Breastmilk pumping (National Breastfeeding awareness week)

When you think of breastfeeding, you think of boobs. But sometimes, breastfeeding isn’t all about the boobs – breastfeeding can incorporate bottles and other forms of getting that precious liquid into the tummies of babies. 

Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2014

With my eldest, I expressed occasionally – more for flexibility than anything. It meant that Kevin could give her the odd bottle so I could get a full nights sleep or go out for the evening. I tended to use a simple, manual pump and that was that. 

Things were different when Jacob was born too early. He couldn’t suck, he couldn’t latch, yet I knew I still wanted to breastfeed him. The hospital showed me how to use the electric pumps in the special care unit, and every day I pumped as much as I could. I would then make my way down to see Jacob with my precious little syringe of breast milk, and dutifully pop it down his feeding tube. As he grew, I pumped more and more until eventually he could latch, and we were away. I had SO much milk – I do wonder if that was due to the early pumping – that I continued to pump alongside feeding him. Some of this milk I froze and used for the odd bottle feed, but most of it was collected and taken to the special care unit for those mums who were unable to breastfeed or pump for their tiny and sick babies.

Max also came too early, and again I pumped for him until he could suck. I continued to use a breast pump at home too, this time using an electric version. I certainly didn’t pump every day, but when I felt full or when I wanted a night out, I would pump enough for a couple of bottles. 

So breastfeeding isn’t always the thing you imagine it to be. Sometimes a baby is too small or too sick to suck from anything, and at these times, pumping is a lifeline. You CAN still feed your baby breastmilk, even if they are a long way from learning to latch. Pumping, like breastfeeding, just takes a bit of practice. I felt SO proud that I could syringe tubes of breastmilk into my premature babies rather than formula. It was something I could do to help them, it was something I could provide to make them stronger. And I am proud of that.

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106 Comments

  1. Stephanie Fregis
    June 28, 2014 / 8:44 am

    Make sure you’re comfortable and have a drink/snack nearby

  2. Jennifer morrison
    June 28, 2014 / 9:11 am

    Apply a warm flannel before

  3. June 28, 2014 / 9:20 am

    relax.tensing causes everything to become more difficult,this then causes you to tense more and so on..try to relax it will be ok,youll get there.

  4. Amy Beckett
    June 28, 2014 / 1:04 pm

    Just relax and don’t feel pressured

  5. carol boffey
    June 28, 2014 / 1:07 pm

    drink lots of water

  6. Samantha Freeman
    June 28, 2014 / 1:49 pm

    Relax, put your feet up and use an electric pump, have everything to hand so you don’t have to jump up and answer the phone etc

  7. Lynsey Buchanan
    June 28, 2014 / 2:33 pm

    Tilt forward slightly and relax

  8. donna jones
    June 28, 2014 / 3:26 pm

    relaxing

  9. Emily Jayne Phipps
    June 28, 2014 / 3:34 pm

    Warm towel/flannel – gentle massage and relaxed position

  10. Jo Wakefield
    June 28, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    I was going to say relax but that seems to be what everyone has said. I haven’t had too many problems so it must work.

  11. jodie harvey
    June 28, 2014 / 4:59 pm

    be relaxed and comfortable

  12. Lynsie Lynn
    June 28, 2014 / 5:00 pm

    Plenty to drink (Hydration is key) and a snack or two! 🙂

  13. June 28, 2014 / 5:02 pm

    Make sure to have snacks a-plenty, and don’t go too mad with the pump at first, it can hurt! lol. I was lent a really good (yet massive) pump from my local hospital, it was like something out of the dark ages, and I felt like cow on it! lol, but finally after weeks of getting frustrated I was getting loads! I can’t wait for number 5 to come along! Got the pump at the ready! 😀

  14. Sue McCarthy
    June 28, 2014 / 5:05 pm

    I don’t have any children but would love to win this prize for charity.

  15. Natalie Gillham
    June 28, 2014 / 5:52 pm

    Expressing in a warm bath can help you relax and help the milk to flow 🙂 x

  16. Zoe Roxby
    June 28, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    make sure if you have a mobile breast pump its either fully charged or you have a manual one because mine ran out of battery and we were staying at a friends house close the the hospital where my son was and it was first thing in the morning so yeah a huge ouch for me

  17. Joanna Sawka
    June 28, 2014 / 6:59 pm

    The warm water helps, so you can do it after taking a shower

  18. dianemjackson5
    June 28, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    just relax

  19. Lisa Wilkinson
    June 28, 2014 / 9:06 pm

    Relax as best you can, have a photo and something that smells of your baby nearby to assist in getting lots of let downs 🙂

  20. taja mckenzie
    June 28, 2014 / 9:34 pm

    Add an extra pumping session in the early morning, when you have the most milk. If you are trying to build up a supply of milk in the freezer, this is a good time of day to pump.

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