Hands-Free Pumping Tips and Instructions
It doesn’t matter if you are decanting milk for a premature baby or in order to stimulate production, this process can be accelerated by double decantation. It allows you to get an average of 18% more milk at the same time than when decanting from each breast in turn, and the milk obtained in this way will be more high-calorie.1 However, the need to hold two funnels in your hands at once (devices that are applied to the breast) makes it impossible for you to do anything else. It is in this situation that the top bustier is useful for expressing without the participation of hands.
Benefits of Hand-Free Pumping
When using a top-bustier for expressing without hands, you can talk on the phone, work on a laptop, read, eat or play with an older child. In addition, it is much easier to handle a breast pump and bottles or bags for expressed milk.
“A hand-free pump top and comfortable clothes save time and allow me to do several things at once. At my workplace, I reserve my mother’s room and work while decanting milk, ”says Natalie, a mother from the United States.
The Medela Easy Expression top bustier is even more comfortable: it has no straps, so it is quickly put on and can be easily removed.
“When I began to practice double pumping using a top bustier, my shoulders stopped hurting and I had the opportunity to do other things during pumping (or at least drink tea and have a bite!). I had to pump out all the time, because my baby was born prematurely and spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, ”says Susanna, a mother from the UK.
Using a Top-Bustier to Express Without Hands: Four Easy Steps
The Medela Easy Expression top bustier gently holds the double breast pump funnels in place while pumping. It is easy to put on and use – just follow the instructions below.
Put on the Medela Easy Expression top bustier and fasten the top hook. So it will be easier for you to fasten the zipper from the bottom up.
Zip up on the bust.
Insert the funnels under the bustier. It is made of a very flexible material, so it is easy to pull back to do so. You can also temporarily unbutton your bustier, if this makes it easier for you. The nipple should be centered on the funnel tunnel. The tunnels are inserted into the holes in the bust.
Connect the connectors to the funnels. Now everything is ready for expressing without the participation of hands.
Top Ten Hand-Free Pumping Tips
Handless pumping, like other aspects of breastfeeding, requires practice. Follow our tips to make this process more comfortable and increase milk production.
Use a funnel of the correct size. The diameter of the tunnel should be approximately 4 mm (0.16 in) larger than the diameter of the nipple. If it is too narrow, the nipple will rub against the walls, and if too wide, the chest skin will be drawn into the tunnel. Medela produces funnels in five sizes, so among them there is sure to be a suitable one.
Before pumping, position the nipples in the center of the tunnels.
The top bustier should reliably, but not too tightly press the funnels to the chest. If necessary, adjust or loosen the top bustier so as not to limit the flow of milk.
Express milk at the maximum level of vacuum that you can endure without discomfort. It has been proven that this allows you to get more milk in less time.2 To determine the optimal level, gradually increase the strength of the vacuum until you begin to feel slight discomfort, and then slightly reduce it.
Do not lean on the funnels and do not press them into the skin – this can squeeze the milk ducts and make milk secretion difficult. 3
Periodically massage the breast during pumping to ensure free flow of milk from all milk ducts. 4
Feel the chest on all sides after pumping to check if it is completely empty. The chest should be soft to the touch.
If the nipples after pumping increased, lengthened or turned red – this is normal. But neither the nipples nor the chest should hurt, and there should be no marks from the funnels on them. If there are such marks, you need to pick up a funnel of a different size or reduce the strength of the vacuum. Dents on the skin may indicate that the top bustier for pumping is too tight, or you are leaning on funnels or pressing them too hard against the skin. Adjust the tightness of the top of the bustier and the force of pressing during the next pumping, so that later it will be convenient for you.
If you constantly experience discomfort or pain when expressing without the participation of your hands, stop using this method and seek the help of a breastfeeding consultant or supervisor.
If you constantly express milk and experience any of the above problems, express once or twice a day in the usual way to support the breast with your hands and completely empty it.