Blog

Is it safe to use marijuana while breastfeeding?

How legalizing cannabis changes our view of it

After years of debate, the U.S. House passed a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level in 2020. It looks as if prospects for the federal decriminalization of marijuana may be just around the corner. For many Americans, this is a welcome change as medical marijuana has many benefits with few side effects. This may send the message that cannabis is safe to use while breastfeeding. However, evidence has shown that marijuana use can be harmful to nursing babies.

How does weed affect breastmilk?

Marijuana has more than 400 chemicals, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinal (THC), the plant’s main pychoactive component. When a breastfeeding mother uses cannabis, some of the chemicals get into her milk supply. According to a study conducted in 2018, more than 6 in 10 women who used weed had detectable levels of THC in their breastmilk samples up to six days after their last use. Another study found that it could stay in a woman’s system for as long as six weeks.

This is likely due to the fact that breastmilk is highly fatty, and both THC and CBD bind heavily to fats. While alcohol is dispensed from breastmilk at the same rate it leaves the blood, the chemicals found in marijuana tend to build up in breastmilk. In fact, the same report found that a mother could have eight times as much THC in her milk as in her blood.

How do THC and CBD affect newborns?

Very little human research has been conducted in recent years, so it’s hard to say with 100% certainty how THC and CBD affect newborns. A study of suckling mice exposed to cannabis extract showed decreased weight gain. A study of rats exposed to THC in utero found that exposure leads to lasting neurodevelopmental impairment. What these mean for human babies is hard to say.

However, THC does inhibit the production of prolactin, the hormone that controls milk production. Further, some studies have shown that babies exposed to THC may not nurse as long or as vigorously.

What does the CDC say about using marijuana while breastfeeding?

While data is currently limited on the effects of marijuana use while breastfeeding, the CDC provides the following guidance:

Data on the effects of marijuana and CBD exposure to the infant through breastfeeding are limited and conflicting. To limit potential risk to the infant, breastfeeding mothers should be advised not to use marijuana or marijuana-containing products in any form, including those containing CBD, while breastfeeding.

Talk to your doctor about using marijuana while breastfeeding

If you’ve been using marijuana medicinally, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to proceed while you’re breastfeeding. They will be able to advise you on possible alternatives or best use scenarios.

mother use breast pump to get breast milk and sitting near the sleeping newborn

Can I increase my breastmilk supply by pumping?

Am I producing enough breastmilk?

Many mothers who are new to nursing worry that their milk supply may not meet their baby’s needs. Usually, the fear stems from the fact that newborns never seem to be full. The truth is that for the first month, you’re likely to be breastfeeding baby around the clock. It’s typical for newborns to nurse 8 to 12 times a day when they’re feeding on demand.

If you do feel you need to boost your milk supply, pumping can help.

Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis. As milk is removed from your breast, your body will create more. It doesn’t matter how the milk is removed, whether by baby or by breast pump. It only matters that your milk supply is regularly depleted. That means pumping can help to boost your milk supply.

Increase the frequency of pumping sessions to produce more milk.

Adding one or more pumping sessions to your regular breastfeeding or pumping routine will signal to your body to produce more milk. In addition to hormones, circadian rhythm plays a role in breast milk supply. For many women, their milk supply is most abundant in the morning, which makes an extra morning pumping session a great time to boost your supply.

What is cluster pumping?

Another way to use your breast pump to increase the volume of your milk supply is by cluster pumping. Cluster pumping is a technique used to create a continual stimulation of milk production by pumping every five minutes. Adding a session of cluster pumping to your morning, evening, or weekend schedule could help to boost your milk production.

Does pumping after nursing help with breastmilk supply?

It’s not uncommon for newborns to fall asleep while they’re nursing, which can leave milk in the breast. Using a breast pump to completely empty breasts of milk after a nursing session will stimulate your body to begin producing more milk.

Double pumping for more breastmilk.

