New moms are bombarded with so many questions that they may not have considered before or even during pregnancy. Many of those questions concern breastfeeding. Does breastfeeding work for your lifestyle? How do you manage breastfeeding at work? What are the best tools to use? Should you use an electric or a manual pump?
Enjoy the simplicity of a manual breast pump!
For those of you who are looking for a simple breast pumping option, you may want to consider the Medela Harmony Manual Pump. This pump is great for moms who:
- May not have access to electricity when it’s time to pump
- Are traveling on long car rides
- Do not pump often
How do manual breast pumps work?
The Medela Harmony Manual Pump works by a lever that is manually pumped to extract milk from one breast. It is a single breast pump that is designed for occasional time away from your baby. Most electric breast pumps extract milk from both breasts at the same time — the manual pump is designed for pumping a single breast, which can make sessions last a bit longer depending on milk supply.
To get started using your Medela manual pump:
- Read the instructions before getting started.
- Next, be sure to wash your hands and ensure that your breast pump is clean.
- Find a comfortable space.
- Place the breast shield over your breast, centered over the nipple. (To learn about the anatomy of a breast pump, read our guide to how breast pumps work)
- Start pumping. It may take a few minutes before the milk starts to flow.
Once the milk starts to flow:
It is important to manually mimic the suckling pattern of a baby by pumping quickly at first, then slowing down. This pattern will encourage let-down and increase the amount of milk you extract. This will ensure that you get the most milk as you can to store or feed to baby. Also, be sure to switch breasts every five minutes. You may find that one breast produces more milk than the other. This is completely normal and is to be expected.
When you are done pumping:
- Remove the breast shield.
- Separate the bottle from the pump and place a cap on it.
- Wash any parts that came in contact with your breast or with the milk in warm, soapy water. Allow the pieces to air dry.
Storing breast milk
Breast milk can be left out at room temperature for about 4 to 6 hours. If you are traveling, you can leave the milk in a cooler for up to 24 hours. Once you are near a refrigerator, you can keep it there for up to 5 days, or in a freezer for 6 to 12 months. If you are looking for more information on freezing breast milk, we can help with that too — read our guide to storing and freezing breast milk for baby. Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby. That is why it is important to find the right tools that will support you in making this decision. For more helpful tips on starting breastfeeding, check out our beginners guide to using a breast pump!