One of the primary sources of nutrients for newborns is breastmilk. Breastfeeding is one of the best and most natural ways to feed your baby. But can you breastfeed and pump at the same time?
I have found that you can breastfeed and pump at the same time. Not only can you do it but it helps your body make more breastmilk as there is more demand. It would be as if you’re breastfeeding twins and your body naturally makes more milk to feed your babies.
As per WHO guidelines, you should exclusively breastfeed a baby until six months and continue feeding breastmilk until the baby is two years.
But not every mother can breastfeed the baby on demand. Once the mother joins back work, it might be difficult to breastfeed the baby.
Similarly, if the new mom has to travel or stay away from the baby for some time, it may not be possible to breastfeed the baby.
In such situations, mothers resort to both breastfeeding and pumping simultaneously to feed and store enough milk for the baby.
Will There Be Problems If Breastfeeding And Pumping Are Done At The Same Time?
One of the biggest worries while pumping and breastfeeding simultaneously is whether the baby gets enough milk.
Breastmilk is produced on demand. As long as there is a demand for milk, your body will produce it.
Mothers of twins usually feed both babies at the same time without any problem with the milk supply.
Since pumping on one breast and feeding on the other has the same effect as feeding twins, there is no problem in breastfeeding and pumping at the same time.
Why Do You Need To Pump And Feed At The Same Time?
There are several reasons why mothers want to pump and feed at the same time.
- If you are a working mother, you may not be able to breastfeed the baby on demand. Pumping and storing the milk is the only way to feed the baby. Pumping while breastfeeding takes half of the time and makes your task easy.
- Sometimes while breastfeeding, the baby will dose off without feeding on the other breast, which is full. Pumping the milk is the best way to store it and feed the baby later on.
- Other times when you are pumping milk for storage, the baby suddenly wakes up and start crying. You have no other option but to pump from one breast and feed the baby from the other breast.
- Pumping and feeding simultaneously saves a lot of time. If you are heading out and want to carry breastmilk in the bottle, pumping and feeding is the best way to store some milk while saving time.
- Feeding and pumping is the best way to save up on breastmilk. When you feed the baby on one breast, milk naturally starts leaking out from the other. Pumping the other breast is a great way to save milk which otherwise would go waste.
How To Pump And Feed At The Same Time?
Pumping and feeding the baby simultaneously is not a hard task, but it requires some practice.
- First, clean and sterilize the pump and keep it ready for pumping. Make sure that all accessories like the storage bag, nursing pad, and nipple cream are at arms distance.
- Next, position the baby correctly. You can use a nursing pillow to hold the baby comfortably. You can select any position that you and your baby find comfortable. You can either make the baby lie on the crook of the arm or on the nursing pillow.
- Once the baby is comfortable, and starts feeding, you can start pumping from the other breast. You can wear a breast pump bra that helps keep the breast pump flange in place. Thus, both your hands will be free, and you can caress the baby while feeding and pumping.
What Are The Mistakes You Make While Breastfeeding And Pumping At The Same Time?
Not Drinking Enough Water
Breastfeeding and pumping at the same time results in a lot of fluid loss from your body. If you do not drink enough water, you will feel dehydrated.
This can cause fatigue and make you less efficient in pumping and breastfeeding.
The best way to stay hydrated is to keep a bottle of water with you when you are breastfeeding and pumping.
Try to sip water in between, which will keep you hydrated throughout. Besides water, you can also drink fruit juice or milk for hydration.
Avoid caffeine products as it only adds up to dehydration.
Finding the right position is very important when you are breastfeeding and pumping at the same time. Otherwise, you will develop issues like back pain.
The best way to go about it is to place a nursing pillow on your lap and make the baby lie down comfortably.
Once the baby is all set, you can start pumping from the other breast.
No Proper Latching
It is very important that the baby learns to latch properly before you start breastfeeding.
Otherwise, you will feel soreness in the nipple, and the baby may not get enough milk. This can make pumping more difficult.
Not Fully Ready
Breastfeeding and pumping at the same time requires some preparation. You should make sure that all pumping accessories like milk storage bag, nipple cream and nursing pad is at arm’s reach. I
f you have the habit of checking your mobile once in a while, you should keep that at arm’s distance.
If you are not fully prepared, you can cause a lot of distraction to the baby and the pumping session.
How Much Should I Pump While Feeding?
This depends on your personal requirement. If you are pumping to feed the baby for the next session, you need to pump only less. But if you are going out for quite sometime and will not be available for breastfeeding the baby, you should pump more milk.
If you want more quantity of milk, it is best to pump during morning time. This is because your breast will be full during morning time and you can pump more milk without much difficulty.
Breastfeeding and pumping at the same time is not so easy initially. You tend to make a lot of mistakes and even mess up at times. Try to learn from all the mistakes. Over time, you will learn from your mistakes which will eventually make the task easy.
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