Is Breast Pumping Safe and Good for Women’s Health?
Breast milk is especially designed by nature to provide your baby’s complete nutritional needs. But you shouldn’t feel too worried if you can’t breastfeed your baby. Breast pumping can still help you provide your baby with breast milk anytime of the day.
Though breast pumping might not be easy at first, finding the right pump can make a huge difference. With different options available for you to choose from, you might find a suitable one from Spectra breast pumps.
In the US, as many as 85% of moms with healthy newborn babies express milk within the first four months after birth, and the majority do so using a breast pump.
If done correctly, breast pumping may be safe and good for your health.
Benefits Of Breast Pumping
You can get several benefits from breast pumping:
Reduce Certain Health Risks
Breastfeeding and pumping may lower your risk of developing the following health problems:
- Certain types of breast cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Ovarian cancer
Not everyone can breastfeed, especially if you need to leave your home several hours a day for work or other reasons. By getting a breast pump, you can have a back-up supply for your baby to use anytime of the day.
But even if you’re a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom, you might also want to keep a stash of breast milk in your freezer. These might come in handy during emergencies.
Flexibility & Control of Feed Schedule
It’s ideal to feed on demand, especially during the first few weeks of your baby’s life. Doing this can benefit both you and your baby.
Remember that milk production works by supply and demand. So, feeding on demand can help you establish a good milk supply while also keeping your baby full.
But if you’re busy with other tasks and can’t breastfeed anytime your baby needs to feed, it may be better to pump when you’re able to. It can still help you establish your milk supply and provide your baby with food, even if your schedules aren’t in sync.
Address Supply Issues
If you’re having some trouble getting your supply up, pumping might help you address the issue.
You can try pumping right after or in between each breastfeeding session because that may help increase your milk supply.
The pumped milk won’t be wasted even if your baby isn’t ready to feed yet, because you can always add that to your freezer stash.
Thanks to the breast pump, your child can get the full benefits of your breast milk while being fed by your partner or another caregiver.
Shared feeds can promote a positive balance in childcare duties at home. It may also help you feel more rested because someone else can handle the feeding duties.
Breast Pumping Safety Guidelines
For decades, breast pumping has allowed countless moms to provide their babies with nutrient-rich breast milk.
But improper breast pump use can lead to nipple wounds, breast trauma, and mastitis (breast inflammation with pain and redness). Contaminated milk may also cause harm to your baby.
You can prevent these from happening by following these breast pumping safety guidelines:
Choose the Right Pump & Accessories
There are lots of different breast pumps for you to choose from, but it’s important to find the right one that can help you pump more milk without hurting your breasts.
Because you can’t also test a pump before buying one, it might be better to opt for one with customizable settings. This kind of pump can help you find the right settings for better yet safer breast milk collection.
It’s also a good idea to get the correct sizes for your breast flanges or shields.
Find a Comfortable Breast Pump Setting
Stronger suction doesn’t always mean better collection; it might even hurt your breasts. In trying to find the most comfortable setting, start with the lowest suction level.
A comfortable setting may help promote a letdown. By slowly adjusting the settings, you can find the best one that lets you pump more milk without hurting your breast.
Some breast pumps such as those from Spectra let you save the settings so you don’t need to start from scratch on your next pumping session.
Seek Help From Lactation Consultant
Don’t be shy to ask for help from a lactation consultant if you’re having any trouble or just want to learn other ways to increase your milk supply.
Keep Everything as Sanitary as Possible
- Practice good hygiene at all times.
- Wash your hands before and after pumping.
- Keep all parts of the breast pump clean, especially those that come in contact with your breasts and the bottles. Always inspect these parts before using the breast pump.
- Only use clean, BPA-free milk bottles or storage packs.
- If you’re pumping for later use, make sure to put the milk in the fridge or freezer immediately.
- Never freeze breast milk in plastic bags or disposable bottle liners.
- You can also avoid contamination by keeping your breast milk stash in a separate compartment as meat, fish, or foods with strong odors.
- Don’t store the expressed breast milk at the freezer door because the temperature changes during opening and closing can affect it.
Breast pumping can be a safe and easy way to provide your child with the best nutrition from breast milk, even if you can’t directly breastfeed.
But always remember to follow the safety guidelines to keep you and your baby safe.