Everything You Need to Know about Pumping Breast Milk

For many moms, pumping breast milk is a critical and helpful part of their breastfeeding experience. Pumping has some terrific benefits, more than just some time away from your baby. Today we’re exploring everything you need to know about pumping breast milk, from the logistics of pumping, to the reasons it may be a useful part of your breastfeeding journey.

What is a Breast Pump?

A breast pump is a device that allows you to express and collect your breast milk. It mimics the suckling of your baby at the breast to stimulate the flow of milk. The milk is collected in a bottle or bag and can be stored for use at a later time.

Types of Breast Pumps

Everything You Need to Know about Pumping Breast MilkBreast pumps come in manual and electric versions. Both use phalanges – funnel-like shields that suction onto your breasts. In a manual breast pump you will use your hand to squeeze or plunge a mechanism that simulates the tug of your baby at the breast. Electric pumps have a motor that does the work for you and you have the option of different strengths and settings. Hospital grade electric breast pumps are extremely strong and efficient.

If you only plan to pump occasionally or as an emergency back-up, a manual breast pump will probably suffice. If you will be pumping daily, you probably want to get an electric breast pump. Many insurance plans include a free electric breast pump so check with your provider before purchasing one. If you find you need to pump during your hospital stay and you don’t have a breast pump yet, you can easily rent a hospital grade pump on site.

Reasons for Pumping Breast Milk

Pumping breast milk is not just for moms who will be returning to work although that is definitely a reason to pump. Pumping can also be helpful if you need to spend some time away from your baby, perhaps for a little R&R, running errands or a date night with the hubs. Even if you’re not planning to be away from your baby, you may find it more convenient to pump and serve a bottle when you are away from home or simply have a stash of breast milk available in the freezer for a future outing.

Some mothers choose to exclusively pump rather than feed their babies at the breast. This may be because they want to know exactly how much breast milk their baby is getting or they may find it easier, especially if they are working and away from their babies often. Mothers who exclusively pump can create their own pumping schedule but may find it easier to pump around the same times that their baby takes a bottle.

If you experience low milk supply or an oversupply of milk, pumping can help with both of these extremes. The best way to boost your milk supply is by expressing milk more often and draining your breasts thoroughly, whether that is through breastfeeding or pumping. Also, engorgement is common in the early weeks and months of breastfeeding as your body tries to figure out exactly how much to produce for your growing baby. Pumping breast milk to relieve painful full breasts and prevent a plugged duct and potential infection is smart. Full breasts may also make it difficult for your baby to latch.

The Best Times to Pump Milk

If you’re going back to work, pumping around the same time that your baby eats will help you maintain your milk supply and ensure your milk is ready at the times your baby normally nurses (for weekends or days when you will be together). To build up a supply of extra milk, start pumping a few times a day several weeks before returning to work. This will also help you get the hang of pumping too.

The most efficient times to pump are after your morning feeding and before you go to bed. Usually this is when you’ll be able to express the most milk. Pre-bedtime pumping is great once your baby starts sleeping for longer stretches at night. You’ll be able to drain your breasts but have plenty of time to replenish before your she nurses again.

Also pump anytime your feel your breasts are too full and you need relief. This may mean you pump for only a short time before or after a feeding. If you need to boost your milk supply, pump after or in-between feedings to stimulate your milk production. You can even try cluster pumping where you pump every half an hour for several hours.

Tips for Pumping Breast Milk

Treat pumping like breastfeeding. It’s a sacred time of loving nourishment for your baby, even if she isn’t actually there. In a comfy spot, sit back, relax and think of your baby while pumping for the best results.

Pumping should not be painful. When using an electric pump, start on a low setting and increase the speed or force after your letdown occurs. You may need to massage your breasts or lean forward to help stimulate your breasts at the beginning of a pumping session.

Wearing a nursing bra or cami while pumping makes the process much easier, especially if you are pumping at work. Just like breastfeeding, you can simply unhook the nursing clasps or slide over the cups for easy access to your breasts.

