Looking for a breast pump? Or did you just receive yours from Aeroflow Breastpumps? There are a lot of things for expectant and new moms to worry about, how to use their breast pump shouldn’t be one of them! So we’re breaking down the dos and don’ts of breast pumps, and answering some of our most frequently asked questions.

How Do Breast Pumps Work?

While breast pumps may seem like intricate medical devices with their various tubes and containers, but they’re actually quite easy to assemble and use. Relax mama, you’ve got this.

  1. A breast pump emulates a nursing baby by mimicking their natural suction pattern. As a baby nurses, he/she doesn’t apply constant pressure to the breast. The baby sucks about 50 to 90 times per minute, slowing once the milk is released. An electric pump creates this cycle of suction and release by producing one pull per second, initiating milk let down when breast milk begins to flow.
  2. The milk that is expressed from the breast is collected in a bottle, where it can be stored. The bottles are “gravity fed” so the breast milk that’s released drips downwards into the bottles.
  3. All breast pumps have flanges, also known as breast shields. The funnel-shaped part is placed over your nipple and areola to create a seal. Not sure what size flange you need? Check out our Flange Size Chart.
  4. Types of Breast Pumps

    • Electric Breast Pumps use an electric motor to create the suction that draws out the milk. Some electric pumps can be battery operated.
    • Manual breast pumps are used manually to create suction. You’ll use them by squeezing a lever or bulb.
    • A hospital grade breast pump is a stronger, multi-use pump designed for mothers with medical issues that prevent them from properly breastfeeding their baby. Your doctor will let you know if you need a medical grade pump, and remember that for the majority of moms, a double electric breast pump is more than adequate for pumping.

    Why Use A Breast Pump?

    Breast pumping is useful in a variety of different situations:

    • They can relieve engorgement and can help prevent mastitis.
    • They allow you to provide breast milk when nursing isn't an option due to latching issues or other complications.
    • Pumps give your husband or other caregivers the ability to help out with feedings and bond with baby.
    • They help you build and maintain an adequate milk supply.
    • If you want to run a quick errand or participate in a date night, they allow you to be away from baby for a few hours without missing a feeding.
    • Most women enjoy the convenience of breast pumping when they return to work to maintain their breast pumping goal. Many pumps are lightweight and some even weigh under a pound, making them easy to throw in in a bag and go. Plus, by being battery powered they can be used if a power source is unavailable.
    • How Often Should I Breast Pump?

      How often you should be breast pumping depends on several factors:

      • Are you planning on being away from your baby regularly, such as going back to work?
      • Are you planning to pump exclusively or also breastfeed?
      • Does your child have trouble latching on or face other issues that make breastfeeding difficult?
      • Do you want to build up a supply of milk for use at a later time?
      • Do you need to stimulate your milk production?

      If you plan on being home with your child and you’re available to breastfeed most of the time, you may only need to pump occasionally. Early on, you should breastfeed or pump 8 to 10 times each day as your milk supply is becoming established.

      Your breasts will make more milk when there’s a higher demand for it, so it’s important the breastfeed or pump regularly in the early days to increase supply.

      If your baby feeds regularly and you only want to pump occasionally, you may want to pump in the morning, which is generally when moms have the most milk. You can also pump between feedings, about 30 minutes after or 60 minutes before.

      How Much Milk Should I Pump?

      When you’re using your breast pump you should keep pumping until your breasts are as empty as possible, which usually takes about 15 minutes. Continue breasting pumping for a few minutes after the last few drops of milk have passed to make sure that you’re done. Many women find that massaging their breasts before and during pumping helps them express more milk.

      The amount of milk you produce during each pumping session will vary by your baby’s age, the time of day, how often you pump and feed, the quality of your pump, and many other factors.

      Based on your child’s age, you should expect to pump:

      • Days 5-7 - Up to 2oz.
      • 1 to 3 weeks old - up to about 3oz.
      • 4 weeks to 6 months old - up to 5 oz.

      All moms are different. Some mothers produce more, and others produce less. If you’re concerned that you’re not producing enough breast milk speak with your doctor or a lactation professional

      The Benefits of Breastfeeding

      Research has shown that breastfeeding is extremely beneficial for the health of both mom and baby, especially when exclusively breastfed for at least six months.

      For Baby

      Breast milk is full of nutrition for your baby, including vitamins, proteins, and fats that provide everything they need to grow big and strong. Plus, it’s easier to digest than formula.

      It also contains antibodies to help your baby fight viruses, bacteria, and illnesses, and diarrhea. Generally breastfed babies are healthier and require fewer trips to the doctor with a possible lower risk of asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity.

      For Mom

      Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the hormone that can help reduce uterine bleeding and help your uterus return to its normal size faster after giving birth. Oxytocin can also relieve anxiety to promote a stronger, more relaxing bond with your baby.

      It also burns fat. Breastfeeding burns about 500 extra calories a day, helping you possibly return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster.

      Breastfeeding saves you time and money. Instead of spending tons on formula that you have to mix and warm up, you can instantly provide breast milk for your baby for free.

      How Do I Get A Breast Pump Through Insurance?

      Receiving your breast pump through insurance is easy with just three simple steps! Simply fill out our Qualify Through Insurance Form to get started!

      Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.