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baby dressed as pumpkin for Halloween

Clever DIY Halloween costumes for newborns

Spooky season is upon us, and if you’ve got a new little pumpkin in your family patch, you’re probably thinking about playing dress up for Halloween. To help, we’ve scoured Instagram for some of the cutest, cleverest costumes for newborns and their parents. Best of all, these costumes can be created in-house by crafty DIYers.

Baby President and Secret Service Parents Costumes

Politics may be more controversial with every year, but can we all agree that the cutest president is a baby president? Francesca Soldà and her family came up with this adorable and hysterical costume last year with a little cardboard and a whole lot of creativity.

Francesca Soldà and family with DIY halloween costume for baby

See more of Francesca and family on Instagram @francescasolda94

Baby Abu with Aladdin and Princess Jasmine costumes

California-based blogger Valentina Chavero transformed a comfy baby jumper into a mini monkey suit by adding craft foam ears, tail, and fez. Et voila! A family of Aladdin costumes was born! You don’t even need a genie to recreate the design, just your imagination and some arts and crafts supplies.

Blogger Valentina Chavero and family with DIY Baby Costume for Halloween

See more of Valentina’s posts on Instagram at @valechavero

Sushi Roll Toddler Costume

Imaginative Ontario designer Ninin Adique disguised her daughter Nina as a sushi roll complete with chopsticks in her hair and a felt soy sauce trick or treating bag. I could eat her up, she’s so cute!

Ontario designer Ninin Adique created a DIY Halloween costume for her daughter

Visit Ninin to see more of her creative projects on Instagram at @nininja

Little Old Lady Baby Costume

Irish artist Laura Ruffett pulled together this little old lady costume with cotton balls and a teeny tiny sweater and skirt ensemble. This is just about the funniest costume I’ve ever seen, and part of its beauty is the simplicity of it.

Irish artist Laura Ruffett designed a DIY Halloween costume for her baby

Inspired? Visit Laura for more creative goodness on Instagram at @lauraruffettbespoke

OMG It’s Steve Urkel Newborn Costume

Okay. So we’re going to have to call a tie between Little Old Lady Baby and Baby Urkel because this is pretty dang funny. This clever costume by Filipinix creative R. Glorioso requires only the addition of suspenders and construction paper glasses to bring cool nerd Steve Urkel back to the spotlight where he belongs.

Filipinix creative R. Glorioso made this DIY Steve Urkel costume for her baby last Halloween

Visit R. Glorioso at her Instagram page @lcptothegalaxy for more inspiring posts

Baby Pasta Bowl Costume

Mama mia! Would you look at this bowl of spaghetti!? This brilliant baby costume by business consultant Leslie Klatt warms the heart and makes the tummy rumble with the simplest of ingredients: yarn and a happy baby!

Leslie Klatt's DIY Halloween costume for baby is a bowl of pasta made of yarn

Hungry for more? Visit Leslie on Instagram at @leslieklattlife

Share your Halloween costumes!

We love the clever baby costumes we’ve found online, and we’d love to feature yours next year. Be sure to tag us on Instagram at @milknmamasbaby or on Facebook! We can’t wait to see the costumes you’ve cooked up.

We are your Pennsylvania breast pump supplier

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health, the percent of Pennsylvania mothers who started breastfeeding after birth increased more than 10% between 2009 and 2018. However, breastfeeding rates drop by nearly 25% eight weeks after birth. Two factors seem to drive this decision to quit breastfeeding. Moms feel like they’re not producing enough breastmilk to satisfy their hungry baby, and many moms are returning to work at that time. For most moms, both of these obstacles can be overcome with a high-quality breast pump.

How breast pumps help moms continue breastfeeding for longer

An electric breast pump allows you to build your milk supply by pumping during breastfeeding sessions and between sessions. You can also practice milk boosting practices like cluster pumping and double-pumping using a pump. Not only does pumping increase milk production by increasing the demand, it also provides you with a breastmilk stash that you can use when you go back to work. Even more exciting, pumps like the Elvie Stride can be worn to work in a standard nursing bra so you can pump while you’re at the office.

