PARENTS
06/03/2019 13:12 EDT

Breast Milk Pumping Hack Could Ease New Moms' Stress

Pumping is becoming more common, but it isn't easy.

JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images
Recent research found that 85 per cent of U.S. moms express milk at least some of the time.

More and more new moms are pumping, whether it’s exclusively from the get-go, after a feeding to help get their supply up, to keep a stash in the freezer, to feed your baby after returning to work, or all of the above.

But for many women— especially those struggling with their supply— pumping can be a stressful experience. Not only is it time-consuming, but watching your milk slowly drip into a bottle that seems like it will never fill (while knowing your baby is relying on it for food) can be incredibly demoralizing. 

Which is why this hack from a lactation consultant in Switzerland is so simple, it’s actually genius.

Johanna Sargeant needed to pump for 20 minutes after every feeding to boost her supply, and she’d “sit there and watch,” becoming more and more demoralized about how little milk was coming out, she wrote on May 31 on her Facebook page “Milk and Motherhood.

“I realized that, for my own mental health, I needed to stop watching! Easier said than done,” Sargeant wrote.

“Enter the baby sock.”

She now advises all pumping moms to slip a baby sock over the bottle to “remove themselves mentally from the result,” she added. And some women are reporting it helps with their output.

“We know that oxytocin release is inhibited by stress, and oxytocin release is required for letdowns, so if you find you are getting stressed while watching, try it!”

More and more women are pumping

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a baby registry without a breast pump on it these days. Recent research found that 85 per cent of U.S. moms express milk at least some of the time.

The major reasons include difficulty with latch, being able to let someone else feed the baby, building an emergency supply, relieving painful breast engorgement, increasing breast milk supply, or supporting pre-term babies in neonatal intensive care units who aren’t ready to breast feed.

WATCH: The gross things no one warns you about motherhood. Story continues below.

 

And HuffPost U.S. recently reported that five per cent of moms pump exclusively, but suggests the number may actually be quite a bit higher since that data is a decade old.

Meanwhile, more celebrities are sharing images of themselves pumping, including Rachel McAdams’ famous picture for “Girls Girls Girls” magazine.

“Pumping breast milk with a machine is one of the least sexy, but most enrolled-in extracurricular activities for new mothers,” Yafa Sakkejha,  CEO of Beneplan, recently wrote for HuffPost Canada.

In an online forum, one mom described crying several times a day over the stress of pumping, adding that when she thinks of doing it until the baby is a year old, she could “break.”

So, of the thousands of comments on Sargeant’s Facebook post, little surprise that most of them were words of gratitude for the tip.

“Such great advice — wish I’d thought of that in my early pumping days, I used to get so stressed,” one mom wrote.

“Next time I try the sock,” wrote another.

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