A short initial learning curve is required for mothers that want to use a breast pump to collect milk. At first, the result will be a little disappointing, only a few drops. But as in the case of breast feeding, having the right information and some practicing will yield the desired results: enough milk for your baby.

How to prepare the breast pump for use

  • Read very carefully all the included instructions
  • Sterilize all the parts of the breast pump before use
  • Wash with warm water and soap, rinse in hot water, and leave all the parts of the pump on a clean towel after you finished collecting the milk. Wash also the plastic tubing only if there is milk on it and after it is clean, hang it to give time to dry and drain completely.
  • If your doctor say so, sterilize all the parts of the breast pump on a daily basis
  • In early stages of using an electric pump, adjust the setting of the suction to the lowest level

First step

  • Applying warm compresses, making a delicate breast massage and a gentle stimulation of the nipple are the first steps in order to encourage a quicker let down.
  • Always relax when massaging breast during pumping. A good idea is to imagine that you are actually nursing your baby. A relaxed mother means easier and quicker let down and, of course, more milk.
  • In the early stages your attention should be focused on learning and not on the quantity of milk dispensed.
  • For manual breast pumps, in the early stages is more appropriate to use shorter and faster pump strokes because their use imitates better the breast feeding of the baby. Later on, when the let down of milk is easy you can switch to longer strokes that are more productive and more comfy in use.
  • After learning how to use a pump, take the time and practice for 5 minutes no less than two times daily, choosing for that the calmest moments of the day.
  • And consider the pump as your friend. This way you’ll find it easier to use. For relaxing yourself you can watch TV, read something funny, call a good friend, listen to good music or stick on the pump a picture of your baby. Whatever you choose, be sure not to just simply watch the bottle for collecting milk as it will not help you much.