10 Tips For Your Nips – A Guide For A Pumping Mama


exclusively pumpingI was prepared as anyone can be for what the breastfeeding world was going to bring me. Nothing could stop this mama from getting it right. I knew it could be a bumpy journey (literally bumps all over my breasts), but I never thought I would completely FAIL at breastfeeding. Tons of crying, bleeding, and other issues made breastfeeding challenging for me. My tiny 4lb baby was not having it so I knew it was time to bring out the formula and hospital pump. I felt good about pumping because the baby wasn’t crying, I wasn’t crying, and my cuts began to heal. Most importantly, my baby was finally getting her milky. After a few weeks of working with my lactation consultant, I decided I was going to have to make pumping work.

That pump became an extension of my body for an entire year. So, with much love, I give you 10 tips to guide you through pumping:

  1. Check your Insurance options: Many, if not all insurances, will offer a mom one breast-pump each year. Check on that now to review features, ease of usability and REVIEWS!


  1. Get to know your pump: You found the one, congratulations! Make sure you understand ALL the accessories it comes with and what you’ll still need. The pump usually comes with a breast shield in a generic size. You may talk to your doctor about breast shield options and sizes to see what is recommended for you. I would suggest trying some out during your last few weeks of pregnancy for comfort.


  1. Plan for the Pumping Spot: When planning your nursery (the fun stuff!), plan for a tiny or big spot for mama. This could also be in your bedroom. Honestly, who cares where? Just make it happen! I would suggest a comfortable chair that has plenty of support on your back, arms and legs. Prepare to have a stand available that will hold your pump, accessories, phone charger, and guilty pleasure reading. Momma’s, I can’t stress this enough! Make it easy on yourself!


  1. Create your pumping tool-box:
  • A tote to carry your pump and essential items. Sometimes I would get extra hard (you know what I mean), and need to pump in the car (often), so I purchased an AC adapter for my car.
  • Nipple cream for cracks, bleeding, irritation, itchiness, etc. I used Lansinoh.
  • Nipple pads to prevent leaks. It’s bound to happen, be prepared. In fact, just throw an extra bra and shirt and leave it in your car. I’m serious!
  • Different sized bottles will save you when you end up pumping too much. While my daughter drank 4 ounces for quite a long time, I was pumping more. Make sure you have bottles of different sizes you can pump into to avoid leaking out of the bottle.
  • Super Tip: Watch a video on how to properly clean your pump and how often you should change parts out. Check out sanitation kits, brushes and a steamer. I really enjoyed the boon lawn to dry out the bottles.


  1. Storage: The tote I mentioned in the tool-box had compartments for bottles, compartments for accessories, and the best part, a lined area for keeping bottles cool. You can find these items separately as well and just throw them in a carrying tote. Make sure to have an ice pack in there if you’re on-the-go. Breastmilk bags are a MUST for storage. You can also check out bottles that come with built in dates and times that are adjustable. This is helpful for babysitters too!


  1. Know your Breastmilk Guidelines: Proper handling and storage of your milk is essential. Kelly Mom has great tips on breastmilk storage and handling. Print it and put it on your fridge.


  1. Find Your Power Bra: In your last month of pregnancy, take a day to yourself and look for a comfortable bra that will make it easy to pump at home and on-the-go. There are even some bras that will hold your breast shields for you.


  1. Overcoming the First Let-down: You suddenly feel like you are holding a bag of rocks in your chest. It’s your first let-down. Do NOT panic. A warm/hot shower directly hitting your chest will do the trick. After you feel relief, go pump it out. Other options can include a warm towel over your chest. I also frequently used therapy breast pads that you can warm up in the microwave. I would leave this on my “mom-spot” nightstand ready to go.


  1. Managing Over Supply: At first, you may just throw your over-pumped milk in the freezer or fridge. Try to get organized if you think you will have an oversupply. This will come in handy for feeding times and really help a sitter out. By the way, if you’re wondering what to do with ALL that milk and know your baby won’t drink it all, please check out the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas and consider donating it to babies who need it!


  1. Get your Work Straight: If you are a working momma, in your last trimester I would suggest talking to your employer about designated pumping areas and pump breaks. Check it out, make sure it’s what you need. This way, you know what you can expect when you get back to work with no surprises.

Your nips will thank you for these tips. If you choose, get your pump on mama, you got this!

Pregnant BloomDallas Moms Blog is excited to announce our 4th Annual Bloom: A New & Expectant Moms Night Out event on May 3, 2018!  Join us for an evening celebrating MOMS! Whether you’re expecting, expecting again, adopting, or had a baby within the last year this event is for you!  Purchase your ticket!


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