Helpful Tips

The Best Time To Breast Pump: According to the Professionals

Sometimes, you never know how you’ll raise your baby or what you’ll do as a parent until you actually become one. Parenting, in general, is a learning experience every single day, even when it comes to choosing breastfeeding over bottle feeding and figuring how when is the best time to breast pump.

There’s no simple answer of course, but to really understand pumping and breastfeeding in general, it’s best to first look at whether or not there’s a big difference between pumping only or a combination of bumping and breastfeeding your little one.

According to Kid Simplified, whether you pump or breastfeed directly, your child is still getting the same breastmilk, and therefore they’re getting plenty of nutrients. But where they differ is in the vitamin C. By breastfeeding directly, your baby is getting as much vitamin C as possible, whereas the longer it’s stored in a bottle or breast milk bag, the less vitamin C it will have when it comes time to feed your little one.

When breastfeeding, you also won’t have to worry about the possibility of your baby drinking milk that has gone bad. If you forget to label bottles or breastmilk bags, there is the off chance that your baby could be drinking spoiled milk, which is a definite no-no. But in some cases, pumping is a necessity, and for moms who prefer or need to pump, it’s important to figure out the best time to pump to get the most milk.

What The Experts Say

According to Ameda, which manufacturers a variety of breast pump and pump accessories, the best time to pump is in the morning. It’s as simple as that. Most moms have the most milk supply in the morning after they’ve rested, so if the goal is to pump as much breast milk as possible, then the morning is your best bet. 

If you are pumping and breastfeeding interchangeably, you can still do both, but it’s a matter of making sure you pump at the right time so as not to completely deplete your milk supply.

If you pump 30-60 minutes after breastfeeding and at least one hour before the next nursing, you should still have enough milk to properly breastfeed your baby and stash bottles or breast milk pouches in the freezer or refrigerator.

If you’re exclusively pumping, however, your schedule will be a little different. As a rule, plan to breast pump 8-10 times per every 24 hours to get the most milk out of your supply. Again, the morning is still your best bet as far as when your milk supply will be at its peak, but you’ll be pumping more frequently if you opt to bottle feed only. As with most parenting tasks, though, it can vary from mom to mom as far as what works best and what time of day will feel the most productive.

As far as when to begin pumping and storing milk away for later use, Lori J. Isenstadt, a lactation consultant, told The Bump that moms who work should plan pumping around when they plan to return to the workplace. “I suggest that mom begin pumping and storing breast milk about three weeks before she returns to work,” Isenstadt said. “This will give her the time needed to store enough milk for her first few days back at work.”

She also advised, “Always pump very shortly after the baby has breastfed. If you pump too close to the next breastfeeding, the baby will likely be frustrated with low volume, which will result in a poor feeding session.”

And if you have twins? Be prepared to work double time in pumping. If you double pump, these are the 6 Best Double Electric Pumpsyou might want to try. The best way to increase your milk production is to pump, feed, pump, feed!” Dr. Jaime Knopman, co-founder of TrulyMD, and director at New York’s Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, told Romper.com. “The more you express, the more that your milk supply will go up.” This means that however often you feed your twin infants is how often you should be pumping to keep up with your growing supply of milk. (Read More: Top 5 Best Double Electric Pumps You’ll Love.)

The Best Breast Pumps For Exclusively Pumping

After you’ve figured out the best time of day to breast pump and how often is best for you and your milk supply, it’s time to choose the best breast pump. And in this case, it’s important to find the best breast pump for exclusively breastfeeding. You’ll probably want to pump a lot more often than moms who are both breastfeeding and pumping. Therefore you’ll need a pump that’s designed to handle frequent pumping sessions, and these are a few of the top options out there for just that.

1.Medela Freestyle

Price: On Amazon, the Medela Freestyle is $320Check out the latest price!

The Best Part: It’s small, cordless, and easy to take on the go pretty much anywhere you might need to pump.

The Not So Great: Once the battery gets low, the suction can sometimes lose its strength.

Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon.

Has This Item Been Recalled?: There was a voluntary electrical safety recall in 2016.