Factors That Affect Pumping Output

Pumping is a great tool to ensure your baby has breast milk when you are separated however pumping will never truly replicate breastfeeding. Your baby will always be more efficient at your breast due to her natural suckling ability and your emotional connection. For that reason, you cannot judge how much breast milk your baby is getting by your pumping output. However, if you need to increase your pumping output, consider these factors:

  • Is your pump working properly? The motor on your electric pump may start to fade or some of the connecting pieces may wear out.
  • The emotional connection you have with your baby is almost as essential for breastfeeding as the physical stimulation. While pumping, look at photos or videos of your baby or simply think about her. This can increase your pumping output significantly.
  • Mothers who breastfeed full-time and then pump will yield less breast milk than mothers who pump in replacement of feedings.
  • Your baby may drink more during growth spurts or less when she starts solids, which will decrease or increase your pumping output.
  • Any changes to your hormones may alter your pumping output including your menstrual cycle and being on birth control.
  • Your mental, emotional and physical health, well-being and habits play a role as well. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and managing stress appropriately are all essential to successful breastfeeding and pumping.
  • Any time your milk supply suffers, your pumping output will suffer as well. Be sure you’re doing everything necessary to maintain a healthy milk supply, most importantly breastfeeding or pumping frequently and draining your breasts completely.

How to Clean your Breast Pump

It’s probably impossible to sterilize your breast pump after each use but you should sanitize it. While you should consult your breast pump’s manual for specific instructions, most breast pumps can be sanitized with hot water and baby-safe dish soap. Disassemble the pump before washing so you can thoroughly soak every crevice. Wash it for at least 15 seconds and then lay it on a paper towel to dry. Never use a cloth that may harbor germs and bacteria. Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your breast pump and try not to touch any parts that come in contact with your breast milk once the pump has been sanitized. Some pumps are dishwasher safe or compatible with microwaveable sanitizing bags.

Sources: BabyCenter, KellyMom, FDA and What to Expect

 

Loving Moments believes moms should have the knowledge, resources and power to make the healthiest choices for their babies, starting with breastfeeding. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month in August, we are sharing Breastfeeding Basics, our educational blog series that we hope will empower you with information, encouragement and inspiration to meet your breastfeeding goals.

 

Nursing Moms at Work

There may be some good news for nursing moms at work in the coming months. A recently proposed federal regulation would require employers to provide adequate time and space for breastfeeding moms to pump during work hours.  The aim is to support new moms who return to work as they continue to breastfeed and provide the best first food nutrition for their babies.

The regulation was issued by the Department of Labor and covers overtime pay and rights for nursing moms, both of which could benefit breastfeeding moms who return to work. The overtime potion of the rule would institute higher salaries or increased hourly compensation for employers – including working moms – who work overtime. And the regulation would require employers to give new moms break time to pump during their work day and a clean space to pump other than a bathroom. Big improvements!

Nursing Moms at WorkUnfortunately the overtime and pumping rules are currently in limbo based on backlash from businesses and states that oppose it and feel the Department of Labor has overstepped their jurisdiction. A federal judge postponed ruling on the matter as of now and with a new administration taking office in January, the regulation may never come to fruition.

Hopefully these strides for employees and working moms will take effect as people with various political views support higher wages and healthy choices for families. These employment rules have been modified and expanded several times over the 80 years since they were instituted under administrations of both political parties.

Breastfeeding moms have already seen substantial improvements in governmental support in recent years. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act most insurance policies provide lactation support for new moms and many offer free breast pumps or breast pump rentals. This focus on breastfeeding is encouraging for families everywhere that value breastfeeding as the healthiest choice for their babies. Statistics show that breastfed babies are healthier, requiring less workplace absences from parents caring for sick children and less of a financial toll on health insurance.

Where regulations are lacking is paid maternity leave. Some companies offer paid time off after having a baby but others do not. When mothers don’t have adequate time off to heal, bond with their babies, and establish a strong breastfeeding routine, they are less likely to continue exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended six months and beyond. Mothers often cite their return to work or lack of support from their employers as the reason for terminating breastfeeding.

