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Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule - The Pretty Little Home

How to Breastfeed and Pump: Best Advice from a Twin Mom

First thing first, I want you to know that FED is best! Bringing a newborn home and breastfeeding can be extremely stressful. There’s  a few things I wish I knew prior to giving birth and things I wish I did differently. I will be sharing my breastfeeding journey, breastfeeding tips, how to increase increase milk supply and info on power pumping! So let’s get into it, shall we?

In this breastfeeding and pumping post, we are covering the following topics. Feel free to use the links below to navigate the post.

My Breastfeeding Journey

So I was very naïve about breastfeeding and everything that comes with it. I’ll be honest, I thought: baby is born and milk comes in, sounds simple right? That’s what most of us are led to believe.

I used to think why does anyone even use formula when they can give nutritious food to their baby for free.

Boy was I wrong.

My twins arrived via a C-Section due to high blood pressure. My body did not go into natural labor. After delivering them, I was put on all sorts of medication, one of them being related to my blood pressure. Little did I know (at the time) the medication effects your breast milk.

I tried to get my newborn twins to latch while trying to recover from a major abdominal surgery. Day 1 they were fine. Day 2 all they did was cry. They cried because they weren’t getting enough milk. The nurse finally offered us formula because we needed to ask. They ate and became content little babies.

Once I got home, I was having trouble feeding both at the same time, so I tried feeding one at a time. Unfortunately that didn’t work for me and I just ended up pumping.

This was one of the first times I pumped at home. I got 1.5oz from both sides which just wasn’t enough for the twins, I wish I had known at the time how to increase milk supply.

breastfeeding and pumping

I pumped for about 4 months. We still had to supplement with formula as I wasn’t producing enough milk. There’s a few things I learned along the way that most likely would of changed and impacted my breastfeeding journey.

What do I need to buy for breastfeeding before giving birth?

Breast Pump

Regardless if you exclusively breastfeeding or exclusively pumping, a breast pump will definitely be needed. I recommend going through Aeroflow Breastpumps. They work with your doctor and insurance to get you your pump seamlessly.

I ended up going with the Motif Luna Breast Pump which I got through Aeroflow. Its was extremely easy. I filled out the application and the company did all the work for me. You can also look into a hands free breast pump which make pumping super convenient.

Breast Milk Storage Bags

It’s good to have a box of these on hand just in case you are an over supplier and need to freeze your breast milk or would like to store / freeze your breast milk regardless of your supply.

Nipple Balm

Definitely a must have if you are planning on breastfeeding. This will help alleviate any pain you may have. I recommend using Earth Mama Nipple Balm. It is also organic. Definitely stock up on this one!

Nursing Bra / Hands Free Pump Bra

By the end of my pregnancy, I could no longer wear any regular bras so I wore these comfortable nursing bras.

Since I was also exclusively pumping, I stocked up on a few of these hands-free pumping bras which made pumping a lot easier. It really helped to secure the flanges. They are really great especially for the price. I absolutely loved these.

Nursing Pads

I recommend getting a pack of these as well. Auroflow pump sells a few options, or you can easily pick some up on Amazon. They help protect from any leakage which will happen trust me.

Hakka

If you are planning on breastfeeding, definitely pick up one of these. when your baby is nursing on one side, place the hakka on the other side to catch any milk. This helps cach any milk you may otherwise lose with no work. It’s such a handy little thing.

Do I need to bring anything to the hospital with me?

Definitely bring some nipple balm especially if you plan on breastfeeding from day one.

Personally, I would bring or least leave my breast pump in the car. I wish I brought it or at least requested a hospital grade pump since I was having some issues breastfeeding.

This would have definitely helped my milk supply and I would at least know that I am giving my babies some form of breast milk.

Seeing what you pump and then giving it to your baby is so helpful as a new mom because you KNOW they are getting something instead of wondering if they actually got anything when they are breastfeeding.

I also wished I had brought my own formula and bottles. Since I had to resort to formula in the hospital, I would of liked to have started with the one I wanted to use.

Can I have issues with Breastfeeding?

Every body is different. You may even have a different experience baby to baby. Go into with an open mind. There’s absolutely nothing wrong if you are unable to or choose not to breastfeed your baby. This is your own choice and you are allowed to make whatever decision you feel is best for you and your  family.

But to answer the question, yes you can. You can have supply issues and no matter what you try to do or how hard you try to increase your supply, it may not work and that is perfectly okay. That is why formula exists.

