Your challenge: Beep, beep, beep! The alarm is signaling it’s time to pump… again. You know that staying on a schedule is necessary to keep up milk supply and meet your growing baby’s need for food. But what’s a mama to do when that growing baby is also in need of entertainment and supervision during those pumping sessions?
The solution: Make pumping work for both you and baby by turning it into some supervised independent playtime. By keeping baby close, you should have more luck with getting the milk flowing and can take any necessary breaks to help them out.
Maximizing your milk supply: The more efficiently you can pump, the sooner you can get on with playtime. Go into it armed with your very best supplies—including, of course, a high-quality pump and your real secret weapon, the baby. Holding your baby or keeping them close can help trigger the let-down reflex. Between sessions, drink water like it’s your job and think about applying a warm compress to your breasts before pumping to get milk ready to flow.
Turn it into storytime: Just because you are tied to the couch with the pump doesn’t mean you have to be tuned out of interactions. Use the opportunity to tell them stories from memory or your imagination, which can help boost their concentration and keep their interest. Or enlist help from a kids’ audio story—no shame in that.
Activities for baby: Milk flows more freely when you are comfortable and relaxed—which isn’t necessarily a simple task when you’re also supervising baby. If pumping overlaps with playtime, set your baby up for some (beneficial!) independent activity with some favorite toys in a safe space beside you. If baby is now mobile, set up a large play gym with some activities that just come out during pumping time.
Ideas for bigger kids: If you’re also tasked with entertaining bigger kids while pumping, prepare everyone ahead of time by taking necessary potty breaks, getting them water or snacks and establishing that they are to stay in the same room as you. As with baby, now is a good time to treat bigger kids to a special activity that will keep their interest without requiring extra help from you.
Pro tip: You will never regret investing in a hands-free pumping bra or on-the-go collection cups. Trust us.
You’ve got this.
Motherly + Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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