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How to use the electric breast pump: guide and advice

How to use the electric breast pump: discover all the tips to make breast milk extraction Pleasant and simple.

How to use the electric breast pump

Breast pumps are designed to mimic the sucking action of the newborn and there are 2 different types: electric breast pumps and manual breast pumps.
With the manual type, the plunger must be pressed by hand, while the electric version does the work for you.

Learning how to use a breast pump can take time and dedication, but it’s worth it.
The key is to be patient, but here are some tips to make the most of the electric breast pump.

Tips for nursing with the electric breast pump

No need to hurry to start extracting

In the first four weeks, mother and infant work together to start and develop milk production.
If the baby is healthy and breastfeeding proceeds well, you will not need a breast pump to help him.
Extraction, however, is really useful when mom can not be present for several hours and can not breastfeed to need.

Using the breast pump when it is not possible to breastfeed naturally

If the baby cannot be breastfed directly, because it is premature or has special needs, or is separated from the mother for any reason, the advice is to start extracting breast milk twice as soon as possible after birth.

Research shows that starting to extract within the first few hours (when a healthy newborn usually receives the first feeding) helps moms to produce a larger volume of milk nei primi giorni e nelle prime settimane, offrendo ai loro bambini le migliori possibilità di essere nutriti esclusivamente sul latte materno.
Breast pumps are usually available in the hospital, you can ask the staff for a practical demonstration to use it.

It is important to remove milk from the breast every time the baby drinks it normally: this means that the breast will still receive the message to produce milk.
Initially, we recommend performing 8 to 10 extraction sessions every 24 hours and continuing with this frequency once you have started producing milk.

Calculate the right time to use the breast pump

For the first session of breast extraction, it would be better to extract for at least 15 minutes.
Don’t worry if you don’t collect a lot of milk at the beginning: regular extra sucking should soon stimulate your breasts to produce more milk.

Some mothers believe that the extraction an hour after feeding gives maximum milk production, others prefer to extract the milk immediately after each second feeding: to better understand it you can try to extract at different times to see which one best suits your lifestyle.

Find the right times it is important to respect them so that the body gets used to the use of the breast pump and the extra demand for milk production.
You may be tempted to extend the time between extractions in an attempt to collect more milk. However, if you wait for the breast to be full, an extraction session will not drain it very well, so the key is to pull it out frequently and regularly

The importance of hygiene

Before and after the extraction of milk, always wash your hands and clean all the parts of the breast pump that have been in contact with the milk or the baby’s mouth.
All pieces should be sanitized after cleaning at least once a day.
Be sure to let them dry completely and store the breast pump set in a clear bag or container until next use.

The importance of the setting

To avoid interrupting your breast extraction session, keep everything you need close before you start.
You may want a herbal tea and a snack, TV remote control or phone, bottles or bags for storing the extracted milk and a muslin cloth to absorb any drops.

A specially designed breast extraction bra also allows you to keep your hands free, making it much easier to operate the controls and do other things while pulling out.
If you don’t use a bra for the extraction, hold the breast cup between your thumb and forefinger and use your palm and other fingers to support the breast.
Gently hold the breast cup against the breast: excessive pressure may compress the breast tissue and hinder the flow of milk.

To extract milk, make yourself comfortable

What is the best position for milk extraction?
There is no universal position, but the one where you feel comfortable.
Being relaxed is essential for the release of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates the relaxation reflex.
Discomfort and distractions can hinder this process, so choose a private and comfortable place and make sure your arms and back are well supported as you pull out.

Some moms believe that deep breathing, relaxing music, visualization techniques or massage of the back and shoulders by the partner can help them extract more milk.

How to start milk extraction with the electric breast pump Mamashy

The Mamashy electric breast pump is equipped with 2-Phase Expression technology, which mimics the way your baby is nursing (with a quick and light sucking followed by a slower and stronger sucking), to help you trigger the extraction.

It has been shown thattasting the breast before and during extraction, as well as heating it by applying a warm compress before extraction, helps to stimulate the flow of milk and increase the amount collected.

Scientists have found that skin-to-skin contact with the child before and during extraction can also help extract more milk.
This is because the heat and contact of the baby’s skin against that of the mother releases oxytocin into the body.
In fact, some moms feel that the extraction works better if they breastfeed the baby from the other breast while they are sucking the milk, because of the extra stimulation.
If your newborn is not present during the draw, a suggestion might be to watch a photo or video of him, or sniff an item of his clothes, while the extraction with the electric breast pump takes place.

Customize the duration of the extraction sessions

Once the supply is established (after about four to six weeks), you can start to customize the number of minutes required for the extraction, which can save you valuable time.
Some mothers need to extract milk longer than others because of the number of spills, which determine the frequency and duration of milk flow.
The really amazing thing is that although every mom has a unique flow pattern, yours will be the same every time.

How to understand what is your flow pattern?
Choose a time when you normally extract the maximum milk volume and watch as you extract, noticing when the milk jets start to come out of the nipple or when the milk drips into the container during the session.

How to double the extraction with the electric breast pump

If you plan to extract milk regularly, it is worth investing in a double breast pump.
Double extraction increases the level of prolactin, the hormone that produces milk, in the body.
Surprisingly, research has shown that women using double extraction have increased milk volume in each extraction session.
This means that they typically extract almost a fifth more milk, and also milk with a higher fat content, than extraction from each breast at a time.
This can really mean, in addition to saving you time, that after just a few extraction sessions you might have an extra bottle.

What to do if you feel pain during extraction

The extraction of breast milk should not hurt: if you feel discomfort during extraction or notice blisters or irritations on the nipple or breast, try reducing the suction of the breast pump.

Also make sure you use the right breast cup size (the funnel-shaped part that fits the breast).
The cup tunnel for the breast should tightly surround the nipple, but leave enough space to move freely back and forth without chafing.
It should not rub or pull too much the areola (the dark area around the nipple), or the breast skin around it, into the tunnel as you extract.

How to use the electric breast pump in a few steps

Here is a summary of all the steps to follow for the extraction of milk:

  • Wash your hands. Make sure the pump, bottle and parts are clean and sterile before use. Get comfortable and relaxed, preferably in a warm and quiet room where you can relax undisturbed, keeping everything you need at hand.
  • Start by massaging your breasts for a few minutes to help relax. It can be helpful to look at a picture of your son/daughter.
  • Place the breast cup or funnel on the nipple and turn on the machine. Start with a slow speed or one that is convenient for you. It may take a few minutes before the milk starts flowing, once done you can increase your speed.
  • Change breasts when the milk starts to slow down, then exchange it again because you may find that you have more milk to extract or you may find that one breast produces more milk than the other (normal).
  • Once both breasts are empty, remove the breast cup and put the lid on the bottle. You can refrigerate it immediately or leave it at room temperature for no more than 4-6 hours.
  • Wash and sterilize the pump and parts.
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