A Quick Guide to Breast Pumps

By Sarah Wells, CEO & Founder, Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags  & Megan O’Neill, CLC, Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness


Think you might use a breast pump along your breastfeeding journey? Here is a quick guide for getting a pump and using it effectively:


Breast Pumps and Insurance

The Health Reform law (Affordable Care Act or “ACA”) requires most health insurance plans to provide moms with a breast pump. The type of pump (double-electric, manual, etc.) and whether it is a rental or for you to own, is up to the insurance plan.

Insurance plans in place prior to the new law are “grandfathered” in. This means they can follow the old rules. They do not have to provide you a pump free-of-charge. But, do not give up. They may still offer you a pump with a co-pay.

You will need to work with an approved durable medical equipment (“DME”) supplier who can bill insurance (and in some cases, retailers, hospitals or lactation practices can also do this for you). Call your insurance for a list of approved suppliers or do a quick online search for “DME and breast pump” and you will find several websites providing supplier lists by insurance type. These suppliers can be of great assistance to you by communicating with your health plan directly on details such as reimbursement level, timing of when you can get the pump and more. Many even offer free and expedited shipping of your pump.

A special note for military moms: Tricare, the military’s health care program, is exempt from the health reform law mandate for breast pump coverage; Tricare only covers hospital-grade pumps in some cases of premature birth. Legislation to require Tricare to cover breast pumps is working its way through Congress now.


Choosing the Right Breast Pump

If you are using insurance coverage to obtain your breast pump, speak with the supplier providing your pump (several have lactation consultants on staff!) to learn which brands and options are available to you.

Good questions to ask yourself in choosing a pump are: how frequently will I pump (a small hand pump might be just what you need if you will pump infrequently, whereas a double-electric pump with effective suction and well-fitting flanges will make a big difference for successful frequent pumping); and do you need portability (if yes, look for lighter weight pumps and buy a battery pack)?


Tips for Successful Breast Pumping

In addition to getting a quality breast pump that has the right features for you and fits well, here are a few of our favorite tips for successful breast pumping:

  1. Get spare parts.

As a busy new mom, it can save you time and energy to have spare parts (flanges, bottles, tubing) around for when you need to grab your pump and go, while other parts may still be on the drying rack or waiting to be cleaned. This also can go a long way in avoiding situations where you forget a part and really need to complete a pumping session!

  1. Store your dirty parts in the refrigerator in between pumping sessions, within the same day.

Rather than trying to thoroughly clean your pump parts in an office sink, bathroom or during the middle of the night, store them in a clean container in the fridge. Thoroughly clean the pump parts after a day of use.

  1. Look at a picture of your baby, and listen to baby, while you pump.

Not only will looking at a photo, or listening to your baby (record your little one on your smartphone!) help remind you of all positive reasons you are on your breastfeeding/pumping journey, but it’s proven to help with let down, for faster and more efficient pumping!

  1. Start back at work mid/late week.

If you are headed back to work at a Monday-Friday job, and will be pumping, try scheduling your return date at the middle or end of the week; this will give you a few days of practice for your new pumping routine, with the relief of a weekend break to make any adjustments needed and to be back in touch with your little one.

Please take the time to congratulate yourself on your pumping efforts; for many moms, pumping can be quite the undertaking of time, resources, and energy. Pumping is an awesome thing you are doing for you and your child(ren); for many moms, pumping is an integral part (or the entire experience) of their breastfeeding journey. Finally, seek help if something is not right; if your pump is not working well, contact the manufacturer or supplier who provided it to you. If you are having issues with supply or with the pumping process in general, seek support from certified lactation consultants and from the breastfeeding community.


To get your pumping journey off to a great start, Sarah Wells and Acelleron are partnering with a few other great companies to offer you a chance to win a bundle of products with a value of over $700 in the following giveaway!  

The Dairy Fairy Logo

mhw-logo2 Milkin Cookies

Sarah Wells Logo

PrintMilk it


Prizes included are:

Sarah Wells Maddy Breast Pump Bag

Sarah Wells “Maddy” Breast Pump Bag (Value $145)


Milkin Cookies Cookies

Milkin’ Cookies Gift Certificate for a 2 week supply of Milkin’ Cookies (14 cookies) (Value $21.99)

1. Black Tank pink bra

Two North American made, Luxury Bamboo or Classic Cotton Naked Nursing Tanks (value $80). Midsection cover-ups for breastfeeding women -worn underneath your regular wardrobe, it transforms every shirt into nursing wear! Winner to choose size & colour from our selection of Naked Tanks.

Milk it Kit and Onesie

Milk It Kit – back to work survival kit for breastfeeding moms; 80 pack of waterproof breast milk labels; a “Will Cry Over Spilled Milk” onesie (Value: $48)

The Dairy Fairy Arden Bra

Arden All In One Nursing and Handsfree Pumping Bra in Blush, winners choice of size. (Value $68)

Acelleron Freestyle or Pump of Choice from Inventory

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump (or other breast pump of winner’s choice from Acelleron’s inventory) (Value $350)


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 4, 2014 through November 11, 2014.  A big thanks to Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags, Acelleron, Milkin’ Cookies, Naked Nursing Tank, Milk It, and The Dairy Fairy for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding and pumping women; please be sure to look them up on your favorite social network platform and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity!

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. My #1 tip, as an exclusive pumper, is to buy the car adaptor. Pump while driving. You’ll be surprised how easy it is and you don’t waste time you could be spending with baby or doing chores. I’m 9 months in exclusive pumping and its a lot of work!

  2. i would love to get one of the freestyle pumps, my old pump in style is on its last legs.

  3. About to have baby #2, and will be pumping at work again. My number one tip is to always store spare parts at work. That way you don’t freak out when you leave something behind at home one day.

  4. Regina Wright says

    Are there any breast pumps like the ones used in the hospital at the time of delivery? The hospital pump had amazing strength/pumping effect on my bigger breast. I’m afraid with my larger breasts, the pump won’t be as effective.

  5. Elizabeth B says

    Pumping tip– get an actual lesson on the pump! Don’t rely on a friend to show you how to work it best. Take it into a Lactation consultant or when you deliver and ask to be shown the best way to use it.

