How to empty the breasts

Breastfeeding moms are advised to 'empty the breasts' to encourage supply, and to prevent clogged ducts. I latch and also pump. I'm a first time mom and I'm not sure how to do that actually. And how do we know they are emptied? 1) After latching must I always pump? 2) When I pump, when should I stop? After the last drop of milk?

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Super Mum

Hey mama! LOL! I so understand and can certainly relate! I used to wish we had a peephole into our breasts (with a lid and a latch) so that I can see exactly what’s going on in there and I wouldn’t keep guessing! :) Ok so firstly, the best way to know that your breasts are emptied is easier when you’re direct latching. Baby will be your best cue as she will either fall off the breast really contented (and sometimes fall into a deep sleep) or ask for the other side. As for pumps, the only way you can tell is if you feel your breasts are empty - which isn’t quite as easy because when your breasts become more efficient at the demand and supply game, they won’t feel as full and you could still be filled with milk even when you don’t feel so. The answer is really, your breasts are never really all empty because we are constantly producing milk. To answer the next few questions: 1) if you’re pumping just to ensure you’re empty - like for 5-10min, that’s ok to do as well. You don’t always have to pump after latching but many mums do find that this helps to increase their milk supply. You can read this article of how it benefitted one mother here: However do bear in mind that mothers who do this sometimes do encounter an oversupply later on so you’ll need to know when to regulate between DL and pumping. 2) I really like this article from Medela coz it’s really detailed. Do give it a read through if you can: It suggests 15-20min with a double electric pump. You could also take the cue from baby - time how long she takes to latch and fall off then do the same for the pump. Do bear in mind tho that initially, your body will need to get used to the pump just as how your body got used to baby’s schedule and feeding patterns. So be gentle with yourself. The article also suggests that you stop once you see the last drop of milk like you suggested. I do hope this helps!

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