Everything You Should Know About Hands-Free Pumping
Wondering about hands-free pumping and how it can make your pumping experience more flexible? Here's everything you need to know, including how to use a hands-free breast pump.
If you're like most new parents, you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed with all the new and impending changes in your life. That's perfectly understandable! You may have a nearly endless to-do list, you’re likely very sleep-deprived, and you may have a lot on your mind like learning how to nurse, purchasing a breast pump, thinking about your eventual return to work, and more. Of course, anything that can help you regain some precious time and help make your breastfeeding experience more seamless is worth the effort – and that’s where hands-free pumping can be a tremendous benefit.
Benefits of Using a Hands-Free Breast Pump
It’s important to note that your breast pump should only be introduced once a consistent nursing routine has been established with your new baby, though there are certain circumstances when pumping must be integrated prior to a breastfeeding routine becomes well-established. In lieu of using a manual breast pump or nursing if, say, you’re at work or away from your baby, a hands-free breast pump allows you the flexibility to multitask. You can express milk for your baby while on your phone or laptop, relaxing with a book, binging Netflix, getting housework done, or even while changing a diaper or playing with your baby.
In fact, using a lightweight, wearable pump like Freestyle™ Hands-free means you’ll be able to pump comfortably and discreetly no matter where you are or what you’re doing. This is because this portable, pocket-sized pump is a separate unit, with ultra-light collection cups that fit discreetly into your bra to maximize your milk expression without weighing you down.
Using the Hands-free™ Pumping Bustier provides freedom and flexibility to pump hands-free with almost any double-electric Medela breast pump. In fact, hands-free pumping can help support your long-term breastfeeding goals as it eliminates the sometimes-cumbersome act of being tethered to one spot while pumping and having to manually hold your breast shields in place. This means you can have your pumping sessions and maintain your milk supply wherever you are, even if you’re busy with other things – or, more importantly, enjoying quality time with your baby.
Using a Hands-Free Pumping Bra
Using the Hands-free™ Pumping Bustier with your Medela breast pump is simple! Follow these quick tips below to get set up and ready to pump hands-free anytime you need some multitasking flexibility:
- Put the Hands-free™ Pumping Bustier on and fasten the hook at the top.
- Partially zip the bustier.
- Insert your breast shields, one on each breast, in from the front and then finish zipping your bustier. Make sure the shields are properly aligned with your nipples. Our bustier is designed with a patented figure-8 opening for quick, easy access while securely holding your breast shields in place.
- Attach your connectors to each breast shield and start pumping whenever you’re ready!
- Once you’ve finished your pumping session, remove the bustier and disassemble your breast pump for cleaning – the Freestyle™ Hands-free collection cups, for example, are dishwasher-safe and contain just three parts.
Tips for Hands-Free Pumping
Pumping can take some time getting used to, whether you’re a first-time mom or one who has never pumped before. With that in mind, you’ll soon discover the pumping routine that works best for you – whatever that may look like! Here’s a few tips to help you stay comfortable while maximizing your milk expression:
- Check that each of your nipples is in the center of each breast shield tunnel before using your pump.
- Be sure that you're not using an improperly sized breast shield—Medela makes shields in four different sizes.
- Check that your nursing and pumping bra is snug, but not too tight.
- Don't lean on the breast shield or press it too hard against your skin, as this can restrict milk flow.
- Be mindful of your body and stop using your breast shields if you experience any chafing, sore or cracked nipples, or bleeding. You may need to use a different breast shield size or speak to a lactation consultant first.
- Pump only at the vacuum level that's comfortable for you.