Choosing Your Pump The first step in expressing breast milk for sale is to pick a breast pump. There are many varieties to consider from electric, battery operated or manual with pros and cons to consider.
- Electric breast pump. The most powerful option, many electric pumps allow for double pumping, which not only cuts pump time in half, it also stimulates more milk production (filling containers quickly and making the pumping process even speedier). The downside to going electric? It may produce more milk than you need if you do not plan to pump regularly, and high-grade electric pumps tend to be more expensive than battery-operated or smaller pumps. For these reasons, many women choose to rent these pumps from hospitals, pharmacies, or La Leche groups, while others borrow them from friends.
- Battery-operated breast pump. Less expensive than electric pumps, these pumps have the advantage of portability, and “wearable” models can be discreetly placed under your clothes, allowing you to pump “hands-free” at work or home. The only downside is you can burn through batteries.
Manual breast pump. These hand-operated pumps, which are less expensive but more time-intensive than electric or battery-operated pumps, come in several models, including a syringe pump and a trigger-operated pump. Syringe and trigger-operated pumps are simple to use, moderate in price, portable, and easy to clean. Syringe, or piston-style, pumps allow for controlled pressure and less discomfort, while many trigger or lever-operated pumps allow for one-handed pumping.
Preparing to pump:
Always follow Best practices and Aseptic technique before and after you pump.
Review and follow the Best practice tips before handling any of the breast pump parts, the breasts or expressed breast milk.
Make sure your pump is thoroughly clean before they touch the breast or the expressed milk. If they need cleaning be sure to follow recommendation on Best practice tips for cleaning your equipment. Always use hot soapy water and rinse well. Read instructions that came with your pump thoroughly before use.
Make yourself comfortable before you begin pumping. Sit with your shoulders relaxed and back supported. Make sure you have everything you need, including water, a book, or a snack, that you may want while pumping within your immediate reach. Relax, this helps your milk “let-down.” Many women find that their milk lets down when they think about their baby, hear a baby cry or even look at a picture of their baby while pumping. Try breast massage or warm compresses on the breasts before pumping. Some women gently stimulate the nipple before using the pump. Moisten the breast with clean water before placing the shield on the breast to create a seal. Double pumping (pumping both breast at the same time) is effective for mothers who have limited time available for pumping breaks. This option can cut pumping time in half and some believe that milk production is stimulated more effectively.
Positioning the Pump on the Breast.
Center the breast shield over the nipple so the nipple can move in and out without rubbing against the sides. Lean forward a bit and turn the pump on. If using an electric pump, always begin pumping with the suction regulator on minimum. The pump should run slow and low. We don’t want the pump to be at too high of suction or too high of a speed.
The nipple should be well drawn into the mouth of the flange. Pump for 15 minutes, which is the recommendation in order to simulate a feed and supply if need be. We recommend a mother pump for seven minutes solid, then stop for one minute, massage the breast and then continue pumping for another seven minutes.
It is highly recommended by other moms for freezer storing your breast milk, to use plastic sterile storage bags or other quality milk bags in lieu of bottles. They can hold 6 ounces, have a convenient pour spout for transferring milk into a bottle, BPA free, tamper-evident safety seal, and have a double zip to prevent leaks. As well they take up less freezer space lying flat upon when first freezing. It is recommended that when milk is frozen to store standing upright. For more information on freezing and storing breast milk, see additional tips Storing and Freezing your milk.
Determining the Best Time to Pump Milk supply is at its highest between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. in the morning. So the best time to pump is right after the first realistic morning feed of your own baby.