Exclusive Pumping 101

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I’ve had several ladies ask me about exclusively pumping, so I decided to write a blog post about this! Honestly, I was worried I wouldn’t make enough milk for my twins, but it turns out that I had no reason to be! Not only do I make enough to feed them, but I have an entire deep freezer filled with milk (1,500 ounces so far) and my babies are only 3 months old.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert; I am just sharing what works for me! This post is LONG, I titled all the sections, so just read the sections you’re interested in. I hope this helps!!

Why I Chose to Exclusively Pump

I do believe FED IS BEST!  However, I did hope that I could give my babies breast milk because of all the benefits for the child(ren) and for the mother too!  That being said, I’ve never had a desire to breastfeed.  I think it’s great that a lot of women want to have this special bond with their babies, but I knew I’d already feel bonded with my babies and didn’t feel the need to do this.  Plus, I love that my husband can help with the feeding and I love knowing exactly how much my twins are eating.

Equipment Needed/Used:

  • Pump- I use the Spectra S2 Pump and I LOVE it! There is no doubt that I have an oversupply of milk naturally, but I really believe this pump helps with it. It is comparable to Hospital Grade pumps.  I also love that it has a light to help you see what you’re doing when it’s dark.
  • 2 Pumping bras (I recommend 2, so you have 1 to use while washing the other)
  • 6 Flanges- I recommend this many in case you don’t feel like washing them right after you use them. You can also keep the flanges in the fridge and only wash them once a day as long as they are cold.  I do this on the days that I have work!
  • 6 Valves
  • Bottles- I use Avent Natural bottles because they fit on my pump and my babies love them. I recommend at least 8 of these!
  • Storage bags- You might want to check to see if your insurance covers these, a lot of insurance companies do!
  • Sarah Wells Pumping Bag– This is a lifesaver!! I use this whenever I leave the house and need to pump which is quite often! It is PERFECTION!
  • Sarah Wells Pumparoo– This has a wet section for your wet flanges, you can put those in there and place the Pumparoo in the fridge, so you don’t have to wash after each session. It also has a dry section to put clean items in and a detachable mat.
  • Dishpan– for cleaning bottles, flanges, and the valves. I will explain this towards the end of the post!
  • Dishwashing Liquid– We use Seventh Generation because it’s nontoxic and hypoallergenic.
  • Cooling Racks– We do not use the normal bottle drying racks because with twins there are SOOO many bottles, flanges, nipples that we’d need a ton of them. We actually use these  cooling racks and we’ve found it’s perfect for drying bottles. I will explain this process towards the end of this blog post! 🙂

How Often to Pump

Initially, when the twins were born I pumped every 3 hours for 15 minutes (SO EXHAUSTING). It took me a few weeks to realize that it didn’t matter if I pumped 8 times a day or 5 times a day, the total amount of milk that I produced was the exact same!  Now, I just pump 4-5 times a day for 15 minutes.

Pumping Process

On my Spectra pump, I pump for 2 minutes on Cycle 70 Vacuum 05 and then I switch to Cycle 38 Vacuum L10 for 13 minutes.

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Cleaning Bottles and Pump Parts

One of my fabulous nurses at the hospital showed me this trick and it makes cleaning bottles and the flanges super easy!

  1. Use a dishpan and fill with hot water and dish washing liquid
  2. Rinse out the bottles and place in to the hot soapy water
  3. Let sit for about 15 minutes
  4. Rinse everything out with hot water
  5. Place on a drying rack5

Occasionally, I throw the bottles and nipples in the dishwasher for an extra deep clean.

How Long is Milk Good For?

Spoiled milk makes me very nervous!  I always use the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations:

Room Temperature: 4-6 hours

Insulated Cooler: 24 hours

Refrigerator: 5 days

Freezer compartment of a refrigerator: 3-6 months

Deep freezer: 6-12 months

Freezing Milk

I store my milk in the fridge until I have enough to fill a 4 ounce bag.  Once I have 4 ounces, I pour it into a milk bag and place it flat on a shelf in the freezer.

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Once the milk is frozen, I place in the Tupperware pictured below until I have 12 bags of milk (48 ounces).

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Once I hit 48 ounces, I place all 12 bags in a gallon size bag. I seal the bag, write the dates on it, and place it in my deep freezer.

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Increasing Milk Production

I do have an oversupply,  but sadly I don’t have any tips. I believe my pump plays a part in this and I just got lucky with the milk production.  I don’t take any supplements or do anything like that.  I do drink a lot of water (I always have), I take a Prenatal vitamin every single morning, and I eat 2 donuts for breakfast every single day (lol). 😉

I hope this helps someone on their pumping journey!  Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Exclusive Pumping 101

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Must Haves for Babies 0-3 Months | The Adventures of a Twin Mom

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