Women often have mixed feelings about their work after the arrival of a baby – on the one hand there is the fact that they enjoy their work and look forward to restarting it; on the other is the regret that they may not be able to breastfeed their baby for as long as they may like.
However with breast pumping it becomes possible for women to resume working and still ensure that their baby is getting the safe nutritional benefit of their own milk.
Why should you pump breast milk?
Consider the fact that establishing breast pumping successfully can mean that you can easily take your baby out with you when you go out for longer durations without having to worry about where and how you will breast feed.
Also this can give you the option of being able to leave the baby in the care of another person leaving you free to go out for the evening and so on. So clearly there are benefits of breast pumping even if one is not planning or working outside the home.
Breastfeed pumping can have the additional benefit of stimulating milk production and so could guarantee a fuller supply of breast milk for the baby.
Experts recommend that a week or two before a woman intends resuming work, she should start to pump breast milk, to figure out how it is done.
Breast pumping may look easier than it is and may need some patience, and practice to learn to do it properly after which you will get the hang of it. Remember that different women have different sorts of milk supplies – while one woman may easily fill up an entire bottle at one go, other women may require to pump two or even three times to get enough to fill a bottle.
Another reason to start a couple of weeks before is to establish a proper breast pumping routine as well as to get the baby used to feeding from something other than the mother’s breast such as a bottle, or sipper cup or whichever mode of feeding you decide to use. If at first pumping breast milk confuses or discourages you, persist with it, for the rewards and the convenience of this practice can be great.
What equipment will you need for breast pumping?
One question is whether to get a hand operated pump or an electric one. Many women find that a manual one is easier to use and carry around, is more discreet and is also cheaper to buy and operate. Other women however find that a hand operated pump can be tiring to use. Even among the automatic breast pumps, consider whether you want a battery operated one or one that needs plugging in, because this will determine how portable your breast pumping equipment is.
Also some apparatus for breast pumping can be time savers in that they can pump simultaneously from both breasts and others are such that they are able alternate pumping of milk between two breasts. As a general rule, used pumps are not a good idea since they can contain bacteria and germs that cannot be fully removed.