HOW TO USE YOUR MILKDROP GOODIES

Traditional Pump

What's it for?

Removing milk from your breast to feed your baby.

Before you use it

  1. Plug me in and charge me up, using only the charger that comes in this kit.
  2. Wash all the plastic and silicone parts (nothing with electronics in it) in hot, soapy water. Then put all the parts that will come into contact with your breasts and milk into boiling water for about 5 minutes. You don’t need to wash the tubing as it’s separated from your milk! 
  3. Check the instruction manual for how the bits fit together. There's a nifty diagram.

Get comfy

Before you get started, it can help to know that everyone is different, especially when it comes to pumping. We’ll give you a place to start, but if you’re just not feeling it, that’s okay too! You might be someone who gets a letdown in 3 seconds, or it might take 3 minutes (or longer), and if in doubt, reach out to your lactation professional or your doctor.

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Turn on the pump (before you put it on your breast), and make sure the suction is set to the lowest level by pressing the down (-) button.
  3. Fit your breast into the flange, taking care to align your nipple in the centre of the opening to prevent rubbing or twisting,  and hit the ‘on’ button.
  4. Use the massage function to help with letdown. After you start to see milk drawing from your nipple, or after 2 mins, switch to the expressing function.
  5. Start expressing. Adjust the suction using the - or + buttons. Start with the lowest setting that still allows milk to flow from the breast and slowly increase to the highest comfortable level.  Do not use the suction any higher as it can cause discomfort or damage. Remember, more suction doesn’t always equal more milk. 
  6. When you’re finished (up to 20 minutes or until you feel you’ve removed sufficient milk), turn off the pump. This pump will turn off automatically after 30 minutes for safety reasons. 
  7. Slowly remove the breast shield, taking care to keep the bottle upright (so you don’t spill the milk).  
  8. Disconnect the backflow protector from the shield, unscrew the bottle carefully and put on the lid. Store your milk safety (read on).

Here are some tips for getting comfy and getting more milk flow: 

  1. Some studies have found that warmth can help with letdown and milk flow. Try warming your breast before pumping with a heat pack to encourage milk flow, or try warming your flange (or Milkdrop cushion) to 39C (102F).
  2. Massage can also increase milk flow. Try gentle hand massage from the base of your breast towards your nipple before and as you pump. You can also use a ‘lactation massager’, however make sure to use the low setting and just vibrate the surface (no deep tissue massage) to avoid injury.
  3. Try a Milkdrop breast pump cushion. They’re made from ultra-soft silicone, 10x softer than the plastic breast shield and are designed to mimic a baby’s suck which can feel more natural.
  4. Elastic or smaller nipples? A silicone sizing insert can help to reduce the tunnel of your breast shield to closer match your dimensions.
  5. Looking to build you milk supply? Some studies show higher volumes are collected from “double pumping” both breasts at the same time, rather than one at a time. They also show that pumping for shorter durations (e.g. 10-20 minutes) more frequently (every 2-3 hours) produces more milk overall than longer pump sessions less frequently.
  6. If you’re able to, spending time with your baby suckling on your breast skin-to-skin has many benefits beyond “nutritional feeding”.

Getting sudsy

Before you use the pump for the first time, wash all parts in soapy water, and disinfect in boiling water for 5 minutes. After each use, wash everything that has come into contact with your breasts and milk following the FDA guidelines on washing pump parts. Rinse, wash in warm soapy water, air dry on a clean towel and cover parts when not in use. Regular disinfecting in boiling water is recommended. These parts can also be sanitized using a home-use UV sterilizer.

How-not-tos

  1. Don’t share me. I’m a one-person gal (or guy).
  2. Water and I don’t mix. Don’t use me in the bath.
  3. Keep me away from kids.
  4. If you feel pain, stop! Check with your lactation consultant or healthcare professional.

For a full list of what-not-to-dos (e.g. don’t swallow the small parts…) check out the full instruction manual.

What the experts say

Breastfeeding and pumping is a very personal thing, and everyone's body is different. Our advice? If you're struggling, have questions or just want to chat to someone, visit your lactation or health professional.

Read more about how to find a great lactation consultant here.

Troubleshooting

Should I ramp up the suction to get more milk?

Yikes, definitely not. More suction does not always mean more milk. This pump has 10 suction levels, but only ever increase the suction to where it feels comfortable for you.

Ouch. Is there anything I can do to make pumping more comfortable?

Firstly, if you're in pain, stop pumping and head straight to your lactation or healthcare professional. There are things you can do to make pumping more comfortable, like:

  1. Warming your flange. Some studies have shown that this can increase milk flow and stimulate letdown, which can mean you don't have to ratchet up the suction or pump for as long. If you've got a Milkdrop cushion, you can warm the cushion instead - it's a bit easier!
  2. Use a Milkdrop cushion. 10x softer than your pump, they can help reduce chafing and rubbing, while simulating baby's suck.
  3. Only use your pump at a suction level at the highest level that still feels comfortable. More suction doesn't necessarily mean more milk.

What if I need help with a pumping schedule?

We've got tons of resources on building a pumping schedule that you can check out.

Learn how to create a pumping schedule that works for you here.

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