Should the regulation proceed, this would be a major win for nursing moms at work across the country! Our hope is that breastfeeding moms who return to work get the support they need in every aspect of their lives, including in the workplace.

Sources: The Huffington Post

This is what it’s like for me to go out as a Breastfeeding Mom

This is what it’s like for me to go out as a Breastfeeding MomWhen you’re a breastfeeding mom, almost everything revolves around breastfeeding. As the only food source for another precious human being, your job as a breastfeeder is a big responsibility and one that is demanding and time-consuming. Of course your other duties don’t all-of-the-sudden disappear just because you’re breastfeeding. Nope, not the way it works. You’re now juggling all of life’s responsibilities through a new lens. That’s what makes breastfeeding one of the many aspects of motherhood that is simultaneously the best and hardest job in the world.

But wait, here’s another curveball: what if you want to go somewhere without your baby? When you’re a breastfeeding mom getting out without your baby is hard and I’m not just talking about finding a trustworthy babysitter.

I’m very “Type A” so schedules are important to me. I so admire moms with a more carefree spirit that appear to have an easier time “going with the flow” when it comes to breastfeeding, sleep and all aspects of motherhood. My personality made feeding on demand particularly difficult and my now 9-month-old son’s resistance to adhere to my desired sleep schedule was incredibly frustrating. Yes, I realize babies are tiny humans with their own agendas and opinions. But he came from my womb so doesn’t he appreciate schedules too? It took awhile but now we’re seeing more eye-to-eye on this issue.

Finally my baby is on a pretty good schedule of eating and sleeping although sometimes we adjust it as necessary if we’re having an outside the routine kind of day. Even with a schedule that I initiated, my life as a breastfeeding mom is broken down into 2½ hour chunks of time between feedings. Meaning if my baby is going to have something to eat, I have to be physically with him every 2½ hours or I have to pump.  Gone are my “me days” of wandering joyously and aimlessly around 100+ stores at an outlet mall or going on day trips to the mountains to hike to beautiful waterfalls…at least for awhile. It’s all part of the sacrifices of motherhood. I certainly miss my freedom, but I’m not complaining because I get so many rewards in exchange.

It’s a good thing I’m a planner because planning is such a part of my experience as a breastfeeding mom. I work part-time, I have a 5-year-old son, and my husband likes spending adult time with me (occasionally at least). So when I’m working, hanging out with my older son without the baby, and going on a date with my husband, I’m constantly planning around breastfeeding and pumping. It is often a big puzzle I’m working out in my mind and it can be exhausting, especially when I’m the only one focused on the details and the rest of motherhood must go on too.

When I’m away from my baby during the day I try to pump before I leave the house, however that’s not always possible. Sometimes the pump comes along for the ride and I find myself pumping in carpool line or at karate practice. It’s caused me to spill milk more times than I care to admit and it’s rather stressful and awkward, but it’s what needs to be done.

When I’m going on a date with my husband, I plan my entire day around it because I not only have to plan for breastfeeding, I also want to look halfway decent. I am a stickler for the schedule those days to ensure we leave on time. I chip away at getting myself ready throughout the day. Between one set of feedings I may take a shower, the next I’ll do my makeup, then later I’ll make dinner for my older son and puree for the baby.

As soon as the baby finishes his evening feeding and I put him down for the night, I’m rushing off to pump before heading out. I try to pump before leaving because I know I’ll be tired and ready for bed when we return. (As all parents understand, another freedom lost in parenthood is sleeping in on weekends, or ever!  My baby is the most adorable alarm clock I’ve ever met and incredibly reliable for my 6 a.m. daily wakeup call.)

