How to Use a Medela Breast Pump

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Some mothers find that using a breast pump is simple, straightforward and productive. Others struggle to produce any milk and find pumping quite frustrating. Often, pumping success depends on the quality of the breast pump being used. Fortunately, Medela brand pumps are consistently dependable and relatively comfortable.

Things You'll Need

  • Medela Breast Pump
  • Bottle
  • Hot pads (optional)
  • Milk freezer bags (optional)

Using the Pump

  • Sanitize all parts of the pump before use by soaking all plastic parts in boiling water for ten minutes.

  • Attach the breastshield to the main body of the pump. In most Medela models, the breastshield simply twists into the pump. Use tubing to connect breastshield and pump.

  • Twist top of bottle into the bottom of the breastshield. This is where the milk will accumulate as you pump, so be sure it is securely attached.

  • Find a quiet place with no distractions. Massage the breasts or apply hot packs before beginning to pump.

  • Put the round part of the breastshield around the breast. Be sure that the nipple is in the center. Apply steady, light pressure.

  • Press the on/off button on the controller. During the first two minutes, you should adjust to the most comfortable setting. After milk let down, choose the "Maximum Comfort Vacuum" setting, which manually imitates the baby's sucking.

  • Stop pumping after about ten to fifteen minutes per breast. Turn off the power before removing the pump from the breast.

  • Store your milk in the refrigerator for 3 to 8 hours, or in the freezer for 6 to 12 months. Milk left at room temperature will spoil after two hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Medela features several types of breast pumps. The above instructions are for the most basic models, such as the Single Deluxe, Freestyle or Swing models. Several Medela models offer memory options for your pump. Once you have figured out which settings work best for you, you can save them by simply pressing the memory button after you have reached the milk expression phase. Hold the button down until the display flashes (about three seconds). Finish pumping as usual. The next time you pump, simply press the memory button (do not hold down) to duplicate the previous session.
  • Pumping can be painful or uncomfortable at first. If you experience constant, extreme discomfort, and reducing the suction level does not ease the pain, do not continue pumping. Be cautious when storing and using expressed milk. Do not refreeze milk after it has been thawed. Let frozen milk thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

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