A high-quality pumping bra makes it easy for nursing moms to pump both breasts at once, saving time and increasing the volume of milk produced. A good pumping bra and hands-free pump like the BabyBuddha or Elvie allow you to pump while you’re performing other tasks, making it easy and convenient to boost your milk supply.

Check out our large selection of breast pumps to find a breastfeeding solution that works for you. Not sure which pump to choose? Our consultants are here to help. Give us a call and explain your situation so we can identify a pump that meets your needs.

cute baby in easter bunny outfit

Top 10 cutest spring-inspired baby names

Still haven’t decided on a name for your springtime baby?

We’ve narrowed down the lists for you. These baby names for boys and girls come from a wide variety of cultures, but they all put us in a spring state of mind.

Spring-inspired names for baby girls

  • The Persian name Zaida, or Zada, implies good fortune and abundance, both ideas that we strongly associate with the blooming, full days of spring.
  • If you picture an alpine meadow full of wildflowers when you think of spring, consider a Scandinavian name like Loa, which means “spring bird.” Loa is also a term of endearment associated with the name Elísabet.
  • How do you let your newborn know she’s the light of your life? How about with a name like Aurora, the name of the ancient Roman goddess of the dawn? Aurora is a lovely baby name that lends itself to lots of charming pet names like Rory and Aura.
  • Floral names are always a sweet choice for baby girls born in the spring. Iris captures both the beauty of the delicate purple flower as well as the majesty of the Greek goddess of the rainbow.
  • The name Chloe shares Greek roots with chlorophyll, the green pigment found in growing spring plants. The name itself means “green shoot” and is an epithet of the spring goddess Demeter.

Spring-inspired names for baby boys

  • The French philosopher Blaise Pascal had, perhaps, the most spring-inspired name ever. Blaise calls to mind the fiery blaze of the spring sunshine while Pascal means “one who was born on Easter.” Either would make a delightful name for a boy born in the springtime.
  • The German name Brynner has a fresh look about it, and it means one who dwells by the stream, an idyllic spot to spend spring days.
  • The popular Spanish name Xavier is associated with Saint Francis de Xavier; however, the original etymology stems from the Basque “etxaberri,” meaning “new house” or “bright.”
  • The sweet-sounding Arabic name Rabi mean “springtime,” and it’s associated with gentle breezes and an equally gentle temperament. It’s a perfect name for a mild-mannered springtime babe.
  • Hugo is another German name that seems perfectly suited for springtime. It means “bright in mind and spirit,” and we think it’s an adorable name for a baby boy.

Milk N Mamas baby is here for your baby, whatever name you choose.

From Avas to Zadas, we ensure nursing babies of all names, cultures, and backgrounds get the nourishment they need. Our breast pumps and breastfeeding equipment give expectant and nursing mothers everything they need to make a smooth transition from pregnancy to nursing and everything beyond. Take a look around the site today to see how we make breastfeeding your newborn easier.

pregnant woman in maternity fashion for spring

Maternity fashion is going to be bold and bright this spring

What will all the expectant mothers be wearing in Spring 2021?

Have you come to associate springtime and motherhood with pretty pastels and dainty flowers? If so, you might be in for a surprise in 2021. We’ve been following some of the most fashion forward moms we know on Instagram, and they’re indicating a bolder, brighter, sexier spring for maternity fashion.

Sensuous materials, rich colors

Sierra Thomas, an aesthetician from Southern California, was our first indication that, this spring, moms are stepping out in bold, confident style. Sierra’s emerald skirt and simple white top are all clean lines and rich colors for an absolutely stunning look. The sumptuous, satiny material of the midi skirt paired with its rich, saturated color reveal a trend towards the sensuous and bold among fashion forward mamas.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by SIERRAntoinette (@sierrantoinette)

Flowing fabrics, inspiring designs

Lifestyle blogger Brandy of Baton Rouge looks like a green goddess in this flowing maxi dress, and we bow down to her bold, beautiful fashion statement. This is a perfect look to break out of the winter doldroms and inspire the mere mortals in your life.

