What is the Best Position for Electric Breast Pump?

Finding the best position for using an electric breast pump is crucial for nursing mothers seeking comfort, efficiency, and successful milk expression. The right technique not only enhances the pumping experience but also promotes milk flow and reduces discomfort. A well-suited position can vary from person to person, and factors such as breast size, nipple shape, and individual preferences play a role.

In this exploration, we will delve into various positions that can optimize breast pumps for easy milk supply, considering both the practicality of the setup and the physiological aspects of milk expression. Whether you are a new mother or an experienced one seeking improvement, understanding these positions can significantly impact your breastfeeding journey.

Recommended Positions for Electric Breast Pumping

As per a study published, young mothers (under 20), first-time moms, or those lacking formal education require additional attention, support, and guidance to ensure they are able to properly position and attach their babies during breastfeeding in the initial and early feeding sessions. Here are the top effective breastfeeding positions for a better milk flow.

Position 1: Upright Sitting Position


The upright sitting position involves sitting comfortably on a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.

Place the breast pump flanges on your breasts and use your pump’s controls to initiate the suction. This position is ideal for multitasking since you can read, work on your laptop, or watch TV while pumping.

Position 2: Leaning Forward

In this position, lean slightly forward while sitting, allowing gravity to assist in milk expression. Support your breasts with your hands or a nursing bra and let the milk flow into the pump’s flanges.


Position 3: Side-Lying

Side-lying involves lying down on your side while placing the breast pump flanges on your breasts. This position is especially beneficial during night-time pumping or when you need rest while expressing milk.

Position 4: Hands-On Pumping

Hands-on pumping combines hand expression with electric pumping. It involves using your hands to massage and compress your breasts while the pump is running to improve milk flow.

Pumping PositionsAdvantagesDisadvantages
Upright Sitting PositionEasy to maintain Suitable for discreet pumping in public placesMay not be the most efficient position for some women
Leaning ForwardPromotes better milk flow due to gravity assistance Helpful for mothers with a large breast sizeRequires a comfortable chair or cushion for support
Side-LyingPromotes relaxation Convenient for pumping during rest or sleepMay require extra pillows or support for positioning
Hands-On PumpingCan be highly effective in emptying the breasts Gives mothers more control over milk expressionMay take some practice to master the technique

Tips to Get the Best Results with an Electric Breast Pump


Below are some tips to get the best results when any mother is using an electric breast pump for milk extraction:

  • Use a good pumping position. Sit upright and lean slightly forward from the waist so your breasts naturally fall into the pump flanges. Avoid hunching over, which can restrict milk flow.
  • Pump at the right times. First thing in the morning when prolactin levels are highest and after nursing/feeding.
  • Get the right flange size for your nipples and ensure that it has a good seal by adjusting the tubing.
    Use massage techniques before and during pumping.
  • Relax and use motivators like baby pictures/videos/clothing.
  • Pump for 15-20 minutes per full session.
  • Keep pump parts clean by washing them properly after each use.

Factors to Consider for Choosing the Best Position

Comfort and Ease of Use

When selecting the best position, consider your comfort as a top priority. You will likely spend several minutes pumping, so finding a position that doesn’t strain your body is crucial. Comfortable positioning also enhances relaxation, which can aid in the let-down reflex and overall milk flow.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

The position you choose should maximize milk expression. An efficient position ensures that your breast pump’s suction reaches all the milk ducts, leading to a fuller milk supply. An effective pumping position can also help prevent engorgement and plugged ducts.

Avoiding Discomfort and Potential Issues

Improper positioning during pumping can lead to issues like nipple soreness, pain, or improper milk flow. By choosing the right position, you can minimize the risk of discomfort and make your pumping experience more enjoyable.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • Incorrect Flange Size and Fit: Using the wrong flange size can lead to discomfort and ineffective pumping. Make sure the flanges fit your breasts correctly to optimize milk expression.
  • Improper Suction Level Setting: Setting the pump’s suction level too high or too low can cause discomfort and reduce milk flow. Find a comfortable suction level that works for you.
  • Disregarding the Importance of Relaxation During Pumping: Stress and tension can hinder milk flow. Create a calm and relaxing environment while pumping to improve your milk expression.


Choosing the best position for electric breast pumping is essential for a successful and comfortable pumping journey. By understanding the various positions available and considering factors like comfort and effectiveness, you can find the perfect fit for your unique needs. Remember that every mother is different, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different positions to determine what works best for you.