Breast Pump

  1. Perform hand hygiene. Instruct the patient to perform hand hygiene prior to the breast pumping session.
  2. Verify the patient's identity using two patient identifiers in accordance with institutional policy.
  3. Verify appropriate breast pump assembly. Refer to the breast pump manufacturer's instruction pamphlet for specifics.
  4. Ensure the patient is positioned in a comfortable chair and assist with pillow as needed to support her arms while she pumps. If an electric breast pump is being used, ensure the patient's chair is positioned next to an electrical outlet.
  5. Instruct and assist the patient as needed to position her nipple(s) in the breast shield(s) of the pump. Gently adjust the breast shield(s) until the nipple fits comfortably in the center of the opening of the breast shield(s) without pinching, pulling, or otherwise causing discomfort to the nipple, areola, and surrounding breast tissue. Consult the breast pump's instruction manual for tips on appropriately positioning the nipple in the breast shield(s).
  6. Encourage the patient to double-pump. If she agrees, help her position the breast shield appropriately on the other nipple.
  7. If an electric or battery-powered breast pump is being used, turn the switch to the on position. Make sure that the suction level is at its lowest setting when the patient starts to pump. Suction should be increased as needed until the patient feels a strong tug on the nipple and areola but no pain. If a manual pump is being used, instruct the patient to squeeze the pump handle until she feels a strong tug on her nipple and areola but no pain.
  8. In the first 1 to 3 days after birth, when the patient is producing colostrum, limit breast pumping sessions to 5 to 10 minutes. If several days have elapsed since birth and the patient is producing breast milk, sessions should last 15 to 30 minutes.
  9. Once milk begins to flow in a breast pump session, ensure that it is not leaking from the pump.
  10. When pumping is finished, an electric or battery-powered pump should be turned off and the patient instructed to gently insert a finger between her breast and the breast shield to break the vacuum seal.
  11. Remove the bottle from the rest of the pump. If the infant is to have the breast milk immediately, place a nipple on the bottle for the feeding. If the infant is not going to feed immediately after the pumping session, transfer the milk to another bottle or breast milk bag. Use the suggested identifiers to label the breast milk properly.
  12. Perform hand hygiene. Instruct patient to perform hand hygiene.
  13. Document the procedure in the patient's record.
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