Sometimes I choose not to go out because it’s just too much work and the thought of preparing for a night out is exhausting. As much as I like a nice meal that I don’t have to cook or seeing a movie in a theater, some days I simply cannot handle the details that it would require for me to make that happen. I’m OK with that sacrifice because I truly believe in breastfeeding. In my world it’s an added challenge but one that I accept wholeheartedly. No one is twisting my arm, no one guilted me into it. It’s the choice I make because I believe breastfeeding is the best for my baby, for me and my family. Whether I choose to stay in or venture out without the baby and juggle everything that entails, I always feel great about my choice to breastfeed.

Written by Erin, Loving Moments Brand Ambassador

World Breastfeeding Week: Breastfeeding and the Working Mom

World Breastfeeding Week is in full swing and we’re proud to support this amazing cause every year.  When it comes to a mother’s choice to breastfeed and her desire to provide the very best nutrition for her baby, sometimes there are barriers to success, especially when mothers work outside the home and spend time away from their babies.  Breastfeeding after returning to work can be challenging but is completely possible with the proper support.  Today were taking a look at breastfeeding and the working mom.

World Breastfeeding Week:  Breastfeeding and the Working MomBreastfeeding and the workplace are a critical component of the theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2016 – Breastfeeding, a key to sustainable development.  Women make up nearly half of the labor force in the U.S. and almost 75% of these women work full-time.  As such a substantial part of the country’s workforce and as a vital element to the family unit’s income, women are a valuable asset in the workplace for businesses and families.  Therefore, supporting mothers as they start families and make responsible feeding choices for their babies should be crucial to businesses.

Unfortunately, many moms do not feel their employers value their decision to have babies and breastfeed.  Despite the many strides in overcoming gender inequities in the workplace, childbearing and breastfeeding continues to be an issue that holds women back in their careers.

When it comes to breastfeeding and the working mom, there are a few eye-opening insights that prevent mothers from achieving their breastfeeding goals.  Studies indicate women who return to work full-time are half as likely to be breastfeeding their babies by 6 months.  Also, women who have shorter maternity leaves terminate breastfeeding earlier than those with longer maternity leaves.

The obvious barrier to breastfeeding success for mothers who work full-time is separation from their babies.  Allowing mothers to be productive at work and continue breastfeeding, requires three critical elements from employers:  a substantial maternity leave, a flexible schedule, and the ability to pump.

First, an adequate maternity leave helps moms solidify a breastfeeding relationship with their babies.  This not only allows mother’s time to recover from childbirth and adjust to life with a new baby, it also gives moms a chance to nurture their milk supply by breastfeeding their babies as often as necessary.  When moms and babies have the opportunity and time to learn to breastfeed, they have a greater likelihood of success.  Maternity leaves of two or more months can help families establish a healthy breastfeeding routine before moms return to work.

When the time comes for mom to go back to work, flexibility can make the transition much easier.  Flexibility can come in various forms including adjusting her work schedule, job sharing, changing roles for less time-sensitive assignments, and requiring less travel, to name a few.  Offering flexibility also boosts a new mom’s morale and increases job satisfaction.  Employees feel more valued and are happier when their employers are willing to work with their needs to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Of course when mothers work full-time and are separated from their babies, they must pump to maintain their milk supply and have breast milk to provide their babies during their absence.  Pumping requires time, space and tolerance from management and peers. Although pumping breaks are not required by law, many employers are open to helping new moms.  Before returning to work, new moms are encouraged to discuss their desire to pump with their supervisor.  For the space, a mother can request a clean room that locks with a chair and an outlet for the breast pump.  She’ll also need to pump several times a day without feeling she is not fulfilling her duties, being shamed or sabotaging her career.

Although many employers may not see it this way, ultimately allowing mothers the opportunity for breastfeeding success benefits everyone.  Breastfed babies are sick less often, which means mothers are present at work more often.  Breastfeeding is also great for a mother’s health.  This combination of health benefits is less taxing on the business’ health insurance too.  Mothers will also enjoy their jobs more and feel dedicated to their work if they are allowed to achieve these personal goals alongside maintaining their careers.

With strategic planning and commitment, mothers can be successful in meeting their breastfeeding goals when returning to work.