Milk N Mamas Baby is a durable medical equipment (DME) companies

Pumps like the Elvie Stride can only be purchased through select DME companies, but that’s no problem for you, mama. We have partnerships with all of your favorite breast pump providers, including Medela, Ameda, Spectra, Motif, BabyBuddha, and yes, Elvie.

We participate in most Pennsylvania health plans PLUS Tricare

Never fear, mama! We’ve got you covered here, too. We participate with most Pennsylvania health plans, including Geisinger and state Medicaid plans like UMPC, Aetna Better Health, and Gateway. We’re also authorized in-network breast pump providers for military moms and mil-spouses covered by Tricare.

You can use your FSA/HSA account at Milk N Mamas Baby

Since we are a medical equipment supplier, you can upgrade to premium pumps like the Elvie Pump or the Spectra S1 while you’re here. You can also use your FSA account to stock up on breast milk storage bags and replacement parts like tubing, valves membranes, collection bottles, nipple shields, and more.

Take a look around and see what we have to offer

The health benefits of nutrient-rich breastmilk follow your child for the rest of her life, offering her protection from allergies, obesity, and many preventable illnesses. The longer you pump, the greater the benefit. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we make it as easy as possible to get started pumping. We can help you get your prescription and deal with your insurance company. So take a look around while you’re here or better yet, give us a call at 844-Milk-Mom and let us know how we can support you in your pumping routine.

The pumpkin spice news breastfeeding moms have been waiting for

Autumn is officially here, and that means it’s pumpkin spice season. While motherhood often means sacrificing things you love (like that tenth cup of coffee if you’re breastfeeding), one thing you don’t have to sacrifice this October is the flavor of fall. We all suspected there was magic in pumpkin spice, and it turns out, we weren’t wrong.

Pumpkin boosts breastmilk production

“Galactagogue” is one of our favorite words around here, and not just because it’s fun to say and sounds like a comic book villain. According to the National Institute for Health, “Galactagogues are synthetic or plant molecules used to induce, maintain, and increase milk production.” We’ve covered a few of them in past blog posts, and The Great Pumpkin falls into that celebrated food group, too.

How pumpkins benefit breastmilk

  • Pumpkins have antioxidant and antibacterial agents that improve the immune system of moms and babies.
  • The bright orange glow of a pumpkin marks it as a food rich in health-boosting nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin A, and potassium, and it’s a low calorie source of fiber.
  • Studies show that eating pumpkin and other galactagogues is significantly correlated to increased milk volume.

But it’s not just pumpkin that’s good for milk production…the spices are, too!

That’s right! Cinnamon is a traditional herbal treatment to enhance milk production. Cinnamon falls into a class of plants called “nervine herbs,” which means herbs that help reduce anxiety. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, stress can impact milk production, so add a little cinnamon to your pumpkin to ease stress-causing anxiety.

Like cinnamon, ginger has a long history with breastfeeding moms. It many areas, it’s still given to women after childbirth to stimulate milk production. Research is underway, but at least one study has already returned some promising results, so throw a pinch of ginger in that pie!

Happy pumpkin spice season, mamas!

It was a long summer, and I think most of us are good and ready for fall. It’s time to rest and recuperate. Go ahead and enjoy a little hibernation, mama bear, and indulge in that pumpkin spice magic. You deserve it.

If you’re headed out and about to the coffee shop for your favorite fall brew, you’ll need a fashionable bag, and we think this Sarah Wells version is perfect for the fall! Pick yours up today while you’re here.beautiful breast pump bag for fall

 

woman wearing Elvie double breast pump

What is double pumping breastmilk and how do I do it?

What is double-pumping?

Double-pumping is exactly what it sounds like: using a breast pump that allows you to express milk from both breasts at the same time.

What are the benefits of double-pumping?

The most obvious benefit to double-pumping is the time savings. Rather than pumping one breast and then the other, you can pump both at once. Using a bra like the Medela Easy Expression™ bustier frees up your hands for other tasks, saving even more time. According to research conducted by Medela, double-pumping can save up to two hours per day compared to single-pumping.

In addition to saving time, double-pumping can boost the volume and nutritional value of your milk supply. Medela’s research showed that mothers who double-pumped produced on average 18% more milk volume than those who single-pumped each breast, and the milk from double-pumping had a higher energy content at 8.3% fat content compared with 7.3% fat content for single-pumping.

