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1- Compression and massage while pumping increases output and helps treat plugged ducts.
2- Buy a hands free bra. If you are going to be spending a lot of time pumping, buying a hands free bra will free you up to do other tasks or allow you to relax while pumping.
3- Love really gets the milk flowing. Remember why you are pumping and be sure to think about that special little one while pumping to help with let down.
4- Stay hydrated to keep up your supply. Hydration is really important for nursing mothers as it aids in milk production.
5- Use an all natural nipple balm before pumping to ease with the rubbing action and after pumping to to hep with any pain or soreness.
6- Invest in a good pump. A cheap pump can cause damage, low supply and mastitis for lack of emptying.
7- Relax. Stress can hinder your body's natural ability to release milk.
8- Stronger suction does not always mean more milk. Be sure to start at a lower suction and work your way up as necessary.
9- Stick to a routine. Not necessarily the same time, but the same habits: the place, the chair, the beverage, etc. This will help condition your milk to flow. (This is slightly different than nursing on demand.)
10- Don't shake the breast milk, swirl the breast milk. While there is a bit of controversy surrounding this subject, you can find the articles we consulted here, here and here. When you shake the breastmilk, you denature the molecules and break up the protein into parts. When the proteins remain intact, they help protect the lining of the babies gut and eliminate bubbles that may produce gas. So while we don't have a definitive answer, we are going to swirl our breastmilk.
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