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When should I start pumping?

I feel like I get this question often, especially with first time moms in those early days/ weeks who aren't planning on returning to work or being separated from their baby: “So when should I start pumping?" "Do I need to pump even if I'm not going to be separated from my baby?" Now I have so much respect for exclusively pumping moms and moms who pump and breastfeed their baby. Pumping is a lot of work! I'm pretty sure we can all agree that pumping "sucks" (literally!) coz it’s time consuming and you cannot interact with baby. It seems that in our culture, there is this big push for breastfeeding moms to pump. In some countries, pumps are handed out to every mom through insurance, which is so great! However, it seems that moms now feel like they have to pump.

This article is in regards to moms that are exclusively breastfeeding their baby, don't have supply issues and aren't being separated from their baby. I want to tell you that pump is only a tool. If you're staying home with your baby and your baby latches on well, you don't need to pump. I often find that pumps just add on additional stress, especially if you don't have to pump since you're mostly home with baby. Pumps are not good indicators of your milk supply, so this can bring additional stress and make you question your supply, plus it's additional clean-up procedures. Using a pump as a tool is great though! If you have date night, need to run some errands and don't want to take baby with you - then these are times where pumping is nice, but don't feel like you have to pump just because you're given one.

Information provided by Michelle Lok, International Board of Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)


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