It's no secret that motherhood is a constant and relentless juggling act. s a result, many moms arm themselves with multitasking techniques that they daily. This is especially true for breastfeeding moms, who are the queens of parenthood pony tricks. They can feed their kid or pump while eating their lunch, typing up a work presentation, or marathoning Netflix. It's no surprise then that mothers have also embraced multitasking when it comes to feeding their kid and stockpiling their milk. And if you're thinking of embarking on this yourself, you should know about the mistakes you can make while breastfeeding and pumping at the same time.
Breastfeeding and pumping simultaneously is a concept that's picked up in popularity over the past couple of years. It's not hard to see why it's gained momentum lately, especially with the introduction of hands-free breast pumps and the ever growing to-do lists of today's modern parent. No one will sugar coat it for you — breastfeeding and pumping simultaneously is certainly a tricky endeavor, but a huge time saver if you can get it right.
Whether you're a breastfeeding mom considering it or a curious mom-to-be, breastfeeding and pumping can look kind of intimidating at first. But with practice, patience, and a few helpful tips you'll be a pro in no time. Here are five common mistakes to watch out for if you plan on breastfeeding and pumping simultaneously, that could really hinder the process.
1. You're Not Staying Hydrated
Don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to chug gallons. As explained on Kelly Mom, breastfeeding moms don't have to drink beyond thirst. Additionally, drinking more water isn't going to increase your milk volume. Staying hydrated has more to do with preventing dehydration induced fatigue. If you're tired, you're probably not going to be as effective at breastfeeding or pumping, let alone doing them at the same time.
Jennifer Jordan, director of mom and baby at breast pump distributor, Aeroflow, has simple and easy advice for moms. "Keep a water bottle with you when you are pumping and nursing to remind yourself to drink fluids," she tells Romper.
2. You're Sticking With An Uncomfortable Position
"It is important for you and baby to feel relaxed and supported while you’re having a nursing and pumping session," Jordan says. It may take some trial and error, but it's worth it to find the right position. In the end, as with anything, practice helps. She suggests that moms "use a nursing pillow and set up the pump. Once your baby is latched, turn on the pump."
3. You Don't Have A Good Latch Established Before Trying
"Wait until you have both breastfeeding and pumping down to a science before combining the two," Helen Anderson, lactation expert, registered nurse, and creator of Milkies told Romper. If your baby doesn't have a secure latch before you attempt to do breastfeeding and pumping, then you might run into some problems. The key is to get the latch and feeding session down efficiently first, then move onto the simultaneous pumping.
4. You Make Every Feeding Session A Pumping Session Too
Even if you get the latch down, the position perfect, and the flow flawless - you shouldn't pump and breastfeed simultaneously every single time. "Unless you are trying to increase your milk supply or are worried about wasting leaked milk, you shouldn’t be concerned with hooking up the pump every time you feed," Jordan says. "This may lead to an oversupply that can cause issues with engorgement."
5. You're Not Properly Set Up
If you're not prepared with your breast pump buttons close and accessible, your cell phone next to you, a remote control for the TV (in case you get bored), etc. you're setting yourself up for failure.
In an interview with Romper, Anderson suggested you "place your pump where you can easily access the controls." This means you should also get your source of entertainment close to you as well in case you want to zone out. Seriously, no judgement. Admittedly, sometimes motherhood and breastfeeding gets really boring. If scrolling through Facebook or watching your shows doesn't impact your let down or flow, knock yourself out.
Additionally, she said, "you'll also need a flat piece to put down your milk container when your baby is ready to come off the breast." This doesn't have to be anything fancy, a cardboard baby book that you have laying around will do.
Breastfeeding and pumping can be really hard to get the hang of at first, and there will most likely be mistakes along the way. Be ready to mess up a few times, and also be ready to learn from those mistakes and get better. No one said multi tasking was easy, but it is totally worth it.