I went from a stay-at-home mom to bring-baby-to-work mom to work-out-of-the-home mom back to being a stay-at-home-without-working mom. When out of the home, I was away from Humnoy for two days out of the week and those two days I had to ensure that he had breast milk to last him while I was gone. In addition to baby-led solids, Humnoy enjoyed 6-10 ounces of milk during those days. I had a Medela Harmony manual pump that was donated to me brand new because I didn’t think I needed a double-electric. I did what I could do with what I had.
Here are my top three tips on getting the most milk with a manual pump:
Tip #1: Pump one side when the baby nurses on the other.
You know that feeling of engorgement and wet bra when your baby is nursing and you feel guilty letting the other side “go to waste?” Pump one side while the baby is on the other side doing all the work! This is the most efficient way to get the most milk because the baby’s latch is stimulating milk flow and boy, does it flow! Find a comfortable position for you and the baby and the pump. My favorite was sitting with my back as straight as possible with my torso slightly bent over. Do this as often as you can remember then you’ll have a supply of pumped milk before you know it!
Tip #2: Pump in the morning when you have the most milk.
You’ve probably heard me
brag mention about Humnoy sleeping through the night untrained. Well, this has both been a blessing and a curse. I wake up with the most ridiculous milk machines that are ready to burst. Even when he was nursing through the night, my breasts were full from the constant through-the-night stimulation. The mornings are the best time to pump and gain as much milk output. This combined with Tip #1 will ensure plenty of milk.
Tip #3: Pump with a set routine each pumping session.
I honestly feel oats make a difference in supply especially during my cycle so I always forced myself to eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Before each session at work, I would chug water, look at pictures/videos of Humnoy or even call him, and relaaaaaax. When I didn’t do all of my regular set-up steps, I had a disappointing amount of pumped milk. It is key to relax and to let your body know it’s that time again!
In addition to these tips, also be sure to:
- nurse on demand
- stay hydrated
- co-sleep or other close sleeping arrangement
- ask for help, if needed!
What are your best tips for pumping mothers? What has worked or hasn’t worked for you? Share your best breastfeeding tips here!