 

How Often Should I Pump While Breastfeeding

Pumping breast milk for your baby may be a necessity or a convenience for you.  Some moms have to spend time away from their babies for medical reasons or to return to work.  Others want the flexibility of having someone else feed their baby and participate in the nourishment process.  Either way, many moms ask: how often should I pump while breastfeeding.  The answer differs for each mom and is based on your goals.

Whether you’re trying to increase milk supply or simply have more milk to store, here are a few pumping guidelines:

how often should I pump while breastfeedingYou can begin pumping as soon as you want after giving birth but avoid giving your baby a bottle until at least two weeks of age, if possible.  This will help establish breastfeeding as your baby’s primary source of feeding.  Your baby will stimulate your breast better than a pump.  Plus you want your baby to be most familiar with sucking from your nipple rather than a bottle.

Milk supply is strongest in the morning and then slows towards the late afternoon and evening.  Therefore, pumping in the morning is an ideal time to collect the most milk.  If you are only pumping to have more milk to store, you’re probably fine doing it once per day in the morning.  Pumping sessions should last between 10 and 15 minutes if you’re pumping both breasts at once.

On the other hand, if you are trying to increase milk supply, pump about half an hour after a feeding or one hour before a feeding several times a day.  You may not get very much but you are still stimulating your breasts and training them to produce more at certain times.  Be consistent with your pumping schedule to allow your body to adjust to milk demands accordingly.

Other ways to pump to increase milk supply include pumping the opposite breast while your baby is feeding to take advantage of the let down from your baby’s stimulation.  Or try pumping one breast when your baby is nursing on her second side.  Another way to increase milk production is to pump for 5 or 10 minutes beyond the last drops you produce.  Take a break and then start pumping again.

If you are pumping to relieve your breasts of excessive milk, do so whenever you feel it is necessary but only for short periods of time. Pump until you have alleviated the discomfort however pumping too long will make your body continue to produce more milk at that time.  When your breasts are too full you are at risk of getting clogged ducts and eventually mastitis so you should express a little bit to keep the milk flowing.  This is usually a problem towards the beginning of breastfeeding when you are establishing your routine milk supply.  After a few weeks your body should adjust to what your baby needs.

Some moms choose to exclusively pump and offer breast milk only through bottles.  While there are advantages derived from the very act of breastfeeding, providing breast milk – whether straight from the breast or through a bottle – is still the best nourishment for your baby.  Mothers who exclusively pump may do so because their babies have trouble latching, they have to be away from their babies for extended periods of time or they feel more secure knowing the exact volume their babies are drinking.

To answer the question “how often should I pump while breastfeeding” you should consider your own goals.  Some moms never pump, some pump one to four times daily, while others pump for every feeding.  To figure out your ideal pumping situation, examine your goals, your milk supply and always take the lead from your baby.

Checking in with our Superstar Spokesmom, Danah Bordner

LPGA Golfer Danah Bordner and Loving Moments SpokesMom!

LPGA Golfer Danah Bordner and Loving Moments SpokesMom!

As a LPGA golfer, mother of two, wife and advocate, Danah Bordner is a busy working mom.  If you ask her, she is the luckiest lady on the planet because she gets to pursue all of her passions and fulfill her dreams.  As busy as life gets, she wasn’t too busy to find time to breastfeed and pump for her two daughters, Taylor (3) and Reagan (1) as she tours the world playing tournaments.  Plus, she finds time to advocate for ovarian cancer awareness, a cause that is close to her heart.

Mothering on Tour

Danah feels fortunate to bring her daughters with her to tournaments about 75% of the time.  Having her girls close, and being able to maintain breastfeeding and pumping, improves her game on the course and as a mom.  Smuckers and the LPGA offer child-care to children of LPGA golfers during tournaments.  The two women who travel with the tour give the program, children and mothers much-needed stability and continuity of care while moms are golfing. Danah is particularly grateful that they supported her family’s breastfeeding goals.

