feed BM to your baby. Click here for suggestion for freezing milk. But for me, I don’t like freezing as I just put my stash in chiller using milk storage bottles since I don’t like thawing frozen milk and I donate my extra BM. Also, my baby is cup fed to avoid nipple confusion and he prefers chilled BM than the thawed BM.
2 Phases of Expression
Whether you use manual or electric pump, keep in mind, that pumping should mimic how babies suckle. As per Medela’s research studies, there are 2 phases of expression, first phase of expression is stimulation or fast and short sucking. Since it’s stimulation, it takes time for the BM to come out. Hence, wait for your breast to be stimulated. Once, the breast is stimulated to let-down breast milk then you move to the second phase of expression is the let-down phase or slow and long sucking, this is when the BM flows freely.
Babies suckle using vacuum, and their tongue to “press” the boob. When your baby is directly feeding on you try to notice these two phases, the fast sucking and the slow sucking. The breast milk is release through vacuum suction, whether the baby sucks or your pump suck, it’s the vacuum that work to draw out milk. So when you pump be sure you have vacuum then stimulate your breast with fast pumping motion and when the BM comes out pump with slow and long just like a let-down. With Freestyle, stimulation is about 1 minute and 5 seconds of fast suction. The ideally, it is better to pump with double electric to maximize milk production and milk ejection-reflex. Click here for more info.
Painless – Right Size of Breast Shields
Breastfeeding and pumping should be painless so when its painful then something is wrong with your latch or when your pumping breast shield size is incorrect. The shield is the bell/horn shape part of the breast pump that touches your breast. When you buy a Medela pump, make sure you get a breast shield fitting to know what shield is more comfy for you. I use size 24 however there is a pinching pain that is why I just use level 5 where my average BM output is 4.5oz. I did have a shield fitting where my size is 27 on the right and size 30 on the left, there is no pinching pain at level 9 however, I’m only getting 1 oz. hence, I went back to using my size 24 and just use level 5 suction. But my case is different so its best to have a shield fitting when you buy so that your breast will get use to it. I got used to my size 24 shield so maybe that is why I get 4.5 oz. in one pumping session plus I learned the pumping technique that gives me this much output.
Pumping Technique That Maximized BM Output
So when you start using your pump, make sure that your nipple is at the center of the shield. See to it that you created a vacuum between your pump and your breast. Also, I read that, strong suction does not mean BM will come out strong. Too strong suction can tear your breast tissue. That is why I bought the Medela Base Manual Pump where I can adjust the suction level depending on what is comfy for me and what level the BM will come out. So with manual pump fast and short motion until the milk squirts a lot, then, pump with long and slow motion for the let-down phase. With Medela Freestyle you can see in the LCD screen the level of suction and after 70seconds or more it will automatically shift to let-down suction. Also Medela Freestyle you can store the suction level that you like. Level 9 mimics the suction strength of babies but for me, I can only tolerate level 5 and it is the level that the BM comes out. When I go to higher levels the BM stops from coming out. Once you see that only drops are coming out in the slow and long suction, go back to stimulation phase with fast and short suction. When the BM is squirting you can go to let-down phase or slow and long suction.
Ideally pumping time is 10-15 minutes but with Medela freestyle you can go as long as 20 minutes. My rule is when I am pumping and no more is coming out and I went back to stimulation twice, trice or 4X already, I stop pumping when I know that I have emptied my breast even if I just pumped for 10 or 15 minutes.
After pumping for 5 to 10 minutes and you just got less than an ounce of BM even when you are engorge or you feel your breast is not emptied. Stop pumping. Take a deep breath and relax. Massage your breast from outer edge going to the center. Use your middle and ring finger tips, massage your breast with a circle motion, start from the outer edge to the center. Don’t be too hard on your breast, massage just enough to soften the hard parts. Then pump again. Make sure that you place the shield in the center but when you pump and don’t feel the suction, remove and put shield back. Also, when you start pumping and you feel that the “sweets spots” are not being drained, remove and put the shield back. You can check your sweets spots by pressing boob while pumping and the milk squirts. You can press that portion then transfer when there is no more milk coming out. For Medela Freestyle, I always check the membrane assembly if the vacuum and suction is optimal. The yellow membrane should not touch the outer plastic that the tubing is connected. When it happens, I remove the tubing and put it back or I re-clip the back cap to improve the suction. Hold the shield between your thumb and fingers, like cupping your breast. Also, giving the breast a lift can help the expression.
Keep your pumping schedule of 2-3 hours even if your breast are not engorged. I learned that even soft breast can produced the same amount as an engorged breast. Again, don’t wait for your boobs to be engorged to pump. It is more difficult to pump with engorge breast because sometimes the vacuum is not optimal that you have to massage to soften the breast.
GET TO KNOW THE “SWEET SPOTS” OF YOUR BREAST
I learned that right vacuum and get on to the “sweet spots” of your breast is where you can maximize your BM output. Hence, get to know your breast, by knowing pressing points or areas where milk will flow when you pump. Also, remember the feeling in your breast and nipple when you have a let-down or milk are flowing and the sweet spots are pressed. Let your pumping sessions be a learning on how to milk yourself.
Latch and Supplementation
Breast milk output is dictated by supply and demand. Hence, your baby needs to learn how to properly latch so that your milk demand is steady and your body will supply the demand. But make sure your raw materials are high quality too. Eat right. Just like a car, you need proper maintenance, you don’t put water at your gas tank. Hence, eat a balance diet that has all the nutrients you body needs. Not all of us have the same required micronutrients. Some have anemia so they need iron, some need vitamin B for energy. It is best to ask your doctor who can run some test which micronutrient you need some boosting.
Most breast feeding moms take supplements to increase breastmilk, click here for more info.
Eating a balance diet can be tricky that is why I supplement with high quality organic vitamins and minerals. I take Nutrilite Double X multivitamins that gives me extra energy being a working and breastfeeding mom. When I took Double X out BM output increased from 2.5 to 4.5oz in each pumping session. Also, I take Nutrilite iron folic plus, Nutrilite Cal Mag D, Nutrilite Omega 3. If you want to know more about Nutrilite or want to order click here., just leave a message I will be happy to explain more about Nutrilite.