How to Make the Most of Pumping
Are you a breastfeeding mom who pumps? Whether you pump exclusively, pump to help your supply, or pump just occasionally so you can leave your baby with a bottle, here are some pumping tips that will make your busy life a little easier.
1. Have Multiple Pumping Options
If you plan on pumping often, we recommend having multiple pump types to suit all your needs.
- Traditional Plug-In Pump: These are the best for an exclusive pumper. We recommend having this set up in the space you usually pump in. A piece to make this traditional pump easier to use is a hands-free pumping bra.
- Hand Pump: Hand pumps are great for on-the-go pumping sessions or quick relief from engorgement. They require no power to use so they’re great to use if you spend time away from your baby and need to pump quickly and easily.
- Milk Catcher: These are traditionally silicone suction-type cup that attaches to whatever breast you aren’t feeding on to catch your letdown. While they might not produce as much milk as a traditional pump, they are great to help build a freezer stash of milk.
2. Set Up a Comfy Pumping Space and Routine
Pumping requires a lot of time and energy! Whether you’re pumping at home or at work, we recommend having a comfortable space to make this session enjoyable. Have water and snacks handy, as quickly pumping can really drain your energy reserves.
If you’re pumping at work or home, having a mini fridge close to wherever you pump is convenient - especially during those middle-of-the-night pump sessions the first few weeks! While it’s not necessary (note - freshly pumped milk can stay at room temperature for 4 hours before needing refrigeration) it will certainly make your life easier. If you are transporting pumped milk from work to your home, a cooler bag is a great addition to your pumping supplies.
3. Be Prepared for Pumping On-the-Go
As mentioned above, certain kinds of pumps make pumping on the go much easier. A very popular option is a battery-powered and hands-free pump. They are often pricey, so a hand pump or milk catcher are more affordable on-the-go options.
If you plan on feeding your baby freshly pumped milk, we recommend both storing and heating the breast milk in a portable bottle warmer. Our Keddle is perfect for this. You can use it to make freshly pumped milk a little warmer based on your baby’s preferences. If you’re not ready to feed right after pumping, you can store the pumped milk in the Keddle for up to 4 hours, and then use it to bring the milk back to a warm temperature for your baby. The Keddle has multiple heat sensors (not just one like most portable bottle warmers) so you’ll know you are getting the right temperature every time.
Another great perk of using our portable bottle warmer is that you can even heat frozen breast milk bags on the go! This makes your outings easier to plan, as frozen breast milk can stay drinkable for hours. When you’re ready to feed your baby, simply place the breast milk bag (at any thaw level!) into the Keddle to defrost and heat.
4. Heat Pumped Milk Safely
As you know, breast milk is full of key nutrients. These nutrients can be killed with too much heat, making the breast milk not as filling or nutritious for your baby. A lot of pumping means a lot of heating for future feedings, so you want to make sure you’re doing it right (we have a whole blog about it HERE).
You never want to microwave breastmilk as it can create heat bubbles and deplete nutrients. When you’re on the go or at home, you want a safe and quick way to get your pumped milk heated. A portable bottle warmer can be used both at home and on the go.
You should never warm breast milk above 104°F because you can harm your baby and damage the nutrients in breast milk. This is why our Keddle only warms to 103°F and has 5 temperature sensors (most portable bottle warmers just have 1) so you are getting the most accurate and safest temperature.
Pumping is no easy task, and our hats go off to all of you moms pumping amidst your busy life. We hope these tips, tricks, and products make your pumping more enjoyable and accessible.