How to get the most breastmilk when using a breast pump
Many mums have a breast pump, but not all mums know how to use their pump to get the most breastmilk. This information will help you to get started with expressing using an electric breast pump. It will also be helpful if you are using a hand pump.
A breast pump is not the same as the sucking action of a baby. If your baby is feeding well, they will be better at getting all the milk from your breasts. Because of this, expressing breastmilk may take a little longer than breastfeeding your baby.
Preparing to pump
Wash your hands before any expressing.
Assemble the clean milk collection kit using the maker's instructions.
Set the pump to the lowest suction setting and adjust to what is comfortable.
Make sure your nipple is in the centre of the flange and not being rubbed.
Make sure that the breast shield (also called a flange) is the correct size and has good skin contact all around to stop air entering.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the settings for the pump.
Start with short sessions and the pump on lowest suction setting. You can increase the suction once you’re more comfortable with pumping. You’ll get the most milk when the suction is on the highest level that is comfortable.
If you’re using a single kit, you may find it useful to change breasts several times during the session. This gives each breast a rest but also triggers a new let-down each time.
How to pump more milk
Using a double pump kit will remove more milk in a shorter amount of time.
When you hire a breast pump from ABA, the breast pump hire officer will show you how to put it together and use it. Keep in regular contact with them to let them know how you are getting on and whether you still need the pump.
Contact your hire officer if any of the following happens:
The pump is not working (check the instructions first).