Clean cut, striking lines

Fashionista and first-time mom-to-be Rachael Kevin glows in this gold sheath dress. The style’s sleek cut and simple design allows the joyful sunny hue and the expectant mother to shine.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rachael Kevin (@sheskevin)

What to expect for expectant mother fashion this spring?

Pregnant ladies will be putting bold and beautiful into maternity fashion this spring if our favorite stylish mothers are any indication. What about you, mama? What’s your favorite spring style for moms?

Take a look at some of our breast pump accessory bags that are sure to add vibrant color and style to your spring look.

young mother breastfeeding baby on train

Here’s to strong women

May we know them

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we’re proud to support the strongest women we know – new moms. You’ve carried another life for nine months, nurturing it and protecting it. You’ve endured excruciating pain to deliver your newborn safely into the world, and you sacrifice daily to give your children everything they need to grow up healthy, strong, and happy.

If you’re one of our clients, you’ve chosen to breastfeed because you believe it gives your babies the healthiest start possible. And you’re right.

However, breastfeeding can be a challenge. It’s not always a walk in the park. Even moms who have the opportunity to stay home while nursing experience ups and downs. It can be exhausting and frustrating to adjust to a new life with baby.

We know working moms who are faced with guilt and fatigue as they try to squeeze pumping into their busy schedule. Likewise, many of our clients are enlisted in the military. They face an endless round of responsibilities and regimens in addition to their role as mom. Nevertheless, they remain just as committed to nursing and pumping to provide their newborns the health boost offered by breast milk.

We are proud to know you, and you inspire us daily to go the extra mile: for you, for our own kids, and for all the women we come in contact with.

May we be them

We’re moms, too, and we’re also working women. We started Milk N Mamas Baby to provide a convenient, compassionate service to the hard-working women we admire. We started it because we believe in the power of breastfeeding to build healthy humans and healthy bonds between mothers and their children.

It’s not been easy to build a business from the ground up, but we’re strong women. We believe in this work, and we think it’s worth the long days. We hope you feel our enthusiasm and our commitment when you call us for support.

May we raise them

Whether you’re a mom nursing at home, a mom pumping breastmilk on her lunch break, or a mom in the military, you’ve got our admiration. More importantly, you’ve got the admiration of all those little girls you’re helping raise. You’re showing them all the things that are possible for strong women. Here’s to you, mama!

Blog Image of Mother kissing Newborn baby

Elvie 101: how to use your new breast pump

The Elvie wearable breast pump is a slim, easy to use innovation in breastfeeding for nursing mothers.What makes the Elvie breast pump different from other pumps?

If you’ve been hooked up to a hospital-grade breast pump, the first thing you’d notice about the Elvie is its compact size. Next, you’d notice the wire-free, tube-free design. The Elvie is so discreet and lightweight, in fact, it fits inside the cup of a standard nursing bra.

In addition to being small enough to wear, the Elvie breast pump is also silent. How silent? It’s about as quiet as a house when a newborn has finally fallen asleep. You know how quiet that is, right? Not even a whisper. In fact, one reviewer said that she wore hers to work, and her male colleagues never noticed.

What are the pros and cons according to breastfeeding moms?

Pros

  • Hands-free: Moms like that they can tuck the Elvie into their nursing bra and operate the device with the press of a free smartphone app button.
  • Attachment-free: Moms already have kids hanging all over them. Do we really want wire and tubes, too? The streamlined design of the Evie – and the freedom it offers – gets a big thumbs up from moms.
  • Noise-free: Again, silence is just one of those things that a new mother learns to appreciate, and the Elvie breast pump delivers.
  • Data-rich: The Elvie Pump app monitors milk volume in real time. It also tracks your pump history, which gives you a clear picture of your nursing routine. Even better, Elvie uses this data to make your routine smarter and easier. When it detects let-down, the pump automatically switches from Stimulation to Expression. When the bottle is full, it pauses.

Cons

  • Not entirely hassle-free: Some moms said that the smaller parts of the Elvie were difficult to clean. They also worried these smaller parts could potentially get lost.
  • Not entirely covered by insurance: Unlike many other pumps, the Elvie is not covered by all insurance providers. Moms may have to pay some or all costs out-of-pocket.
  • Aside from that, most reviews were very positive.