  6. Katie Hoffman says

    It worked so well for me to look at my son’s baby book and also watch videos my husband sent of him giggling while I was pumping at work. I even got a bottle of his shampoo to smell. I go back to work in a week and a half and I also bought some little gel packs that can be heated up to help with let down.

  7. Mandy Sergent says

    Another pumping tip – always finish off with some hand expression! I can get another half and ounce or so with hand expression after pumping. And don’t make too many plans after working a day. Just cuddle up with your little one and nurse the evening away 🙂

  8. Drink plenty of water!

  9. sherry blamer says

    I tried to express milk with a hand expressed one before. if your going to use a hand pump make sure its a really good one thats easy to use.

  10. I really love my Medula Pump In Style breast pump. Its perfect for working or stay at home moms. My favorite part is I can use batteries with it and where the pump itself as a purse so I can do chores around the house while pumping (vacuuming, laundry and even cooking).

  11. I have never pumped before and my #1 biggest concern about pumping is mostly finding the time to do it. I am a registered nurse and I know there will be times after I return to work where I might not get the time to pump like I need to.

  12. I had to play around with my pumping schedule a lot to find out what worked best for me…so many sources say that you NEED to pump every two hours, but I found that I got a lot more milk when I stretched it out to 4 hours between sessions (twice a day at the beginning, once a day as my kids got older). That way I also was able to spend 30 relaxed minutes pumping, rather than trying to rush to squeeze in 3 or 4 rushed 15 minute sessions.

  13. Timely post. I just returned to work this week and so far pumping is going well. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, it continues!

  14. Number 1 pumping tip: Don’t stress about it. You will pump less if you’re worried about how much you’re getting!

  15. RELAX! Stress was the biggest factor in my supply fluctuating, so pumping was almost a time for me to try to relax, smile at adorable videos of my baby girl, and just have some breathing time.

  16. Take your time. It’ts not all going to come out at once.

  17. I’m 6 months pregnant and I’d love to have anything that will make pumping and returning to work easier!

  18. Alex Cassiano says

    My number 1 tip for breast pumping is to always keep a car adaptor (for everywhere you go) and!!! If you can’t pump anywhere else but your car. (store Of My life)
    Second And MOST IMPORTANTLY, always keep extra accessories of your pumps, like extra flanges, bottles, ice pack. You get my point. I go to school and I always like to have those things with me. It’s very crucial because I have to pump 2-3 times while in at school. And it really sucks not to have a car adaptor either because then I wouldn’t have no place to pump at school. They even offered me to go to the bathroom!!!! Which I said NO!! I’m totally not going there. So my car is my best friend when I pump. I hope other moms don’t go through these things! Good luck to all the breastfeeding and pumping mommas!


  19. Heather Smith says

    My insurance company only covered cheap version Ameda double electric or single manual that they sent. It was horrible to use. I’ve actually found a good manual pump works quite a lot better than their electric until I can invest in a better one. Hopefully I win the giveaway!

  20. I recommend setting an alarm to remind you when to pump and to hand express after pumping!

  21. Try to pump at the same time every day. My output will vary a ton if I am off an hour or more either way.

  22. My main concern with breathing pumping is finding a regular slate of times during the work day to sit down and pump. How many times should I pump? How will I manage to keep up. How do I transition from breastfeeding to pumping/breastfeeding?

  23. I kept my parts in the fridge in a ziploc bag for 2 days in a row and then would bring them home to wash. I had 2 sets of everything so it meant a lot less washing!

  24. Jelissa Niezgocki says

    My number one breast pumping tip is to pump when/where ever you can. Pumping in the car during commutes is something I’ve started to do with my second child.

  25. Joey Wright says

    Patience is a virtue!

  26. I have not used a breast pump before. I do plan to use one once my baby is here, and my concern is the noise, how difficult it may be to put together/clean, and if it will work properly. Thanks!

  27. At the end of a pumping session I would always tey to hand express to get more milk. Sometimes that would result in a few extra ounces!

  28. Heather Rodriguez says

    I have only used a manual pump before so the only tip I have is to relax as much as you can when you pump so that your milk flows easier.

  29. My pumping tip: Hands free pumping bras are a must. Also.. per a LC’s recommendation I started with pumping following a nursing session and that seemed to make an easier transition to nursing and pumping once I went back to work.

  30. Being induce Monday for my first baby! Excited about breastfeeding, my biggest worry is going back to work (I’m a paramedic, and work 80 hr weeks) and not being able to keep producing enough

  31. My #1 pumping tip is to make pumping a priority! It’s so easy at work to get caught up and go to long without.

  32. Samantha dewees says

    Thanks! Very cool

  33. My tip is to massage your breasts when pumping to make sure they are empty.

  34. I’m at attempt #4 but having such a hard time with supply, yet again. I don’t have any pumping tips because I’m always struggling to get anything over 2 oz… I’m sure breast surgery ten years ago hasn’t helped, but goats rue isn’t doing much, either. :/

  35. Relax while pumping and have water near by. It’s a great idea to look at a picture of your little one if they aren’t near you

  36. Hillary Canaday Brewer says

    My tip is just to pump as much as you can. As a working mom I know how much of a pain it is. I have a love hate relationship with my pump. I hate doing it but it allows me to continue to breastfeed my son even though I work.

  37. It never works well if I’m in a hurry! Got to relax and be calm to let down.

  38. Leaning forward gets more out faster 🙂

  39. Pumping can be hard but in my case it helps to pump while the baby sleeps at night, or early in the morning. Massaging the breasts also helps very much.

  40. Start pumping a few weeks before returning to work, so you can build up a stash, and so you can get used to how the pump works. Also, but a hands free bra to free up your hands while pumping. So much easier!!

  41. Amanda Brooking says

    My top tips are to make sure you are as relaxed as possible to encourage let down, and to make sure to have extra supplies on hand (in case you’re out longer than originally thought, something isn’t working properly, etc).

