If you've reached the decision that you're going to pump for your baby- and especially if you'll be pumping exclusively- here are three things to make the job much easier and more comfortable for you:
1. A hospital-grade pump: You'll want to rent this, of course, but it will make pumping much more efficient for you and will help to maximize production.
2. A great-fitting nursing bra: It's important that you feel comfortable and supported. You probably will not wear the size you wore pre-pregnancy or even during your pregnancy. Don't let that alarm you. Trust me- I don't normally walk around a 34F, but that's the only thing that would fit me. I shelled out a little extra money for two Medela brand bras and it was money well-spent.
3. A cheerleader: The best person for this job is your husband, but other family members, friends, or even a nurse you're close to can fill in if needed. Having someone who completely supports you and is willing to stand behind you can really help you be successful. For the first few nights, my husband would get up with me in the middle of the night and keep me company and help distract me from the discomfort (because, I won't lie, those first several pumping sessions aren't the most comfortable...) Knowing that he believed in the importance of pumping as much as I did really helped give me the extra nudge if I was feeling discouraged. Having him tell me how great I was for doing it made me feel good.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Go ahead-- pat yourself on the back. You're doing something great for your baby. Now make sure you have all the tools you need to be successful.