Who would benefit from an Elvie pump?

Active moms and working moms, in particular, would benefit from the Elvie pump’s discreet, streamlined design and silent pumping action. Any moms who are on the go a lot, including those who need (or want) to travel, would likewise benefit form the pump’s lightweight, wearable comfort. With Elvie, moms can pump anywhere at any time.

Sounds great! How do I use the Elvie?

The Elvie is incredibly easy to use.

  1. Charge the pump.
  2. Download the app.
  3. Connect the two.
  4. Insert the pump into your nursing bra.
  5. Use the app to start and stop the pump, control intensity, and monitor milk flow.

Is the Elvie insured by Tricare, UPMC, and other insurance companies?

The Elvie Pump is considered an upgrade item by most insurance plans,. Therefore, moms must apply their insurance benefit to the cost and pay out-of-pocket to upgrade to it. If you’re covered by Tricare, UPMC, or any other health plan, get in touch with the customer care reps at Milk N Mamas Baby. We can help you decide if the Elvie is right for you and how much your benefit will cover.

Mother and Newborn Baby

Milk n Mamas Baby Pump and Breastfeed Schedule

Pump and Breastfeed Schedule – An Average Day

There is so much to learn when you become a new parent, and at times it can seem overwhelming. That’s because as it is with your newborn, everything – and we mean literally everything – is new. That’s not to make it sound as though it’s too much, as it’s anything but, yet there is a learning curve involved with certain things. 

One of those is feeding, which along with sleep is about the most important aspect of a newborn’s life. There are a lot of new Moms out there trying to put together a breastfeed schedule and work in some pumping at the same time. Like most other things with a baby, routine is key, so Milk n Mamas Baby is going to lay out what could be a typical day for you. Just keep in mind that if you need to do things differently, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Every baby is different as are his or her needs and norms.

Breastfeeding Comes First

The first idea you should keep in mind if a breastfeed schedule is something you desire is that direct feeding should take priority over pumping. We’re going to start the day at midnight, since every new parent knows that the difference between day and night doesn’t really exist with a newborn. When they’re up, they’re up, and when they’re hungry, it’s time to eat! Therefore, you should plan on breastfeeding your newborn every 2-3 hours throughout the day including at least once at night. For sake of this breakdown, let’s say that you feed your newborn at 3 a.m. 

Give Yourself Time to Pump

If it typically takes you about 30 minutes to breastfeed your child and then to complete the burping routine, you probably could use a break. Following the set example, let’s assume that you need to breastfeed your baby again at 6 a.m. If you’re finished at 6:30, then your first pump of the day should come at around 7 a.m. That 30 minutes between the completion of the previous feed and the pumping is an important aspect of the breastfeed schedule, as your body will need time to regenerate milk.

Remaining Pumps For the Day

Assuming your breastfeed schedule continues in form, you’ll be feeding your child every three hours throughout the day. Therefore, if you feed your child at 9 a.m. and again at noon, you should pump after the noon feeding. That would mean you’d pump at around 1 p.m. The rest of the day should follow the same pattern, with your final pump coming after your 9 p.m. feed. Overall, pumping three times in a day is about the maximum that most Moms can handle.

Overall Considerations

A breastfeed schedule is going to make life easier, but when to pump when breastfeeding a newborn is going to depend somewhat on your personal circumstances. Trust your instincts, but remember that breastfeeding always takes precedent, and if your baby gets hungry during “off” times he or she should be fed. 
That said, like everything else these days, you will most likely work towards and achieve a successful breastfeed schedule, and we look forward to working with you on providing all the feeding supplies you need.

baby and mother using spectra breast pump

Which Spectra breast pump is right for me?