  42. Tip for pumping: pump first thing in the morning after you nurse, it’s when you are most full.

  43. Nice contest, hope I win!

  44. Angela McCormick says

    Massage breasts before and during pump session to get maximum milk out

  45. Looks amazing! I need a new pump when baby comes. Mine broke last baby! This one looks even better than the last. Perfect!

  46. Tiffany Greenwood says

    When you have a dip in your supply lactation cookies And more milk plus pills really helped bring my supply back up!

  47. Great incentive to continue breast feeding :). Wonderful products!

  48. I struggle to pump both breasts at the same time because I have to massage my left heavily to get it to pump out at all. This often causes me to knock the right flange off. I just look like an inefficient wreck when I try to do both at the same time!

  49. nichole chamberlain says

    Don’t worry too much! It’s so easy to get caught up in worrying about how much youre pumping…

  50. Tashina Kirk says

    Try for two letdowns was the best tip I got. When I think I can’t get anymore from massage, I try for a second letdown and usually can pump an additional ounce from it.

  51. Angelica Medina says

    My #1 pumping tip is to pump while baby is latched on the other side in order to build supply. I do this every morning to get the boobies prepped for the day 🙂 has been SO helpful for me!

  52. It would be so great to win this for my sister who is expecting her first in June!

  53. I know it sounds stupid but I worry that it will hurt…

    • Rosie Bean says

      That’s no stupid at all! I was scared at first too and I thought it was going to be so painful but it’s not. Pumps usually have a setting on them that controls how hard it pulls (suction) so you can set it to what you think you can handle and then you can increase from there if you feel like you can. Don’t set it too high and don’t be nervous. I usually set mine to the pace if what my baby eats at so I’m use to that amount of suction. 🙂 don’t be nervous mama. Life is nothing but an adventure from here on out!

  54. Dana Clemmons says

    Either the bras or tanks would be really helpful when i go back to work. I want the cookies as a happy, of course!

  55. Anna Groeger says

    I’m a SAHM, but I pump once a day for my husband and parents to use when they watch our son. I definitely found that having spare parts is important! Too many nights falling asleep exhausted once my son was in bed, only to get to the next morning and see my pump parts still sitting in the, now cold, soapy water from the day before.

  56. My pumping tips are: 1) keep to a schedule as much as possible & 2) most milk bags are annoying to use, but Lansinoh’s freeze the flattest.

  57. I used a pump a lot with my first, because I went back to school. I seem to do a much more efficient job if I massage the breast while pumping.

  58. My biggest tip is to relax while pumping. The more I watch and stress the less I pump in that session.

  59. My best pumping advice I can give is to make sure you’re pump has all the parts it needs before you leave the house! I’ve left behind the bottles to pump into and the shawl I use to cover up (I pump in my car while waiting to pick up my oldest from school) Nothing is more frustrating than getting all ready to pump to find out you can’t pump.

  60. My pumping tip is to get into the habit of pumping first thing in the morning! My daughter eats less at night, so the milk is most plentiful when we first wake up. I nurse her on one side and pump on the other. Thanks!

  61. Great tips! I actually have done most of these tips in my pumping journey. Even though I don’t make enough milk and have to supplement it is so worth it to pump what I can for my LO.

  62. if you get super engorged after your milk comes in, thats an awesome time to pump like crazy to donate! thats what i like to do, instead of encouraging the supply to drop

  63. My best tip: Your pumping output is not an indication of your total output! Relax 🙂

  64. Meagan Raymer says

    I exclusively pumped when my 26 weeker was in the NICU. Pumping every 2 hours around the clock, was tough! I’m not one of those people who responds well to pumping, so my supply was lacking. I found that watching a video of my tiny baby while I pumped always helped me to produce more. It was the most helpful tip I received!

  65. Wow, what a great giveaway! Thank you so much for what you do, and all the leakies, too. You’ve gotten me through 17 months and counting of breastfeeding my little boy. This would help a lot as we plan baby #2!

  66. Oh man – the cookies and nursing tank would be awesome!

  67. I’ve found that nursing the baby on one side and pumping on the other works great! Just need a better pump now!!

  68. What an awesome giveaway!!

  69. denise teague says

    I would love a new bra

  70. Amanda Caiazzo says

    Thanks for the great tips! This is a fantastic giveaway! It would be such a blessing to win this. I am an exclusive pumper, unfortunately my son had tongue tie at birth and was unable to get the breast nipple latch down. He is 6 months now and I have been lucky enough to provide him with 100% breastmilk.

  71. Nicole Deardorf says

    My number 1 tip is patience. I have trouble with that myself. Also, wrap a warm wet washcloth around your breast for a few minutes before you start and it will help a lot. (At least it did for me).

  72. My #1tip is to do whatever you can to keep your mind off the pump. For me, that meant taking my laptop and working while I pumped! 🙂

  73. Make sure you don’t rush to finish a pumping session, not emptying the whole breast would always give me clogged ducts!

  74. Allyson Fore says

    that all in one nursing bra is pretty incredible’!!! The naked nursing tank is also definitely something I would love to have! It’s all great, thanks for doing such an awesome giveaway

  75. Courtney Wilson says

    My best pumping tip is to relax. Good music, comfy chair, picture of your baby, etc. If you’re tense or stressed you won’t be able to pump as much.

  76. Stephanie Guenther says

    Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t producing the same amount each time. Don’t forget to keep the calorie count up!

  77. Great tips and tricks! I wish i thought of starting mid/end of the week when I came back from maternity leave!

  78. Taylor Fleming says

    I don’t know if this is where your supposed to leave your tip about breast pumping but I am an eper and I found if you wait while you pump most of the time you will get another let down and can better empty your breasts.

  79. Would love to win this for a cousin that’s pregnant. Would like to start her off with some of the best stuff. I’ve loved all my medelas. The piece of advice I have is, if you have questions find someone you’re comfy with and ask away or look online from reputable sources.

  80. Lilia Kharabora says

    I am due in Jan and plan on breast feeding and am sooo excited! Been looking at pumps and accessories. So many choices and it can be confusing. I like this new Milkies milk catcher thing. Not sure how much of a milk supply I will have so save every drop! 🙂

  81. I pump as much as I can whenever I can to produce more milk. I also tried to jump start things by pumping every 20 minutes for a couple hours one day, and I seemed to produce more.

