How to Build a Huge Breastmilk Stash on Maternity Leave
You just had a baby! Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful community of motherhood – it’s the most amazing thing! I bet there are a million things on your mind from breastfeeding to wake times to getting back in shape, all topped off by a lack of sleep. One of those worries is building a stash of frozen breastmilk for when your maternity leave is over.
As a caveat, it is important to note that you do not need a huge freezer stash at all! In fact, all you need is a day’s worth of breastmilk since you’ll be pumping to replace whatever baby eats. However, if you’re like me, you take comfort in knowing there’s a cushion in your breastmilk supply in case anything were to happen, such as date night, a work trip, or a dip in supply. Or even better, you have such a huge stash that you can donate breastmilk to babies in need. This blog post will show you the best breastfeeding hack ever! Read on to see how you can start building your breastmilk freezer stash today!
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Use a silicone breast pump
While you’re nursing your little one, you may notice the tingly sensation you get in your nipples. This signifies a let down – when your milk starts flowing. Unfortunately, baby is only nursing on one side and the let down occurs in both breasts simultaneously. That means that your precious liquid gold is going to waste in your nursing pad or shirt. But this doesn’t have to be the case!
Enter in the silicone breast pump! Use this amazing innovation to save those precious drops and jumpstart your freezer stash!
I started using one with every feeding and those 2-3 ounces definitely add up. Now I usually get 4-5 oz every feeding!
What is a silicone breast pump?
A silicone breast pump is a manual breast pump that draws breastmilk out by natural suction. It’s non-electric and hands-free, so there’s no need for cords, batteries, or a pumping bra! And it is completely silent, so it allows for discreet pumping. As its name implies, a silicone breast pump is made of 100% high quality food grade silicone and is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
There are so many different brands and options when it comes to purchasing a silicone breast pump. You can choose a basic one, but there are ones with a suction base to prevent spillage (however, I have a workaround for this in “Tips and Tricks” below) or ones with a cap or stopper to help with storage. Check out the different options and reviews to pick the best one for you!
Why Every Mom Needs a Silicone Breast Pump
Every nursing mama needs a silicone breast pump or two! You can use it on one side while baby is nursing from the other side. Or you can use it when you’re out and about and you feel a little engorged. It’s the perfect diaper bag accessory as it is compact, lightweight, and portable. Like it was mentioned before, there are no cords to get tangled up in, so it’s discreet and easy to use. Just pop it on and let it work its magic!
Did you know that you can also use the silicone breast pump to clear clogged milk duct? Read the section on “Tips and Tricks” below to find out how! Seriously, this item should be on every pregnant woman’s baby registry!
How to Use a Silicone Breast Pump
Have I convinced you that you need a silicone breast pump yet? Once you get one, it can look intimidating to use. But fear not! Look at the diagram below on how to use the silicone breast pump. Remember that it should be comfortable to use and should not hurt at all. Be sure to sterilize your silicone breast pump before the first use.
- Invert the flange.
- Place the silicone breast pump on your breast, centering the nipple
- Squeeze out air
- Gently place flange over breast and let go!
Usually I can just squeeze excess air out and place it on the breast without inverting the flange. However, some women have trouble keeping the silicone pump on this way, so if this is you, definitely try inverting the flange! Don’t give up!
Silicone Breast Pump Tips and Tricks
- Use it to clear a clogged milk duct – fill the silicone breast pump with warm water (just enough so you’re still able to suction it on) and a tablespoon of Epsom salt. Attach to affected breast up to four times a day until clog has cleared.
- Relieve sore nipples – fill the silicone breast pump with warm water and salt to make saline water. Fill it with enough water just so your nipple is immersed in the water.
- Use a coffee mug to prevent tipping – if you got a silicone breast pump without a suction base, it’s a little top-heavy so it’s easy to knock over. Use a coffee mug to hold the silicone breast pump (and precious milk!) when you’re switching sides or done nursing and cuddling that sweet baby!
- Help an overactive letdown – before baby is about to eat, put the silicone breast pump on to relieve some of the pressure and fast flow
Can you see why every breastfeeding mom should get a silicone breast pump? It makes a great baby shower gift OR add it to your own baby registry! Have you tried the silicone breast pump before? Tell me your experiences in the comments below!