Danah also had inspirational mothers on tour with her who were tremendous role models for her success.  Fellow LPGA golfers Laura Diaz, Leta Lindley and Wendy Ward served as examples of how to make all the pieces fit as mothers and athletes.  And she also learned a few tricks long the way.  One of her best skills became breastfeeding with one arm while responding to emails or doing makeup with the other.  She also prepared her kids well for being independent and in new environments, like being able to walk up and down stairs safely and drinking from a straw early.  Additionally, Danah was conscious of packing light to keep things simple for everyone.  “I packed one suitcase and one small carry on for the week,” she said.  “I always tell myself, if you truly need something or forget it, you can always go buy it!”

Like her family, Danah keeps her inspiration close to home, even when home is on the road.  First, her husband is her coach, which she says works really well for them and saves money.  When she needs inspiration, she finds it within herself, her “happy place,” that helps keep her centered and her goals in perspective.  And if all else fails, tickling her daughters and hearing their laughter supplies her with phenomenal inspiration.

Breastfeeding and Pumping on the Road

Danah breastfed and pumped for both Taylor and Reagan while traveling with the tour.  If you think pumping at your workplace poses a challenge, what if your office was a golf course?  But like any dedicated mom, Danah found a way to make it work.  “I was very lucky to have produced so much,” Danah said.  She purchased a separate freezer for her home to store nearly five months of milk and brought it with her to her temporary headquarters in Florida from December through March.

“My first priority would be to pump immediately after I signed my score card,” Danah said about the logistics of pumping on tour.  “I also timed my practice around my pumping or feeding schedule when I could.”  She cites organization and hydration as her biggest assets for breastfeeding and pumping on the road.  “Whether you are at home or on the road, staying ahead of the game is key.”

Like many other working moms, Danah sometimes had to “pump and dump.”  As “truly heartbreaking” as it was to throw away milk she worked hard to produce and found time to pump, she felt it was worth it to maintain milk production.  “Let’s face it,” she said, “not every industry or workplace is equipped to store breast milk, especially when flying traveling 8-14 hours in one day.”

Of course, breastfeeding while traveling is not without its difficulties and blunders.  Like most new moms, Danah sprayed her daughters with breast milk before feedings on occasion.  And even with as much traveling as she did, she still felt awkward feeding on an airplane.  She learned that window seats were ideal and if she had to make a connection, sitting on opposite sides of the plane would allow her to breastfeed more easily from each breast.  Danah also learned early which foods would cause diaper rash – either through breast milk when she ate them or when the girls moved up to solids – to avoid painful moments while traveling.

As with most new moms, the second breastfeeding experience posed new challenges for Danah as she had to entertain 21-month-old Taylor while nursing baby Reagan.  Danah’s solution: she bought $20 worth of gifts at the dollar store and wrapped them individually.  Whenever she had to feed while Taylor was around, Taylor would get a new toy to keep her occupied.

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, a cause that has affected Danah in a profound way.  A close friend of hers died of ovarian cancer and ever since, Danah adopted Ovarian Cancer Awareness as her cause.  She works with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to spread the word about early detection of this deadly disease.  “Too many women, young and old, have lost their lives due to ignoring symptoms, Danah said.  “September is the month for Teal.”  Much like pink represents Breast Cancer Awareness, Teal is the color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness and Danah’s color for the month of September as well.

Check out Danah on tour during the LPGA season.  She’s the beaming mother of two in the Loving Moments hat.  We hope you join us in cheering her on!

Benefits of Cabbage for Sore Breasts

Benefits of Cabbage for Sore BreastsCabbage is an extraordinary thing. Not only can you make delicious recipes from its leaves, but they can give you amazing health benefits. Cabbage has been used for years to treat a number of things including constipation, stomach ulcers, eczema, arthritis, and scurvy, a Vitamin C deficiency disease that many professionals recommend cabbage for because it contains more Vitamin C than oranges. Including cabbage into your everyday diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. It has been known to increase recovery from wounds and damaged tissues, regulate your nervous and digestive systems, and can even help you sustain a healthy weight. Cabbage is also an excellent remedy for women during their maternity to help with discomfort.

