Image of mother with baby preparing to breast pump

Preparing Yourself to Breast Pump

If you are returning to work or school after your baby is born, you will probably need to pump and store your breast milk for the times you are away from your baby. There are many options for obtaining a pump. If you have insurance, the cost of the pump may be covered by your insurance company. If you receive WIC benefits, you may get a pump from your WIC clinic for no cost after your baby is born.

What Type of Pump Do I Need?

You will have many choices for brands and styles of a pump. A single-sided electric pump allows you to pump one breast at a time. A double-sided electric pump has the ability to pump from both breasts simultaneously. A manual pump creates suction using a handle or other system that you operate, no electricity is required. If you have to choose, an electric pump will make it easier for you to pump out your milk without much effort.

How to Get Started

It is important to wash your hands before pumping and keep the parts of the pump clean. Sterilizing or boiling pump parts, bottles, and nipples are not required. To minimize your stress, start pumping or collecting milk using a milk-saver as early as possible. Many working and breastfeeding moms worry about having enough milk for their return to work or school. If you start collecting milk several weeks before you need it, you can feel confident that you will have enough stored. Compiled from the following References: Hill, P., Aldag, J., Chatterton, R. (2001). Initiation and Frequency of Pumping and Milk Production in Mothers of Non-Nursing Preterm Infants. Journal of Human Lactation, Vol 17. Retrieved from Aldag, J., Chatterton, R., Hill, P. (1996). The Effect of Sequential and Simultaneous Breast Pumping on Milk Volume and Prolactin Levels: A Pilot Study. Journal of Human Lactation. Vol.12.