  82. Katie Gilmore says

    My tip is invest in a hands free pumping bra. (or even make one yourself! ) Going hands free really does make pumping a lot less lame, that way you can read a book instead of just staring at the drips.

  83. Kat Kerley says

    Just added several of these to my registry!

  84. I’m an awful pumper, but I would say the best thing is to relax! Do what you normally do when breastfeeding- gaze adoringly at pictures or check facebook or whatever. Resist the urge to constantly check your output.

  85. I’d definitely say my number 1 tip is to just be as comfortable as you can. I find it nearly impossible to pump if I cant let down, and I can’t let down if I’m not comfortable.

  86. You’ve got to make sure to drink lots of water and eat enough even when you’re busy at work!

  87. These are great tips! My tip is to find the right size flange for your nipples. The ones that come with the pump are often pretty small. They come in a variety of sizes based on the size of your nipple (not your breast).

  88. Amy Kat Cooper says

    My #1 pumping tip is to bring something (anything) to focus on other than the sound of the pump. I have started watching Netflix on my phone during pump breaks, because I’d go crazy otherwise!

  89. My tip is to stay calm and don’t freak out if you have a down day.

  90. Natali Vargas says

    My pimping tip is the same as my BF tip – don’t give up on your hardest day! Output will always fluctuate, don’t get discouraged. Keep super hydrated, keep your calories up, and have the patience to trouble shoot with your body if you think there’s really a problem. Pump on, mamas!

  91. Best pumping tip I have is to use the letdown function on your pump, pump for however long you normally do, and use the letdown function again while doing massage or compressions. It helps release even more milk!

  92. Sarah Holy says

    Currently pregnant with baby #1. Knowing I only get 6 weeks maternity leave my number 1 concern is not being able to pump enough milk to last while I’m away at work :/.

  93. Apply heat to your breast right before pumping to aid with letdown.

  94. At a minimum keep spare parts at work, but if you can manage it, keep a whole second pump at work. I kept my workhorse pump (Madela Symphony) at work, but had a PISA at home and for traveling. It was nice not to have to haul anything but the milk and bottles back and forth from work.

  95. Tip: You CAN rent hospital grade pumps. These are great, especially when you have supply issues! Check with your insurance provider to learn about their coverage. (I needed a prescription from my Dr. and paid a monthly rental fee.)

  96. Max tardiff says

    mt biggest concern is getting over the awkwardness of pumping!

  97. Rachel Ross says

    My tip: make sure you are using the right size flange!

  98. A hands-free nursing bra is a must. Much more convenient to have your hands free!

  99. wonderful prizes …

  100. Rochelle Luaders says

    Well I only pumped once a day when my first two were young, so my tip would have been try to find a quiet spot to pump about the time when you would feed them normally. My hubs gave them the bottle of milk during that time.

  101. Katie Porter says

    Don’t give up! It sucks doing it day in and day out but it’s worth every minute!

  102. Christine F says

    Thank you… I learn something new to help me every day

  103. Katie Nasca says

    Make pumping time a time to relax. I read on my kindle and it really helps. I loved my freestyle pump because it was cordless so it was one less thing to worry about! I’m hoping it holds up as I’m back to work after baby #2 next week and my insurance won’t cover a pump. (Grandfathered in) Any tips on trying to get one covered? I’ve been working on it, but haven’t met with any success. My Medela will have gone far beyond its life expectancy if it makes it through round 2 of pumping while working full time!

  104. Drink water and eat peanut butter. Both helped my supply

  105. Talk to a lactation consultant!!!! I had to pump for my 3rd baby while she was in the NICU. The LC made my experience so much smoother. And baby re-latched after her surgery and has been EB sincE!

  106. Julia Miller says

    This is probably a silly sounding tip, but seriously, make sure you’ve got the room to put your bottle down when you’re done. I once dumped 8 oz of pumped milk all over myself because I hadn’t given myself enough space! You can imagine the spilt milk tears that resulted.

  107. Sarah Akers says

    I would love to have all the things! The Medela pump has been in my wish list forever(okay, about 8 months, lol) but we just haven’t had the funds to purchase it. This would be a dream bundle to win! Thanks for all the tips too, I have used the ‘look at a picture of baby’ trick before when I have trouble letting down.

  108. I am having my first child at the end of December and was wondering if a single or double pump is better? I will be returning to work after 12 weeks and want the quickest way to pump while at the office.

  109. Erin Schledewitz says

    Make sure that you have properly fitted flanges! (The standard-sized ones that come with the pump may be too small, too big, or just right…but proper fit is essential).

  110. My biggest concern is not being to pump much milk. I tried with my first with a pump borrowed from a friend and never got much milk that way. It was very dissappointed and I ended up giving up and going to formula. Really hoping to have better luck this time!

  111. I don’t pump regularly so I don’t really have many tips. I’ve been told to pump first thing in the morning as this is when you have the most milk.

  112. Always keep a few spare pump parts at home. (A couple valves and membranes for medela saved me!) They wear out from normal use but never when the stores that carry the parts are open and you need to pump or wake that beautiful sleeping baby!

  113. Kristin Spickerman says

    Pumping tip: when I first started pumping, I brought the breast pump to a lactation specialist to go over the rights and wrongs. She was a huge help and gave me better confidence about it!

  114. That freestyle pump would be great! My pump in style has gone through almost 30 months of pumping and don’t know if it will make it through baby #3 on it’s way.

  115. Nicole Alvestad says

    Look at pictures of your baby while pumping!

  116. My tips are to massage while pumping and to have extra accessory sets so you don’t have to wash them for the next shift.

  117. Sami Rotert says

    Make sure and relax while pumping. If I get too stressed out about my output it makes it even worse.

  118. Emily Thole Stark says

    My tip is to relax. And remember- the amount that you can pump is not equal to the amount you produce for your baby during nursing sessions- in most cases!

  119. My #1 tip would be to buy extra pump parts so you’re not washing after every pump session and can wash after every other!!

  120. My tip would be to take the pump to the hospital so you can pump if the baby has trouble latching like mine did. Once someone finally brought me a hand pump getting her fed was much easier than hand expressing.

