Just like breast feeding, pumping is a skill that you
learn. When first trying a breast pump, most mothers
are only able to express a few drops of milk. With
the proper practice and knowledge, the mother will
be more efficient at pumping.
Preparing the breast pump
1. Read all the instructions in the kit
2. Every part of the breast pump will need
to be sterilized before you begin using it.
3. After use, all the parts of the pump will
need to be washed in warm, soapy water, then rinsed
with hot water and drained on a clean towel. The
plastic tubing doesn’t need to be cleaned unless
you get milk into it. If you do wash it, it should
be hung to allow time to dry and drain thoroughly.
4. If your doctor feels the need, the
entire kit can be sterilized every day.
5. When you first start with an electric
pump, the suction level should be on the lowest
– Warm compresses, gentle massages of the
breast and gentle nipple stimulation will help to
stimulate a quick let down.
– You should always relax while doing
breast massages during pumping. Some mothers prefer
to close their eyes then think about nursing the
baby, imagining the baby in their arms. The more
relaxed a mother is, the better let down she’ll
have and the more milk will be dispensed.
– Your first attempts at pumping should be
considered practice sessions with learning to use
the breast pump as the goal, not how much milk is
– When you use a hand pump, quick, short
pumps at the start is stimulating and will imitate
more closely the way a baby breast feeds. Once
the let down occurs and milk starts to flow freely,
long, steadier strokes are more effective and
– When you learn to pump, you should
practice for 5 minutes on a side at least once or
twice a day. Always pick the least stressful part
of your day for pumping.
Relaxing and realizing that the pump is your
friend is the single most important thing that a
mother can do. There are several things that a
mother can do to help herself relax, such as
putting a picture of the baby on the pump, playing
cards or a game with friends, watching television,
read books, or talk on the phone. Simply watching
the collection bottle is not helpful and will
probably put more stress on you than you actually