No matter if you’re pumping full time or just on occasion, here are some hacks that made my breast pumping game strong.
The Haakaa– Wouldn’t it be nice to easily collect some milk while simultaneously feeding your baby on the other side? The Haakaa manual pump has you covered. This silicon baby takes very little effort & zero discomfort to collect some extra gold during a regular nursing session. Although it doesn’t replace an electric pump for most mommas, it’s a great way to slowly build up a stash, relieve engorgement while nursing, or using it as a collection cup when hand expressing.
RELATED READING :: Hey Pumping, Working Mom, You Get a Gold Star
All you have to do is suction it to one breast, nurse baby on your other side and when that letdown hits- hello milk. This is a super easy way to get .5 oz – 3oz+ with ease. The best part? Cleaning your Haakaa takes less than 1 minute (because we all know cleaning pump parts is the worst).
Pump Cups & Flange Funnels: Umm- raise your hand if you’ve cried over spilled milk? *Raising my hand* Don’t fret- here’s a couple simple solutions. Keep an empty & heavy cup (like a ceramic coffee cup) next to you when pumping. When you’re finished, simply pop the entire part into the cup. That way you don’t have to risk dripping milk & you can safely make it to the fridge. Secondly, if you have a silicon flange or removable flange part, it can be used as a funnel! Any way to spill less milk & have less dishes to wash- am I right?
Warm up the girls: Have a few extra minutes? Putting a warm compress on your breasts before pumping has been shown to increase milk output when. If you’re short for time, you can put warm compresses around the flange while pumping. My favorite breast warmers are from Frida.
Oil those babies up: Ever experienced uncomfortable pulling or tugging? While you should first make sure you’re wearing the correct flange size– It’s important to also make sure you give your breast/nipple some slip so it can move in & out of the pump smoothly. Don’t worry- you don’t have to go out & buy a new gadget or product. Got olive oil in your kitchen? That works great! Simply dab some on your fingers and apply the oil directly to the flange before pumping. This gives enough slip help to avoid skin injuries/irritation while still maintaining a proper suction.
I hated having to put on a special bra just to pump for 30 minutes. Not to mention it took a lot of time & money to find a pumping bra that worked for me. Although I did find a way to save money by getting a 2-in-1 bra, they became too uncomfortable & tight if I had to wear them all day. Secondly, with a toddler running around & having a newborn to care for, being stuck on the couch & having what felt like Madonna’s cone bra on my chest wasn’t always convenient.
So what did I do? I purchased a set of high quality & affordable wireless pumps (and spent the extra $12 for the caps) so I could wear whatever bra I wanted, pump where I wanted, & even use the collection cups with my other non-wireless pumps.
As we know- not all wireless pumps are created equal & it’s very important that you get a pump that works for you, your lifestyle, & your own milk production. I decided to purchase the Imani S2. At $75 a pump (or $150 for the set). One way it’s different from some of the other popular wireless pumps is the suction strength. It’s still high powered like my beloved Spectra- but without the giant pump housing. The collection cups are dome shaped- so they fit comfortably into any regular nursing bra. They’re clear and have silicone flanges that make things more comfortable while you can see what’s going on. You don’t have to buy extra parts or plastic milk bags, so you can easily store your milk in whatever containers you want & the parts are easy to clean (very few tiny crevices to scrub).
I spent a short time of my baby’s feeding journey exclusively pumping due to her tongue tie (that eventually was resolved with laser surgery) & for a few months I still continued to pump frequently even when I was breastfeeding her regularly. While all of these tips helped me- using wireless pumps part of the time & being able to have universal collection cups made my life so much easier!
Different products & tricks work for different people. We’re not all the same. Also, not all of our breasts are the same & all of our breastfeeding journeys bring a unique perspective. So no matter how often you pump- I hope some of these tips make your life easier!