I’ve had a ton of questions on Instagram in regards to pumping and today I’m going to answer all of them! I’m talking about how I started to build a stash of frozen breast milk while breastfeeding, supply tips, pumped milk storage tips, and more!
WHEN I STARTED TO PUMP & STORE FROZEN BREAST MILK:
I started pumping consistently when Jett was 6 weeks old. I started pumping around 3 weeks but it took a few weeks to get a solid pumping schedule/routine down. We gave him a bottle when he was just a week and a half old, but started giving him bottles more consistently around the 3 week mark. Now at 11 weeks, he gets a bottle every night and usually 1-2 on the weekend if we go out to eat so I can feed him during our dinner.
HOW MANY TIMES I PUMP A DAY:
I pump twice a day right now. I haven’t gone back to work yet so that will increase when I do. Currently, I pump in the morning after Jett feeds and store 10-12 ounces. If I pump 10 ounces, I store it in 3 bags (2 4 oz. bags and 1 2 oz. bag). In the evening, after he goes down for the night, I pump 4 ounces for his nightly dream feed.
WHAT PUMP I USE:
Currently, I use the Hygeia Enjoye Cordless pump. It's a great pump and comes with all of the accessories you'll need. Hygeia also sends you extra parts as you need them! I really like this pump and would recommend it.
I’ve always had high supply in the morning. Jett started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, so I’m pretty full when I wake up. The AM pump is necessary for me. My advice is to pay attention to your body and slowly create a schedule that works for you and your baby. Easier said than done, but just make sure you’re consistent and you will figure it out!
In the evening, my supply isn’t as high. I still have enough milk to feed Jett, but I struggled to get 4 ounces after his last feed in the beginning. When I first started doing a PM pump, I was only producing 1-2 ounces. I just kept going and trained my body to produce more milk at that time and now I consistently get 4 ounces to do his dream feed.
I started eating oatmeal for breakfast around 6 weeks and do believe it helps my supply. I also had success with Ezekiel bread (found in the freezer section at the grocery store). Currently I’m only eating the oatmeal daily as I’m trying to eat healthier and consume less carbs throughout the day.
TIPS FOR FREEZING BREAST MILK:
The best advice ever came from my dear readers and Instagram followers- THANK YOU! They told me it's best to lay the breast milk bags flat in the freezer so that they freeze flat. This gives you WAY more room for storage as opposed to standing the bags up and freezing them! I would've run out of freezer space a long time ago if I hadn't done this.
I've tried out several storage bags to see which ones I like best. My favorite ones by far are the Medela brand. The plastic is thick so you're less likely to spill that precious breast milk! The Lansinoh ones are my least favorite as the plastic is super thin, making it hard to transfer milk into a bottle after thawing it. I also like the Dr. Browns bags but there isn't a spot to write how many ounces are in each bag.
On the bag, make sure you record the date and the amount that is in the bag! Once you lie it flat to freeze, you won't be able to tell how many ounces are in each bag, so labeling them is super important. Some moms recommended recording what time of day they pumped, but I don't put that info on the bags since most of mine are in the morning.
After asking my followers how many ounces they stored in each bag the overwhelming response was 2, 4, or 6 oz. in each bag. That is what I do currently, but sometimes the amount I pump is an odd amount, so I'll just store it that way.
HOW I CLEAN MY PUMP PARTS:
In the beginning, I cleaned my pump parts twice a day after each time I pumped. It felt like all I did was wash pump parts! Instead of cleaning them after each time I pump, I now clean them all once a day. After I pump at night, I rinse everything and put it in a mixing bowl in the sink. After I pump in the morning, I clean everything at once and put them on this Boon drying rack so that they're dry by the time I pump again that night.
I use this Dapple bottle and dish liquid soap to clean everything (including bottles)! I got it at my shower and I really like it. I also use this Dr. Brown's bottle brush to clean everything and I love that it can stand up to dry in the Boon lawn as well. It has it's own stand also if you want to put it right by the sink!
MY FAVORITE PUMPING BRAS:
Currently, I only have two bras that I like for pumping. One is specifically for pumping and can't be worn as a regular bra. It's really nice for pumping at home as it fits tightly and holds the pump on securely. The only thing I don't like about it is that you cant wear it to work. You can find it here.
The second bra that I use for pumping is a nursing bra that doubles as a pumping bra. It's also really pretty! Find it here.
I think that covers all of the questions I've gotten in regards to pumping, but feel free to comment with any others you may have! Thank y'all for stopping by!