You need to have:
• A hospital grade double breast pump, the one, which provides a variety of suction rates;
• Anti – bacterial hand soap;
• Lanolin in case if your nipples get sore;
• Breast pads either disposable or washable;
• At least two bottle brushes: one large and one small to be able to clean breast pump horns and attachments;
• Comfortable bras. The best variant is using nursing bras, because they accommodate woman’s changing bust and rib cage size;
• Breast milk storage bags. The best variant is using special “zip locking” breast milk storage bags;
• A permanent marker to mark the bottles with milk and / or breast milk storage bags.
What You Should Do
You should not stop taking your prenatal vitamins. In addition do not forget about a well – balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids. The least amount of water, you are to consume between your pumping sessions is 15 oz. It is still necessary to avoid any caffeine containing products, drinking alcohol as well as smoking cigarettes.
Wash your hands well with an anti – bacterial hand soap. It should be noted, that you may never use anti – bacterial hand sanitizer.
Find a place, where you will be able to sit down, relax and feel yourself comfortable and follow the directions, written below:
1. put the horns or breast shields, collection container and valves together;
2. attach connectors and tubing to pump;
3. place the breast pump’s horn over the center of one of your breast in a way, that there appears a seal around your nipple. You are to make sure that the nipple is in the very center in order it would not get rubbed against the horn, which, in its turn, may create irritation.
You will have to simulate a baby’s sucking your breast. To do this you should better start with the pump sucking quickly at the beginning of your pumping procedure, and then switch to the standard setting, or what would be the most comfortable for you. There are women, who prefer to begin with the suction on the lowest setting and then they switch it to a medium level. Anyway, you should never choose the setting, which brings you a feeling of discomfort.
Keep pumping for about ten or fifteen minutes, or you may do it as long as you feel OK. However, you should never pump longer than half an hour, unless you got unusually engorged. In case if you are going to establish the pumping supply for the first time, you are to pump as often as a newborn baby eats, which makes about every two – three hours. You should also keep in mind, that it is possible to pump your colostrum, just like your breast milk.
If you are pumping out colostrums, you should collect the breast milk into a smaller collection container, which most hospitals will supply you with. These small disposable vials may be attached to your breast pump’s horns and they may be used to freeze or store your colostrums in any other way.
Hints to make the breast milk collecting easier
• You should make a warm compress, get relaxed and drink some juice, water or tea before you begin pumping. This will help to stimulate your let – down reflex.
• It is also possible to look at the photograph of your baby or massage your nipples and beasts for producing more milk.
• The breast pumps horns are to be moved around your areola, and kind of “massage” will provide the stimulation of your breasts to produce more milk.