As we know, no two parents’ feeding journeys will look exactly the same. Even just for one mama, her feeding journey can look completely different the second time around… Not to mention, there are just some things you can only learn on the job – and breastfeeding and expressing most definitely fall into this category.
As mums, we often put a whole lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to feeding… because it is something we can feel like our body was made to do. So surely it should come easily to us, right? Wrong.
For many of us, our feeding journeys can be quite challenging – both you and your baby are learning a brand new skill. So go easy on yourself! Breastfeeding and expressing take a lot out of you physically, and it’s a huge lifestyle change – especially in those first few weeks when it feels like you are feeding around the clock.
There are many reasons mothers may choose to express, such as returning to work, storing milk for when you can’t be with your baby or easing pain from engorgement. Some mums have to express exclusively as their baby can’t breastfeed due to sickness or a health condition. Finding the right pump for you and your needs is the first step in starting your expressing journey.
That’s why we personally love the Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump and the entire Medela range – because they provide extra tools to have in your feeding arsenal, to make your journey easier!
The Medela Swing Maxi is a great choice for a breast pump as it is a double pump that allows for up to 18% more milk in less time1. It’s very quiet and has 2-phase Expression technology which mimics your baby’s natural sucking rhythm – which helps your milk supply come in and allows you to just sit down for a minute and take some time for yourself. Some women find it helpful to look at pictures or videos of their baby to help bring in their milk, or you can put on your favourite show to help your mind relax.
Another option is to use a single breast pump like the Medela Solo on one side, while breastfeeding your little one on the other side.
Both the Swing Maxi and the Solo have PersonalFit Flex™ breast shields, which makes expressing much more comfortable and has been shown to get 11% more milk4. And when you’re engorged, or struggling to get enough milk – it can really help knowing you’re getting as much milk out as possible.
By far one of our favourite features of the Swing Maxi is the battery life. The pump will last for up to 6 pumping sessions on one full charge – which is really helpful as the last thing you want is to get all set up, ready to express and then realise it is out of battery. It also has a fast charge USB type C port, which charges much faster than a regular micro-USB port – so you can just plug in between every few uses and know you’re going to be good to go.
Plus, it is easy to clean and assemble and is super simple to use – which is very important because when you’re sleep-deprived, busy or exhausted (most likely all three in those early weeks…) you don’t want to be fiddling with something that is difficult to put together or use. It has 9 pre-programmed settings so you can just let it do its thing while being able to use your hands for other things (like scrolling Insta…).
Another thing to keep in mind is taking care of your body while expressing and breastfeeding. Make sure to stay hydrated, and well-fed and feed or express in a position that supports your posture – because it can take a toll on your body. Make sure you’re also stocked up on nipple creams and nursing pads because you’re going to want to be taking care of your nipples throughout this process. Trust us.
Everyone’s feeding journeys are different – and it’s normal for it to not look like how you may have expected while pregnant, or to change along the way. The important thing is that you feel supported by your care team and products that are there to help make your life easier so that you find something that ultimately works for you and your baby. Anything you can do to make your feeding journey easier and more comfortable is going to be a huge help to your overall mood and wellbeing.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Medela.
3. Mitoulas L et al. Effect of vacuum profile on breast milk expression using an electric breast pump. J Hum Lact. 2002; 18(4):353–360.4. Sakalidis VS et al. Breast shield design impacts milk removal dynamics during pumping: A randomised controlled non-inferiority trial. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020:doi: 10.1111/aogs.13897