5 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Pumping

expert breast pumping tips
5 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Pumping

Guest Post from The Dairy Fairy (scroll to bottom for an exclusive discount)

Ohhh, mama! Any storied parents will tell you: postpartum life is an experience unlike any other. On the one hand, you’re basking in your body’s strength and durability (seriously; you’re the epitome of power) while simultaneously eeking your way through your physical recovery. You’re in awe of your newest little and you’re exhausted by the all-night cry sessions. On top of that, you might be trying to figure out your baby-feeding schedule. 

The Dairy Fairy celebrates mamahood and all it’s highs, lows, and spit-up with fiercely feminine pumping and nursing bras for women of all shapes, sizes, and styles. No matter what stage of your mothering journey, a reliable bra that can do the (ahem) heavy lifting for you is essential. Our collections have your back and your front. Milkful, our plus size line, features our most popular designs in a range from 42D to 52G. Check out all the highlights from our core to our plus sizes in our Best Sellers category. Discover our ground-breaking and breath-taking new design, the Sydney, the first-ever bra specially designed to accommodate every type of pump on the current market without stretching out the fabric: you can nurse and pump with ease.

Pumping and storing can be an excellent way to stockpile your milk and allow a non-milkful partner to feed your child. But before you start the process, it’s always (eh, mostly) good to hear from some “been there, done that” mamas. Here are 5 things I wish someone had told me about pumping. 

5 pumping tips
  1. Start earlier than you think. Though maternity leave can vary country to county, state to state, and even company to company, our hope is to have at least 12 weeks of time to bond with baby and recover. Because of this timeline, some mamas choose to take full advantage of the time to breastfeed exclusively, only turning to the pump when they’re at the tail-end of the time off. As some moms have expressed, waiting to begin the pumping process may not be the best idea: logistically. The experts at La Leche League International note that you can start slowly introducing the pump into your routine once baby has established a healthy breastfeeding schedule—typically around four weeks postpartum. Starting your stash early will help alleviate the “need” to pump and store bottles rapidly while you’re preparing to return to the office. The more you stress, the harder it will be to fill those bottles. Give yourself more time! Hint: many moms choose to pump on one side, breastfeed on the other at the same time: no compromising on those bonding moments.
  2.  Nurse and pump in tandem. If you’re nervous about losing some of those precious one-on-one moments of breastfeeding by pumping too early: fear not! Many moms choose to pump on one side, breastfeed on the other at the same time: no compromising on bonding.Spoiler alert: this is why owning a handsfree pumping bra is extra important—it’ll cut down on your prep time, keep things in place, and make it much easier to nurture that bond.While you’re pulling “double-duty,” the act of breastfeeding will flood you with that feel-good hormone, oxytocin, and help the flow of your milk on both sides. You’re essentially serving two meals at once—one for now, and one for later. Who doesn’t love leftovers?
  3. Can’t be near baby? Grab a photo of them.Once you’re back in the office (or in the studio, or on the road, or on the ocean… you get it), pull out a sweet photo of your sweet babe to stare at while you pump. It may sound silly (or overly sentimental), but it really helps with that oxytocin thing we mentioned. It’s primitive, but: eyes see baby, breasts feel pump, brain thinks baby’s feeding! Bonus: give yourself a little massage to facilitate your flow! Running your cupped hands down your breast mimics the baby on your chest. Take some time before and during your pumping session to relax and rub your arm. Those feel-good tingles will do wonders for your production.
  4. Stock up on different pumps for different occasions.Not the most cost-effective tip, but it’s a helpful one. Typically, you’re eligible to receive a standard electric pump for free through your health insurance—so that’s one out of the way. For quick pumping, a good old-fashioned hand pump is a great (and generally cheap) investment. Additionally, as technology has evolved over the years, we recommend putting some extra cash toward a new-fashioned, in-bra pump: a small device that sits in your bra and extracts your milk. These are excellent for discreet pumping at work, in the car, and on that weekly Zoom call your extended family set up. Keeping dedicated pumps in specified locations (one in your office, in the trunk, in the bedside table) will ensure you’ve always got the right tool, exactly where you need it.
  5. Keep some extra gear stashed at work, if you can.Speaking of pump placement! ON your first day back, we recommend lugging a few special items to keep in the office. Bring extra bottles or milk bags, some extra pumping equipment (to cut down the amount of time you’re standing at the company sink), and your own storage system if you’re not too keen on using the communal fridge. Some moms recommend insulated lunch containers or even a cooler, if you have the space. Want to freeze your milk in smaller increments? Cut down on wasted milk and freeze your “quantity” in smaller batches: 1-2 ounces. FYI: your standard ice tray holds about 1 ounce in each cube… just be sure the tray is thoroughly cleaned, covered, and stored in the back of the fridge!


What are some things you wish someone had told you about pumping before you had your child? Are you a currently pumping mama that needs more from her bra?

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