There are many reasons that moms today choose to incorporate breastpumping into their breastmilk feeding routine. Some of these reasons include:
- Allowing her partner to share in the feeding rewards and responsibilities
- Getting a little time to herself
- Returning to work or school
- Breastpumping for a premature baby or baby who is in the hospital
- Increasing breastmilk supply
- Initiating lactation for an adopted child or after an interruption in breastfeeding
- Engorgement or sore nipples
Remember that while your new baby may seem helpless and you may think he requires constant attention, it is very important for new parents to have personal and together time.
Why Buy a Breastpump?
A breastpump allows you to express your breastmilk so that your baby always has access to what he needs most. In addition, research shows that most breastfeeding moms purchase a breastpump as part of their breastfeeding experience.
Here are a few things to consider before choosing a breastpump:
- How often will you, your partner, or someone else be feeding your baby breastmilk from a bottle?
- Do you have, or are you planning on having more children?
- How long do you plan on feeding your baby breastmilk?
- How will your life change in the next 6 to 12 months?
Choosing the Right Breastpump
The right breastpump for you will depend on your reasons for getting a breastpump. Use this handy chart to see which is the right breastpump for your particular lifestyle needs.
Just like breastfeeding, breastpumping is a learned skill. You should recognize that the first few times you use a breastpump, you may not be able to express as much as you expected. Try to remember how big your baby’s stomach is in relation to the volume of breastmilk you are expressing.
It is best to pick a regular time of day to pump, if possible. This will allow your body to prepare for this extra demand on your milk supply. For instance, if you always pump immediately after nursing your baby first thing in the morning your body will quickly adapt to this demand and start producing additional milk at that time.
Breastpumping at Work or School
Going back to work or school does not have to mean the end of breastfeeding. If you choose to do this, you will need a good quality double breastpump to make this process as efficient and effective as possible.
Feeding Your Baby Expressed Breastmilk
Choosing the correct teat or nipple for your baby can be confusing – for both you and your baby. You may have heard that you should not introduce a bottle before 4 to 6 weeks of age because “nipple confusion” might cause your baby to refuse the breast. But you may also have heard that if you do not introduce a bottle right away that your baby may never take a bottle.
The term “nipple confusion” has been used to describe many scenarios, all of them ending with your breastfed baby starting to bottle feed and then refusing the breast. The exact reason or science behind this phenomenon has not been well understood. Nevertheless, many theories have been formed and much advice given out to help prevent this from happening.
Recently, Medela spearheaded research into the sucking behaviours of babies and made some game-changing discoveries that have answered some of these scientific questions which will help moms make informed decisions about feeding their babies expressed breastmilk.
To understand how nipple confusion can occur, let’s review how your baby gets breastmilk out of the breast. First, your baby forms a good latch to create suction in his mouth. When your baby’s tongue is at rest, the suction level in your baby’s mouth is low and no breastmilk flows. When your baby lowers his tongue, the suction increases and breastmilk starts to flow. It is similar to when you use a straw to suck up a beverage. Your baby is always in control of the flow of the breastmilk and how much of it he will drink.
Nipple confusion can occur in some breastfed babies when they are given a bottle with a conventional nipple that allows milk to flow into your baby’s mouth freely. Conventional nipples change the mechanics around how your baby feeds, which essentially means your baby has to learn a new method for feeding. Usually, this feeding method requires less work on the part of your baby, so over time they find it “easier” (since milk flows freely) and sometimes will not want to go back to the “harder” feeding method (where they need to suck) needed at the breast. This harder feeding method is critical for helping in the proper jaw development for your baby, and without it, your baby can be more prone to developing ear infections and malocclusion.
Medela has used the results of this research to create the Calma feeding solution that allows your baby to continue to use the same feeding behaviour learned at the breast.
What questions do you have about the benefits of breastfeeding? Please add them in the comments section below or join the conversation on the Medela Canada Facebook page.
To request references for the statistics mentioned in this article, please contact info (at) medela.ch.