How to Use a Breast Pump

A breast pump is a mechanical device that helps you express and store your own breast milk so that you can feed it to your baby at a later time. A breast pump can be a manual device that you squeeze by hand, or it can be a powered device that uses electricity or batteries. You can use a single pump that works on one breast at a time or a double pump that works on both breasts at once. A lactation consultant can help you decide which type of pump is best for your situation.

You should only buy or rent a pump that is clean and sterile. Many infant care programs provide free pumps, and you can also find them at some retail stores, hospitals, and online. Your health insurance company may cover the cost, too.

When you’re using a pump, sit in a comfortable spot that’s private and quiet. It’s important that you relax so that you can experience the “let-down” reflex, which stimulates mammary glands to produce milk. This usually happens within a minute or two of starting to pump. You can try to speed up the process by concentrating, listening to soothing music, or taking deep breaths.

When you’re done pumping, remove the milk container (a bottle or bag). Wash your hands and the container before you stow it in the refrigerator or freezer. Write the date on the container and add your baby’s name if you plan to send it with him or her to daycare. breast pump

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