5 Things I Wish I Knew About Pumping

1. It’s helpful to establish you milk supply

Newborns, especially premies, are well known for falling asleep all. the. time. and it makes breastfeeding incredibly challenging especially when you are trying to figure out breastfeeding and latching for the first time. Pumping after your baby has eaten is really helpful for establishing a milk supply and for starting to stockpile some milk in the freezer for times when you might need it (i.e. marathon cluster feeding at 3 am and you really need to sleep, there is no shame in giving baby a bottle). It’s good to have a plan for when your baby is born and start pumping right after your colostrum turns into milk if that is what you decide to do.

2. High lipase is a thing and it makes your milk smell funny

If you’ve left a freshly pumped bottle in the fridge for a few days and it smells soapy, rancid or “off”, you may have high lipase. It doesn’t mean your milk is bad! Lipase helps to break down the fat in your milk. However, this smell won’t stop if you freeze your milk and your baby may not drink your milk with high lipase so please figure out if you have this enzyme BEFORE you freeze a bunch of milk OR before you assume it’s gone bad and dump it down the sink. There is nothing more disheartening when you realise this is an issue and your baby won’t drink your pumped or frozen milk.

The best way to figure it out is by leaving an ounce in the fridge for a few days and then smelling or tasting it. If you do have high lipase you can scald your milk before freezing it to avoid it smelling or tasting funny. Already froze some milk and your baby wont drink it? Try serving it cold, fresh out of the fridge. The heat seems to intensify the smell and flavour.

3. Milk comes in different colours

Don’t be concerned if it’s an odd colour like yellow (there is probably still colostrum in there), blue or green which you will only notice if you pump. If it’s red, pink or brown it could be from a blistered nipple or as severe as mastitis so talk to your doctor if you’re concerned with one of these colours.

4. Freeze smaller bags

You don’t have to freeze 6 oz per bag just because that’s how big the bag is. Freeze some smaller 1 oz or 2 oz bags. Now, with all that milk I pumped, I have to use 6 oz within a few days rather than just getting that 2 oz bag that I REALLY need.

5. Put your pump parts in the fridge between washings

You don’t have to wash your pump parts every time you pump, especially if you are pumping multiple times a day. Simply put the pump parts in the fridge after you’re done and take them out when you want to use them again. I generally wash my parts once a day or every other day. The only part I change out is the flange because it doesn’t feel nice putting a cold flange on your boob.

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