Double-pumping tips

  1. Stay relaxed. Stress inhibits the production of oxytocin, the key hormone for milk production, so try to maintain manageable expectations around breastfeeding and pumping. Worrying too much about milk production can actually harm milk production, so stay relaxed. We recommend meditation as a way to turn double-pumping sessions into a more calming experience.
  2. Massage your breasts before and after pumping. Speaking of relaxing, try using your fingertips to gently massage your breasts. You can lightly move from the top down to your nipples as well as in circular motions to loosen clogged ducts, soften firm areas, and encourage milk flow.
  3. Use a warm compress. Dampen a soft cloth with warm water and apply it to your breasts to further stimulate letdown and encourage milk flow.
  4. Adjust your breast pump to your own personal maximum comfort vacuum. Not too long ago, we wrote on the affect of suction intensity on milk supply. The main takeaway was the value in experimenting to find the optimal pump suction for your body. Finding that setting can lead to increased milk flow and higher cream content in your milk.
  5. Choose a strong, comfortable electric breast pump. Ideally, the pump you choose for double-pumping will have a strong suction and a comfortable fit as the combination of those two factors is critical to milk production.

Elvie Stride: the ultimate double-pumping time saver

Elvie, the woman-owned company that produces very cool femtech to make women’s lives easier, recently released their newest double breast pump The Stride. This lightweight, wearable pump fits into any standard nursing bra, and you can control it with a small remote. You can also pair The Stride with your smart phone using The Elvie Pump App, which allows you to track milk production and create setting preferences once you’ve found your personal maximum comfort vacuum. We love the Elvie Stride for double-pumping, and we think you will too.

Call or email us if you want more information on The Elvie Stride or double-pumping in particular. We’re always happy to hear from nursing moms.

Should I build a breastmilk freezer stash?

A breastmilk freezer stash serves an obvious purpose if you’re planning to return to work soon. However, a stash can be useful for any mom, including stay-at-home moms. Why? A freezer stash provides you with freedom if you want a night out on the town or if an unexpected emergency calls you away from your little one. It’s also a fail-safe if you have any other unanticipated breastfeeding interruption. If you’re using pumping to boost your milk supply, a freezer stash makes the best use of those extra pumping sessions. Some super-producers even donate a portion of their stash to moms who are unable to produce breastmilk.

When is the best time to begin building a freezer stash?

Like most things related to your baby and your body, the best time to begin building a freezer stash depends on how you feel. In general, it’s wise to wait until you’ve got the hang of breastfeeding and you’ve had time for bonding with your newborn. Trying to do too many new things at once, especially while you’re still physically and emotionally recovering from pregnancy and labor, can be defeating. Use your first several weeks to enjoy your baby and allow your body to rest and recuperate. Then, when you’re ready, integrate pumping into your routine.

If you know pumping at work will be difficult, consider starting about three weeks before you return to the job site to make sure you’ve got an ample supply. However, even in a restrictive work environment, moms are able to do more OTJ pumping with portable, wearable breast pumps like the Elvie Stride. That means you don’t have to have quite as much in storage as you can continue building the supply by pumping at work.

How much breastmilk should I store in my freezer?

Generally speaking, babies between two and five months consume between four and six ounces at each feeding, and they nurse every three to four hours, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Older babies may drink as much as eight ounces per session with fewer sessions altogether. Let’s imagine a two month old who drinks six ounces every four hours. For that thirsty baby, you’d need to have at least 12 ounces in storage to cover a single 8-hour workday.

However, as we mentioned above, this may vary by baby. There’s only one sure way to get a clear picture of how much your baby will require each day while you’re at work. Track their consumption first. You can try using a breastfeeding app to easily track feedings. We’ve reviewed a few Android and iPhone apps recently that you may want to consider. Some smart pumps, like the Stride, connect with an app that automatically tracks feedings, further simplifying the process. If you’re not sure whether your pump of choice comes with an app, ask us, and we’ll verify.

What are the best freezer containers for breastmilk storage?

Plenty of options for breastmilk storage exist, but we recommend breastmilk storage bags. They take up less room in the freezer, allowing you to build your supply without sacrificing valuable ice cream space. Be sure to choose bags designated for breastmilk storage as they are more durable and BPA-free.

