How to use a breast pump: 12 top tips

Breast pumps are a popular tool for new mothers who want to provide breast milk to their babies but are unable to do so directly. Whether you are returning to work, have a medical condition that makes breastfeeding difficult, or simply want to have a supply of milk for your baby when you are away, a breast pump can be a valuable investment. In this blog, we will discuss 12 top tips for using a breast pump effectively.

  • Choose the right pump: There are two types of breast pumps available: electric and manual. Electric pumps are generally faster and more efficient, while manual pumps are quieter and more portable. Choose a pump that meets your needs and budget.
  • Choose the right flange size: The flange is the part of the breast pump that fits over your nipple. It is important to choose the right size flange to ensure that the pump is comfortable and effective. Most breast pump manufacturers offer different flange sizes, so you can find the perfect fit.
  • Find a comfortable position: Find a comfortable position in which to use your breast pump. Many women prefer to sit upright or recline slightly while pumping. Use pillows to support your back and arms if necessary.
  • Relax: Relaxation is key when using a breast pump. Stress and tension can affect milk production, so try to find a quiet, private space where you can relax and focus on pumping.
  • Start on a low setting: When using an electric pump, start on a low suction setting and gradually increase it as necessary. This will help to prevent discomfort and ensure that the pump is effective.
  • Use heat: Applying heat to your breasts before pumping can help to increase milk flow. You can use a warm compress, take a warm shower, or use a heating pad to warm up your breasts before pumping.
  • Massage your breasts: Gently massaging your breasts before and during pumping can help to stimulate milk production and increase milk flow.
  • Switch sides: Alternate breasts when pumping to ensure that both breasts are fully emptied and to prevent engorgement.
  • Pump frequently: Pump frequently to maintain milk production and prevent engorgement. Most experts recommend pumping every two to three hours.
  • Store breast milk properly: Store breast milk in clean, airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Label each container with the date and time that the milk was expressed.
  • Clean your pump: Clean your breast pump thoroughly after each use to prevent infection and ensure that it works properly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and sterilizing your pump.
  • Seek help if needed: If you are experiencing difficulties with pumping, seek help from a lactation consultant or other medical professional. They can provide advice on how to improve milk production and make pumping more comfortable.


Using a breast pump can be a convenient and effective way to provide breast milk to your baby. By choosing the right pump, finding a comfortable position, and following the tips above, you can ensure that pumping is as effective and comfortable as possible. Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and seek help if you have any concerns or difficulties with pumping.