  121. Jennifer Arcilla says

    Such a big fan 😉

  122. Heather King says

    Get a hands free pumping bra, has been a life saver.

  123. Rachel Thompson says

    My tip would be to look at baby or a picture of baby while pumping. A video can help too! I let down quicker doing that over just pumping.

  124. I would love to win!

  125. KatieandAaron Petty says

    I need all of these for our baby on the way

  126. Stephanie Stanley says

    Don’t get stressed out. It’s not easy at first just keep at it.

  127. I have one one of the bras in gray and love it. And I would looooove some cookies!

  128. Kris Luikart says

    Try to relax and make sure your drinking enough water.

  129. Tara Phears says

    My favorite tip is to never judge your supply based on how much you pump!

  130. April Philbrick says

    When I pump I keep pictures of my son latched onto my breast to help me pump more.

  131. Jenn Short says

    I would say prepare as much as you can the night before. I pump at work and breastfeed at home. I make sure I have my bag ready with bottles, my pump, charger, milk storage bags and my ice pack for the hour drive home every night.

  132. My #1 tip is to invest in a good pumping bra. Even if you don’t pump that often, it’s nice to be able to do it hands-free!

  133. Melissa Weigand says

    What a fantastic bundle! Hands free bras and a good pump are a must!

  134. #1 concern is finding the right kind of pump, so many opinions from so many other military moms but none from my own friends since none of them have breast fed! This is an awesome giveaway and I would be so blessed to win!

  135. I pumped A LOT with my son. Not so much for milk but to try and up my supply. I kept the bottle and pump parts in the fridge between pumping a so I wasn’t living to wash pump parts.

  136. my #1 tip is to do something for yourself during your pump time (if at all possible!) – read a book, check facebook, enjoy a cup of coffee. Treating it as “me time” makes me less stressed and less resentful of the amount of time it sometimes takes. When I’m away from my desk at work I sometimes worry I’m missing important emails, etc and that stress causes less milk! So I just enjoy my “break” and know the email will be there when I’m back in 15minutes.

  137. Pumping tip is relax and look at pics of your baby or just think of him or her to help the milk come down. Especially in a work environment it’s easy to get stressed and that affects the milk.

  138. Lyle Leake says

    Focus on something else while pumping! Watching those little drops add up will drive you nuts!

  139. My #1 tip is to make sure your flanges fit-very few women are the ‘standard’ size!

  140. Jacqueline Peterson says

    Number one tip. Drink lots of water and then drink some more water 🙂

  141. Melissa Gilbertsen says

    Make sure your flange is the right size!

  142. Anne Fraher says

    Best pumping tip: massage your breast as your are pumping especially if it’s the breast is extremely full. It helps express the milk and eliminates any clogged milk ducts. 🙂

  143. Holly Sauter says

    My biggest concern is how often to pump without over pumping so that your baby is still getting enough when you breast feed.

  144. I pump at our 3 am feeding. I seem to have the most milk at that time.

  145. #1 pumping tip: Relax and try not to think about pumping!

  146. Adding in an extra pumping session during work has helped tremendously! Even if I just get an extra 2 ounces during that session, it seems to increase my overall output by 3-4 ounces during the day. Oh and staying hydrated is key!!

  147. The storing the parts in the fridge is a HUGE time saver. That’s probably my favorite pumping tip. 🙂

  148. i like pumping since i can prevent both leaking. I dont pump very often but my tip would be to get a hands free bra so u dont awkwardly hold the two pieces.

  149. I’m so hopeful that with baby #2 due this March my breast feeding relationship is better and I am able to longer. Hopefully with the right tools I will be successful!

  150. I loved the microwave sterilizer bags for pump parts.

  151. My tip is to pump at night! It sucks but it makes all the difference in your supply. Once baby starts sleeping longer keep at it, as painful as it seems to get up and do it, your supply and stash will benefit greatly!

  152. Amber Haggard says

    My biggest tip is to relax… I’m a numbers girl and I always stress when I get less than I expected. It always makes it worse. I just have to learn to (like a famous song I hear 1,000,000 times a day) LET IT GO!

  153. My #1 worry would be my supply diminishing

  154. Don’t set the pump to the highest suction, you pump the most when it mimics how your child sucks.

  155. Get a great pumping bra! I loved my Arden bra from the dairy fairy!!!! I accidentally ordered the wrong size and when I contacted emailed letting her know I was going back toneore in two weeks she sent me the right size before receiving my return. Talk about a mother to mother services model!!!

  156. Jessica Forrest says

    #1 for me was set an alarm and pump at the same time every day!

  157. I honestly have no idea what my best pumping tip is! I did very little of it with my second daughter as I was staying at home, and my output stunk. I guess “look at a picture of the baby” is my favorite tip. I used a slideshow set to music and after a while the music even helped my let down! Also, the nurse in the hospital with my first told me I could rinse the parts in hot water after every use rather than completely washing them. I only use soap every few uses.

  158. jamie jenner says

    Relax!!! Also try nursing on one side while you pump the other.

  159. My biggest concern with pumping is how to get started building a freezer stash. I don’t want to pump when my LO may want to nurse. How much milk do I aim to pump every day when I’m also nursing all day? How much should I be storing per bag?

  160. Anna-Maria D'Cruz says

    Wish I had been able to pump. I was, until the very day I went back to work (only had to go back for a few weeks though). So unbelievably thankful to have my mum with me from the UK, as she took my son everyday for 3 weeks walking laps around the hospital, and I nursed him in between patients. And he nursed all through my staff meetings, and slept in the Moby! She couldn’t breastfed me, but she gave me the gift of being able to continue to nurse my then 10 week old son. 19mos, and still going strong!

  161. Sarah Irby says

    Get a car charger to multi-task on your commute to work! 🙂

  162. Jessica Williams says

    Drink plenty of water is # 1 for me! I get dehydrated so easy and it definitely effects my supply.

  163. Always stay hydrated and if you find you are having a hard time remember to breathe and not get stressed because that will make it harder!