How long will breastmilk last in the freezer?

As a rule, the fresher the milk, the more nutrients it contains. In addition, more recent milk contains antibodies for potential bugs floating around out there, so it’s good to use milk within a few weeks when possible. However, freshly expressed breastmilk can be stored in the back of the freezer for up to a year. Label breastmilk containers with the date the milk was expressed (and your child’s name if the bags will be stored at a childcare facility) and use the oldest milk first to get the most nutritional value out of each bag.

How do I thaw breastmilk?

You can either move the frozen container to the refrigerator on the evening before you plan to use it, or you can warm it up gently in a bowl of warm water or by running it under warm water from the faucet. Research suggests that rapid heating of breastmilk can impact its antibodies, so avoid microwaving it.

Need more information on integrating pumping into your breastfeeding schedule?

We’ve covered that in a recent blog post, so check it out! If you still have questions, give us a call. We’re all moms and breast pump pros at Milk N Mamas Baby, and we’re happy to help.

Elvie Stride, the ultra-quiet, hands-free breast pump! 

Why does every mom want an Elvie breast pump?

According to their Company Page, Elvie’s mission is “to improve women’s lives through smarter technology,” and the Elvie Pump has the potential to do just that. This wearable breast pump is so sleek it can fit into your bra. It’s silent, and it comes without tubes or wires, making it totally discreet. Based on a quick scan of @elvie mentions on Instagram, Elvie-wearing mamas are pumping on the beach, at the airport, on ski slopes, hiking in national parks, at the gym─even in bars. This innovative pump does all that, and it comes with an app that can monitor milk volume in real time. It seems like Elvie could be on its way to creating a “woman who has it all” scenario.

The biggest obstacle to having it all is money.

All that being said, let’s be honest. We’re all mamas here, after all. Expensive is not good for most new parents, and the original Elvie Pump is on the expensive end of the breast pump market. Further, many insurance companies don’t cover hands-free breast pumps like the Elvie Pump. That means you’ve got to pay for this really very cool breast pump out of your possibly not so flush pocket. For lots of moms, that’s a deal breaker.

Great news! The Elvie Stride is making all your breast pumping dreams come true.

Elvie has brought a new hands-free pump to the market, and this one will be 100% covered by Tricare for active duty military moms and mil-spouses and for civilian moms by most other insurance companies. That means you can apply your insurance breast pump benefit to the Elvie Stride and enjoy the benefits of a premium wearable pump without the premium price tag. The catch is that this pump is only being sold through select durable medical equipment (DME) companies, but that’s not a problem for you because we’ve got your Elvie Stride right here on this website.

Excited yet? How about we take a look under the hood of the Elvie Stride and see what makes this sleek breast pump so special (aside from the budget-friendly insurance coverage).

How does the Elvie Stride compare to the Elvie Pump?

Like the Pump, the Stride breast pump is ultra-quiet and hands-free. It slides into a standard nursing bra, just like the Pump. Like the Pump, the Stride gives you more mobility and offers freedom from needing to be plugged into an outlet or a large motor. However, there are some differences between the two pump styles.

The original Elvie Pump is designed so that each hub has its own bottle, motor, flange, etc. This design eliminates the need for a separate control and motor housing, making the Pump streamlined. However, two tiny motors increase the cost of manufacture significantly.

With the Stride, each hub has its own bottle and flange, but the two hubs share a small controller that houses a hospital strength pump motor. Since the hubs themselves do not contain motors, they’re much more compact than the Pump. This small design change also makes the Stride more affordable for more moms without sacrificing the sleek, wearable benefits that make Elvie products so user-friendly.

The Elvie Stride hubs share a single hospital strength motor housed in a hand-held controller.

The Elvie Stride hubs share a single hospital strength motor housed in a hand-held controller.

What are the benefits of the Elvie Stride?

It’s wearable.

The Elvie Stride fits into your nursing bra so that you can pull your clothes on and head out into the world ready to pump. The small controller slips right into your pocket and out of sight.

It’s ultra-quiet.

The Stride is designed with noise reduction technology so that it blends into background noise and doesn’t draw attention.

It’s smart.

The Stride connects with the free “Pump with Elvie” app that allows you to control your pump remotely while tracking your milk production.

It’s customizable.

The Stride allows you to choose from ten intensity settings in both Stimulation and Expression modes for optimal comfort and efficiency. You can also customize your pump, so it always starts with your preferred settings.

The Elvie stride fits neatly into your nursing bra in a way that is comfortable and discreet.

Elvie Stride is 100% covered by Tricare and most other breast pump benefit plans.

This wearable, hands-free breast pump is completely covered by Tricare for mil-moms and mil-spouses, and most other health insurance plans cover it, too. If you’re not sure whether your healthcare plan will cover the pump, don’t stress! As a DME company, we work with a wide range of insurance companies. We can quickly and easily verify you breast pump benefit on your behalf.

Order your Elvie Stride today and have it on your doorstep in no time.

If you’ve already got your prescription, you can attach it to our secure order form. However, if you do not have your prescription, we can speed that process up, too. When you’ve placed your order for your brand new Elvie Stride, we can request a prescription from your doctor on our side. Once your order is complete, we’ll have it in the mail straight away so you can get familiar with this new miracle of modern mamahood.

Need help? Give us a call at 1-844-Milk-Mom or email us at [email protected]

Military moms in Alaska encourage new parents to accept help

Being a new mom can be lonely

Being a new mother can be lonely, especially during those early months when it feels like your only constant companion is a newborn who spends most of their time sleeping, eating, and crying. You may never be alone, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel alone sometimes. It can feel like a whole world is dependent on you because, in some ways, it is. You’re the center of your little one’s world at that age, and that’s a huge responsibility.

Now, imagine that feeling of loneliness, but you’re on a military base in Alaska, just about as far away from your family and friends as you can possibly get without a rocket to the moon. That’s the challenge that new moms Amelia and Katie Fish are facing. Amelia, a civil engineer in the Air Force, and Katie, a teacher, recently celebrated their second anniversary, and in June, they welcomed their son Hudson home after a pregnancy with several complications.

When we first spoke, the expectant moms were eager for that initial skin-to-skin bonding and for the chance to compare his earth-side personality to the karate-kicking kid they saw in ultrasounds and dopplers. However, they were also experiencing the challenge of distance from loved ones who could offer support as they navigated pregnancy, delivery, and even planning for childcare once the two return to their respective careers.

Amelia, Katie, and newborn baby Hudson at home in Alaska

Here’s Katie’s top four tips for military families expecting a new baby, but this wisdom is just as true for any new mom.

Find your people

“I highly recommend finding ‘your people’ no matter where you are located or how long you have been there. It’s never too late to start meeting people. Connect with other military families, people you may work with, neighbors, and members of your community.”

Create community

“Join social media groups for military parents both for your specific installation and the armed forces. It’s especially helpful for creating community amongst others with shared experiences, navigating pregnancy, parenthood, and Tricare.”

Plan ahead

“Sign up early for childcare if needed. The waitlists can be long for Child Development Centers both on the installation and for recommended providers off base as well.”

Accept help

“Military families are often resilient and independent due to the nature of our lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to accept help from others. Having a support system is such a blessing.”

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we’re moms as well as experts in breastfeeding and pumping, and we’ve been there. We understand how lonely and stressful the challenges of being a new mom can be, and we hope that our posts offer you a little encouragement and community. We’re also here if you’ve got questions about breastfeeding, pumping, and how to get more comfortable with both. If you’re a military mom, let us help you navigate Tricare breast pumps. Reach out to us if you’ve got questions or concerns.

Welcome home, baby Hudson!

 

 

Mother is feeding newborn baby. A woman feeds a newborn with modified milk from a bottle.

Create the perfect pumping and breastfeeding schedule for you

Whether you’re returning to work or planning for a night out with the girls, pumping offers breastfeeding moms a little bit of freedom. That being said, you may feel some stress when you think about the logistics of it all. For example, how do you fit pumping into your already full schedule? Don’t worry, mama. We’ve got some ideas to help you seamlessly integrate pumping into your day.

Add pumping to your regular on demand breastfeeding schedule

If you’re able, continue to breastfeed your baby according to their usual schedule. For most babies, that’s about every two to three hours, though that may vary at different times of the day and as baby grows. To get the most out of those normal feeding sessions, pump the breast that baby is not nursing. That allows you to meet your newborn’s demands while also collecting milk for storage.

Use a newborn’s nursing schedule as your guide

If you’re unable to breastfeed on demand due to work, travel, latching difficulties, or other challenges, use your newborn’s nursing schedule to plan out your pumping sessions. As previously mentioned, that’s probably a pumping session every two to three hours during the early months. As baby grows (or if situations don’t allow for that frequency), every three to four hours will suffice.

Try cluster pumping

When they’re going through growth spurts, babies tend to “cluster pump.” That means that they nurse more frequently in shorter bursts. You can mimic this feeding style by breaking up a twenty-minute pumping session into three ten-minute pumping sessions with a five-minute break between each expression.

Add a morning pumping session

Many women tend to have fuller breasts in the morning, so try adding a session an hour before or after your baby’s morning nursing session. By the evening, most of us are tired and stressed, which inhibits the hormones that trigger the letdown effect, so adding an evening session is usually out of the question.

Recruit help and hold them to it

If you’ve got a partner in this thing called parenting, find ways to help them help you. Pumping does involve some assembly and maintenance, so ask your partner to take over that part so that you’re not solely responsible for the work involved in breastfeeding and pumping. Encourage your partner to take over some of the feeding sessions as well, using all that milk you’ve stored. You can add another pumping session while your partner cuddles and feeds baby.

Try a hands-free pumping bra to make sessions more productive

Okay, first, remember that you do not have to be productive all the time, mama. As a woman creating milk from her body, you’re doing work even when you’re doing nothing. However, we all know that even the most self-care-oriented mama often has a full to do list. A hands-free pumping bra paired with a lightweight, portable pump like the Evie or the BabyBuddha makes it a little easier to fit another pumping session into your schedule.

Find the right pump for your situation

A comfortable breast pump is critical to a successful pumping session. If you’re not sure which breast pump is right for you, get in touch with your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby. We can help you choose a pump that maximizes both your comfort and your breastmilk production.

top tips for breastfeeding and pumping

Top 7 tips for combining breastfeeding and pumping

Pumping offers a number of benefits to breastfeeding mamas. Most nursing moms experience engorgement at some point. Pumping almost instantly relieves the pressure of engorged breasts. Worried about your breastmilk supply? Pumping stimulates milk production and allows you to store away milk for a future feeding – maybe even netting you a day at the spa (or work if that’s your thing). Pumping also allows your partner and other family members and caregivers to feed your little one, and you can even donate your extra milk to moms who aren’t able to breastfeed.

Use the following tips to help you make the most of your pumping sessions without interfering with those special skin-to-skin feedings.

#1 Breastfeed on demand when possible

Pumping will never replace the special bonding that happens when you nurse your baby, and on demand nursing actually boosts production during your pumping sessions. So go ahead and enjoy breastfeeding as your schedule allows.

#2 Pump frequently

Because breastmilk works by supply and demand, more pumping sessions means more breastmilk. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule 15─20 minute pumping sessions every three to four hours. Make the most of those sessions by double pumping.

#3 Avoid formula feedings

Formula is harder for infants to digest, which means it stays in their systems longer. That, in turn, means babies who are formula fed are hungry less frequently. Babies who aren’t hungry don’t breastfeed as often, and that interferes with the whole chain of supply and demand. In other words, the less your baby feeds, the less milk your body makes. If formula is a must, make sure to pump during formula feeding sessions to keep your milk supply up.

#4 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Your breasts naturally produce breastmilk from water, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in your body. Therefore, less water in your body means less breastmilk when baby is hungry. Besides that, water is good for you, mama! Hydration is a struggle we all face, even when we’re not breastfeeding, but it’s especially important to hydrate when you’re drinking for two.

#5 Avoid dehydrating foods and drinks

Even if you drink an abundance of juice, milk, water, and other hydrating fluids, you’ll undo the good work if you’re also consuming foods and drinks that dehydrate you. High salt snacks and high sugar beverages are two culprits that contribute to dehydration. Meats also tend to dehydrate as do fried foods. And of course, alcohol, coffee, and tea can lead to dehydration, which may interfere with breastmilk production.

#6 Try meditation

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase relaxation, which can in turn boost breastmilk production by more than 60%! It also turns your pumping session into a self-care session, which will make you even more relaxed during those precious breastfeeding sessions.

#7 Choose your breast pump wisely

A comfortable breast pump is important to maintaining your pumping practice and will help to boost your milk supply. Conversely, an uncomfortable pump could cause you to throw in the towel early if the discomfort is too distracting. If you’re not sure which breast pump is right for you, get in touch with your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby. We can help you choose a pump that maximizes both your comfort and your breastmilk production.

Breastfeeding moms need support from partners and other family members.

How can partners support breastfeeding moms?

It’s not uncommon for new parents to be nervous about all of the new responsibilities they’ll be taking on. The biological experience of pregnancy helps mothers to adjust to their new role. However, their partners may feel they’ve been dropped into the deep end when the baby arrives. It can be difficult to know how to help, and this is particularly common when mom is breastfeeding.

Some obstacles to partner support

After delivery, mom may be too tired to explain what she needs to her partner. She may not even be entirely sure what she needs. On the other hand, her partner may feel left out of the experience or even a little jealous. They might also feel powerless to do much to help or nervous about interfering with breastfeeding and mama-baby bonding.

Why supporting breastfeeding is important

Just like anyone doing something for the first time, a new mom needs support when she begins breastfeeding. It may seem that breastfeeding should come naturally. After all, women have been doing it for millennia. However, the truth is she’s probably just as nervous as her partner. She may also be worried that she’s doing something wrong. And let’s not forget that she’s tired. Really tired. Guaranteed.

But breast milk is the very best nourishment that a newborn can have. Nothing is more nutrient-rich or offers more health benefits – both long- and short-term – for babies. Breastfeeding is even good for mom, releasing feel good hormones like oxytocin and prolactin that help to reduce her stress levels and encourage faster recovery from childbirth. Plus, women who breastfeed have reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer as well as other chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Breastfeeding also helps mom bond with her newborn, and it can enhance the social and emotional development of babies.

At the community level, no other form of nourishment is as sustainable as breastfeeding. It’s totally green, which benefits our environment, and healthier babies grow up to be healthier, happier, more productive community members.

How partners and other family members can help mom

Help around the house

Often, one person in a partnership is the cleaner upper. Usually, it’s the person who cares the most about a tidy, comfortable home. Unfortunately, that often tends to be the mom. When she’s breastfeeding, however, she may not have the energy to clean up. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t care or that a house gradually falling into disarray doesn’t bother her. One of the biggest ways a partner can help is by picking up the slack around the house.

Let mom sleep through the night

A good night’s sleep is critical to a recovering mom’s health, and her health is critical to her milk supply. Therefore, mama needs a good night’s sleep every once in a while. If she’s pumping, step in at night to feed the baby so that she can have the uninterrupted rest her body needs.

Be supportive of breastfeeding in public

As difficult as it is to understand, there’s still lingering controversy around breastfeeding in public. I have a mom friend in New Orleans whose mother-in-law nearly crawled under the bench in embarrassment when her daughter-in-law breastfed her hungry baby in a park. Fortunately, my friend’s husband pointed out to his mother that the worst that could happen in the Big Easy is someone throwing beads at the new mom. That’s how you support your partner when she’s breastfeeding.

Know your way around a breast pump

A breast pump can really level the playing field for parents when mom is breastfeeding. It means that she doesn’t have to be the only person feeding the baby in the middle of the night, for example. However, breast pumps are a little more work than breastfeeding. But for partners who enjoy a gadget to fiddle with, breast pump support can be the perfect job. Pumps and bottles need to be cleaned regularly, and pumps also need to be assembled after cleaning. If the pump and bottles are always at the ready for mom, her life is that much easier.

Get involved in breast pump logistics

Here’s an idea. When the mother-to-be is shopping for a breast pump, participate. Show as much interest as you might show in the search for a new computer or a new car. Breast pumps are pretty amazing machines, and they make it possible for partners to share more responsibility with breastfeeding. Take some time to read up on the best models and to learn how they work. We’ve got plenty of articles here to start with, and of course, our experts are on hand to answer all of your breast pump questions.