Being a mom is hard enough but no one tells you that one of the more challenging parts of motherhood is feeding your baby. Especially if you are entering the journey of being an exclusively pumping mom. Breastfeeding is not something that comes natural. It actually takes more mental work than anything! But like everything in life this differs from mother to mother! And personally for me it was a different situation with each one of my kids.
Exclusively Pumping Stations in your Home
To start off, after going through my exclusive pumping journey with my first I wish someone would have told me to set up a nursing/pumping station(s) in my home. The key with not only exclusively pumping but nursing in general is to get comfortable. Pumping especially takes some getting use too and you want to set your self up for success as early as possible.
Exclusive Pumping/ Breastfeeding Station Checklist:
|Photos of your little one(s)|
When it comes to pumping your body may respond differently to each pump session. What does this mean? This means if you’re uncomfortable one day your body will not be able to relax enough to release all the milk you need to during that session. The next pumping session you could be one of your biggest outputs. But don’t let this alarm you in any way. There are many other factors, like the time of day and age of baby, that also contribute to breastmilk output.
Must Have Exclusively Pumping Breast Pumps
When exclusively pumping you will need a good hardy pump that will withstand hours of running. You will also need a pump for the moments you don’t, or cannot, be hooked to the wall for 20 minutes. Lastly having a pump called the Haaka is great to have on hand for those pesky clogged ducts and quick needed moments for relief.
The Spectra S2 is the perfect pump that not only doesn’t over complicate things but doesn’t take up to much space as well. The Spectra S2 is also considered hospital grade which takes the ease of working I you will need to replace it out of your mind.
My oldest is 2.5 and my spectra S2 pumps are holding up way better than some of the other I have encountered! So I highly reccommend!
Then there is the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump that you will find handy for those on-the-go moments or even when you don’t want to be plugged into a wall for a moment!
Don’t be afraid to look into more and purchase more than one of each type of pump. They are all different in there own way and will contribute to how your body may respond to the pump.
Pro Tip: Make sure to have extra pump parts at your station for backups.
Extra pump parts for the Spectra s2:
Also make sure to check your nipple size to make sure you have the appropriate flange size!
Why Wear a Bra?
When it comes to a pumping bra you may find this to be of personal preference. When I started my pumping journey I decided to cut two small holes, just big enough to fit the flanges in, into an old sports bra to have as a make shift pumping bra. But I found I never needed it or even wanted it! Because I was plugged into the wall and it wasn’t like I was getting up anyways.
That goes to say that all of this varies to due your lifestyle.
I did find, however, find having easy access with bras really were beneficial. These nursing bras really made getting pumping overweigh a breeze!
Sanitation & Breast Milk Storage
Freezer Storage Bags are a must for an exclusive pumping mom! Sometimes pumping can cause a boost in milk supply which can lead you to having extra to put away for date night! This makes freezer safe breastmilk storage bags a must!
Since you are going down the journey of exclusively pumping you will need to have a system for you exclusively pumped breastmilk that is going to best feed to your baby. This Medela Breast Milk Storage Solution is a great start to creating a system!
You can also mimic this with your own babies bottles! This is a great idea for the middle of the night feeds. That would leave you will only needing to warm up your babies bottle!
This item may seems simple but can very well be overlooked and under appreciated. That would be a drying Rack! You could get a nice or cute baby bottle trying rack but after going through my exclusively pumping journey I found a dish rack works just find if not better!
When you are starting to store your babies milk that they will surely eat soon would be to labor and rotate properly!
Here is the breastmilk storage guidelines for healthy infants:
|Room Temperature||Refrigerator||Freezer of Refrigerator|
|Freshly Expressed Breastmilk||4 Hours |
Up to 77° F
40° F or Less
0° F or Less
|Thawed Breastmilk||1-2 Hours||24 Hours||Never refreeze thawed milk|
|Leftover from a Feeding||Use within 1 hours after baby is finished feeding||–||–|
Exclusively Pumping On-The-Go
Unfortunately nothing in life stops for exclusively pumping moms. This is where having the variation of pumps (e.i manual pumps) come in handy. When it comes to storing your milk its best to have a cooler you can rely on as well as ice packs!
If only we could sleep through the night wile going through the journey we call motherhood. But to make it easier as your doing this as an exclusively pumping mom make sure to set your self up for success.
Make sure to have all your parts prepped, cleaned, and ready to go before you head to bed. Also make sure to have you baby bottles labeled and ready to warm as well. Though this all may seem like a long process make sure that you have a cooler at your bedside as well as a bin for your dirty pump parts. This makes it easier during those early pumping days.
You are setting your self up for success by allowing your self to pump and put both bottle and parts away without having to get out of bed! You will just want to make sure you sanitize very well before the next time you use your pump parts!
Hand Expressing is a MUST!
This is the part I wish I would have put more time and effort in during my time of exclusively pumping.
LEARN form my mistake! Knowing how to hand express can start off challenging but once you practice you will find it really is pretty easy! Knowing how to express milk with just your hands will help you with those “in a pinch” moments.
Here is a great reference video to help you practice!
Exclusively Pumping Schedule
I know when I was exclusively pumping I wanted to bad to see what other pumping moms schedules looked like! So I thought I would share a couple of examples!
Newborn Exclusively Pumping Schedule Example:
|6:00 AM||3O Minutes|
|9:00 AM||20 Minutes|
|12:00 PM||20 Minutes|
|3:00 PM||20 Minutes|
|6:00 PM||20 Minutes|
|9:00 AM||30 Minutes|
|12:00 AM||30 Minutes|
|3:00 AM||20 Minutes|
|6:00 AM||15 Minutes|
6m+ Exclusively Pumping Schedule Example:
|6:00 AM||30 Minutes|
|9:00 AM||15-20 Minutes|
|1:00 PM||30 Minutes|
|4:00 PM||20 Minutes|
|7:00 PM||20 Minutes|
|10:00 PM||20 Minutes|
|2:30 AM||30 Minutes|
|6:00 AM||30 Minutes|
Treat Your Self? What to gift an exclusive pumper!
Lastly, before you go off on your journey just know you CAN and should treat your self! I am not one that usually says that but you are feeding your baby. And pumping is and can be very hard!! To let it get the best of you and treat your self. Here are some ideas to celebrate the milestones you are hitting during your pumping journey!
Milestone cake or treat to celebrate!
Congrats Mama on your new bundle of joy! You got this! No one is a better parent for your baby than you are!!