How To Balance Breastfeeding And Pumping - Bellefit
Balancing breastfeeding and pumping can seem like a daunting task and many mothers may not even consider it an option. However, breastfeeding and pumping is a great way to ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients from your breastmilk even when they can’t breastfeed. You may not want to but you will have to eventually spend time away from your newborn. In order to make this transition easy and tantrum-free, you will have to balance breastfeeding and pumping.
Why Balancing Breastfeeding and Pumping is Important
While you may be enjoying your time as a mother and you may never want to spend a moment apart you will eventually have to do it. If you are planning on breastfeeding spending time away from your baby can seem like it is not an option. Eventually, you will have to go back to work (if you work in an office), or go on a date, or visit with friends; and your baby will need to be fed while you’re away. Creating a stockpile of breastmilk during this time is a great way to have time to yourself without worrying about your baby being fed. It can also help make transitioning to a bottle much easier.
Establishing a Good Milk Supply
Breastmilk is created on a supply and demand basis. Your body will produce the amount of milk that your baby needs. Because of this, many women do not think they even have enough milk to create a milk supply. However, adding pumping to your already established breastfeeding schedule can be done.
The first step in establishing a good milk supply is establishing a breastfeeding routine first. Most doctors recommend taking the first 2-3 weeks to establish a breastfeeding routine with your baby before introducing pumping to your routine. Once you have a good milk supply and routine set, then you can begin to introduce pumping. The first few days of pumping probably won’t get you a lot of milk, but don’t get discouraged. Your body needs to adjust to this new demand and it will provide the supply for it. Soon you will be filling all the bags/bottles that you need.
Tips for How to Balance Breastfeeding And Pumping
Many women find it difficult to create a good routine and are worried about making sure their baby has enough breastmilk. Don’t worry, these tips will help you balance breastfeeding and pumping.
Feed on Demand
In order to properly balance breastfeeding and pumping you will need to continue with your current breastfeeding schedule. That means feeding your baby as much as they need, as often as they need. This may change as they grow, but make sure to put your baby’s hunger above your pumping.
Pump in the Morning
The best time to pump is in the morning right after you wake up. Your body has had time to refill the milk supply and you will likely have quite a bit to give. Many women find that they are able to get the most milk in the morning after waking up. If you are worried about not having enough of a milk supply to last the day after pumping in the morning--try pumping after each feeding.
Pump after Feeding
After your baby has finished nursing you will want to wait about 10-15 minutes before pumping. This gives your body time to replenish the milk supply a little bit. Because your baby nurses multiple times a day, pumping after feeding is the way that many women choose to go.
Make sure that when you pump after feeding you are using a double breast pump. Pumping each breast at the same time helps to establish your milk supply more than pumping one breast at a time. It can also save you time.
Pump while Feeding
Some women prefer to pump while they are breastfeeding. This essentially means that while the baby is nursing one breast you are pumping the other breast. It can be a little bit awkward to get the positioning at first, but some women find it to be helpful.
While your breast milk supply is not determined by your hydration level it is still important. Your body needs a little extra hydration while you are breastfeeding. If you are dehydrated you can become lethargic, tired, and feel sick. This can influence your desire and will to pump so make sure you stay on top of your water intake.
Your stress levels greatly influence your milk supply. If you are too stressed your body will begin to lessen your milk supply which can lead to even more stress which can lead to less milk supply etc. Don’t get yourself into a vicious cycle, try to avoid stress as much as possible.
Don’t Overdo It
Take it easy. Your body is amazing--it created a baby and it is now providing food for that baby. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Breastfeeding can take a variety of tolls on your body. Your breasts can become engorged, they can leak, you can get chafed nipples, the list goes on. Don’t overdo it in the name of an excess milk supply. If you are hurting, if you are not feeling mentally up for it, don’t push yourself. You have already done so much for your baby you can take a break.
Key Takeaways to Balance Breastfeeding and Pumping
Balancing breastfeeding and pumping is not an easy task. It can seem daunting, if not impossible, at first--but it is possible. After establishing a milk supply and breastfeeding schedule introduce pumping into it. This will slowly increase the demand for your breastmilk which will slowly increase the supply. Staying hydrated, monitoring your anxiety, avoiding stress, and checking in on yourself are the best ways to balance your breastfeeding and pumping routine.
Make sure you aren’t overdoing it at any point with breastfeeding. Your body is going through a lot of changes and breastfeeding can be painful and taxing. Try using one of Bellefit’s nursing bras to stay comfortable and stress-free while nursing. Comfortable enough to fall asleep in, made with 100% cotton, and with an easy-access clip, our nursing bra takes the hassle out of midnight feeds. Try one today!