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There are two kinds of pumps to choose from, a manual or electric breastpump. For occasional use, the Amaryll manual pump can be used. For frequent expressing, the Calypso electric breast pump is recommended. For long-term use it makes sense to buy the Carum hospital grade electric breastpump. The Calypso and Carum can be used as either single or double pumps.
When you breast-feed, your baby's sucking stimulates nerves in your nipple. These nerves carry a message to your brain, and a hormone, called oxytocin, is released. Oxytocin flows through your bloodstream to your breasts, where it causes tiny muscle cells around your milk glands to squeeze milk out of the glands and into the milk ducts. This is known as the let-down reflex or the milk ejection reflex.
When babies start to breastfeed they suckle with rapid sucking motions and low suction, this causes the milk by the stimulating let down. This effect is replicated by a breastpump by starting with a higher cycle level and lower vacuum. When let down occurs, reduce the cycles and strengthen the vacuum until you find the most comfortable level for you.
If you are not attaining let down this can be encouraged by either; massaging your breasts, applying a warm flannel to your breasts, or using a photo or video of your baby which all help stimulate the milk ejection reflex.
A breast shell that does not fit correctly prevents efficient pumping, can cause pain and give rise to sore nipples. Making the right choice of breast shell is important, and the breast shell is correct if:
- the nipple moves freely in the funnel and can follow the rhythmic movements of the pump
- no part or very little of the areola tissue is in the funnel
- the milk flows and the breast feels soft everywhere after pumping.
- 26mm, that accepts a 22mm insert
- 31mm, that accepts a 28mm insert
A series of troubleshooting checks are the best way to determine if there is a problem:
- 1. Is the tube connector closed off if you are single pumping?
- 2. Is the membrane under the pumpset lid going up and down and not caught in the lid?
- 3. Is the pumpset lid fitted correctly and not loose?
- 4. Is the tube free of any kinks?
- 5. Is the lip valve connected to the breast shell ripped or torn?
Only the parts that come into contact with your milk need cleaning. Therefore, the tubing with the connector, the lid, and the pump casing can be kept clean with a disinfectant wipe after use.
There are four options:
- 1. Use Ardo Easy Clean Microwave Bags for fast and convenient cleaning at home or out and about.
- 2. Electric or Microwave Steam sterilisers - using the manufacturer's instructions.
- 3. Immersion in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes.
- 4. Cold water sterilisation - according to the instructions on the sterilising fluid/tablets.
Ardo offers BPA free plastic bottles as well as glass bottles. The 130ml plastic bottles are manufactured exclusively from material free from Bisphenol A (BPA). The 150ml glass bottles are an eco-friendly alternative 150ml. Both bottles fit all breast shells, the Kombitkit and the Amaryll Manual Breastpump.
If you're building up a milk supply because your baby is unable to breastfeed direct, you'll need to express at least eight times in 24 hours, including at least once in the night. The more often you express the more milk you will produce. Frequent, shorter sessions, no more than 20 minutes, seem more effective than longer less frequent ones. If you don't express as often as this, then your body starts to produce less and over time, your milk supply will dwindle.
If you are pumping to collect your milk, and are also breastfeeding, then you can express whenever is convenient for you to do so, even during a feed. Some mums find it useful to express straight after a feed, you will find the right time that suits.
You can express directly into the specially designed Ardo 180ml Easy Freeze Bags. The bags are made out of premium-quality materials, and are double layered to avoid the absorption of external flavours.
Expressed breast milk can be kept in the refrigerator (4 - 6°C) for three days. In order to stock up, the expressed breast milk can be stored for three months in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator and six months in the deep-freezer at a temperature of at least -20°C. The specially designed Easy Freeze bags have an integrated temperature indicator so that you can be confident the breast milk is at the correct temperature.
More information can be found in: Storing Your Breast Milk
To thaw the breast milk you can either place overnight in the fridge, run under warm water, or place in a container with warm water. The Ardo Easy Freeze bags have an integrated temperature indicator which lets you know that the breast milk has reached room temperature.
NB: Never microwave breast milk as it can change the composition of breast milk.
Many women are choosing to have their breast size enhanced during their child bearing years. This is often best left until after you have had children, although women who have breast implants can breastfeed. While any form of breast surgery carries some risk that ducts and nerves may be damaged, most women with implants have happy and successful breastfeeding experiences.
Some mothers worry that the quality of their milk may be affected by implants. There is no evidence that the material in the implants can harm a baby, even if a leak in the implant packet occurs.
The location of the implant can impact on breastfeeding. When the packets are inserted under the fold of the breast or under the arm, there is less risk of damage to important nerves and milk ducts. Sometimes, implants are inserted at the edge of the areola. There is more risk with this surgical approach that the nerve sensation to the nipple will be damaged. If this happens, both milk supply, and milk release, can be affected.
On rare occasions, a woman gets implants because of irregular breast development. She may have too little glandular tissue to bring in a full milk supply. In such a case, her breastfeeding problems are not directly related to the implants, but to the earlier problem. Source http://www.amazingbreastmilk.nhs.uk/how-to-breastfeed/feeding-with-implants/