Advice Column, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Pump with confidence

  • My Breastpump
  • Category Advice Column, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Did you know that 85% of women who breast feed also pump? This is a growing statistic as more women are breast feeding for longer and needing to express breast milk for when they return to work. Other reasons for mothers pumping are their baby being born early or having difficulties with direct feeding and requiring keeping up their milk supply.  Having a good quality double electric breast pump can make all the difference, to be able to pump with confidence is so important. No-one wants to be stuck to their breast pump for hours only to get a few drops of milk or to have the pump hurt them. 

So how do you spot a good quality breast pump? Firstly, look for a closed system. This is a pump that prevents the movement of milk into the tubing and motor of your pump. Ameda is the only true closed system breast pump in South Africa as it has FDA approval for not only milk but also bacteria and viruses . The alternative is to use a pump that is open system, and you could get mould growing in your pump! GROSS! 

How do you know that the pump will be comfortable? Women have different sized breast and nipples, and they are all perfect. This just means that you need to make sure that your breast pump flange, the thingy that touches your breast, is the correct fit. Make sure that the brand of pump that you chose, has a variety of flange sizes so that you know you will be able to find your best fit and pump like a princess. Ameda has 7 different flange sizes ranging from 21mm up to 36mm. Our standard flange size is 25mm. If you need help with working out what is your best flange size is, you are welcome to email us and we will help you make sure you get the best fit. Use this link to send us an email,

The next step is to use your pump correctly. Learn how to use the settings of your pump. This will help you to find your sweet spot, which is not always the fastest and the strongest settings. In fact, it can be very different for each mother. When you buy a pump from My Breastpump we help you with additional information about storing your milk, how to use your pump effectively, how to use heat and massage to increase your milk output and even when the best time to pump is. 

The Ameda breast pumps have two different dials. The first is suction: this is how hard the pump sucks on your breast. The second is speed: how fast the pump works. When you start pumping you need to wake up your breast and let them know you need milk so that you can have a let-down (this is when you milk start to flow). Once you have the let down you need to change the settings so that you mimic how a baby would drink. A baby would respond to a let down by slowing down and taking deep long sucks. This you can do by changing the settings to slower and harder. You will see that your milk flows nicely for a while and then slows down. Here you need to stimulate another let down and get your milk flowing again. So, you increase the speed and can decrease the suction. Did you know that on average women have about 4 let downs while breast feeding or pumping? That is why after 4 let downs, you can stop. It is also the reason why you should not be pumping for longer than 20 minutes. 

So, what do you need for the ideal pumping station? Firstly, the best breast pump and then to be a bit organised. Wash your hands and sterilise your pump parts. With the Ameda’s closed system you only need to wash and sterilise 4 parts. Yes only 4, which makes it super easy to use. Use a comfortable chair with support for your back. Have your pump close by and have a drink or snack ready. Think of your baby, watch a cute video or smell a baby blanket. This helps to get your mind focused on baby and making milk. You can use a warm, hot water bottle, bean bag or even a baby bottle with warm water to start messaging your breasts. This helps with your first let down. Place your flanges onto your breast making sure that the nipple is in the middle of the flange and that it does not rub against the sides. Use the pump by changing the settings. When you are done you can even use your hands to squeeze out the last few drops or breast milk. This is called hands on pumping and is great at getting out all the lekker fatty milk at the end of a pump. If you battle with your milk supply, try the baby sock hack. It is so simple but works like a charm. Before you start pumping place a baby sock over your bottle so that you can’t see how much milk you have pumped. This helps you to stop focusing on the output and to enjoy the session. It kinda works in the same way as watching a kettle boil.

Please comment with your pumping with confidence tricks. You are always welcome to drop an email if you need information on breast pumps. 

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