2 Breast Pump Myths That Confuse New Users

Health & Medical Blog

Many moms may want to pump their breast milk in order to boost their milk supply. Or, they want to stash extra milk so other individuals can feed their baby valuable breast milk. Pumping breast milk is a bit different from nursing a baby. Many new pump users are confused by breast pump myths that can lead to less successful pumping sessions. Here are two breast pump myths that often confuse new users.

Myth #1: Breast Pumps Are All the Same

Breast pumps all perform the same task – the removal of extra breast milk for later storage and use. However, not all breast pumps are the same. Some models operate manually when the user must physically pump a mechanism to recover milk. Other models are automatic and do all the work for you.

Finally, some breast pumps have special features to help you increase milk supply. Massage options encourage more milk let-down without expressing milk. Other pumps have different suction levels as well. You may find lighter or heavier suctions produce more milk.

With this in mind, make sure the free pump you acquire from insurance fits your needs. You may produce plenty of milk to nurse your baby and don't plan to return to work. If so, you may want to only express or remove enough milk to lessen pain from engorged breasts. In this case, a manual pump will work for you.

If your needs demand more breast milk, opt for an electric or automatic pump. An automatic pump allows you to relax or multi-task while it does all the work. You may even pump one breast as your baby nurses on the other side.

For an even greater supply of milk, choose a two-sided pump that allows you to pump both breasts simultaneously. Doing so not only delivers more milk, but stimulates the hormone prolactin to make more milk.

Myth #2: Breast Shields Only Need to Fit the Breast

Breast shields do not need to cover the entire breast in order to express milk. They must have an air-tight seal in order to create enough suction to do so. However, breast shields are not fitted to breast size, but rather the size of the nipple.

The shield should fit neatly over the nipple but form a seal around the areola. Too large a shield means unnecessary breast tissue is pulled into the pump. Your breasts may swell and areolas bruise painfully. The breast may not fully drain either.

Too small a shield cannot fully access the nipple during pumping. The nipple will rub against the plastic and cause pain. This wrong type of interaction can clog milk ducts and slow down pumping.

When you opt for a free breast pump, look at your options to choose one that fits your needs. Then, carefully fit the right size breast shield to your nipples for greater success.


27 July 2022

Allergy Relief: You Have More Options Than You Think

As a child, I used to spend my days roaming through the woods. I climbed trees, smelled the flowers, and laid in the grass looking at the clouds. My love for nature continued through my teen years, but when I turned 23, I began to sneeze whenever I left my home. I could no longer enjoy my outdoor hikes and I started taking antihistamines so I could at least open my windows on warm days. My allergies got worse though and I met with an allergist who completed a variety of skin tests. I started receiving allergy shots and my allergist taught me about natural cleaning processes and sinus rinses. The injections and natural treatments improved my quality of life greatly. Even if you do not want to start allergy injections, you have a variety of options that can lessen your symptoms, and you should learn what these options are.