“I’m losing my milk supply and I don’t know what to do!”
I hear this anguished cry from breastfeeding parents constantly. I hear it in the clinic. I see it in Facebook support groups. I hear it from private clients when we’re doing support sessions. Perceived low milk supply is the biggest reason people give up on breastfeeding. Notice I said perceived, not true low milk supply. A VERY small percentage of mothers are biologically unable to produce enough breastmilk to feed their baby (most studies say less than 5%). Now, that doesn’t mean that low milk supply can’t develop. There are some very real things that can sabotage you and lead to true low supply. So what happens then? I usually cringe as person after person spouts the same ridiculous advice - “Drink more water!” “Try coconut water!” “Body Armour drinks”. “Starbucks Pink Drink!” “Lactation teas and cookies.” “Gatorade, but it has to be blue.” Let’s look at milk production, and then examine the effect some of these fad suggestions might have.
Working with breastfeeding moms, I get asked all the time about new products and gadgets marketed to make their lives easier. I wholeheartedly believe you are all you need for your baby, but I don't mind trying out items to review and share my opinion.
Recently, I tried out TWO new products- the Beaugen Inserts and Lacteck BabyMotion Flanges. Both companies sent me these items to review and give my honest opinion. These products have two very different methods for similar problems pumping mothers experience. *I am not receiving any compensation or endorsement from either of these companies.
Going back to work after having a baby is filled with a ton of emotions, especially for all you breastfeeding teachers who are nervous about how and where you are going to pump at work!
I was actually a teacher for a year and a half. I taught a phlebotomy course at a local school and it was seriously the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. I no longer work there, but I learned to have the utmost respect for teachers because holy wow, y’all put in some serious work. It saddens me that you work SO HARD and you run into some of the biggest barriers to pumping at work compared to other professions. All too often, I hear of teachers not being provided with an adequate space in overcrowded schools or not being given enough time to adequately pump. Breaks are few and far between, it can be difficult to get someone to get your class, and when do you even have time to pee with all that?!
To all the pumping teachers out there, this post for you. I reached out to our Facebook community and asked REAL teachers to give me allllll the tips and tricks.
6/29/2019 2 Comments
See.... we have here two jars of breastmilk......
So, what's the story behind these jars of milk? How did one collect only 4oz in 4hrs, but the other was able to collect 16oz????
Both were collected using the same techniques, the same breast pump, by a mom nursing a 4 month old baby..... so.... what's the deal? What do you think the difference is between the mom with the 4oz jar on the left and the mom with the whopping 16oz jar on the right????
What advice would you give to the poor mom who only pumped 4oz, to help her increase her milk supply??? Read on to find out exactly what we (breastfeeding experts) would do....
For those of you who are exclusively pumping, I absolutely applaud you. You deserve all the brownie points, and all the brownies. In my opinion, exclusive pumping (EP) is more challenging than nursing a baby at the breast. At least, emotionally, and sometimes physically too.
It's harder to establish and maintain a milk supply when you EP, challenging to pump and care for a baby, and often comes with a slew of emotions around not nursing baby at the breast. These are just to name a few.
That being said, there are countless women who are not afraid of that challenge and take on the EP journey with stride (and a whole lot of support!) And to those of you in it, I tip my LC hat to you (and my momma hat, and my friend hat, and my stranger hat) because I see the struggle EP mommas face in my practice, and want you to know I see how hard you're working, and no matter what anyone says to you or thinks you're just as much a breastfeeding mom as any other breastfeeding mom.
With that said, I also wanted to provide you, brave EP momma, with more than just recognition. In today's post, I have some gold for you (liquid gold if you will). We are going to cover the topic of Exclusive Pumping, as I chat with an EP expert and share all of her best tips, and a few of mine too.
What you don't know about your breast pump actually can hurt you..... literally.
It can hurt your nipples, and your milk supply. So knowing how to use your pump properly, and having a pump that fits is the difference between being successful with pumping and struggling to keep up supply, or worse (and we've seen it often) causing damage to your nipples.
When you're struggling with pumping and maintaining your milk supply with your pump, don't be hard on yourself, it's likely not you, momma. The first place you should be looking is the equipment you're using, and how you're using it. It's almost never something wrong with us, and instead improper pump usage or malfunction.
So if you're not sure if it fits, pumping is uncomfortable for you, or your output is not what it should be, you can get support to figure it out.
I HATE pumping. Hate it. I don't think I have ever met a soul who loves it. (If you're out there.... raise your hand!)
At 4 weeks postpartum, I started pumping once a day using my Advance Double Electric from Medela for “practice bottle” milk, bath/skincare milk, and I’d freeze anything I didn’t end up using. I only pump for 10 minutes (because I hate pumping) and always during my son’s morning nap, which was 1-2 hours after he nursed last.
When I heard about the new PersonalFit Flex Breast Shields by Medela I had to try them. According to their marketing campaigns these new shields to increase comfort and get more milk faster. (Sounds great Medeala! I would love to pump less often and more comfortably.) Their claim is you'll pump 11.8% more milk and have a faster milk ejection than the traditional shields that come with the pumps. The shields are also made to be compatible with any Medela breast pump.
But does it really work?? I am always skeptical when it comes to anything marketed to breastfeeding moms. So I got a set, and decided to try! In this post I go over differences I noticed between both models, things I liked and didn’t like, and how much milk I got using each.
Are you confused by the Break Time Law for Nursing Moms?? Most of the moms in the Successful Breastfeeding Community were!
And it's not surprising. The law is wordy, confusing, and full of loop holes and exemptions.
On this episode of the Successful Breastfeeding Podcast I am interviewing Tifani Sadek, a corporate attorney who previously was in private practice for small businesses. She will be answering our questions about the Break Time Law for Nursing Moms. Tifani is not only an attorney, but also a working and pumping mom and member of our Successful Breastfeeding Community!
“Do I need to pump and dump?” I hear this question countless times a week from concerned moms who get conflicting (or sometimes just plain wrong) information about what’s safe for a breastfeeding baby.
But this week, I heard something I’d never heard before! A massage therapist told a breastfeeding mom she’d need to pump and dump after getting a massage to clear out toxins.
Kelly suggested I write a blog post about some of the common reasons moms (and doctors, and dentists, and pharmacists, and apparently massage therapists) think they need to throw out their milk.
Going back to work is HARD. There is so much to navigate and so much advice out there you can feel like you don't know which way is up and which way is down! Thankfully, we've got you covered with info you need for successful pumping, and the back to work advice that will not only set you up for success, but give you a REAL plan to get through and do so successfully.
The good news is, with these tips and hacks from REAL breastfeeding moms, pumping at work is about to get a whole lot easier! Here are the top tips from our Successful Breastfeeding Veterans taken from our poll in the Successful Breastfeeding Community.
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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