Breastfeeding Connection Pumping Tips

My name is Julia and I have two of the greatest jobs in the world. I have an amazing job at The Women’s Hospital, where I have worked for nearly nine years now! My other job…well, it is the most rewarding and simultaneously the most challenging role I’ve ever carried…being a mother. However, I view it as an amazing opportunity and gift which I love very much!  Being a mom, I am responsible for giving my children a great start in life, for guiding them in the right direction, for teaching them right from wrong. It’s sometimes overwhelming in the greatest way to know that I am responsible for the lives and well-being of these two amazing little individuals, now three and five years old.


Giving Them a Great Start in Life

I breastfed both of my children from the very beginning and knew that I wanted them to continue to be breastfed/receive breast milk upon my return to work. So where did I turn to when learning how to pump? My two biggest sources were (1) sisters and friends who were mothers and (2) lactation consultants at The Women’s Hospital. Family members and friends gave me advice on what worked for them and lactation consultants were able to give me professional advice on pumping and storing milk as well as how to maximize milk supply. I was very nervous and several questions went through my mind prior to returning to work...
  • How do I know I’m going to produce enough milk in order to sustain baby?
  • Am I going to be able to successfully pump throughout the day without rushing myself to get back to work? How am I going to find time on a day full of meetings?
  • Will my baby eat while I’m at work and will the sitter/ childcare provider know how to properly thaw the milk for the baby?
I will follow up on how these concerns panned out later in the post.

First, let me share some tips with you from the Lactation Consultants at The Women’s Hospital.


Pumping with Success

1.    Wash hands prior to pumping
2.    Make yourself comfortable
•    Drink water or a healthy beverage
•    Have a healthy snack
•    Look at your baby’s picture while pumping
•    Wear clothing that allows easy access to the breast
3.    Ideally it is best to pump both breasts at the same time.
4.    If time allows, continue to pump two – three minutes after no milk is expressed.
5.    Use your hands to massage and compress breast while pumping. Be sure to feel for milk left in the breast.
       Milk that is not emptied will cause your milk supply to decrease.
6.    Wash pump kit parts after each use.


How to Maximize One’s Milk Supply

1.    Pump to the best of your ability and situation
2.    Nurse baby before leaving home
3.    Nurse baby at child care provider when you drop off and pick up baby.
4.    Nurse when you’re with baby and pump only when away from your baby.
5.    Be sure to use proper fitting breast flange sizes.
6.    Seek help as soon as possible if you have questions or concerns or if problems occur (i.e. decrease in
       milk supply or pain with pumping)

So....how did pumping and working turn out for me? Let's go back to the three questions that I mentioned earlier:

How do I know I’m going to produce enough milk in order to sustain baby?
I didn’t…for sure…but I couldn’t worry about that until or unless that issue arose. I quickly realized that the added stress or pressure definitely wouldn’t help. So, the first thing I had to learn was how to relax and calm down. That was going to be key in order to produce milk.

Also, in order to start building up my milk supply, as my maternity leave was nearing an end, I started pumping for a few extra minutes after a couple of feedings each day. Even the smallest amount that I got, I would save.

Am I going to be able to successfully pump throughout the day without rushing myself to get back to work? How am I going to find time on a day full of meetings?
Like anything else that was important to me, I realized that I had to make the time to pump…and sometimes, I was able to even squeeze in non-stressful work while pumping by using a hands free pumping bra. I could do simple things like go over meeting minutes/notes and work on updating my daily tasks lists.

Will my baby eat while I’m at work and will the sitter/ childcare provider know how to properly thaw the milk for the baby?
Both of my babies did just fine eating after I returned from work. At first, my son’s childcare provider did look at the milk rather oddly, like it was some sort of foreign matter!  I had to chuckle at it, but she was more than willing to learn what to do.  She asked several questions and I made sure she knew that either way, fresh or frozen, get it to room temp by placing in a clean cup/container of hot water and then when he’s done eating, he’ll let you know…
Also, parents and childcare providers can click here for a resource video from The Women's Hospital on baby-led or paced feedings.

I loved the cuddling and bonding that breastfeeding gave me with my babies. It was precious time and memories that no one can take away from me. Upon returning to work, pumping worked well for me while I was gone…I couldn’t wait to get home to see the kids, snuggle with them and nurse them.

My son was breastfed through 8 ½ months and my daughter was breastfed through 13 months. They are both in school now and overall very healthy, intelligent kids. It was difficult at times, yes, but every minute was worth it!


For information on breastfeeding and pumping classes offered by The Women’s Hospital, visit www.deaconess.com/healthybaby.


For a print-friendly file of the pumping tips mentioned above, please click here.

Posted: 9/10/2013 2:20:39 PM by Julia Baumeyer | with 0 comments