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How to Use a Breast Pump

A breast pump offers nursing mothers the freedom to store breast milk for later feedings.


  • Step 1: Sterilize equipment Sterilize and clean all equipment before using either in a hot dishwasher or in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Step 2: Wash hands Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Step 3: Select spot Find a quiet location with a comfortable chair.
  • Step 4: Position pump Position the pump’s breast shield over your entire breast, including the areola.
  • TIP: Milk flow is usually at its peak in the morning.
  • Step 5: Begin pumping Begin pumping at a low speed and gradually increase to a higher speed. Collect milk in the attached plastic bottle or container.
  • Step 6: Turn off pump Turn off the pump before removing the breast shield when you’re finished.
  • TIP: Pumping may take anywhere from five to 20 minutes per side.
  • Step 7: Collect milk Collect breast milk in specially designed plastic bags to store in a freezer or refrigerator until feedings.
  • FACT: Did you know? Edward Lasker, credited with inventing the modern breast pump in 1923, was also a chess master.

You Will Need

  • Soap and water
  • A quiet
  • comfortable location
  • An electric or manual breast pump
  • Plastic containers or bottles
  • Plastic milk bags
  • A dishwasher (optional)

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