Breast Pumping


Breastfeeding is the best way to provide milk to your baby. Due to multiple reasons, not all mothers are able to do breastfeeding. There are lots of breast pumps available with which you can pump and store the milk for later use. Learn the basics of pumping and make the process easy.

Last Updated: 23 October 2020

Breast Pumping
Breast Pumping
Why to use a breast pump?

The best way to feed your baby is through breastfeeding. But sometimes due to the following reasons you may not be able to do breastfeeding.

When you have planned rejoin your office work. In such a situation the stored milk will do the job.

Sometimes your baby (premature) may not be able to latch well and feed directly from your breasts

When you have excess milk production and planning to provide the milk to milk bank

When you have any medical problems like mastitis

During the above instances breast pumping is the best option you can opt for so that your baby will manage to get the nutrient rich drink.

Types of breast pumps

Breast pump is a very handy tool and what type of pump you require depends on your need and how long you are going to use. You can get the help of a lactation consultant.

Manual pumps: Manual pumps are small, discrete and cheaper than electric pumps. You need to apply force to draw the milk and it is ideal for occasional use.

Electric pumps: Electric pumps don’t require time and effort from your side. Some electric pumps (Two phase expression technology) are designed in such a way that you can draw milk from both sides of your breasts in a single point of time. It is ideal for mothers who want to save their time. Sometimes the noise that is generated can be disturbing. Both battery operated and plugged in pumps are available.

How to use a breast pump?

1.      Choose a breast pump based on your requirement. Read the instructions manual carefully before starting the process.

2.      Choose a comfortable place to start the process.

3.      Wash your hands.

4.      Plug in your pump and assemble the pump kit.

5.      Flange fit is very important. Center the flanges over your breast(s) and center the nipple in the flange opening, making an air seal. 

6.      Turn your breast pump on.

7.      You can adjust the speed based on your comfort level. Start with high speed and low suction and notice the let down (milk flow).

8.      Increase or decrease the speed based on the milk flow.  

Tips to follow

Breast pumping can be a daunting task initially. Like any skill you can master over it when you follow it in the right way patiently.

1.      Plan: For the first four weeks, do exclusive breastfeeding. That will initiate a bond between you and your baby. When you are planning to rejoin your office, start breast pumping a few weeks before, so that your body adapts well to breast pumping. You can avoid frustration during your office work. Start with 8 to 10 pumping sessions per day.

2.      Pumping essentials: Make sure you have all the pumping essentials like wipes, storage bags or containers, nursing pads, cold storage bags, towels and tissues and plastic bags with you.  

3.      Stay hydrated: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. The ideal time for pumping is in the morning. Spend at least 15 minutes for each session.

4.      Don’t borrow: Do not borrow pumps from others. The accumulated bacteria and viruses in the pumps are unhealthy to you and your baby.

5.      Maintain hygiene: Wash your hands before and after pumping. Sterilize all the parts of the pump at least one time a day. Allow it to dry completely before the next use.

6.      Be comfortable: Always do the pumping sessions in a private and comfortable place. Don’t stress yourself. The hormone oxytoxin will be produced when you are relaxed. You can do breathing exercises, yoga stretches; listen to soothing music to keep yourself relaxed. Sometimes soft breast massages, warm compresses can make your breasts ready for letdown.

Storing the breast milk

If you do breast pumping exclusively, you can collect approximately 750 to 1,035 ml of milk per day. Always store the milk in the containers provided with the pump or in the storage bags that are designed for the purpose. It is good to store the milk in the refrigerator as soon as possible. The milk is fresh at room temperature for four to six hours. Milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days and in deep freezers for six months.


Breast pumping is a very handy tool and it is highly useful. Be patient and understand the process to achieve better results. 


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