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 7 Common Pumping Mistakes Breastfeeding Moms Make (And How to Avoid Them)

7 Common Pumping Mistakes Breastfeeding Moms Make (And How to Avoid Them)

breastfeeding May 22, 2024

Pumping breast milk can be a lifesaver for breastfeeding moms, allowing you to maintain your milk supply and provide nourishment for your baby even when you're apart. However, there are a few common mistakes that can derail your pumping efforts and leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged. In this post, we'll cover seven pumping mistakes to avoid and tips to help you pump like a pro.

Mistake #1: Not Having the Right Pump

Using an ineffective or ill-fitting pump can make the pumping process arduous and yield disappointing results. Invest in a high-quality, double-electric breast pump designed for frequent pumping. Ensure the flanges (the cones that fit over your nipples) are sized correctly to create a proper seal without causing discomfort.

Mistake #2: Not Pumping Regularly

Consistency is key when it comes to pumping. Your body produces milk on a supply-and-demand basis, so if you don't pump regularly, your supply may dwindle. Aim to pump whenever you are away from your baby, mimicking their typical feeding schedule.

Mistake #3: Pump the Right Amount of Time

Many breastfeeding moms make the mistake of ending their pumping sessions too soon or pumping too long. On average, moms need to pump for 15-20 minute sessions. 

Mistake #4: Not Maintaining Pump Parts

Properly cleaning and maintaining your pump parts is essential for optimal performance and hygiene. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for disassembling, washing, and sanitizing all pump components after each use. Replace worn-out parts, such as valves and membranes, as needed to ensure efficient suction.

Mistake #5: Not Creating a Relaxing Environment

Stress and anxiety can inhibit your milk ejection reflex, making it harder to pump effectively. Create a calm and comfortable pumping environment by finding a quiet, private space, listening to soothing music, or practicing deep breathing exercises. Looking at pictures or videos of your baby can also help trigger your let-down reflex.

Mistake #6: Ignoring Nutrition

Adequate nutrition & hydration is crucial for maintaining a healthy milk supply. If you are under-eating, dieting, following a restrictive diet, or dehydrated, it can decrease your milk supply. Eating enough calories, protein, fat, and fiber for your unique needs is crucial to help maintain your milk supply. 

Mistake #7: Not Seeking Support

Pumping can be challenging, and it's perfectly normal to experience setbacks or difficulties along the way. Don't hesitate to reach out for support from lactation consultants & breastfeeding support groups. They can provide valuable advice and guidance to help you troubleshoot any issues and feel more confident in your pumping journey.

If you want to get the entire Breastfeeding Blueprint program free as a BONUS, where you'll overcome common breastfeeding struggles & learn how to nourish your body best for breastfeeding so you can breastfeed as long as you desire, join us inside of The Postpartum Shift

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

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