Pumping Tips for Beginners from an Exclusive Pumper

There tends to be a lack of information handed out to new mothers about pumping breast milk before they have their babies.

This failure to prepare for pumping can lead to a stressful and frustrating search for the pumping tips and answers they need in the midst of being sleep deprived and desperate.

Not ideal.

Thankfully you found yourself in the right place today to get the best pumping tips for beginners.

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Instantly download this digital pumping pack with 3 must-have pumping schedules and a daily-use pump log to help you stay on track!A mock up of pumping schedules on an iPhone and a printed stack of pump logs.

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Breastfeeding and Pumping in the Beginning 

Many new mothers hold onto the hope of having a beautiful breastfeeding relationship with their baby.

But sometimes, due to unforeseen breastfeeding challenges and work commitments, that is sometimes not an option for all of us.

With that said, if you so choose, try nursing in the beginning as much as possible before you begin to start pumping exclusively.

The reason I say that, is because the bonding experience nursing your new baby provides is a precious experience for both of you.

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class by Milkology teaches you how to breastfeed from day one. Start this extremely affordable and risk-free online class today! 

P.S. I would like to gift you a FREE pumping course with your enrollment in The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. Simply contact me once complete.

Different Scenarios for When to Begin Pumping

There are a few different scenarios to address in order to provide you with the best advice on when to you should start your pumping regimen.

  • First, depending on whether you plan to exclusively pump.
  • Second, if you will be returning back to work sometime after baby is born and want to have a freezer stash.
  • Third, if you are exclusively nursing, but desire to increase your milk supply.

When to Start Exclusive Pumping

Exclusive pumping is essentially a means of providing baby with breast milk, but without the direct contact of putting baby to breast.

Start exclusive pumping as soon as your baby would start nursing.

Which would expectantly be soon after birth.

Maintain a strict exclusive pumping schedule that mimics your baby’s natural nursing habits. This means, around the clock mama.

I know that sounds extreme, but no one ever said exclusive pumping is an easier route to take.

Also, it is absolutely imperative that you work on establishing your milk supply with a disciplined pumping routine for the first few weeks postpartum.

In most cases, this is between the first 6-12 weeks after you give birth. 

Plan on pumping around the clock for this 6-12 week period of time, just like a newborn nurses. 

In essence, you’ll be pumping roughly 8-12 times per day and up possibly up to 30 minutes each pumping session. It is not recommended to pump longer than 30 minutes at a time maximum.

Think frequency over time span.

Not pumping frequently enough is one of the biggest pumping mistakes new moms make at the beginning.

Exclusive pumping sample schedule after birth

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Learning how to Exclusively Pump

There is obviously SO MUCH MORE that goes into pumping exclusively than what can be discussed in this post.

Thankfully, the world is catching up and realizing that exclusive pumping needs to be recognized as a real means to breastfeed.

Which means more resources for moms who are new to exclusive pumping!

I strongly recommend an online course called, The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class by Milkology if you’re preparing to be a new mom. 

This course focuses on preparing mothers for exclusive pumping and is a fantastic resource to have to refer back to when needed. 

PSSST…  Contact me if you enroll in this course from this post so I can sign you up for a second one for FREE! 

When to Start Pumping if You’re Going Back to Work 

When should a mama who plans to return back to work begin a breast milk pumping routine?

This mama usually maintains the goal of still wanting to nurse her baby when and as often as she can.

She also desires to keep her baby on breast milk while she is working outside of the home. Which, requires a stash of frozen breast milk to accomplish this goal.

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How to Start Building A Freezer Stash Before Returning to Work

Even as a newbie beginner breast milk pumper, you still know that pumping is hard work. It also takes a lot of dedication and self-sacrifice.

Having said that, if you want to have a significant freezer stash stowed away for when you return back to work, here is what you need to do first.

Begin a daily breast pumping routine (after 3 weeks postpartum) of 15-20 minutes of pumping after you have nursed your baby.

Do this during at least three sessions per day, every day until you return to work and then reevaluate.

You could also avoid the pump for the first few weeks and use a Haakaa to catch the leaking and save the breast milk that falls from the opposite breast.

