The best time to use your breast pump is after the first feed of the day (unless your breastfeeding advisor has told you something different).
Get yourself in a comfortable position, sitting, standing or half-lying. The important thing is to keep the pump handset vertical while you hold it against your breast. You’ll also need a flat surface nearby to put the pump and bottle on when you’re done.
1. Hold the pump handset around the narrow neck of the body. Hold it in whichever hand feels most comfortable. As you use it, you may find it’s more comfortable to cup your hand around the bottle.
2. Place the flange over your breast so that it creates a seal all the way around with your nipple at the center of the hole. You don’t need to cover the whole of your areola or breast with the flange, so don’t force it. It should sit comfortably. If it doesn’t feel right, relax and reposition.
3. Gently squeeze the handle and you’ll feel the suction.
4. Release the handle and allow it to return to its resting position. Releasing the handle opens the valve so your milk can flow into the bottle.
5. Try to imitate the rhythm of your baby as they suck. You don’t have to squeeze hard – just as much as is comfortable for you.
6. When you first start expressing milk, use the pump for 3-5 minutes on each breast. Over time you will be able to build up to 10-15 minutes on each breast.
7. You can help stimulate your milk flow by gently stroking and massaging your breast.
8. The amount of milk you express and the time it takes will vary. Don’t worry, this is normal.
9. If air is getting in around the flange, your pump may not suck milk effectively. Adjust your position and replace the cup on your breast so that it feels comfortable and the pump is expressing milk.