When you are a busy mum trying to keep some sort of normal routine during what can be the challenging early days of caring for a new baby, breastfeeding may not necessarily be the breeze that more experienced mums may make it seem.
Sore, achy breasts, tender nipples, backache and leaking milk can all put a bit of a dampener on things, Not only that, but once your maternity leave is over, you need to consider how you will manage to breastfeed your baby when you are back at work.
That’s where a breast pump comes in.
Why use a breast pump?
A good breast pump will allow you to pump enough breast milk to feed your baby when you are away from them.
There are also other reasons why you might need to use a breast pump. For example if:-
- your breasts are engorged
- your baby is unable to breastfeed
- your baby is not getting enough breast milk or
- you have flat, inverted or dimpled nipples – a breast pump may help to evert them.
Readers of this blog know that my own attempts at breastfeeding were not a resounding success. I managed to feed Caitlin for 10 weeks before my milk supply dried up. For this reason I am a huge advocate of feeding your baby the way that works best for YOU and the baby.
That said, had I been able to express sufficient milk, I have no doubt that I would have persisted much longer.
Choose the right breast pump
Not all breast pumps are made equal. A good choice is the Minbie Breast Pump, a hospital-grade, rechargeable portable breast pump.
With soft and flexible silicone cups, adjustable suction and a quiet motor, the Minbie fits easily into your daily life. It has a night light and a backlit display so you can see what you are doing in the small hours.
You can choose to pump from one or both breasts and the pump itself is easy to dismantle, clean and sterilise.
Keeping your breast pump clean is extremely important because infections can arise from mould and pathogens which may develop in places such as the tubing. For this reason, using a second-hand breast pump is not recommended and you should consider investing in the best one for you.
New mum Rebecca tried the Minbie with great success. She says: “I started to look for a bit of freedom outside of the everyday single feed. That’s when the Minbie product came in. I pump when I need to have some time off. I use to be able to jump on a big boat and go long distances. Now with Bubs, I still can do that, and that’s my freedom. It gives me the opportunity to have some me time.”
One of the features that yachtswoman Rebecca rates highly is the handle. “You can pick it up and move it around, it’s really easy to pump in a bag or in the car from my scenario sometimes a boat. It just sits really easy. It’s light and the handle makes it so that you have got one hand you can move around.”
Me-time is something I reckon many new mums miss the most. In those early days, it’s all about the baby and the attention you got as a pregnant woman is rapidly transferred to your beautiful baby. You wouldn’t be human if you missed that attention ever so slightly!
And whilst breastfeeding your baby is an incredibly bonding and often an emotional experience, anything which gives you the opportunity to continue your life as you is not to be underestimated.
A supportive partner is a bonus, of course, but sometimes the chance to kick over the traces, however fleetingly, is so tempting!
Some employers don’t seem to cut returning mums much slack in the workplace these days so anything that helps you fit back into your old schedule whilst keeping your baby happy and well-fed is worth considering.
There’s no doubt that things need to improve where some attitudes to breastfeeding are concerned but hopefully, in time things will improve and we will see more designated, clean and hygienic areas for mums to feed their babies in privacy in work and public spaces.
Did you breastfeed your baby? Did you use a breast pump? Share your experiences in the comments below.