While you breastfeed you may experience a time where you will feel uncomfortable, or in pain, from your swollen, engorged breasts. This is a common factor in women who are breastfeeding. It can happen any time during your maternity, but it’s most common during the first few days or weeks and during the following days or weeks after you stop breastfeeding. Engorged breasts can be very painful. Once you have given birth your body begins to produce breast milk to feed your baby. For the first few days trailing your delivery, you will more than likely have difficulty breastfeeding, especially if it’s your first baby. Your baby may have trouble latching and you could go a few days without being able to feed with your breasts. Until you begin a normal breastfeeding schedule you may feel discomfort in your breasts as they fill with unused milk. This discomfort will only last as short while, usually one to two days. Breast pumping can help too.

Cabbage is a great solution for your sore breasts. The leaves have been used for hundreds of years to soothe and cool sore or sprained muscles. Many people use it for sprained ankles or as a substitute for prescribed drugs when they get their wisdom teeth taken out. Many specialists and herbalists believe cabbage is rich in antibiotics and has anti-irritant possessions. Cabbage, just like broccoli and brussel sprouts, contains sinigrin, a glucosinolate which is a natural component in many pungent plants such as mustard and horseradish. When a plant’s leaves or tissues are broken it releases the antioxidants including sinigrin and in return they can heal the problem area naturally and quicker.

For the best use to heal your sore breasts from engorgement purchase a head of green cabbage from your grocery store. Once you get home gently tear off the leaves, wash them, and place in your refrigerator so that they can cool. You don’t necessarily need to put them in the fridge, but cool objects do help with swelling. After they are cool enough you will want to take a rolling pin or some kind of device where you can crush the veins on the leaves. Once you’re done doing this to several leaves place them evenly around each breast so they are covered completely. For the best results leave your breasts covered for twenty to thirty minutes and repeat every four to six hours or until your breasts feel less engorged.

 

Although cabbage leaves have worked for most women to release their pain from their engorged breasts, it’s always important you speak to your lactation consultant or doctor before using anything you’re unsure about because it may be harmful to you if you are allergic. Cabbage, along with many other foods, always need to be washed and cleaned before they can be eaten or put on your body to prevent attaining Listeria.

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Adopted Baby

Breastfeeding is a beautiful way a mother can provide beneficial nutrients to her baby. A special bond is created through the precious moments of skin on skin contact. By supplying your baby with food from your body, some mother’s believe it’s the greatest experience they can have in their lives. But what about mothers who have chosen to adopt? Many women might not be aware, but breastfeeding your adopted baby can be done. Even if you’ve never given birth or breastfeed before, your body is still capable of producing breast milk. Today we are going to discuss how breastfeeding your adopted baby is beneficial to their health and the bonding experience, along with ways to prepare your body before they come home.

Breastfeeding Adopted BabyPreparing yourself for breastfeeding your new baby can be difficult. Although it’s not an easy task, and it takes a lot of time and real dedication, it can be done and the benefits you will gain are well worth it. Creating that mother/baby bond is the most important thing you need to focus on because most infants who are adopted are known to experience and feel loss and abandonment after delivery. Babies can recognize their mothers right after they are born once they are placed on their mother’s chest. They can identify them through smell and touch. If they are not placed directly in their adoptive mother’s arms they could develop a fear of separation and begin performing a distress call/cry. By supplying your baby with your natural milk you are not only giving them the best nutrients possible, but you are also enhancing the bond and creating an even stronger relationship with your child that they need to feel loved and secure.

Getting your body ready to breastfeed isn’t a tricky process, but it can take a while before you are able to produce enough breast milk to fully feed your baby. Adoption can be an unpredictable course. Some women have no time at all to prepare while others might be given several weeks or even months. If you don’t have time you will still be able to produce milk for your baby, and don’t get turned off if it’s a very small amount at first. What’s amazing about a woman’s body is we can produce breast milk once a baby begins breastfeeding. The suckling sensation triggers our bodies to think we have just given birth! Women who have more time before their child is brought home can have the chance to teach their body how to produce enough milk. You can practice by gently massaging your breasts a few times a day. It’s also recommended and encouraged to try breast pumping to stimulate your breasts even more. The more your breasts are stimulated, and the more milk you pump, the more breast milk your body will produce.

