7 out of 10 women feel pain and discomfort when pumping.
That’s…. a lot.
At Milkdrop, we believe that #pumpingcanbecomfy, so we asked some of our breast friends (and the Milkdrop community) for their top tips on how to make pumping suck less.
We’ve compiled their tips into a 3 minute video that’s designed for sharing, so we can all spread the word to the mothers in our community that #pumpingcanbecomfy.
Know a mum who’s pumping? Share the video with her today. You’ll be her b(r)e(a)st friend!
8 Ways to Make Pumping More Comfy
1. Ask for help
Use a lactation consultant. Keep their number on your fridge postpartum so you can reach out to them whenever you need help.
From the Milkdrop community:
“My biggest recommendation from my first LO is to work with a lactation specialist. Get assessed for a tongue tie if there is a poor latch/milk transfer.”
2. Set up your space.
Make your pumping space feel as comfy as possible. Make sure you have a comfy chair, pillow and clothes, as well as water, cup of tea or a beautiful snack.
3. Get the gear
The mothers we spoke to swore by the double, electric, portable breast pumps, paired with a pumping bra. Pumping doesn’t have to feel like a time suck!
From the Milkdrop community:
“I made sure I had nipple cream to use as lubricant in the hard plastic flanges.”
“Don't make it harder on yourself than it's gotta be. I didn't initially think to buy a pumping bra but now when they're in the wash it sucks. I wasn't pumping consistently but now that I'm pumping on a consistent schedule my supply is doing okay. If you need rest don't be afraid to wait a little bit longer to pump. Your wellbeing matters. Get the right size flanges and use a nipple balm of some sort. Massaging is important. Know that whether it's for 7 weeks or 7 months you're doing the right thing.”
4. But not just any gear…
Make sure your flanges fit! Flanges are like shoes - not everybody is the same flange size. You can measure the right flange size for your breast - find out how here. Use a cushion that stretches over your flange to soften it, and protect your breast and nipples.
5. Prioritise your body and your breasts.
While women are used to putting up with pain and discomfort, it’s not always necessary. Do things like making sure your flanges are lubricated, warm them up gently, use a cushion or try hydrogel breast discs to help cool and soothe.
6. Use pumping as me-time (if you can).
Pumping can feel like a chore, so do your best to make it feel like a nice part of your day. Take 10 minutes to breathe, close your eyes, read a book or have a hot drink.
You can also store your pumping gear in the fridge in between pumps, so you only have to wash it once at the end of the day.
(Note: this is called the Fridge Hack, and it is something a lot of pumping mums do. However, it is not recommended by the CDC, who advise washing your pump after each session. If your baby is immunocompromised, very young, or unwell, this hack isn’t advised, however if your baby is well and you have no other risk factors, you may find storing your pump parts in the fridge between sessions saves you time and makes pumping that little bit easier!).
From the Milkdrop Community:
“You can put your pump parts in a ziplock in the fridge and wash once every 24 hours. Use a fresh bag each 12 hour mark.”- Casey Rae
“I ended up just using a plastic Tupperware that fit my parts and then used the container as a wash bin to wash my parts at night. This was also great when I was commuting to work.”
7. If you’re at work or away?
Have two sets of equipment so you’re not schlepping everything into the office and back home again every day. If you’re going to an event, take pumping slow in the lead up. Pumping multiple times a day can lead to an oversupply, which can lead to swollen breasts and mastitis if you need to drop down your pumping frequency while you’re away.
8. Go easy on yourself.
Comfy pumping takes practice. It can be tricky at the start, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and give yourself some grace.
Spread the word that #pumpingcanbecomfy
Currently pumping, know someone who is? Or just flat out feel like other women shouldn’t have to experience pain and discomfort when feeding their babies? Help us spread the word that #pumpingcanbecomfy:
- Share this article with friend who’s pumping right now.
- Post a link to it on your Instagram, Facebook or social media channel of choice and tag @milkdrop_pumps
- Share this video with your mum’s group
- Add your voice - share your top pumping tip on social media with #pumpingcanbecomfy.
Thank you to all of the amazing women who shared their tips and hacks. Most of these women have built and run their own businesses to help women: Kate, Sheree, Frances, Ophelie, Kate, Clare, Hannah, Laura and Jen, Andrea, Alex, Claire, Brandi, Brooke, Celeste, Melissa, Emma, Gaby, Kate, Lauren, Tanya and Chelsea.