Mothers who need to express milk for several weeks or months will need to use a hospital grade electric breast pump.
Medela Symphony Breast Pump Parts
Start pumping as soon as possible. You should pump every 2 to 3 hours around the clock to build and maintain your milk supply. You should be pumping a minimum of 8 times every 24 hours. After the second week, if you have a well-established milk supply, it is okay to sleep 5 to 6 hours at night without pumping. How long you pump is different from mother to mother. A good rule is to pump for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Stress and and being over tired can affect your milk supply, so try to rest as often as possible.
Electric breast pumps are available for you to use while your child is at Nationwide Children’s. Some insurance companies will pay for you to rent a hospital-grade breast pump if you have a prescription. For more information, or for help renting a breast pump, please contact the Lactation Team.
Before using the electric pump, gather the things you need. Your baby’s nurse or a Lactation Team member will help you with this and teach you how to use the equipment.
Wash your hands very well with soap and warm water for 15 seconds.
Place the breast shield over the breast, centered over the nipple.
Pump both of your breasts at the same time for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
Pumping should not hurt. If you have any pain while pumping, be sure to tell a Lactation Team member.
After you have finished pumping, pour the milk into sterile containers that the nurse gives you.
Label the milk container with the barcoding labels that the nurse gave you. Please write the date and time of the milk collection. Also, write any medicines or herbs you have taken in the past 2 hours on the label.
Store your breast milk based on your baby’s feeding plan. Expressed milk can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. It can be frozen in a refrigerator freezer for up to 3 months and in a deep freezer for up to one year.
Pack the milk with freezer packs in a cooler when you bring it to the hospital.
When you visit your baby at the hospital, give your breast milk to a staff member to store in the freezer or refrigerator.
Clean equipment is is very important when giving your baby a safe supply of your milk!
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