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Pumping

Pumping

Posted on  August 3, 2022

While we Sri Lankan moms don’t put much stock in pumping, it is wildly popular across the world.
My advice…. start pumping as early as you can.

The milk supply is said to start regulating around 6-12 weeks. This means your body starts understanding your baby’s required amount of milk and regulates the milk flow accordingly. If you have a strong supply to begin with, you don’t really need to pump, but if your supply is low, you will want to start in the first month while the body is still trying to understand the baby’s requirements.

This isn’t to say that pumping won’t increase your flow after 12 weeks, but it will be much easier to do this sooner rather than later.

So it will help to have a breast pump ready to go before the baby even shows up.

Getting a breast pump in Sri Lanka is really not the easiest thing. Good quality pumps are insanely expensive. So if you have a friend or a relative living abroad, try to get one down. If not, here are a few sites I found online that you can check out.

https://breastpumpsrilanka.com/
https://www.kidzcare.lk/catalog/breast-feeding
https://bestbargains.lk/product-category/baby-items/breast-pump/
https://www.toys.lk/product/manual-breast-pump

They are also available at Mothercare and other baby stores.

Disclaimer: Not sponsored by any of these guys and I have NOT bought from them, so I cannot guarantee quality.

A few known brands are Avent, Medela, Spectra, Tommee Tippee etc. Farlin is a more affordable option which I have heard is popular here. I’ve also seen a brand called Dr. Gym? I am not familiar with it, so you’ve tried it, do let us know in the comments.

 

Your options for pumps

Double Electric Pump – If you are a single working mother, with zero time to sit around pumping, you might want to get this. It’s expensive but you can pump both breasts at once.

Single Electric Pump – This is what I got. Worked well for me, I had enough time to pump at leisure because I was at home.

Manual single Pump – This is the most affordable option, I saw some Farlin branded ones for less than Rs. 3,000 (before the economic crisis).

 

A few things to note

Pumping should not be painful – if it hurts when you pump, stop immediately so that you don’t damage your nipple. A few things that might be causing pain are,

1. Your nipple isn’t centered in the flange – If your nipple rubs against the flange, it will cause pain. So make sure your nipple is centered when you fit it into the flange.

2. Incorrect Flange size – If your nipple is centered and it still rubs against the flange, the flange is too small. Standard flange size is 24mm but you get 27mm as well with some pumps.

3. Breast milk storage

a. Breastmilk can be left outside for up to 4 hours. But best be conservative as we are in a
warm climate, so I did not leave breastmilk at room temp. for more than 2-3 hours.

b. Refrigerated milk can be kept up to 4 days according to literature. I personally did not give the baby milk that was over a day old because I was at home and breastfeeding while pumping to increase my supply. But this is up to you. 4 days is the upper limit.

c. Frozen breastmilk is said to last up to 6 months.

4. When to pump

You can pump throughout the day, but I felt my milk production was at its highest at dawn. So I would wake up around 4am and pump.
If you feed frequently during the day and only do about two night feeds, you can add a pumping session in the night after the baby sleeps.

5. Pumping Routine

The goal here is to completely empty your breast.

a. Pump between feeds for 20 minutes

b. Follow this routine

i. Feed 1 – Feed the baby – Pump to empty the breast

ii. Feed 2 – Feed the expressed milk to the baby – Breastfeed – pump to empty

iii. Continue this routine

c. Replace a feeding session with pumping while giving the baby previously pumped milk at feeding time. This seems counter-productive, but if your baby is not sucking or latching well OR if your milk production is low and baby loses interest while feeding, this would help you get back on track. This is what I did, and it helped me see where my milk was at and I saw it improve with each pumping session.

d. Power Pumping

Power pumping is a pattern of pumping and resting which supposedly increases milk production. This is how it goes. There are two sets of instructions for single and double pumps.

i. Double pump (both sides together)

Pump for 20 mins – Rest 10 mins – Pump for 10 mins – Rest 10 mins – Pump for 10 mins

ii. Single Pump (One side at a time)

Left 10 mins – Right 10 mins – Rest 5 mins – Repeat the same routine 3 times

Happy Pumping!

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