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Tips and tricks to unlock efficiencies with your Breast Pump





Tips and tricks to unlock efficiencies with your Breast Pump

In the initial months post birth, breastfeeding is the single most important factor for babies’ development. However, it can get tiring and overwhelming for any mother – especially twins’ mom. With two to feed, twins’ mom needs all the support possible – and this is where a breast-pump can come in super handy!

How can a breast pump help?

  1. Start early: Breastfeeding, as a process, can take time to learn – both for the mother and the babies. Especially since many of the twins are born pre-term, they might take more time to latch on OR may even need to spend some time in the NICU before going home. In such cases, a breast-pump can help start the process early on and get the much-needed supply of the mother’s milk to the babies
  2. Set a rhythm: With a breast-pump you can set a routine for yourself which includes breastfeeding or expressing at fixed intervals. It can unlock efficiencies in many ways:
    • Improve breastmilk flow: Its simple – your body produces as much milk as needed. If you supply more – directly or through expression with breast pump – it will produce more
    • De-link your schedule vs kids: You don’t have to wait for the kids to be hungry to empty the supply. Do it at your own schedule and then find the time to take a power nap 😊
    • Let your support system chip in: With expressed milk, the father or your family or nannies can also help with the process of feeding the babies
    • Avoid wasting that precious breast milk! : Sometimes if the breasts are overflowing and the kids aren’t ready to feed yet, you may experience leakage or “let-down”. Use the breast pump to avoid wastage and save this milk for later. You can also pump left-over milk after a breastfeeding session to empty your breasts effectively
  3. Stock up!: Can be very useful during ‘Back to Work’ phase – if you have good supply of breastmilk you can stock up by freezing the breastmilk for future use. However, this is difficult to achieve for twin moms, given the 2X demand 😊 – the oversupply also typically gets consumed within a day

Now coming to the important question, what type of breast pump should I select?

There are several varieties available in the market. My suggestion would be to go for an ‘Electric Double Breast Pump’. Here is why:

  • Manual vs Electric – While manual is more economical, it requires significant strength and involvement. If you plan to use breast pump regularly, then definitely go for an electric one.
  • Single vs Double – Double sided pump can be a real time-saver and can free up your hours by enabling pumping both breasts simultaneously. However, do check below the trick on how to go hands-free – else you might end up using it on single side at a time, like how I did for months!

While an electric double breast pump might be a significant investment, trust me this is one of the best bucks spent - it saved me from burn-out and helped me stay sane. Also, if you invest on a good brand, you might be able to pass it on several times - my breast-pump has been used by five mothers over last 5 years!

Now let me share with you some tips and tricks on how to use your breast pump most efficiently, based on my own personal experience.

  • Right fit is important: All bodies are different - ensure that you get a breast shield or flange that fits your breast and nipple size (check sizing guide provided by the pump manufacturer)
  • More suction & speed doesn’t equal more milk: Take it easy – choose a speed and suction level that feels the most comfortable to you. Your body responds the best when you are the most comfortable and relaxed
  • Stimulation Phase helps: some of the breast pumps provide a two-phase technology which includes a stimulation period (at slower pace, low suction) before start of expression. It really helps improve the flow of breast milk and makes the process more comfortable for the mother
  • And lastly, the secret no one tells you about - How to go Hands-Free!: To maintain perfect suction and avoid leakage, you need to hold the cup tightly against the breasts during the process. It means you cannot use both the sides at the same time or be ready for spills. There are two methods to go handsfree:
  • Method 1: Use those hands-free pumping bras. Now the issue is – they aren’t easily available, they are expensive, and they don’t work for all body shapes. I ended up ordering two different brands – both super expensive, and I could not fit into any of them.

    Method 2: So here is the most practical, inexpensive, and sure-shot solution to go handsfree. Take your perfect fitting old sports bra, and cut holes in it. You can refer to this link for step wise “How to”. And enjoy some free time, while you provide for your babies 😊

Now lastly let me share with you few points that you need to be mindful about while using a breast pump:

  • Do not forget to clean-up your breast-pump: While the pump itself and the tubes do not need cleaning, the bottles and all other attachments need to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized after every use.
  • One the milk is expressed, do not leave it outside (esp. in Indian tropical climate): Store it in the refrigerator for same day use or in the freezer for beyond same day usage
  • Do not heat the breast-milk: When you want to use it, keep it at room temperature or put the container in warm water to bring it to a comfortable temperature for the baby
  • Do not refreeze: Once the breast-milk has been warmed for usage, do not put it back in fridge or freezer for future use

Hope these tips and tricks will help you be more efficient and free-up some precious time! Got more questions regarding using a breast-pump? Drop a comment and we will address it soon

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