Are you planning to breast pump?
You can start breast pumping as soon as your doctor allows you to. This is usually at the 38/39-week mark. It would be best to breast pump on a low setting, for only 5 minutes and once a day. Doctors tend to allow moms to pump in the last two weeks of pregnancy since this is considered term. Pumping too early could cause you to go into early labor, especially if you are at high risk for early delivery.
Have you been leaking heavily?
Instead of breast pumping you can use a milk collector like the Pump Pod. This allows for gentle suction without forceful stimulation like a standard breast pump would use.
If you plan to breastfeed first.
The timing for pumping can vary depending on individual circumstances, but generally, it’s recommended to wait until breastfeeding is well-established before introducing a pump. Here are some general suggestions to help you on your journey:
- Wait until breastfeeding is established. It’s typically advised to wait until breastfeeding is going well, usually around 3 to 4 weeks after birth. This allows time for you and your baby to establish a good latch and a consistent routine.
- Introduce pumping gradually. It is suggested to pump right after your first-morning nursing session. This is when your supply tends to be higher and you can help maintain or increase your milk supply by adding in this session. However, every mother and baby are unique, so you may need to experiment to find the time that works best for you.
- Consider your baby’s needs. If you’re pumping to build a stash of milk for occasional use or to return to work, you might start pumping earlier. In these cases, it’s still essential to prioritize direct breastfeeding when possible.
- Listen to your body. Pumping should not cause discomfort or pain. If you’re experiencing pain, it’s possible that the pump flanges are the wrong size or that there’s an issue with the pump settings. Adjust the pump suction as needed to ensure comfort.
- Establish a routine. Once you start breast pumping regularly, it can be helpful to establish a routine. Consistency can help signal your body to produce milk at certain times, and it can also help you build up a supply if you’re pumping for storage.
- Consult with a lactation consultant. If you have specific concerns or questions about pumping, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide personalized advice based on your situation.
Remember that individual circumstances can vary. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a lactation consultant for guidance tailored to your specific needs and situation.