Common Questions and Answers for Breastfeeding and Expressing Breast Milk Using a Breast Pump

Common Questions and Answers to All Your Breastfeeding Questions

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Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  If you have any further questions, please contact a lactation consultant for additional help.  

Does it hurt to express breast milk using a breast pump?

A breast pump shouldn’t hurt when you are using it.  Most models of electric breast pumps have a setting that adjusts the amount of suction.  Set the suction level to a setting that is comfortable; however, it needs to be strong enough to express the breast milk.  If adjusting the suction level, you may need to purchase a different size of breast shield.

How much milk should I expect to pump?

The average person should expect to pump around 2-3 ounces per breast.  Do not get discouraged if you don’t pump this much during a session.  The amount will vary depending on the time of day, when you last pumped, when your baby last ate, or directly following a feeding.

How can I increase my milk supply?

The best way to increase your milk supply is to pump often and completely empty your breasts.  The best way to tell if your breast have been fully emptied, is to pump an additional 5 minutes after the milk stops flowing.  This will trigger your body to produce more milk.  You can also use supplements such as mother’s milk tea, fenugreek, and blessed thistle to help your body to produce more milk.  Learn more about increasing your breast milk supply here.

Why is my breast pump losing suction?

Check the valves and membranes for cracks or tears.  If the membranes are torn then they do not operate properly and cause a loss of suction.  Also, if the valves get a crack in it, it no longer functions properly.  If the membranes don’t have a tight seal against the valve, then suction can be lost.   Check the tubing regularly for cracks.  These parts need to be replaced on regular basis for maximum benefits.

Do I need anything special to pump breast milk into?

Most breast pumps come with a one to four 4 or 5 ounce bottles, depending on the breast pump model, to pump your breast milk into.  Some breast pumps have pump and save breastmilk bags.  These bags allow you to hook them directly to your pump, so that you can pump your breast milk directly into the bag.

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1 Response

  1. Debra Staelens says:

    So great that you posted this. Momma's always need help with this and information is not always easy to find.

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