Using a breast pump can help to optimise milk production in the last stages of pregnancy, can help maintain milk supply once baby is born, and allows for continued breastmilk feeding if mom needs to go back to work.
What is the range of “normal” when it comes to breastfeeding?
PureLan and Breastshells
You can start preparing nipples during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Apply 100% ultra pure lanolin (Medela PureLan™100) to keep nipples soft and supple. Your nipples may react sensitively in the first few days. However, if breastfeeding is painful, your nipples become sore or cracked or the breast remains sensitive, you should contact a lactation consultant or midwife.
Breast massage optimises milk flow
If the breast becomes very tense and the baby simply cannot latch on, massaging the breast and then expressing milk by hand, or carefully with a breastpump, may bring relief.
Breast massage helps prevent engorgement and possible mastitis, as well as improving the milk flow.
Tips to tell whether your baby is getting enough breast milk:
- Starting four days after the birth, your baby gains at least 120 to 210 grams a week.
- Once milk production has stabilised after ‘coming in’, you should use five or six nappies per 24 hours.
- During the first few months, your baby has at least two to fi ve bowel movements every 24 hours. After about six weeks some babies may have fewer, but more intensive, bowel movements.
- On average, your baby drinks from your breast six to ten times every 24 hours and swallows audibly.
- Your baby is attentive, looks healthy, has taut skin and grows in length and head circumference
Optimising milk removal
Reaching an adequate milk production is a journey that requires mothers to initiate, build and maintain their lactation. A mother’s milk supply will increase during the first month of this journey.
The following information is relevant if a breast pump is being used after milk has “come in” (initiation), to build and maintain lactation.
Rl Kent,J.C. et al. J Hum Lact 19, 179-186 (2003). Kent,J.C. et al. Pediatrics 117, e387-e395 (2006). Kent,J.C. et al. Breastfeed Med 3, 11-19 (2008). Meier,P.P. et al. Breastfeed Med 3, 141-150 (2008). Mitoulas,L. et al. J Hum Lact 18, 353-360 (2002). Mizuno,K. et al. Pediatr Res 59, 728-731 (2006). Newton,M. et al. J Pediatr 33, 698-704 (1948). Prime,D.K. et al. Breastfeed Med 6, 183 (2011). Prime,D.K. et al. Breastfeed Med 7, 442-447 (2012).