As veteran moms know, nursing has many memorable moments. One particular memory that may stand out is the first time you broke out your breast pump. You were nervous, sleep-deprived, and probably had no idea what you were doing. Caitlin from Ashland Health knows that moment all too well because, as a mom of three, she has totally been there. Since then she has pumped over a thousand times and has been trained by some of the top breast pump manufacturers.
At Ashland Health, Caitline and her team work hard to help moms everywhere feel confident using their breast pumps. She has come up with the three steps that I think make the task of Breaking Out Your Breast Pump less intimidating. You can do them all in one day, but I think it is best to do it over a three day period.
Before we get to the three steps, you first need a breast pump! In this modern world of baby gear galore, selecting a breast pump can be overwhelming. You’ve probably heard that your insurance will cover a breast pump. It’s true! But how are you supposed to find time to call your insurance company during the mayhem of nesting while pregnant or the never-ending cycle of changing and feeding your newborn?!
Great news: You don’t have to!
Ashland Health is here for you – they take care of the entire process of getting your insurance covered breast pump. Think of them as a concierge service. 🙂 The process at Ashland Health is simple, fast, and streamlined. Here’s how it works:
- Visit their website and fill out their brief contact form.
- They’ll call your insurance and verify your coverage.
- They’ll contact you directly, walk you through your breast pump choices, and ship your pump right to your door, free of charge.
Simple as that! Their team is made up of real working moms. They know motherhood and pregnancy can be wild and overwhelming at times, so they want to make sure you have the best quality pump and a supportive ear.
Now that you have your breast pump, here are Caitlin’s 3 Steps to Breaking Out Your Breast Pump! Take it away, Caitlin!
Step 1/Day 1
Watch videos on your specific breast pump model (every manufacturer has videos on their websites for each model).
YouTube is your friend here. Watching videos was so helpful for me to get familiar with how to put a breast pump together. Mom friends can also be super helpful and will immediately tell you what to put aside and what you will actually NEED to pump.
Step 2/Day 2
Sterilize the parts of your pump that you need for one and only one, pumping session.
Remember the Youtube video? This will help you understand which part is which, and which parts need to be cleaned. If you are sterilizing every piece that came with your pump (don’t sterilize the tubing), you are doing more work than you need to do for this first pumping experience. Keep it simple!
Once those parts are sterilized, lay them out to dry. Ideally this is a job for your partner to do for you or with you. Partners need to play an equal and active role in washing these parts for the long haul.
Step 3/Day 3
Today is the day! Give some thought to what time of day may be easiest for you to sit down and pump for 10-15 minutes. For me, it is 7:30am. The baby has been fed, I’m showered, I’ve eaten, and I am able to sit without worrying about the baby crying through the whole pumping session. (This will inevitably happen. A bouncy seat at your foot will allow you to multitask – welcome to motherhood.)
Next, find a place to sit with sufficient support to sit up straight with good posture. If you want to watch a show, cue it up before you start. Same goes for the bathroom. The potty dance is not easy when you’ve got two bottles attached to your boobs. Okay – here goes nothing. Turn it on!
I also recommend trying to pump around the same time every day! Doing so will increase your milk supply over that first week of consistent pumping. The first time I pump, I usually get 1-2 ounces. The next day tends to be a little more, but by week’s end, you should be pumping a full extra feeding. This liquid gold can be put into the freezer for a date night, heading back to work, or for emergencies.
If you are struggling with nursing or pumping, know that your insurance may cover a lactation consultant home visit. Ashland Health is happy to lend a hand here, too! If you are not in our area, contact your local certified lactation consultants (also known as IBCLCs) for some extra help and support. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Everyone’s experience is different, and this is your baby you are feeding, so be sure to take care of yourself!
Happy pumping mamas – and congratulations on your growing family!