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Pumping Tips & Tricks

Pumping can be confusing, weird & sometimes difficult! So I wanted to provide a list of tips and tricks that I have found to be most helpful for those who choose to pump exclusively, who pump because of their work OR who pump by choice to allow family members to feed baby too! No matter where you are on your pumping journey, this list could help you :)


Here we go....


1. Storage guidelines: Freshly pumped milk can be stored on countertop for up to 4 hours. Freshly pumped milk can be stored in refrigerator for 4 days. Pumped milk stored in freezer should be used within 6 months (is best) but up to 12 months is possible.

[ https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm ]


2. To store in freezer, lay milk bags FLAT so that way they can easily stack on top of one another; takes up less space in your freezer.


3. Always label milk bags with date pumped & how many ounces. It is convenient to make bags with the amount of milk that your baby is usually taking in a bottle so it is easy to remove from freezer and go right to bottle.


4. Have MULTIPLE sets of pump parts on hand (ESPECIALLY if you are pumping multiple times a day). In between pumping times, you can place used parts in the fridge, so you don't have to wash after every single use (this is really helpful at night when you are at home and can easily access fridge).


5. Baby is nursing and want to pump but have no idea when/where to start?? Feed baby at normal scheduled time and then pump afterward. Do this after a couple feedings until you get enough for a bottle (most newborns take 2-3 oz each feeding). Once you are ready for a bottle, feed baby bottle while you pump.


6. The Haaka is an amazing product that you can use to express milk on the fly without the use of a pump. It uses the power of natural suction. You can find it on Amazon!


7. To thaw frozen breastmilk, set out on counter or set in a bowl/cup of warm water for a quicker thaw. Once it is thawed, do not refreeze.


8. Another amazing product are Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags for sanitation of pump parts (and bottles!). Steaming after every use isn't necessary but this makes doing it a couple times a week super convenient!


9. If you are wanting to pump on a regular basis, pump when the baby typically eats (2-3 hours) and pump for 15-20 minutes.


10. Keep a cooler and ice pack in your pump bag for when you are on the go- it will keep your breastmilk fresh until you get home.


What is one thing you wish you knew about pumping??


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The Columbus Doula

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Columbus, Ohio

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