Being a momma who struggles with supply issues I sometimes feel tied to my pump. When I got first got home with Judah I was very structured with my pumping, but as life happens are you have to care for a newborn and your other children you need a little wiggle room. So although I don't pump as much as I would like to, here are some of the tips I have learned to make the most out of each session.
1. Make sure you are a proper fit. There are different sizes of flanges for different size nipples. Make sure you have a proper fit. Keep in mind it is nipple size not breast size. When it is pumping it should be pulling your whole nipple in with out rubbing any on the side. It should be comfortable and not painful. It it is have it checked by a lacation consultant if you have questions.
2. Massage. I massage my breast before I start to get the milk moving a little. There are also time I don't feel like the pump is working as well as it shoud, so then I will take a break in the pumping session and massage again. Heat compresses also work really well with massaging too. This is basically just anything to get the milk flowing.
3. Press the Flanges into you, and also let them hang. What I mean here is don't just hold them to you and count on them to do all the work. Sometimes I will press them into me and get more sprays of milk. I will also press them into me a slight angle and get sprays from other places. I will also bend over slightly and hold them so my breasts are dangling over them, and this also gets milk from other places.
4. Give it time. From personal experience, I know that if I pump for over 20 minutes I get a second let down of milk. I will only be getting small drops for a few minutes, but if I just give it time the milk starts to flow for another small amount. It may only be half an ounce, but of me, with my supple issues that is a lot.
5. End with hand expression. I was amazed when I started doing hand expression at the end of every pumping session. When I think the pump is done and had gotten everything out, I stop pumping. Then I try to hand express. I am always surprised with the amount of milk I can still get from them. I can usually get another half ounce. These is good because the more thoroughly you empty your breast the more it will fill up. This is a good way to increase production.
These are some things that have helped to me get more out of my pumping sessions. If you have any other tips please share them. I always love to learn more about pumping more effeciently.
I am so expert so if you have any questions about using a pump properly or questions about your supply please talk to a lactation consultant.