Here’s what you need to know about the Spectra S1, S2, and S9 breast pumps:

Choosing a breast pump can be overwhelming. We get it. There are so many options! Which is great, but you’ve got a million other life decisions to make right now, and while your best friend, sister, and co-worker all have a breast pump recommendation, that doesn’t make it any easier to choose. Not to mention, all three recommendations are different

Our team at Milk N Mamas understands this. We spend much of our day helping moms-to-be select the best breast pump for their lifestyle. The Spectra brand is one of our favorites because it matches high quality with high function. So let’s break down the ins and outs of the Spectra line.

Spectra S1 Double Electric Hospital Strength Breast Pump

The Spectra S1 is a powerful hospital grade pump that meets most every mom’s breast feeding needs. If you’re looking for mobility, this pump has it. If you’re feeding multiple babies, this pump has the technology to handle it. If you’re looking for a pump with multiple adjustable functions to suit your personal preferences, this pump has you covered. 

This breast pump is great for moms with preemies, multiple babies, low milk supply, difficulties with latching, a hospitalized infant, and for working moms. 

We love the Spectra S1 for its many capabilities:

  • A 270 mmHg suction capacity
  • Massage mode to encourage milk letdown
  • Double pumping option
  • Adjustable suction strength
  • Adjustable cycle speed
  • Night light
  • Timer
  • Hygienic double collection, closed system
  • Zero mold risk
  • BPA free
  • Quiet
  • Portable and lightweight at just 3 lbs
  • Stylish
  • AC adapter
  • Rechargeable battery with 3 hours runtime

Spectra S2 Double Electric Hospital Strength Breast Pump

The Spectra S2 is a hospital grade pump that rivals the breast pumping capabilities of its big sister, the S1. This lightweight pump is ideal for moms with little need for mobility but want all the high quality features of the S1. The S2 is loved by lactation consultants for its utility and economy.

We love the Spectra S2 for its great features.

  • A 270 mmHg suction capacity
  • Massage mode to encourage milk letdown
  • Double pumping option
  • Adjustable suction strength
  • Adjustable cycle speed
  • Night light
  • Timer
  • Hygienic double collection, closed system
  • Zero mold risk
  • BPA free
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Stylish
  • AC adapter
  • Lightweight at just 2.5lbs

Spectra 9 Plus Advanced Personal Breast Pump

The Spectra 9 is designed and built for breastfeeding moms who double as business owners, executives, board leaders, and on-the-go lifestyles. It offers the ultimate in mobility and convenience. The Spectra 9 Advanced Personal breast pump is the ideal investment for your breast pumping needs. Sleek, small, discreet. 

We love the Spectra 9 for its exceptional features:

  • Extremely lightweight at just .5 lbs
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Single or double pump capability
  • 260 mmHg suction strength
  • Adjustable cycle speed
  • One-touch adjustable suction 
  • Bright LCD display
  • Timer
  • Adjustable massage and expression settings
  • Hygienic double collection, closed system
  • Zero mold risk
  • BPA free
  • Quiet

Each of these three pumps come with all the necessary parts, including bottles, tubing, breast shields and more. We also carry a variety of breast pump bundles that include bags and coolers, as well as other accessories. 

Hopefully this blog post helps you to home in on the best breast pump for you, but we’re here for you if you have more questions, and to file the claim with your insurance company on your behalf. We work with all major insurance carriers, including TRICARE.

Mother holding cute baby in bandana

The Best Breast Pump Brands of 2021

Breastfeeding is a natural part of raising babies. While some mothers decide to exclusively breastfeed, others may breastfeed only occasionally or not at all, in which case they’ll need to rely on pumping to build up stores of breast milk for each feeding. That’s better than relying on formula to feed your child the nutrients they need, and a breast pump allows you to meet the needs of your growing child.

If you’re a mother that doesn’t have the time during the day to breastfeed your child, especially if they spend the day with a caretaker, a breast pump makes feeding easy because anyone can step in while you take care of whatever else you’ve got going on. A breast pump can also give you flexibility during nighttime feedings or in the afternoon if you’re unavailable for a feeding, and they can also relieve engorgement when you’re out and about.

