There isn’t a speck of doubt in this statement that the mother’s milk is the best milk for the baby’s healthy growth and development. No powder milk, infant formula or supplement can ever claim to be a better replacement of breast milk. The World Health Organization recommends all mothers to nurse their infants exclusively for at least 6 months and for 2 years in total, in order to give them the best nutrients to boost their immune system and growth spurt. But doing so is a full time commitment which becomes a constraint when the mother is working in an office setting or has to leave the child for 8-10 hours every day.
Knowing that mother’s milk is the best possible milk for the child it’s hard to forsake that for any lactating mother. Many working mothers resort to a combination of breastfeeding and breast pumping in order to strike a balance between work and motherly duties. Breast pumps are a blessing for all the working moms as they don’t have to forcefully wean off their child as soon as their maternity leave ends. Although, breastfeeding for working moms is ten folds, as you would have to pump milk before leaving, pump milk during office hours and nurse the little one immediately after arriving home. Breast pump is surely going to be your best friend. On top of that you can enjoy some delicious treat like lactating cookies all day in order to maintain a good supply of milk.
Advantages of Pumping Breast Milk
As mothers are overly sensitive towards their baby’s needs, they sometimes feel pumping isn’t as good enough as breastfeeding. Breastfeeding surely has its own pros but that doesn’t mean the pumping hasn’t. Shout out to all the working/nursing mothers, balancing the two isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and it surely has its own advantages. When you pump milk for the baby, the caretakers like fathers or grandparents can have some control over the timings. A routine can be set up which allows the mother to have some must-have me time to unwind, without any inconvenience caused to the little one.
Another advantage is that pumping allows the caretakers to split duties according to their suitability. When the mother is the only person to handle feedings of the baby the task becomes tiresome. Shared feedings promote healthy and balanced childcare duties. Pumping the milk also helps stimulate breast milk supply. Some full-time lactating mothers also seek refuge in pumps when their milk production dips. Lactation drinks are also great at boosting milk supply. Pumps also allow the caregivers to have some personal time as the baby is not feeding on demand.
Different Breast Pumps Options
When pumping milk becomes an essential part of your life then it makes sense to search for the best pump that not only makes the job easier but also meets with all your requirements and trust me, there’s a pump to meet each mum’s needs. A good thumb rule for selecting a pump is based on the time (hours) the mother wants to leave the baby. Combining breast milk and pumping requires mothers to understand the mechanics of it first. When pumping, the areola and the nipple should be pulled out and released at least 50 times within a minute.
If your job requires you to leave your baby for a few hours than you can do with a manual pump, it’s quick, convenient and cheap, ideal for occasional use. But for a full-time working mother this kind of pump is impractical. An electric breast pump is best suited as it minimizes the effort by the mother, drawing power from the battery or socket. If you get your hands on a pump that draws milk from both the breasts simultaneously then nothing better than that for a working mother; convenient, efficient and handy.
Whatever pump you choose according to your timetable, be sure that pumping milk is never painful. The flanges of the pump should not only suck the nipple but also the major part of the areola, in order to express milk fully. If initially you feel that the milk production has slowed down then treat yourself with some lactating cookies and emergency brownies to stimulate milk production and pump away!
Tips for Using a Pump
As working mothers introduce this new equipment in their lives, some getting-used to-time is required. At first, working mothers may feel that their milk isn’t coming out that smoothly especially in the office environment and a little encouragement is required for the ‘let down’ effect to get activated. For that, mothers can either try lactation drinks or lactating cookies. They can also put a picture of their child in front of them to bring out the motherly instincts.
Mothers must be relaxed and stress free and for that she needs to be seated comfortably in a chair or sofa, don’t hunch your back, and try keeping it straight. Don’t try to rush this process, make sure your nipples are well cantered in the funnel of the pump, offer some support to your breasts with your hands. Working mothers have a lot on their plate and they might panic when the flow is not what they expected, don’t fret, it does take a couple of minutes for the milk to come profusely. Another pro tip is to keep switching between both breasts, when flow from the first breast slows down, switch to the other, when the same happens to the other one switch back. Keep rotating till flow reduces in both. Always rinse the pump well after every use.
Storage of Pumped Milk
The best rule is the 4-4-4 rule in which if you don’t require the milk immediately then expressed milk can be kept on the counter for up to 4 hours. The expressed milk can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer up to 4-6 months. But in each case make sure the bottle is well sealed and don’t mix batches, label them properly with dates on them.
Breast pump is a great way to bridge the gap between work and motherhood. Mothers can use them accordingly to their convenience and requirement. Breast pump gives the mother the freedom to enjoy her life and also gives the baby all the nutrients in the mother’s milk.