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5 Pumping Tips to Know Before Your Baby Arrives

5 Pumping Tips to Know Before Your Baby Arrives

Pumping tips, pumping tips before baby

The newborn days can be tough, but preparation can go a long way. Since you will likely pump at some point during your feeding journey, I've put together a few pumping tips to know before your baby arrives. As an RN, Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), and fellow mom, I hope these ideas will make your transition into new motherhood a bit easier. Something else to make pumping easier? The new and improved Version 2 of our hands-free pumping and nursing bra! Know any other pumping tips for before baby? I'd love to hear them. Please comment below!

Your insurance company may cover the cost of a breast pump and supplies.

Some parents have no idea that their insurance company could cover most or all of the cost of a new double electric breast pump for each baby. Your insurance may even cover new supplies (tubing, bottles, membranes, and flanges) every few months. Talk to your OB or midwife about getting a breast pump prescription. Then call your insurance company or a breast pump supplier to see what pumps and supplies you qualify for.

Order your pump before baby, pumping tips

If possible, order your breast pump before your baby arrives.

Some insurance companies let you order a breast pump around your 34th week of gestation. This leaves plenty of time for your pump to arrive, and it also allows you time to sanitize the parts and familiarize yourself with the instructions. 

There are many options for breast pumps.

Pumping tips, many types of breast pumps, different types of breast pumps

There are hand pumps, silicone pumps, double electric pumps, hospital-grade pumps, etc. Do your research to find the best option for you and your family. Ask your friends or the veteran moms in our Facebook Group KindredMamas for advice.

With hand pumps, you manually control the pump’s speed and suction. Hand pumps are easy to use, portable, and lightweight. You can use a hand pump if your baby only feeds from one side but you still want to express the other side. If you want to pump both breasts at the same time, though, you will need two hand pumps, which can be a little cumbersome. Many moms choose hand pumps if they don’t have to pump often or if they want a spare pump in the car or at work in case they can’t use their double electric pump.

With silicone pumps, you suction the pump onto your breast, and it does the work for you. These pumps are quiet, discreet, lightweight, and easy to pack in a diaper bag; it can, however, take some practice to get a silicone pump to properly suction and draw out milk. Many moms like to use a silicone pump on one breast, while the baby nurses on the other breast, to collect letdown that would otherwise be wasted.

Double electric pumps are very popular, especially for NICU moms, moms who work outside the home, and moms who frequently or exclusively pump. They allow you to easily and simultaneously pump both breasts. When paired with a pumping bra, like our Sublime Pumping and Nursing Bra, you can even pump hands free. A double electric pump should not be shared between moms, unless it is considered to be a closed system, meaning no milk enters the pump’s motor, protecting you and your baby from unwanted bacteria. (In an open system, milk can be pulled into the tubing, then into the motor, where it cannot be cleaned, resulting in mold and bacteria growth.)

Hospital-grade breast pumps are double electric pumps that you can rent from the hospital or select companies and stores. These pumps help many NICU moms establish their milk supply; exclusive pumpers adore them too. If you don’t bring your pump to the hospital but need to pump during your stay, you will be provided a hospital-grade pump to use. They are closed-system pumps, so they can safely be used by more than one woman. These pumps typically have programmable settings; they also tend to have stronger suction than their regular double electric pump counterparts, which helps to establish an abundant milk supply.

Take your pump with you to the hospital.

Bring your pump to the hospital, pumping tips

Having your pump with you at the hospital during labor and delivery can come in handy. Your pump can be used for nipple stimulation, which helps progress labor. If you and your baby are separated after birth or your baby is not latching well, you can use your pump to provide your baby expressed breast milk. While you are in the hospital, your lactation consultant can go over the proper use of your pump and answer any questions you may have. 

Flanges are not one size fits all.

Check your flange sizes, pumping tips

You may have noticed your pump came with dome-like pieces that go over your areola and nipple. These are called flanges. While pumping, your nipple is pulled into the inner cylinder of the flange. Depending on the size of your nipples during stimulation, you may need different size flanges than the ones included with your pump. Having properly sized flanges will help with overall milk output and can help prevent breast tissue damage while pumping. While you are in the hospital, your lactation consultant can assist you with sizing, or you can use this graphic to determine if your flanges are the right size.

pumping tips, flange fit, flange size, pumping, exclusively pumping, breastfeeding

Whether you end up pumping infrequently, occasionally, or exclusively, my dream is that these tips will help you feel prepared to begin your feeding journey – and reach and exceed your goals! Read more about pumping and breast milk storage and find other great tips on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Be you bravely,



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