How To Make Your Breast Pump Your New BFF!

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Congratulations! 🙂 You’ve just had a baby (or are about to soon)! You have decided how you want to feed your sweet new addition and have selected the best breastfeeding pump to get the job done. Pumping breast milk can be intimidating, and at times overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience.

Mama, I have been there! I pumped at work for a year with my first son and pumped vigorously in the NICU with my second son. My babies had breast milk for 17 months and 15 months each, and it wasn’t always easy! Whatever your reason for choosing to pump – and whether you are doing it long term, short term, part time or exclusively, I’m here to support you in making your breast pump your new best friend! 🙂 Read my best tips below!

How To Make Your Breast Pump Your New BFF!

“This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.”

best breast pump

Adjust Your Attitude

I truly believe a positive attitude can make any situation better! This is why I want you to treat your breast pump like your new BFF! Don’t approach every pumping session with absolute dread. Stay positive, stay grateful and keep smiling! A good attitude will make your pumping journey more enjoyable.

Get To Know Each Other

If at all possible, use this tip BEFORE baby arrives! Especially if you are going to be pumping for the first time. Take your breast pump out of the package and check out all the parts. Read the manual. Check out YouTube videos and google articles about your specific pump. Know in advance what the common problems are and how to troubleshoot them. Practice setting it up and breaking it down.

Really get to know your pump while you have some peace and quiet – that way there will be fewer surprises when you have a hungry screaming baby around! If you know a mom who used the same pump as you plan to use, ask her to come show you how to use it! A friend did that for me before I had my first baby and it was so helpful.

Invest in the Bra You Deserve

Being a mom, especially to a newborn, is hard work! You’re exhausted, your body has been through so much, and you have a new person to feed and care for 24/7. If there is ANY time in life in which you deserve the best – this is it! Splurge on a nursing bra that makes you feel beautiful – because you are! There are so many cool options out there today, like the bras from hotmilk and You! lingerie. Don’t just settle for the boring “one size fits most” nude bra at Target like I did!

Go Hands Free!

Every mom deserves a nice nursing bra (or 2, or 3), but when you are tied to a breast pump you need to take it to the next level. Go hands free with a hands free pumping bra – I promise you it’s a game changer! I used (and loved) this one by Simple Wishes. It is adjustable, not too pricey and really durable. I used the same bra through pumping with both of my babies and washed it about a million times!

Update Your Wardrobe!

It’s not just about the bras ladies! Your clothes need to be pumping friendly too! It’s not always in the budget to get a completely new wardrobe (maternity and nursing clothes can be pricey), but try to stock up on a few key pieces that are nursing and pumping friendly. My favorite pumping outfit was a long tank top, covered by a cardigan. I stocked up in a few different colors and was set! When you have a little baby at home who can spit up all over you at any moment – it’s also wise to invest in clothes that hide stains easily. Go with busy patterns and avoid all white! 🙂

Make It a Priority

Don’t just make pumping a priority (or nursing, or both, depending on your situation), give yourself permission to make it a priority! There’s a big difference. Nursing and/or pumping are huge time commitments. Other things need to be let go of temporarily. The laundry may pile up, you might leave a few text messages unanswered, and your kitchen counters might be a little sticky – but that’s okay! No guilt mama! Focus on you, your pump, and your baby. Everything else can wait. This is temporary and the sacrifice is worthwhile.

Make It Pleasant

You will be spending a lot of time with your breast pump. Make it as enjoyable as possible. Watch Netflix, or funny YouTube videos on your phone or iPad while you pump, read an eBook, or listen to great music. Always have a full bottle of water with you, and snacks just in case. If you’re pumping at home, set up a special area or use a pumping basket to carry your supplies from room to room. If you’re pumping at work, set yourself up for success as well as you can – make sure you have a privacy sign for the door of your pumping area and bring a pillow to sit on if your chair is not comfortable enough. I kept an album of photos of my baby in my pumping bag so I always had a reminder with me of why I was working so hard to keep pumping.

My friend Julie at Fab Working Mom Life is a pumping pro! Check out her tips on pumping bag essentials and other pumping shortcuts for new moms on her blog!

Find Your Support People

You may find that not everyone in your life supports your desire to pump milk for your baby. That can be a heartbreaking and discouraging experience (I’ve been there!). I recommend you find people who DO support you and your commitment to your breast pump. These might be co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family members. Find them, tell them your pumping goals, and reach out to them when you have a bad day or need extra support. It makes a world of a difference on a bad pumping day (we all have them) to reach out to someone encouraging who will lift you up, instead of just telling you to quit or give up.

Call In An Expert

Support people are wonderful, but sometimes you need something more advanced. If you struggle at all during your use of a breast pump, don’t hesitate to call in an expert! You can check with your hospital, birthing center, insurance company, or doctor/midwife/doula and see if they can recommend a lactation consultant or support group in your area. Don’t be shy about asking for help! We all need it sometimes and the sooner you reach out for help the better. You can search online for a lactation consultant here, and find a local breastfeeding support group to join here.

Do you plan on pumping breast milk for your baby? Or are you a veteran pumper with wisdom to share?

Share a pumping goal or tip in the comments below – and share this post with a mama who needs it! 🙂

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20 Comments

  1. Women who breastfeed are my heroes. I never got the chance to breastfeed due to health issues. I feel I missed out.

  2. I love this post and not just because you called me a pro LOL but oh man that tip about finding your people to support you – YES. BF was one of the hardest things ever but it was important to me and I kept up with it as best I could. Pumping at work was rough, pumping at home when baby refused to latch, eve more rough, but worth every drop.
    Julie recently posted…Goals for 2016 – A Reflection as 2016 comes to a closeMy Profile

    • I thought you’d like being called that Julie! 😉 Support is HUGE. I felt the same as you – it was so hard, but so important to me. I couldn’t give up!

  3. While I was breast-feeding, a support group was definitely helpful! And yes, hands-free pumps are great too 🙂

  4. I remember those days very fondly. I enjoyed breast feeding but the pumping was a hassle a lot of times!

  5. I love this post! I definitely agree with all of the points, but most of all reaching out for help. Calling a IBCLC was one of the best things I did at the begging of my breastfeeding journey.
    Alexandria recently posted…How to Make a Tree of Life Breastfeeding PictureMy Profile

    • Yes! I waited too long to reach out for help! No shame in needing it and there are so many wonderful, qualified people who can help moms solve all kinds of nursing and pumping problems!

  6. I’m out of this phase of life but this is a good article. My friend just had a baby so perfect for her
    Ashley @irishred02 recently posted…Spread Hope This Holiday SeasonMy Profile

  7. I struggled so much when I first started using a breast pump and wanted to give up, but it became such a necessity for me. I finally got the hang of it. Great tips.

  8. Pumping can be overwhelming when things do not go smoothly. It is worth is when you work out the kinks. Great tips.

  9. I have a friend who pumps for her child. I never went through this but this is very useful and down to earth info for moms who breastfeed. Great ideas here and helpful advice.

  10. Pumping can be intimidating. It’s nice that you put together this list.

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