Should I pump my breast milk?
Breast milk provides superior nutrition for growing infants. Medical research shows that breast milk can be your baby’s exclusive food source for the first six months of life. Some physicians suggest feeding breast milk to a growing infant for at least 12 months, and even into the second year of life if possible.
Many women, especially moms with other children at home or moms who return to work, choose to pump their breast milk to provide bottles of milk for their baby when they are unavailable for breastfeeding. Mothers can still feed the baby at the breast when they are home and maintain an adequate milk supply for many months. The key is to continue to maintain a healthy diet, drink adequate amounts of fluids that support breast milk production, and pump regularly and for enough time to maintain a full milk supply.
Selecting a pump is one of the many decisions moms must make since there are so many to choose from. Just looking at all of the breast pumps on the store shelves is intimidating if you don’t know what you are looking for. Friends and family often advise a new mom based on their own personal breast pump history, and although that can be very helpful, sometimes their needs may not match your own. It is always a good idea to talk to a lactation specialist to discuss your needs, your work routine and your individual goals. You can read information on the websites of breast pump manufacturers to see and compare the specifications on different types of pumps.
Where do I go from here?
Planning to use breast milk in bottles when you’re unavailable to breastfeed baby? Talk to us about how to get started pumping; one of our lactation consultants can offer personalized advice for you today.