One study followed 32 mothers who had babies with low birth weight, through their pumping journey to try to understand the factors that helped or hindered them from starting to express milk and keeping with it[1].

Things that can help:

  • Family support
  • Positive attitudes toward pumping
  • Anticipation of breastfeeding

Things that can make it difficult:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Anxiety regarding their infant’s health
  • Lack of privacy, while in hospital
  • Using manual or small electric breast pumps at home
  • Having to travel to the neonatal intensive care unit
  • Returning to work
  • Having difficulty managing time


How to pump with least fuss


Cleaning is often something that surprises people, in that it takes longer than you expect, which means it’s taking away your time for sleep. Here are some tips to reduce the cleaning load:

Tip 1: Delegate. 

If you have a partner or carer, give them total control of cleaning. That means both the cleaning, and the mental load of figuring out how to clean, where to get the stuff to clean, when to do it. If they do this right, you’ll never have to think or talk about cleaning again. 

Tip 2: Duplicate. 

Get double, or if you’re pumping a lot, get triple, of everything that needs cleaning. This means you can do a few sessions in a row, without having to add cleaning to the steps in your bleary pump, feed, settle, sleep cycle. This is really really good for night feeding. 

Tip 3: Differentiate. 

There’s lots of (conflicting) advice on what and how to clean. Here’s our summary of those sources, so choose what best suits you and your situation. 

  • Pump directly into your storage container – bags
  • Lay storage bags flat so that they freeze well and stack easily
  • Skip the warming of milk – not medically necessary and (if your baby will accept it) saves you a LOT of time
  • Feed the baby not the freezer
  • ‘Pitcher’ method: Using the pitcher method has been great I just poor I to. Bottle and heat when ready I have been using formula too in a bottle to helps build a stash doing 2oz formula and 3-4 oz breast milk to feed has helped me add up quote the supply also a hands free battery pumping is an amazing game changer of your going to pump throughout the day
  • Special bra for pumping!
  • Having enough sets of parts to avoid washing
  • Pump while driving
  • Get a portable pump