It’s true–breast is best. No one can deny the beneficial properties for moms and babies, but that doesn’t mean breastfeeding and pumping is a walk in the park. From the physical toll of creating and expressing breast milk to the adjustment of using a breast pump for the first time, breastfeeding is no easy task for a new mom. But look no further–we compiled this list of tips for first-time moms so they can master their breast pump from day one.

Get the Best Breast Pump for You

The key to successful breast pumping is finding the breast pump that works best for you, whether you do your own research or take a recommendation from your doctor. Each mom will use their breast pump differently, and some moms may even want to double up on equipment depending on their lifestyle. Working moms may want to have a breast pump that lives at the office and has a quiet motor, while moms who pump at home may choose a less portable, more powerful pump to express their breast milk quickly and get back to taking care of their little one. Finding the best breast pump for your lifestyle is an important decision, both for you and your newborn, and most breast pumps come with warranties so you can keep your pump working like new.

There is no shortage of breast pump brands on the market, but did you know that you can get a free breast pump through your health insurance? Insurance providers are required to cover the cost of a breast pump for new moms, and at Pumps for Mom, we help you find the insurance breast pumps you qualify for and what an upgrade pump would cost out-of-pocket. Your doctor can recommend an insurance-covered breast pump to meet your needs. Whether you are considering the Medela Pump in Style Advanced, the Spectra S1, or the Ameda Mya, Pumps for Mom has you covered!

Practice Makes Perfect 

For first-time moms, breastfeeding is a new experience, so stay patient if this process doesn’t come easily at first. Practice makes perfect when it comes to breastfeeding, so start as soon as you can after delivery. Plus the earlier you start breastfeeding, the sooner you can start building up your milk supply. For new moms with a little one in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, breast pumping soon after delivery can get your little one the nutrients he or she needs and can encourage your milk supply to increase even if your baby isn’t ready to come home yet.

Master the Let-Down 

Let-down is the reflex in moms’ bodies that encourages breast milk to start flowing and is triggered for a variety of reasons. However, some new moms find that it’s difficult for their milk to come in when their little one is ready to feed. It may be helpful for these moms to pump while breastfeeding because your let-down reflex is triggered by a feeding baby. Feed on one breast and pump from the other to get the most out of each pumping session. For moms who are still getting used to breast pumping when they return to work or are away from their baby, it can be helpful to look at a picture or video of your baby, massage your breasts, use a warm compress, or take deep breaths to relax and encourage let-down.

Commit to Safe Breast Milk Storage

To avoid wasting your hard-earned breast milk, new moms need to prioritize safe breast milk storage. From breast milk storage bags and bottles to your everyday food storage containers, there are several safe ways to store breast milk. Some insurance covered breast pumps come with breast milk storage options like bags or bottles, so new moms don’t have to think twice about how to store expressed breast milk. 

Most importantly, new moms need to remember that freshly expressed milk should not stay at room temperature for more than four hours and should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than four days. Additionally, all breast milk should be stored in clean, BPA-free, airtight containers. Following these guidelines will help ensure you always have safe and high-quality breast milk when your little one needs it.

Embrace Cluster Feeding

Cluster feeding is when an infant initiates more frequent feedings, especially around three and six weeks of age, to take in as much breast milk as possible as they grow. While moms can quickly get worn out by these frequent feedings, breast milk responds to the needs of the baby, which is why cluster feeding is the go-to option for new moms who want to keep their milk supply up. Although it can be tempting to feed your little one on a set schedule, cluster feeding is a natural instinct that infants have to increase moms’ milk supply and prepare for important growth spurts. 

Keep Your Breast Pump Clean

Develop a routine for cleaning your breast pump–you will thank us later. Although your breast milk is all-natural and full of amazing nutrients for your little one, breast pumps can still pass on germs and bacteria to your baby through your breast milk. A clean breast pump means safe breast milk, which is why it is essential to clean your breast pump after every use. According to FDA recommendations, all parts that come in contact with breast milk, such as bottles, tubing, valves, and breast shields, should be cleaned with warm water and dish soap or run through a dishwasher if it’s certified as dishwasher safe. This simple routine of cleaning your breast pump after every pumping session can help keep your little one safe from harmful germs and bacteria.

Although your experience breast pumping may feel overwhelming at first, we encourage new moms to remain patient with themselves as they learn more about what works for them and what doesn’t. You are giving your little one an amazing gift by breastfeeding!

When it comes to getting the best breast pump for you and your little one, you can rely on Pumps for Mom. With over 15 years of experience helping new moms get insurance covered breast pumps, the expert team at Pumps for Mom is here to simplify the process. You can get a breast pump through insurance in just a few easy steps. Fill out our straightforward qualification form, immediately browse individualized insurance covered breast pumps and upgrade options, select your breast pump, and we will take care of the rest. Let us make your breastfeeding journey a little bit easier–contact Pumps for Mom today!