Jump to Header Jump to Content Jump to Footer


< back to articles

What To Know About Pumping Milk: The Real Deal

Find out what you should know about pumping milk and what options are available for breast pumps before you make a decision.
Views: 1

Whether you’re planning to go back to work or you’d like your husband to pitch in with feeding, a breast pump is probably high on your list of must-have baby gear. But before you get one, read on.

Wait until after the baby comes

"When there are no immediate postpartum breastfeeding problems for either you or the baby, there’s usually no reason to pump at all after you first give birth," says Sheela Geraghty, M.D., a pediatrician and lactation consultant who is Medical Director of the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. If you end up needing to pump in the first few weeks, it’s better to rent a more efficient hospital-grade pump than to use a commercial version. After those first few weeks, your breasts will have established a good milk supply, so you can switch to a store-bought pump if you like. Another tip: Register for a gift card at the baby store instead of a pump. "That way, if you decide you don’t want or need a pump after all, you can spend the money on diapers or other things," says Dr. Geraghty.

Talk to other moms

Electric or manual? Single or double? Dr. Geraghty, herself a mother of triplets, notes that most working moms prefer the double electric breast pump because you can express the most milk in the least amount of time. "I had both an electric and a manual pump, and although I preferred the electric, I found that the manual one was really handy for travel," says Libby Fearnley, a mother of one from Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Some moms find manual ones less user-friendly. "I didn’t like the fact that I needed two hands," notes Jill Alie, a mother of three in Cumming, Georgia. "When I laid my daughter down to pump, she’d wail."

Remember, one size doesn’t fit all

"I wasn’t making enough milk for my little girl after I returned to work," says Liz Litts, a mother of two in Stillwater, New York. "Then I read that sometimes, the wrong cone size can be the problem. I switched to a bigger size and it helped!"If the breast shield that comes with the pump (a medium) feels snug or loose, you’ll need to buy a different size separately online or at a baby store.

Get used to breastfeeding before you pump

"Many new mothers think they need to have a freezer full of milk before they go back to work and so they start pumping immediately after birth," says Dr. Geraghty. "But pumping too soon can thwart your efforts at establishing a good breastfeeding routine—a baby latching on and often is the best way to establish a good milk supply." Even if you’re going back to work in as little as 6 weeks after giving birth, it’s a good idea to wait at least a couple of weeks after birth before you start. Happy pumping!

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 5reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by that is so neat, i had no idea that the breast sheild could really effect the breast pump process. wow April 18, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by if breast feeding is a challenge for your little one ask your doc for a nipple sheild. i had to use one its like a bottle nipple that fits over your nipple.. makes it easier for baby and less stressfull for mom.. i couldnt have breast fed with out it.. my son is 3 months and still using it.. ive only found them through the hospitals tho.. March 5, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by breastfeeding and pumping is def. tricky. your baby gets the amount they need to keep them full and pumping throws your body off. so i suggest not saying that you need to but for the first month or two you don't pump so your body knows how much and when it needs to pump so baby has the right amount of food and there won't be a shortage. July 31, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I have been breast feeding for 3 1/2 months now and there is no slowing down. I take a herbal supplement by Mother's love called more milk plus.When I was just starting out I had blistered real bad and was bleeding. But breast milk is the healthiest,I would take hot showers and use nipple cream before I got in the shower to protect my already sore nipples and I would also use warm compresses and use a double pump to trick my body into thinking I had twins so not only was I able to feed my daughter but store milk every time after she ate. May 20, 2011
    • 2015-04-24T10:01:57.266-05:00
    • bvseo_lps, prod_bvrr, vn_prr_5.6
    • cp-1, bvpage1
    • co-hasreviews, tv_5, tr_5
    • loc_en_US, sid_A9740, prod, sort_default
  • Sign in to earn Rewards Points