A big concern and stress point for new moms is the thought of how to juggle a pumping and breastfeeding schedule. There is no big surprise there as it just sounds like a lot of demanding work!

Another wave of confusion comes in the form of figuring out a the task of pumping at work.

How Often to Pump at Work and When

If you are new to pumping, assuredly you have also never pumped at work before. This can cause added stress and anxiety for new mothers who already are not looking forward to leaving their new baby for the day.

Milkology also addresses this tough breastfeeding transition in another fantastic online course called, The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class.

You can rest assured that this course will totally prepare you for every scenario of returning to work while breastfeeding. And the same free course offer applies as before.

You should also know that Milkology gives a 20% discount at checkout if you wish to enroll in more than one of their courses. 

Now, back to that pumping and breastfeeding sample schedule for working moms. 

  • 7 am – breastfeed
  • 10:30 am – first break / 1st pump at work
  • 12:30 pm – lunch break / 2nd pump at work
  • 3 pm – last break / 3rd pump at work
  • 5:30 pm – resume nursing

Pumping at work schedulesWhen to Start Pumping while Nursing

While you’re still exclusively nursing you can technically begin using a silicone pump, like the Haakaa right away. 

This silicone pump can be suctioned onto the breast you are not nursing from to catch the drippings of milk that would otherwise be wasted!

This handy little pump is really good at helping you build your freezer stash without any effort at all!

Doing this breast pumping hack alone could help you collect hundreds of ounces of breast milk before you even begin a pumping regimen. 

Pumping Tips to Increase Supply while Nursing

After your breast milk has regulated, you can begin to asses the amount of breast milk you are producing each day.

If you are still primarily nursing, it may be somewhat difficult to determine the exact volume of breast milk you are feeding your baby every day.

Although, you can always weigh your baby before and after a feeding and note the difference to come up with a good guess.

You could also pump during a normal feeding session instead of nurse (give your baby a stashed bottle of breast milk) and see how much you come up with.

If you are unsatisfied or concerned that your milk supply is not up to par. Simply add up to 4 short pumping sessions after each time you nurse. 

These sessions should only last at most 10-15 minutes and they are designed to signal and wake up your body’s supply and demand switch. 

Here you can read up on simple ways to produce more milk.

Pumping Tips and Hacks Every Beginner Must Know!

I don’t want you leaving here without some great breast pumping hacks and tips you will surely use and be so glad you knew about!

These pumping tips will help you to feel more confident and less awkward when you first begin pumping.

As a matter of fact, I know that if I could have seen myself pump for the first times after I had just completed ten months of exclusive pumping, I would have been shaking my head.

The Hands-free Pumping Bra Tip

You MUST use a hands-free pumping bra while you pump. If not, you will be feeling like a prisoner with no parol.

For some reason, this handy little garment didn’t seem like a necessity to me until a few weeks into my pumping journey.  

That was unfortunate because as soon as I got one, pumping changed for the better. 

You do have one more option that doesn’t require a pumping bra and that is a concealable breast pump kit that can be worn in any bra and they are mobile!

Pumping at Night Hacks

The dreaded night time pumping sessions are what most moms spend the whole day agonizing over. Pumping at night can also be a big reason why some moms end their pumping goals short.

These tips really only apply to those of you who pump exclusively. Otherwise, you’ll still be up at night nursing in dream feed bliss.

  1. Have your pumping station ready ahead of time and every part already connected.
  2. Keep a mini fridge in the room you’ll be pumping in. 
  3. Hook up and go back to sleep, (or wake as little as possible.)
  4. If you do choose to wake up completely, have something to look forward to.

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pumping at work planner pack mockup on iPad and iPhone

Or you can sign up for The Crib, my freebies vault for moms bursting with goodies!

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To Sum it all Up

As shown above, there are many pumping tips for beginners and we only just scratched the surface!

I do hope that you feel like you got many significant tips in this read that will be useful for you during your time of pumping for your little one.

The best tip I can give any beginner to pumping, is to be gracious with yourself and to also let you know that you aren’t alone when things get confusing.

Pumping tips for beginners

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