  164. Amber Evans says

    awesome. Looks like fun 😉

  165. Its so hard getting into a pumping routine when I’m the only one doing the housework and caring/feeding the baby

  166. Buy extra parts! This was so huge for me while pumping three times at work. I just put the used parts in a Ziploc during the day and put everything in the dishwasher at night.

  167. Teresa Evans says

    I’m just concerned about the fit. Never used before.

  168. Relax! Get everything organized and setup ahead (pump parts, water, book or iPad, etc.)

  169. Adrianna Simms says

    I distract myself by either looking at pictures of my son or catching up on some tv shows on my Dish app.

  170. Pumped for almost a year with my first little one, a good pump is definitely a must, loved my Medela. Sure wish I would have a a dairy dIry bra though, it’s a must for my next one!

  171. Alex Fisher says

    Relax. Hold your baby or look at a picture of him or her. Your body will release the hormones more easily that allows the flow of milk when you’re relaxed 🙂

  172. My tip is to use the letdown button definitely massage your milk ducts while pumping.

  173. Keep trying! There will be a few days weeks where you want to give up and it may hurt. Hang in there and keep pumping to build up a good supply. Buy multiple sets of pump parts to avoid having to wash them so often and don’t be afraid to mix pump accessory brands. Most pump parts are either standard bottle or wide bottle neck size and adaptors are sold! Good luck!

  174. Heidi McDonough says

    Get a hands-free pumping bra so you can eat lunch or have snacks while you pump on your breaks! I also have the car adaptor for my pump and it’s been really useful while on the go!!

  175. My number 1 pumping tip is to always have spare parts on hand, you never know when you might lose or forget a piece! Also, be sure to keep lots of snacks and drinks around for those pumping sessions, it’s so important to stay hydrated and full!

  176. RELAX while pumping!

  177. No tips, since I’ll be a newbie. I’m most concerned about finding the time to pump when I return to work.

  178. As someone who pumps and supplements I do everything I can to boost production. I also dO a lot of skin to skin and even though she won’t latch I let her play with my boobs

  179. this is amazing!!!

  180. Pumping tip: Relax. Although it can be difficult to do so while you’re at work thinking about the hundreds of things you need to get done, scroll through some pictures of your baby, read a book, or do whatever you can to calm down and relax.

  181. have snacks and water close at hand!

  182. I read somewhere not to concentrate on the amount of milk while you’re pumping and I’ve been doing that lately. With only two pump breaks at work, I bring home almost eight ounces a day…not too bad! You should definitely take the same advice.

  183. I would say don’t get discouraged if your babies are having a hard time feeding with the breast, it will get better! Relax and sty calm and patient, the little ones can feel your anxiety 🙂

  184. Drink lots of water, every pumping and don’t stress about amounts– if your baby is full, it’s enough.

  185. Nikki Cook says

    My tip is to have spare parts! You never know when you’ll forgot something and be stuck with a pump that you can’t use.

  186. Shona Basu Martens says

    My #1 breast pumping tip is to massage and compress your breasts while pumping! Using a hands free pumping bra makes this much easier, of course. I was amazed how much more milk i expressed when I did this and how much “less full” my breasts felt afterwards!

  187. My #1 is to remember that not everyone can look at pics of their baby while they pump. My first was in the NICU 5 mo and thinking about all that actually slowed me down. Instead I set an alarm for every 3 hrs (can’t pump on demand 😛 ) and used a distinctive sound (I used the duck) which soon gave me a letdown when it went off (still does 4 years later!). While pumping I wouldn’t even look at the pump until my 30min was up or milk was coming out of the top.. Whichever came first. I would watch TV, or Facebook (mostly TLB) so I wasn’t even thinking about it.

  188. Lubricate the breast shields with some coconut oil! I usually get more milk when I do this! I keep a bottle in my pump bag at work!

  189. if you plan on going to work or pumpkins exclusively, get an awesome pump. I was given a free medala manual pump when I had my first daughter and it just wasn’t enough when I started back to work.

  190. Get the car adapter and pump while driving. Cut holes in an old sports bra to use for hands free pumping.

  191. When pumping gets exhausting (I pump exclusively) just remember how good it is for your little one, that is the main thing that keeps mr going!

  192. Remember that by pumping an removing milk your body Will make more milk so the more often you pump the more milk your body will make, also remember pumping can cause sore nipples just like nursing so apple coconut oil afterwards, it has natural antibacterial properties!

  193. I relied so much on the breast pump with my first, and I don’t think it was great quality because my milk only lasted about 3 months, so we switched to donor milk. I am anxious to find a happy medium this go around!

  194. Holly Weckwerth says

    As an exclusive pumper my best advice would to be don’t pump angry! You’ll have a harder time with let down and it will just make you more angry.

  195. When pumping i found that coconut oil worked so much better than lanolin and soothed a lot better and helped slid eaiser!

  196. Anne Cannady says

    My advice is to use a hands free pumping bra. Even if you’re planning to just sit there, it’s so nice to not have to hold them perfectly. Plus, you can eat and drink while you pump. 🙂

  197. My tip, is always pump to empty after you nurse your baby in the morning.. (Mostly for working moms or moms looking to build a stash) . If you work, pump on the same schedule every day :). No need for an expensive hands free bra, make one yourself out of hair bands/rubber bands..

  198. Use heat packs to stimulate let down!

  199. Amanda Sheffey says

    #1 breast pumping tip: stand your ground and ensure that your employer knows your breastfeeding goals. You should never feel pressured to quit pumping or nurturing your child the way you choose to!

  200. Pump often. I made a point of pumping 3 times a day while working my 10 hours shifts when I went back to work. Make it the MOST important thing you have to do that day, otherwise if you slack off and miss a pump here, another here, two here, it builds up and your milk can decrease. I refused to let that happen or let anyone’s hard feelings get in the way, because my child was more important.

  201. My #1 tip for pumping that worked for me was to relax and not look at how much I was pumping. Everytime I did I never pumped enough.

  202. Rebecca O'Bryan Cavanagh says

    My most important tip after all these years pumping is that it’s all about time. Always pump at least 15 minutes and never wait longer than 4 hours. I learned the hard way – tried pushing to 5 hours and ended up with a nasty case of mastitis.

