Breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to bond with your little ones and ensure they get the nutrients they need. However, school, work, and other responsibilities can make it difficult to breastfeed exclusively. One way to make breastfeeding more manageable is with a breast pump. Breast pumps can be quite expensive, but there are some ways to save money and even get a free breast pump.
For starters, see if your insurance covers breast pump costs. Some health insurance providers will cover the cost of breast pumps and nursing supplies. After you request a breast pump, try these helpful tips to make sure pumping goes smoothly.
1) Pump before nursing
Pumping before breastfeeding can help make sure breastmilk is available when you're away. This helps ensure your breastfed baby has access to breast milk even if you're not around. You can pump milk from one breast or both breasts, then let your baby nurse during their usual feeding time.
2) Use a double breast pump
A double breast pump lets you express milk from both breasts simultaneously, which can save time and help increase breast milk production. It also helps ensure that both breasts get emptied completely during pumping sessions. Just remember, if your baby's latch isn't correct or breastfeeding becomes painful, be sure to seek help from a lactation consultant.
3) Protect your breasts
Breastfeeding can be difficult at times, and so can pumping. If you notice your nipples are sore or cracked, you should use breast shields or breast shells to help protect your nipples while pumping. Breast shields are also helpful if you're having trouble positioning the breast pump correctly on your breast. Also, you may need to use lanolin cream to soothe your nipples between breast pump sessions.
4) Keep breastmilk safe
It's important to store breastmilk properly, even if you're just pumping for a short amount of time. Always use clean breast milk storage bags and make sure the breast milk does not stay in the refrigerator for more than a few days. You can also freeze breast milk for up to one year.
5) Take a break
Pumping sessions can take up a lot of time and energy, so be sure to give yourself a break whenever you need one. This can help you reduce breast pump stress and stay focused on your breast pump routine.
These tips can help make pumping easier and more manageable for busy breastfeeding moms who need a breast pump. Remember, there are ways to get a free breast pump, so don't forget to check if you can get a breast pump covered by insurance.