Using Your Breast Pump

There are a few things you need to know about using your breast pump to ensure proper use and that you are getting the most out of your pumping experience. Starting to pump can be a scary and overwhelming process but if you follow these steps you will have a successful pumping experience.

Quick Start PDF Graphic Preview

Sterilizing and Assembling
HygieniKit Milk Collection System

Start Pumping:
Tips on Using Your Ameda Pump

Cleaning your Pump and
HygieniKit Milk Collection System

Making the Most of Your Breast Pump Graphic Preview

The Basics

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap.
  2. Assemble your HygieniKit Milk Collection System – Assembly Instructions.
  3. Make sure that your pump is plugged in or has working batteries.
  4. Center the flanges over your breast(s) to make an air tight seal — proper Flange Fit is important.
  5. When the flange fit is correct, you are ready to begin pumping.
  6. Turn on your pump by turning the suction dial to the right.

Set Suction for Comfort

Set Suction to the highest setting that feels comfortable and no higher. The strongest pump suction does not always pump more milk. You can increase the suction as your milk starts to flow and you become used to the pump. But remember, pumping should never hurt. Your body does not release milk well when you are in pain.

Set Speed for Comfort and Milk Flow

Set Speed/cycles to the fastest setting when you start pumping to stimulate your breasts to release oxytocin, which causes a milk ejection reflex (let-down). This release causes milk to be squeezed out of the alveoli, into the ducts and out of your nipple into the flange.

Once the milk is flowing, slow down the Speed/cycles to keep the milk flowing. When the milk flow slows to a trickle or drip, return to the fastest setting until you trigger another milk ejection reflex, then slow the Speed/cycles down again. This fast/slow pattern can be repeated several times to help drain your breasts.

Keep in mind that a baby sucks like this when she is breastfeeding-sucks fast to get the milk flowing, then slows down her suck to draw the milk out and drain the breast.

Stimulate the Milk Ejection Reflex (MER) When Pumping

The Milk Ejection Reflex is the process in which the hormone oxytocin causes glandular tissue or alveoli in the breast that stores milk to squeeze, causing the stored milk to low into the ducts that transport milk, and out of your nipples.

  • Some mothers feel tingling during milk ejection reflex, others feel nothing and just see the milk flow start.
  • While breastfeeding, most mothers have three or four milk ejection reflexes (MER) without even knowing it. This is why it is important to try to stimulate more than one MER when you are pumping. It will help you drain your breasts.
  • A milk ejection reflex can happen with a touch at the breast, hearing a baby cry, or even by thinking about your baby. Pain or feelings of stress, anger, and upset can block the milk ejection reflex. So, try to relax and use your mind and senses. One or two senses may work better than the others, so test them all to find out which work best for you.

Learn how your Ameda breast pump can help you increase your milk supply and reach full production.

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