  203. I’m honestly not worried about it. I have a great support network 😉

  204. WIth my first kiddo I took one of her smaller baby blankies with me to work in my pump bag. The smell and feel of it reminded me of her and helped so much! It also made a comfy pillow in my little nursing cubicle for a 10 min power nap while pumping 🙂

  205. Heather Burgbacher says

    My #1 tip: Pump and nurse first thing in the morning. I am able to feed baby and pump the other breast at the same time – guaranteed to fill up like no other time!

  206. Jessica Dick says

    I am a military wife and I am very disappointed to learn that Tricare insurance will not provide breast pumps to everyone. You only qualify for one if your baby is in the intensive unit and you are discharged before the baby.

  207. Sara Loarca says

    Pumping one hr after baby went to bed would add a few extra ounces to my supply weekly.

  208. Jessica Gill says

    My #1 tip is to make sure you look at lots of pictures of your little one as you pump, and try not todo us on how much you’re getting!

  209. what an awesome prize to win! I will be headed back to work and pumping in just a few weeks.

  210. Good article. I found with my second baby I started pumping a month before I returned. I think it has helped us both prepare for the dreaded return to work.

  211. Communicate with your employer prior to returning to work. This way, you both have expectations for pumping location, times , and storage.

  212. Such a great guide! Short but thorough!

    I have found not focusing on what I am pumping out helps me relax and let down!

  213. Would love to try out lactation cookies. I’ve been fortunate not to have supply issues, but the idea of yummy cookies that help with milk production sounds marvelous!

  214. Jamie Caudle says

    Such an amazing giveaway!!

  215. Melissa C. says

    Get a simple wishes! While pumping, alternate between normal activities like working or eating and massaging/compressing.

  216. jennifer Carter says

    How do other Mama’s clean their pumps when not near a sink?

  217. Erin Hartnety says

    stay hydrated and buy a car adaptor.

  218. with my first child I was working full time and was not an efficient pumper. With baby 2 I was able to stay home. Now with three I will be going to school full time and I’m terrified I won’t be able to pump again.

  219. My best tip is to make pumping a priority. It’s so easy to come home after a long day at work and think you’re too tired to pump, but if you do that consistently, your supply will drop. Also, I’ve noticed that I am able to pump the most milk in the middle of the night, but it’s difficult to convince myself to get up then!

  220. kathryn mcdonald says

    Tip- Dont think the amount you pump is how much baby is getting and feel discouraged when you dont pump a lot. The baby is better at expressing milk than the pump.

  221. cindhel barrois says

    I have ebf for 9mnths and my have to quit 🙁 my husband went into the hospital with failing kidneys and I have been staying up there with him. Being away from my baby and not being able to pump I have lost almost all of my milk supply. Luckily he still latches on and there is gope to get it back! If I won this giveaway that I would used the pump while I was away visiting my hunnie and in between feedings to increase my supply. Since I would be pumping and still nursing the Arden bra would be perfect. Im sure the milkin cookies would deff help increase my supply. The milk it kit would be very useful in labeling milk for my mother in law. And the bag will be very helpful toteing the pump back and forth to the hospital. Winning this giveaway would be a godsend! Please pick me I dont want to quit breastfeeding 🙁

  222. Kristy Day says

    Stay on schedule!

  223. Chelsea Arredondo says

    i didn’t realize how many different options there are.

  224. I’d love to win a pump. Due in January, will return to work 12 weeks later. Have read all of the tips for pumping!

  225. My #1 tip is to invest in a good pump, while it can be costly, it is so worth it to not have to worry about your pump!

  226. Don’t bottle watch, stressing over how much you have pumped may reduce the amount you are able to pump.

  227. Jessica Burnham says

    Relax! Make sure you set up ahead of time in a comfortable area with food and drink ready to go!

  228. Always grab your phone and water!

  229. My best pumping tip is 1. Take a shawl or fleece blankie to wear over out shoulders as you pump it can get chilly. If you can depending on your work schedule pump every 4 hours for at least 10-15 minutes a. My schedule is I pump before I leave for work and then I can a morning 15 break so I pump for 10 minutes and then I pump for 40 minutes at lunch and then again on my next 15 break I pump 10 minutes and then when I get home from work.

    I have thyroid issues that contribute to supply issues everytime I need to change my meds so this schedule while tiresome is the best to get enough milk for the day.

  230. Tiffany Edwards says

    When my supply is lower than normal I power pump and will drink lactation tea about an hour before pumping

  231. Try not to watch how much milk you are producing. It is like stage fright and hinders your production. I cover the bottles with a blanket and check after ten minutes to see if I need to trigger another let down with my pump.

  232. A handsfree bra is a must! It can be really difficult to keep the flanges in place and adjust the setting on the pump. Using a handsfree bra allows me to also do other things like entertaining or bottle feeding my daughter (I exclusively pump) or distract myself with a book or my phone.

  233. Christine Nogal says

    The better you empty the more milk you’ll make and the best way to empty is by doing compression massage while you pump!!

  234. Jessica Murphy says

    Hand expression combined with pumping. Lifesaver.

  235. cyndi pierce says

    Netflix is your friend while pumping. Keeps your mind off of out put.

  236. Amber crago says

    Try not to stress!!

  237. Kelly Ross says

    I am a first time mom expecting a beautiful boy and I hope breastfeeding works for us if he won’t take it from me I plan to pump and store his meals. If he will I still plan to pump to make it possible for his dad and step sister to feex him every now and then.

  238. I would love to win this awesome giveaway!

  239. i have three kids four and under and have yet to enjoy pumping but this prize pack looks like just the thing to get me motivated to try it again with my 6 month old

  240. Amanda Miller says

    Biggest tip? RELAX! This was so hard for me as I am a teacher, so someone has to cover my classroom, and I felt like I was inconveniencing someone else. Once I relaxed I wound up with increased production.

  241. Hayley Elliott says

    Tips: Know how your pump works. Figure everything out before using it for the first time. Try to relax. Everything will “come out” better if you are not tensed up.

  242. My number one tip: pump at the same time everyday! If you leave the pump on for a few minutes after the floor has showed down, you may be able to up the supply as well!

