A Walkthrough of Your First Breast Pumping Session

You’ve done it, mama. You’ve birthed a beautiful baby, and now, a bundle of joy rests in your loving arms. You’ve done all you can to prepare for motherhood, and it’s time to put all your research to the test. Although parenthood brings a healthy dose of the unexpected, you’ve got this! One of the most daunting tasks can be whipping out your brand-new breast pump to pump for the first time. Luckily, we know all there is to know about pumping! 

Whether this is your first time pumping or you need a refresher, we’ve got you covered. Pumps for Mom is here to save the day with a comprehensive walkthrough of your first pumping session. 

First Thing’s First

The process of pumping efficiently and safely starts way before expelling milk. It’s important to get the following initial steps out of the way:

Don’t Wait!

When you pump for the first time, things can get overwhelming. As soon as you receive your new pump, you take some time to familiarize yourself with the instruction manual and included parts. 

Sterilize Your Breast Pump Parts

To ensure you pump safely, you must clean your breast pump parts before pumping. Some parts need to be cleaned after every use, such as bottles, valves, and other components that come into direct contact with milk. Luckily, some soap and water, boiling water, steam, or the top rack of a dishwasher come in handy. 

Other parts, especially electronics, can be cleaned with a paper towel or cloth. Soap and water can damage these materials. According to the FDA, regardless of the method you use to clean your parts, you should air dry them to avoid warping. 

Wash Your Hands

Now that you know your clean pump like the back of your hand, you may be tempted to use it. But not so fast! You need to make sure your hands are clean before starting. Twenty seconds under the faucet with soap and water will do the trick. 

Put the Pump Together 

There’s only so far you can go without a whole pump! After properly sanitizing your pump parts, assemble them according to the instructions in the manual. 

How To Use Your Breast Pump

It’s time! Once you get all the prep out of the way, it’s time to start pumping. You can begin pumping as soon as a couple of hours after giving birth. Although doing this for the first time may be scary, have no fear. From going over the basics to insightful, helpful tips, we’ve got your back. 


Getting in the proper headspace is a crucial part of your breast-pumping process. Relaxing helps your milk letdown, as well as holding your baby. Remember: pumping should not be painful! If you experience pain, turn off your pump. If the pain persists, check with your doctor or a lactation consultant.

Position Breast Shields

Determining if the breast shields included in your kit are the right size for you will ensure you don’t experience leakage. Your pump’s manufacturer may provide different sizes either in your kit or for sale to best suit your needs. Your nipples should sit in the middle of your pump’s breast shields. If you experience pain while pumping, the culprit may be the breast shields. Adjust them or use bigger shields. 

Control Suction 

Some pumps may control suction levels without guidance, but others need manual input to control suction. You should start with a low suction level and increase as your milk begins to flow. 

Know When You’re Done

Wondering when to stop? Both your breasts should be empty after your pumping session. This usually takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Your breasts should feel soft without any hard areas. 

Breast Pumping Tips With Pumps for Mom

At Pumps for Mom, we want moms to rest assured they have someone on their side. With an incredible catalog of pumps through insurance, moms can obtain one of motherhood’s most valuable tools at no cost. Head over to our easy-to-fill form to get started. Need additional support? Contact us today!