The Australian Breastfeeding Association reports that about 96% of mothers in Australia initiate breastfeeding. As most of these mothers rely on breast pumps to preserve breast milk, comfort and convenience become key factors in their motherhood.
One question that frequently arises among nursing mothers is: Can a wearable breast pump be used while sleeping? Well, it relies on the nature of the breast pump, your comfort level, and your ability not to disturb proper posture.
Benefits of Using a Wearable Breast Pump While Sleeping
While lying down with a breast pump in the bed, a nursing mother gets several advantages. Here are some of the key benefits:
Relaxation and Comfort for Mothers
Lying down can aid in the reduction of stress and increasing relaxation that may ultimately trigger a let-down reflex allowing you to pump milk more efficiently. A comfortable position may also relieve some common problems, including engorgement and sore nipples.
Easier Nighttime Pumping
For mothers pumping at night it may be easier to lie down when carrying out this procedure. In this way, you will not need to be fully awake and move from your bed to pump breast milk. Instead, you may find yourself in a more relaxed state and possibly drifting off to sleep sooner after pumping.
Motivates Self-Care and Rest
Mothering is stressful, and it’s necessary to make rest a priority. Pumping in a seated position enables you to accomplish two things at once – milk expression and relaxation.
Potential Risks and Challenges of Using a Wearable Breast Pump While Sleeping
Although using a breast pump while lying down has numerous advantages, there are also some drawbacks and associated hazards. Here are some of the most common:
It’s Difficult to Maintain a Proper Flange Placement
When lying down, it is difficult to maintain the proper location of the breast pump flange on a nipple. This is a potential cause of reduced suction and efficiency leading to compromising your breast milk production.
Potential Strain on Shoulders and Neck
However, it would be necessary to crane your neck or hunch your shoulders when you are lying down with a breast pump to see what is being operated on and holding the bottle in place. With time, this strain results in pain and muscle aches.
High Risk of Milk Spillage or Leakage
Laying down when pumping increases the chances of spilling milk, especially if the flange dislodges. This scenario is often frustrating, and this leads to spoilt milk.
Tips for Using a Wearable Breast Pump While Sleeping
Are you ready to test using a breast pump while lying down? These tips will help you have a more productive experience.
Selecting the Right Breast Pump
A good breast pump is an important factor in your comfort and performance when nursing while in any posture. When lying down, an electric breast pump – a double electric one in particular – is going to be the most reliable option considering it offers constant and effective suction without you needing to work on them.
Establishing an Environment that is Safe and Comfortable
Ensure that you lie on a firm surface, such as a mattress or cushion. Propping your head, neck, and shoulders with pillows can help you keep a comfortable position while pumping.
Proper Positioning and Techniques
Lying on your back, or supported at a slight angle may be the best position since gravity helps to hold the flange in its proper place.