To Pump or Not to Pump: When My Milk Comes In Should I?

When you become a new mother, there are many decisions to be made regarding your child’s well-being. One of the most crucial decisions you will have to make is whether or not to pump your breast milk once it comes in. As with all things parenting, there is no one right answer that suits everyone as every baby and mother's experience will differ slightly. Instead, this article aims at giving you an overview of what pumping entails and its associated advantages and disadvantages so that you can decide if pumping is for you.

To Pump or Not to Pump: When My Milk Comes In Should I?

How Does Breast Milk Work Anyway?

Before making a decision about pumping breast milk, it's useful first to understand how breastmilk works better called Lactation physiology. During pregnancy, hormonal signals tell mother's body breastfeeding needs protein source high in amino acids from food consumption which stimulates her milk ducts growth in preparation for nourishing her child after delivery.

Once the baby arrives into the world they have highly specialised cells found within their mouth, shaped like little stars called ‘lingual frenulum', availing them chance suckle their momma’s breasts which then give them access to milk stored inside mammary glands which sent through lactiferous ducts until finally exiting through specific nipple pores leading directly into shallow region known as Montgomery Tubercles where lipid secretions lubricate nipples plus protect them from cracking.

Upon suckling on these nipples frequently enough (~8-12 times/day ideally), hormone prolactin rises responsible signals enhanced production more “foremilk”. This foremilk flow regenerates approximately 50ml/draining procedure although Mother Nature has taken aboard time-saving technique allowing next bit produced consists more of thicker creamier fat-rich hind-milk (helpful constructing/repairing developing neonatal brain tissues)

Leaking remains common place especially beyond initial phase likely encountering poor latching sessions , or when time frame extends beyond 4-5 hours from previous feeding. But what truly happens once milk comes in?

What Happens When Milk Comes In

On average, a new mother's breasts start producing milk two to five days after giving birth (prompted by hormonal symphony with placenta removal). This process is referred to as ‘milk coming in’ may engender slight discomfitures like fullness/breast engorgements or leakage.

Unfortunately, this also makes your female chest regions expand to point of discomfort plus nervous about busting through that top you were planning on wearing for the next decade…) and as breast size increases so too does heightened risk of stretch marks appearing especially if previous bulk of childhood/teenage years were accompanied by comparative lithe upper-body features(note: think busty vs less endowed teenage pals sort of thing)

As moms learn more comfort measures and manage day-to-day care for their infants, pumping becomes viable consideration. Needless say being able handover little bundle joys perhaps easier if other caregivers willing assume duties accordingly

Reasons Why Women Choose To Pump Breastmilk

There are many reasons why a mother might decide to pump her breast milk instead of breastfeeding directly. Some women choose to pump because they need to return to work soon and want someone else such as relatives/those sharing childcare responsibilities (or even hired nannies) take over feeding duties while away rather than introducing baby formula prematurely potentially exposing young ones suffering painful colic symptoms - bothersome gas/fluid accumulation within intestines causing crying spells /overall fussiness).

Pumping can be an ideal way for working mothers who don't have easy access back home during long shifts maintain lactation supply thuse ensuring continual nourishment contentment obtained even whilst maternal presence absent.

Moreover experiencing high levels PPD(postpartum depression)/feelings anxiety post-birth remains common struggle amongst multitude new mom’s highlighting possible apprehension creating undesired closeness bonding with their newborn. Many find time alone can help alleviate this issue also make them feel better-able relate/contact when it suits rather not feeling forced situation.

It may even be a personal preference or convenience like not having other sibs around who need attention leaving mom incapable dedicating chunks nursing periods to one child conveniently enough pumping affords splitting up feeding routines more easily without jeopardising breast milk supply regulations for varying neonates.

Advantages of Pumping Breast Milk

There are many advantages to choosing to pump your breast milk, including:


One of the most significant benefits of pumping breast milk is its high degree of flexibility because you do have control over timing and quantity produced (in conjunction with how frequent breasts draining occurs). You may choose to feed your baby whenever necessary. If you must be away from your child during feeding times, keeping ‘backup stores’ in fridge/freezer allows regaining precious mental inches flexible hence much-loved "Me-Time" beloved by moms everywhere!

Increased Milk Supply

Every new mother trying her best know latching difficulties belong perfectly within ordinary spectrum little infants struggle grasping manually positioning while Mother's navigating biology intricacies 'how-to' painless diaper changing sessions all at once(note: {this skill might require some form martial arts/multi-tasking training ;)})

If these problems occur frequently stress levels arise often leading reduced lactation supply maybe triggered via hormone disruption usually high cortisol levels suppress lactose output thus expressing milk same frequency/separation intervals than attempted satiation endeavor will prevent depletion typical blood serum prolactin concentrations restored previously ravenous puckered bundle arrived.

Many mothers worry about producing enough milk or suffering from low-milk supply yet pumping serves aid boosting production augmenting stimulation albeit hands-free.


Pumping can give women higher level comfort plus convenience factor as they try balancing home chores alongside infant care duties such as feeding. No longer becomes necessary to sit around topless ensure young one receives nourishment, instead thanks breast pump’s invention Mother Nature new pal bottle option accessible for dinner.

Sharing Responsibility

Whether it's allowing your partner or other family members to take turns feeding the baby or simply never having to worry about how often you need to breastfeed; pumping enables others be more involved enabling even creating opportunity shaping closer relational bonds with infant.

Disadvantages of Pumping Breast Milk

Of course, there are some disadvantages and risks associated with pumping that should be taken into consideration before making a decision if this approach is right for you:

High Investment Costs

Most quality pumps tend come along high investment costs (at least upfront) thus can potentially burn through bank account already stretched thin by all those pre-baby prep expenses.

Furthermore purchasing spare parts (flanges/backflow protectors/tube connectors etc), bottles/bags plus freezer slots PLUS ensuring adequate sterilisation procedures in addition frequent water changes recommended mandate logistics space management amidst sleep-deprived parenthood haze

Time Investment

While resting at home binging Netflix might seem tempting enough duty calls every now then…. especially when faced mammoth house cleaning tasks/work deadlines/other general mummy care duties and/or driving from point A->B several times/day(sleep deprivation wrecks havoc multitasking abilities). Everything must wait until both Mommy & Baby have been adequately fed/pumped which sometimes requires sacrificing personal time hobbies/activities missed because handling milk production demands priority levels rise.

Physical Discomfort / Risk Of Infection

Using an incorrectly sized flange could mean mothers face inevitable nipple damage ranging from mild discomfort up more serious infections like mastitis(inflammation caused by clogged ducts providing milk exit blockage)

Immunoglobulins present within human bodily fluids secure long-standing ailment immunity ever-present prevention opportunities possible unless substandard sterilization used enabling harmful bacteria/yeast/fungi contamination entrenching.


As a new mother, the decision whether to pump or not can be challenging with all the advantages and disadvantages mentioned above but remember there are no hard rules while making such decisions. In some cultures women say what worked for their great- great grandparents might hold true now as well. Provided baby receiving necessary amounts of nourishment along regular opportunities developing beneficial bonding time frames any approaches decided upon by mom will be worthwhile endeavours everyone involved!

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *