4 Benefits of Breast Pumps — Ashland Health

A breast pump, at its most basic function, is a way for women to provide nourishing breast milk to their babies when they are not able to nurse. However, the benefits of do not stop at just being able to feed baby when separated. Here are 4 benefits of breast pumps:

  1. Increase milk supply. Many mothers struggle with milk supply–breast milk is called liquid gold for a reason! By adding pumping sessions in addition to a regular nursing schedule can help increase your milk supply. Working mom and VP of Sales at Ashland Health, Caitlin McNeily, nursed and pumped for all three kids. She is currently nursing/pumping her youngest and shares:

“I am currently trying to bulk up my milk supply for my 8 month old.  I work full time and my baby is getting bigger and hungrier, but I’ve been pumping the same 6 ounces since he was 3 months old. Having a low supply is new to me as I could have fed all the neighborhood babies while pumping for my older two children. We are 4 months away from whole milk for the little guy, and I want to avoid the formula purchase. I am using my breast pump to increase my supply and to keep the fridge stocked for my nanny by increasing my pumping frequency (every 2 hours) and time (adding 5 mins/session).  I’m determined to use this tool to keep the milk flowing!”

  1. Prevent/Treat Mastitis. Using your breastpump to help manage engorgement may also help avoid mastitis. Mastitis is an infection that typically occurs in the first six weeks of nursing and is accompanied by pain, swelling/tenderness in the breast, fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. It is often caused by an abundant supply of breastmilk that is not  properly drained through regular nursing. Pumping may help avoid this issue.
  1. Gain some flexibility in your schedule while continuing to breastfeed. As new moms, we put immense pressure on ourselves to oogle at our little creation 24/7. This feeling can be especially intense if you are dealing with a limited maternity leave and want to squeeze in every moment of smelling and snuggling your baby. After the baby is born though, it can be difficult to lose freedom and flexibility to run errands, see friends and exercise while being at home caring for a newborn baby. This is where your trusty breast pump comes into play! Replace a feed with expressed breast milk from pumping so you can have a little more flexibility to be away from your baby without worrying about the next feed.
  1. Continue breastfeeding when you return to work and find camaraderie amongst other breastfeeding mothers. This may sound silly, but carrying around your pump bag does lead to more conversations than you may think. You may find a woman in your building who has found a secret place to pump at work when she sees you wandering around with your pump. You may sit down on the train after a tearful morning goodbye with your little one and find a supportive fellow pumping warrior who provides an ear, a smile, or a shoulder to cry on. On that note, if you see a mom with her pump bag, you have an opportunity to provide support, and you never know how much she may need it that day.  

As expecting moms, we pour over our choices of gear–strollers, bassinets, cribs, bottles, etc. Be equally diligent about choosing a breast pump and see it as a tool not only for success in breastfeeding but also for taking care of yourself.  You are the most integral part of the new party at your home, and you deserve the best as a new mom. You brought a life into this world, and you are amazing!

This article is by Caitlin McNeily, a working mom of 3 and VP of sales at Ashland Health. Ashland Health is a free nation-wide service providing insurance-covered breast pumps.

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