Read More: (Medela Freesyle vs Medela Pump In Style Comparison)

2. Spectra S2 Plus

Price: On Amazon, the Spectra S2 Plus is $159Check out the latest price!

The Best Part: It comes with a built-in nightlight to see the control panel in the dark, and its whisper quiet for a middle of the night pumping sessions.

The Not So Great: It can take a little while for some moms to get the hang of all of the little controls.

Where To Buy: You can buy it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Buy Buy Baby.

Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on the Spectra S2 Plus.

3. Freemie Freedom

Price: On Amazon, the Freemie Freedom is $146Check out the latest price!

The Best Part: It’s easy to take the small pump with you around the house as you pump or use discreetly at your desk at work.

The Not So Great: It has a slower speed than some other similar pumps.

Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon.

Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on this breast pump.

What Moms Say

In most cases, the experts can be trusted for their advice and knowledge regarding when to breast pump, but sometimes it helps to confer with actual moms. They are, after all, the ones who have been through it all when it comes to breastfeeding and raising children. While it always depends on each individual case and each breast pumping mom, it’s still worth it to take some advice to heart when it comes to other moms.

“Until I went back to work, I pumped in one 10-15 minute daily session. I would do it mid-morning, about an hour after a feeding. Once or twice my baby wanted to eat right after I had pumped, but there was always plenty for him.” – Thompsonheidi on BabyCenter.com.

“I pumped whenever I was really full in the beginning, about an hour after feeding, sometimes two.. At first, I would just pump enough to relieve some pressure and that alone built up a good supply…the best time to pump is definitely the morning, about an hour after your feed.” –
Happywmy2boys on BabyCenter.com.

“I pump four times while at work, once in the morning before I leave, once in the evening before bed, and once after our middle of the night feeding. Seven times total. I nurse her while I am home in the evenings. 3-4 times.” – Tinaper on BabyCenter.com.

“I pump around 5 in the morning, try to nurse around 6 (top him off for the morning). Then I pump three times at work, nurse two times in the evening. and pump before I go to bed.” – A_N_Haas on BabyCenter.com.

“I also pump only four times a day – 6 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and before I go to bed between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. I make just enough milk to feed my little one — maybe an extra 2-4 ounces per week at most.” – Kittsi on BabyCenter.com.

The Best Breast Milk Storage Bags

After you decide how often and when to pump and which pump to use, your next step is to find the best breast milk storage bags to store your supply in your freezer for later use. If you’re going to feed your baby right after pumping, then you can pump directly into a bottle. But if you’re pumping to be able to reserve your milk supply for later, then you’ll need some solid bags to store the milk in. These are the Top 5 Milk Storage Bags you need to know of.

1. Kiinde Twist

Price: On Amazon, a pack of Kiinde Twist is $11. Check out the latest price!

The Best Part: You can pump directly into the bags and then cap them off to store in the freezer or refrigerator.

The Not So Great: When storing them away, they have to stand up so they take up more room than if you could lay them flat.

Where To Buy: You can purchase the pouches on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in store at Walmart.

Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on the Kiinde Twist Pouches.

Read More: (Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit Review)

2. Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags

Price: On Amazon, a pack of Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags is $16Check out the latest price!

The Best Part: The bags are compatible with all Medela brand breast pumps.

The Not So Great: Unlike some other breast milk storage bags, you can’t pump directly into these.

Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in store at Walmart and Buy Buy Baby.

Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on the Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags.

3. NUK Seal ‘N Go

Price: On Amazon, a pack of NUK Seal ‘N Go bags is $9Check out the latest price!

The Best Part: They come in larger sizes that are easy to store when laying flat, so you can fit a lot in your freezer at once.

The Not So Great: It can be difficult to pour milk into the bags without the bags falling over.

Where To Buy: You can find them on Amazon or in store at Target and Buy Buy Baby.

Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on these bags.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’ve pumped before or this is your very first go around in the world of breast pumping, there’s always a learning curve. A lot about exclusively pumping has to do with when you do it and what pumps and storage bags you use. Once you decide on what’s best for you in all of those categories, you’re essentially golden. 

If you can find the right breast pump and best storage bags for your pumped milk, and you find the best time of day to breast pump, you’ll have all the tools you need to get the most out of your milk supply.

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