Pumping Misconceptions

Pumping is a very helpful tool for busy moms, but yet has many falsely spread misconceptions.

Today, I will be clarifying 3 major misconceptions about pumping, and explaining their facts.

To watch my full video, click on this Link.

Mirna Elsabbagh, Adult & Child Nutritionist - Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition

First Misconception: Pumping reduces the milk supply

Does pumping reduce milk’s amount? NO.

In fact, it may help in increasing or maintaining adequate milk supply, especially if your baby’s breastfeeding frequency is decreasing.

Let’s say you’re breastfeeding 10 times per day consistently for 3 weeks. Then, you decide to pump for an extra (11th) time. Initially, the pumped milk will be of a small amount, but will gradually increase if you keep on pumping for that 11th time for a week. Pumping in this case is stimulating your body to produce more milk. Therefore, pumping won’t affect your milk production amount as long as it’s an extra time over your regular breastfeeding.

However, if in the same case you decided to breastfeed 9 times and keep the 10th for pumping, pumping won’t extract milk like a baby does, and will naturally produce fewer milk amounts. So if you are replacing breastfeeding with a pumping session, it may decrease your milk supply a little bit. However, this is NOT the case if the pumping session is a bonus session.

Also, in case you decided to pump 2/10 of the breastfeeding times, then your body’s milk supply will decrease, which is totally normal. Therefore, I recommend pumping 3 times for every 2 breastfeeding substitutes to get adequate amounts of milk.

Bottom line is to rely mainly on breastfeeding, and to pump milk in an extra amount than your regular breastfeeding frequency. Bonus pumping sessions are awesome and recommended if you want to build a freezer stash.

Fact: Some mothers rely solely on pumping rather than breastfeeding, and are able to produce the same efficient amounts of milk for their babies.


Second Misconception: The pumped milk has a different nutritional value than breastfed milk

In terms of proteins, carbs, fats, and immunological components, pumped milk is GOLD.

The only difference is that during breastfeeding a baby is able to take your bacteria, and the mother’s body can identify viruses to create their specific antibodies, thus boosting the baby’s immunity. However, this is not a huge difference nor a deal-breaker, pumped milk is still very beneficial and effective.

Now you might ask: "But what if I’m a working mom who needs to pump milk and put it in a fridge overnight, will the pumped milk's nutritional value decrease over days?"

The answer is:

Yes, but this happens in tiny quantities. Even if you put your milk in a freezer for up to 3 months, it will still be beneficial for your baby at all ages.

Therefore, in all cases, pumped milk is much better than formula.


Third Misconception: Pumping milk will change your breast’s shape

Pumping generally causes stimulation at the surface of your breasts but will not cause flabbiness or change in shape. This misconception is denied by several researches and articles.

Eventually, if you’re a working mom, who needs to travel, go out, or do any other activity, PUMPING is your best option.

Remember, your pumped milk has nutritional values that can’t even be made in laboratories!


Mirna Elsabbagh, Adult & Child Nutritionist - Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition


I hope this was helpful!

Mirna Sabbagh, an adult and child dietitian, nutritionist, and lactation consultant. She also has several digital courses: Pregnancy Nutrition Course, breastfeeding course,  starting solids 6-12 months courseand also child nutrition for all children including picky eaters, that you can sign up for from the comfort of your home.

The courses are pre-recorded. As soon as you make the course purchase, you will receive a link to watch the course from your phone or laptop.

You can also e-mail Mirna for questions on info@mirnaelsabbagh.com

Mirna is no longer doing consultations. Her online courses and webinars cover 95% of parents common concerns.