  243. Such helpful tips! Thank you!

  244. One concern: Is it easy to clean. Thanks for the chance to win!

  245. Caroline Anderson says

    Pump after every feeding and massage during to ensure breasts are emptying completely.

  246. Legislation also now has insurance cover a lactation consultation post-partum!

    First time mama in the third tri, crossing my fingers for a win 🙂

  247. Kristi Morton says

    This is an awesome giveaway. My sister in law and I are both pregnant and this would be awesome for both of us.

  248. Shayna Stevens says

    My #1 pumping advice is do not get pulled over while pumping in the car! It can be quite embarrassing!!

  249. My pumping tip is to lubricates your areolas with an oil based nipple cream or extra virgin olive oil. A little goes a long way. It helps pumping be more comfortable for me.

  250. Natalie S. says

    My best advice is to start pumping right away–take advantage of the overabundance that comes at the very beginning. Freeze it to save for later!

  251. as an ep’er this sounds like the giveaway of a life time

  252. The car adapter and storing parts in the refrigerator have been a great time saver for me!

  253. #1 tip: start pumping as soon as your milk comes in to establish a good supply and a great freezer stash!

  254. My number one tip is to get a hands free pumping bra. It makes it so much more tolerable when you can do stuff, instead of just watching the milk flow.

  255. I think it stinks that some health care plans can be allowed to not provide a breast pump for moms. I was in that situation and it was difficult knowing that people who had no intention to nurse got a pump through their insurance for free only because they could and they planned to sell it.

  256. My tip would be to get the correct size flange for the pump!! Unless I get the right size, I can’t get a drop of milk!!!

  257. Drink lots of water and pump while you drive!!

  258. Christine M says

    Ahm, all the parts. All the parts scare me. My manual pump only has about 4 parts.

  259. I don’t really have any tips since I just started this BF adventure but I hope I can keep up with the pumping when I go back to work. My biggest fear is losing my supply.

  260. relax and drink lots of water!

  261. Best pumping tip- relax and think of baby!

  262. Have a few sets of breastfeeding flanges and pieces with you so you dont have to constantly wash them throughout the day. Then just wash at night.

  263. Kristin Sailors says

    My tips: Relax! Pump at least every 3 hours for at least 15 minutes while away from baby…every 2 hours if you’re able. Drink tons of water! Pump at least once in the middle of the night, if you aren’t nursing at night.
    I have nursed and pumped for 4 kiddos, and currently exclusively pumping for my 6 month old. I’d really love to win this giveaway!!

  264. My #1 tip: make sure you are using the right size of flanges! I started pumping using the flanges that come with the Medela Pump in Style and was barely getting anything. Going down one size made a HUGE difference, and I found out that the XS ones (19 mm) are just right for me. Go by how your nipple fits in the flanges (the size of your breast has nothing to do with it!)

    And relax 🙂

  265. I haven’t breastfed or pumped yet. I am a little nervous if I will be able to make enough milk for baby when I am at work.

  266. Chelsea Bagley says

    My #1 tip is to be patient. Pumping can take a good bit of time. Don’t give up!!

  267. My #1 tip is to have spare parts at work!!! Also a good idea to have an extra shirt just in case of a leaky boob disaster 😉

  268. As an exclusive pumper, this would be amazing!

  269. Pump while driving saves so much time! Also I think being able to pump and nurse at the same time would be super helpful sometimes, especially starting out. I have also thought it would be nice to have a single electric pump that is small and compact available. I have a Hygeia Q which I love as a double pump (and got just as much as when I was using a rented Harmony), but it is hard to get to easily work well as a single pump, and it is a little big for a quick in the early AM thing. I usually use my manual pump during those times, but sometimes it would be more convenient/easier to use a single electric pump.

  270. That makes me sad that TRICARE is exempt! Hopefully military moms can get a pump free from insurance very soon, WIC can sometimes help you get one too if you get WIC!

  271. This would be amazing!!!! I have fallen in love with the Sarah Wells bags!!!!

  272. I breastfed my first for nine months. I had wanted to fb longer but i didn’t make pumping a priority while at work, and I dried up. My tip: be committed to pumping! Do whatever it takes to keep it a priority.

  273. My #1 pumping tip is get a hands free pumping bra so you can get your mind off pumping and do something fun, like play on the computer entering contests 🙂 LOL! (BTW, I’m pumping now :))

  274. Lottie Hanson says

    I haven’t pumped before but would like to so that I could be away from baby and known she has my milk. I guess my biggest concern would be that she wouldn’t take a bottle.

  275. My best tip is to make sure the flanges fit your boobs properly! I didn’t even know you could get different sizes of flanges, and spent the first part of my pumping career in pain cause it hurt. The correct size and fitting of flange changes everything (just like the right size bra!).

  276. Sarah Strzemienski says

    My number one tip is to set aside sufficient time to pump! Stress can tank your supply and leads to unproductive pumping sessions. Don’t be afraid to let coworkers know that you’re going to pump!

  277. My number 1 tip is to make sure you have proper size flanges and to pump one side while baby nurses from the other. I’m a FTM and those pieces of advice made things so much easier.

  278. My number one tip is to just relax! I was so tense when I first started pumping that I barely would pump half an ounce! I learned I needed to relax and easily pumped quadruple that from each side!

  279. The best tip I can give is be patient! It can be so hard to pump and just sit there, but put some relaxing music on close your eyes and just relax!! And keep pumping that liquid gold!

  280. Ashley Benson says

    Love hands free pumping!

  281. My pumping tip is breast compression – it helps get extra milk out!

  282. I always try to stay as relaxed as possible not always easy but it definitely helps!

  283. Patricia Paquin says

    My biggest concern about pumping is making sure I am making enough to nurse and pump when I need to.

  284. My #1 tip is to make sure your breast shields are the right size – the ones that come with the pump are NOT one size fits all. Find the size that works for you & if you aren’t producing enough, that may be the issue!

  285. Hands-free bra, Pumpin pals and extra parts!!

  286. Veronica Bohan says

    I have never used a breast pump but i worry that it will hurt.

  287. thanks for sharing

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