Pumping 101: An Honest Refresher for National Breastfeeding Month

Pumping 101: An Honest Refresher for National Breastfeeding Month

August is National Breastfeeding Month! We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mom, so for the next few weeks we’ll be focused on tips to help you stick to your breastfeeding goals.

At some point during your feeding journey, like when you return to work, you may end up using a breast pump to help maintain your supply and store your milk for future feedings. Today we’re reviewing some basic steps to pumping and sharing some tips to help you get the most out of it. Every body and experience is different, so it’s important to do what feels right to you — don’t be afraid to ask for help.

How to Use a Breast Pump

Step 1: Wash hands with soap and water (or use Hand Sanitizer if hands are not dirty)

Step 2: Assemble pump

Step 3: Sit comfortably and relaxed (think about baby or look at a picture to help with your milk production!)

Step 4: Pump!

Step 5: After breasts are empty, clean pump parts and store milk

6 Tips for Improving Milk Output when Pumping


  1. Massage breasts prior to pumping
  2. Look at a photo of your baby prior to and during pumping
  3. Empty breasts more frequently (full breasts signal body to stop milk production, empty breasts signal body to produce milk)
  4. Ensure flange fits properly (not too tight, not too loose)
  5. Pump for a few extra minutes after milk stops flowing to increase supply
  6. If you are having any difficulty, reach out to a lactation consultant or healthcare provider for help

Interested in learning more? Check out some ways to get dad involved in breastfeeding and these products that help support breastfeeding.

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.