I had a very hard time accepting this, I felt like my body failed me and I wasn’t able to do what a woman’s body is intended to do. But I had to remind myself that my body just carried two healthy children and it didn’t FAIL me. I had to do what I had to do and that was to supplement with formula.

I have low supply issues, how can I increase milk supply fast?

1. Nurse on Demand

So first thing first, milk supply works based on supply and demand. The more demand there is the more supply there will be. I wish I knew this going in.

That being said, a newborn baby has to nurse every 3 hours. If you choose to exclusively pump, you have to pump every 3 hours. Just think of it like this – when the baby takes a bottle / eats, I have to pump, that is the best way to maintain or increase your milk supply.

2. Power Pumping

What is power pumping? Power pumping is a method used to “trick” your body in producing more breast milk since it is mimicking the pattern of cluster feeding.

The power pumping method definitely helps to increase milk! So this is what power pumping schedule looks like:

Pump for 20 minutes

Rest 10 minutes

Pump for 10 minutes

Rest for 10 minutes

Pump for 10 minutes

You can do this once or twice a day for at least a week to see results.

3. Well-Balanced Diet

This is so important! You need to have protein intake along with other nutritious foods.

Some foods that help increase breast milk are:

  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Lean meats and protein
  • Brewers Yeast

I would actually make these delicious cookies that helped increase milk supply. I noticed when I ate the cookies, I pumped slightly more milk.

4. Use correct pumping parts

This is where I went wrong from the beginning. Having a correct size flange is so important. When you are pumping, it should never hurt or cause you to be in pain.

If you are experiencing some pain, check to ensure you are using the correct size flange.

I really wish I had asked my lactation consultant that I saw at the hospital to check my size. If you have no idea what flange size you are using or should be using, ask your lactation consultant at the hospital.

I was using the wrong size for 2 months.

5. Speak with a lactation consultant

If you need help with breastfeeding, contact a lactation consultant. They are there to help you! They are the experts in this field and will give you advice and help you are looking for.

6. Increase water intake

Did you know breast milk is 87% water?

Ensuring you drink enough water is so important for breast milk. Remember to always be hydrated when breastfeeding or pumping.

7. Rest

Yes, I know how this sounds, rest? I just brought a newborn home, how am I suppose to rest? But your body needs rest too.

I know it’s not always possible, but when it is, nap when your baby naps. Those chores can wait. You need to also take care of yourself.

Are there helpful apps for pumping?

The best app that I used and found to be the most convenient was Pump Log. I logged all my pumps, and power pumping using this app.

I believe the app is a one time fee but it was hands down the best app I used. It was simple, convenient and easy to use.

Here’s what it looks like!

Pump log

 

 

What are the best Hands-Free Breast Pumps?

Elvie and Willow are two most popular hands free Breast Pumps. I actually used the Willow.

It was extremely convenient. I used to take the twins for a stroll around the neighborhood while power pumping. But sometimes I had a lot of issues with it.

It would occasionally tell me that the container is full meanwhile it was empty. You have to ensure that you are using the correct flange size otherwise the pump will never work. Well technically it will work but you will be in extreme pain.

Use these flange inserts if you are in-between sizes. They work amazing for majority of the pumps.

A hands free breast pump is in most cases weaker than an electric pump. The Motif pump was definitely faster in terms power and the time it would take to empty.

What I wish I did differently

The one thing I wish I did definitely was to educate myself more about breastfeeding. I went into it clueless, I didn’t know what size flange I needed.

I didn’t know how the actual production of milk worked. Since I wasn’t breastfeeding. I didn’t have a pumping schedule. A pumping schedule is so important, remember it’s all about SUPPLY & DEMAND which helps increase your milk supply especially power pumping which I wish I had known about earlier.

I wish I had asked my hospital for a hospital grade pump so I can at least start pumping and give my babies what ever I pumped instead of wondering if they got anything. They clearly didn’t because they were extremely hungry.

Having a hands free breast pump may of actually helped me as well since I wouldn’t be tied to a tube and a wall.

Breastfeeding or exclusively pumping is a lot of work. Trust me. I wish I had educated myself more. But I hope my mistake are helpful lessons to you.

Other Posts you May Like:

C-Section Postpartum Must Haves 

Baby Essentials and Must Haves (0-3 Months)

  1. […] You can also use it for breastfeeding the babies. I personally didn’t use it for breastfeeding. Incase you are curious as to why, I explain it all in this post! […]

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