Whether you’re expressing milk at home for a night feed or expressing at work, there are some key pumping tips to keep in mind to help things go smoothly.
1. Plan ahead. If you know that you’ll be away from your baby, bring a breast pump into your daily routine a few weeks beforehand. You’ll start a supply of milk for your baby and get used to using a breast pump.
2. Equip yourself. You may or may not be aware of what’s known as the let-down reflex, which stimulates the flow of milk by triggering the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the breast to secrete milk which can then be expressed. The hormone can be triggered in a few different ways, including seeing your baby. Many moms find it can help to have a photo of their baby on hand if they’re expressing away from home. And you might also like to use breast pads to protect your clothing from milk when you’ve finished expressing.
3. Find a comfortable place. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to express milk. Find a quiet and private space, and don’t be afraid to add personal touches with things like lighting and music. It’s also a good idea to look for seating with plenty of support so you can sit upright. It’s easier to get your milk flowing this way.
4. Pump as many times as you would feed. To maintain your supply, be sure to pump milk at least as many times as you would normally feed. So, if you would normally feed three times during the time that you’re away, then pump milk at least three times.