Many make use of breast pumps to draw out and store milk so someone else can bottle feed the baby, giving moms time to resume their careers or even just get some off time. Breast pumps become even more essential when babies are born prematurely and may lack the strength to suckle properly. In those situations, pumped and bottled milk become a matter of health.
Have you ever thought about how odd breast pumping is? Like, who came up with the idea to create a machine that sucks milk out of human beings? Then again, maybe they did.
If milk does a body good, then breast milk does a baby's body very good. A mother's milk supply is made-to-order nourishment, continuously adjusting based on her baby's needs. Studies show that breast milk lowers occurrences and severity of many infectious diseases in babies, as well as conditions like diabetes, obesity and asthma [source: American Academy of Pediatrics ].
Whether you're a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — may have. This also can be helpful if a mom wants to store milk in the freezer for when she returns to work.
Breastfeeding your baby is about as efficient as it gets when it comes to feeding your baby. It's just you and your baby — nothing to set up and nothing left behind to clean up. Breast milk pumping, on the other hand, brings on an epic mess.
On my maternity leave, I was lucky to be able to exclusively breastfeed her for the first six months. But it can be very satisfying to collect ounces of milk, the only substance my baby really needs in her first year to live and thrive, from my own body. But, like so many women before me have said, pumping is also awkward and onerous.
Pumping can have a way of making us human mamas feel a little like milk machines. But we all want to do whatever we can for our babies — and there are a few ways to make the process a little less, well, sucky. It can help to increase your milk supply, especially in those early days.
It resembles a piece of farm equipment. Its users must be partly nude. Since it was created 60 years ago by a male Swedish inventor, the modern mechanical breast pump has kept more or less the same design. Indignation over the shortcomings of the breast pump inspired an article in The New York Times calling for a better design and prompted a Massachusetts Institute of Technology hackathon in called Make the Breast Pump Not Suckfor which more than a thousand new ideas were submitted.
Learning how to use a breast pump can take time and dedication, but is well worth the effort. Read our expert breast pumping tips to help set you on the path to successful expressing. Like any skill worth having, it might take you a bit of time to get the hang of using a breast pump.