How Long Do You Need to Pump Breast Milk

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If you’re new to being a mother or if you’re just in the stages of being pregnant then you’re either currently breastfeeding or you’re thinking about breastfeeding in the future. It’s not an easy decision and it can be life-changing for a lot of people.

Although your child doesn’t breastfeed forever, research has found it can affect their later life. Breast milk is a natural food for your baby that starts to form in your breasts during the later stages of your pregnancy.

While many people do choose to breastfeed (whether this is through expressing their milk into bottles through a pump or naturally letting the baby feed from the breast), others sometimes just simply want to use formula. If you are thinking about breastfeeding then you need to realize the commitment you are making; it is a natural alternative to formula and obviously does save money in the long term as it’s free but there are many different eventualities you have to cover.

Many women who breastfeed choose to use a pump so that they don’t always have to get out their breasts in public if the child needs feeding, or so that other people can feed the baby if the mother is busy in the day or night time. Being a mother is hard work as it is, and that’s why so many women prefer using a breast pump for their milk.

Despite the controversy, how you want to feed your baby is completely your choice; it is all down to personal preference. While some mothers enjoy breastfeeding their new-born, others can’t, or would just rather feed their child formula. However, breast milk is often thought to be the better of the two for many reasons, including the fact that babies who are breastfed have fewer infections like stomach bugs and chest infections as their milk is individually tailored to the baby.

Research has also found that babies who are breastfed when they’re younger are less likely to get diabetes when they are older, and they are less likely to become overweight as children. Of course, there are advantages to formula feeding milk too; it is all down to what you prefer.

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What Is the Best Way to Pump Breast Milk?

Again, this is down to personal preference; however, there are preferable methods that more women choose than others. There are two types of breast pumps you can buy; they both have totally different price points and often this is the deciding factor for many new parents.

Electric breast pumps start at around $100 and use an electric machine connected to a tube and a container (as well as a breast shield) to express the milk from the breast; however, manual breast pumps often have their own pump and parents must manually pump a sucking rhythm through squeezing another pump to express the milk. These start at around $15.

Many women naturally think about their baby while they express their milk; this allows for the milk to flow a lot easier as some women can have difficulty expressing milk when it isn’t the sucking motion of the baby’s mouth. This can help any mother if they’re struggling to breastfeed their newborn.

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How Long Is Best?

Now for the interesting bit. Depending on the model of breast pump you have got, the timing may change. The average is around 5 to 7 minutes per breast if you’re using an electric breast pump if you have got a breast pump which has two breast shields and can express at the same time.

Manual breast pumps normally only have one breast shield and therefore it does take twice as long; however, some women can have problems expressing milk out of both of their breasts at the same time, so this can sometimes be the best option.

If you’re using a manual breast pump, then the timing is normally dependent on how quickly you get a sucking rhythm and how quickly the milk expresses out of your breasts. The longest it could take is probably around 15 minutes per breast (and this is if you keep stopping and have problems expressing), which would mean it could take around 30 minutes to completely express.

This is why women prefer electric breast pumps (despite how expensive they are). However, when you think about the timing, it is very personal. It could take 20 minutes for both breasts one day and the next it could only take 10. You never really know with manual breast pumps.

We would suggest you leave around 30 to 40 minutes free of your day when you want to express your milk as you don’t want to feel stressed or rushed (as this can stop expression). You want to be in a comfortable and relaxed environment in order to produce the best breast milk possible for your baby.

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