Many women who have trouble producing, or want to make more milk, can be prescribed hormones from their doctors to influence their bodies even more. This can work for several women. Other options include formula or you can try a donor’s breast milk. Whatever you chose just remember it’s all about the bonding experience you share with your little one. And always talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about what’s right for your body and baby if you have any questions or concerns when it comes to breastfeeding.

Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?

 

Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?It’s been a few months and you realize it’s time to get back to work. The last few weeks have been great; extremely emotional, but beautiful. How could you simply get back to work when your baby needs you? You’ve nursed them since day one, grown to understand each one of their cries, have developed some sort of routine where waking up every hour to breastfeed only happens once or twice a week, and hey, not to mention time off from work and your husband waiting on you hand and foot. But that time is over now and you need to head back to the office, and back to the money-making reality. Before this can happen you need to make sure your workplace is breastfeeding friendly.

You’ve done it this far and you know all about the amazing benefits breastfeeding can provide, not only for your child but for yourself as well. You can’t just give up because you have to pump in a pencil skirt rather than the comfy wirefree bra and relaxing shirt you’ve been living in for the past two months. Breast pumping at work isn’t all that intimidating, but before you begin to do it you need to know the facts and be able to ask the right questions!

It’s always important to know your laws, especially laws concerning women and breastfeeding within your state. Each state varies on their conditions about breast pumping at work. In the state of Ohio, a mother who is breastfeeding is entitled to breastfeed their baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. This law also says employers must provide breastfeeding mothers reasonable break time, without compensating pay or time needed for pumping, and they must give you a space to do this in. This does NOT mean a bathroom.

For your benefit it would be essential to call your HR office ahead of time to find out your company policies and where you can pump while you’re at work. This way you’ll be well prepared and ready to go. It would also be beneficial to speak to your employer about your needs and accommodations. Unfortunately, you won’t get the lavish room filled with a masseuse or attractive men who feed you chocolates. But you need to make sure you are comfortable because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space. Make sure you tell your employer you need a reasonable chair for breast pumping, at least one outlet to charge your pump, and that it’s private, that way Bob, who has the cubicle next to yours, doesn’t accidently walk in and… SURPRISE! If the room doesn’t have a lock on the door ask for a Do Not Disturb sign and buy yourself a nursing cover.

It’s imperative for you to know if your workplace is breastfeeding friendly. Don’t be nervous, it’s OKAY to ask questions, and it’s even better to stand up for your rights!

Introducing Solids

My baby is growing up and we are now introducing solids!  In addition to breastfeeding, we recently started Taylor on rice cereal and a few vegetables per our pediatrician’s recommendation.  We weren’t sure how she would react to us introducing solids, and determining the exact amount of food she needs in conjunction with breastfeeding has been trial and error.  We certainly didn’t want to stuff her with solids to the point she didn’t want to breast milk.

At first we tried mostly vegetables because we heard that if you start a baby on fruit, she may only develop a taste for sweet things.  For Taylor, it didn’t matter.  She seems to eat anything we put in front of her!  Let’s hope she stays that way and isn’t a picky eater!

As with every stage of breastfeeding, I know my milk will change and adapt to Taylor’s needs.  In the short term, there may be a surplus of milk that I may need to pump and store until my body acclimates to the change.

I found some great information online about breastfeeding and introducing solids, especially on how to balance daily intake.  While you and your baby will ultimately determine what works best for you both, you can also consult your pediatrician and lactation consultant to get a customized recommendation.

Whether it’s breast milk or solids, enjoy this time with your little one because they grow up so quickly!

Danah Bordner and daughter Taylor

Danah Bordner
New Mom, LPGA Professional Golfer and Loving Moments Spokesmom

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