Best Breast Pump Brands – Types

While just about any breast pump can relieve pressure and help you build up your child’s personal store of mother’s milk, pumping in 2020 has come a long way from the contraptions that have been used in years past. In general, the best breast pump brand will have many options and models for you to choose from. After all, not all breast pumping needs are singular, and sometimes one breast pump works best in a certain scenario that would be wholly inappropriate for another.

Types of breast pumps include double-electric breast pumps, single-electric breast pumps, battery-operated breast pumps and manual breast pumps, though the one that’s best for you depends on your precise need. The best double breast pump allows you to pump both breasts at the same time, allowing you to get more milk out of your pumping sessions, while the best electric breast pump may be a bad call if you’re commuting or you don’t have access to an electrical outlet. Even a manual pump may be the best option for you if price and weight is an important consideration.

Best Breast Pump Brands – Closed or Open?

After choosing a type, the next consideration is whether you want a closed-system pump or an open-system pump. Closed-system pumps separate the milk from the machine via a barrier, while open-system pumps lack this barrier, sending milk throughout the system and into the bottle. Closed systems tend to be more hygienic and easier to clean and sterilize, though they also tend to be more expensive.

Best Breast Pump Brands – What To Look For

While 2020 certainly has no shortage of breast pump options, the best breast pump brand for you depends on your specific needs. Weight, noise, access to an outlet, hands-free operation and cost are all important considerations, and just one is enough to make what looked like a good option a no-go if one of your important criteria aren’t met.

The good news is that breast pumps are often covered by insurance, so cost is manageable to a certain extent. That said, you may need an extra pump at the office or in the car, so if you’re buying your second or third pump, cost may be an important consideration.

The Best Breast Pumps

Forget about specific brands, here are the best breast pumps for various uses:

The best breast pump for working moms is the Spectra S2 Breast Pump.

The best portable or battery-powered pump is the BabyBuddha Complete Kit.
For more breast pump suggestions, please visit our breast pump page.

Mother holding child

Does Insurance Cover Breast Pumps? An Overview

Breastfeeding is a wonderful, healthy, and bonding way to nourish your newborn, and some mothers will extend the period of breastfeeding well into infanthood. That’s mostly because of the enormous health benefits that breastfeeding provides that simply cannot be replicated with any formula, but in many cases, it’s also a wise economical decision given that synthetic formula can be quite expensive, especially over time. However, that doesn’t mean that breastfeeding is free, as there are costs involved relating to equipment. 

The central component of breastfeeding, at least as your child gets a bit older and you want to get ahead of things a bit, is the breast pump. Breast pumps can carry a bit of a cost, but a lot of new mothers out there are likely asking themselves, “Does insurance cover breast pumps?” There are several possible answers to this question, but Milk n Mamas Baby will work through this situation below by way of some recommendations of how you should proceed to find your answer.

Work Ahead

If you’re expecting and you plan on breastfeeding, it’s best to check with your insurance company before the child arrives to find out what you need to know about your coverage. Yes, this only adds to an already-long list of things to do, but the last thing you want to deal with when caring for an infant is haggling and working through red tape. Instead, contact your insurance company to find out:

  1. What types of breast pumps are covered, if any;
  2. How long breast pumps are covered;
  3. How the ordering and claim process works; and
  4. When you should make that order.

Unfortunately, dealing directly with your insurance company may not lead to the result you desire quickly, so you may need to keep digging and working

Work With a Renowned Equipment Provider

If you’d like to avoid all of this red tape as you look for your answer to the question of whether or not insurance covers breast pumps, you can work directly with a nursing equipment provider who deals with this sort of thing every day. One such provider is, of course, Milk n Mamas Baby. We provide only the best breast pumps that the market has to offer, and we work not only with insurance companies, but also with expecting and new Moms to make sure that they get the breast pumps and other equipment they need to provide their little ones with their much needed and vital nutrition. 

The answer to the question, “Does insurance cover breast pumps?” is actually a simple yes in most situations, but getting to that yes can take some work. If you have it in you to deal with insurance bureaucracy and achieve the desired result on your own, take the step recommended above. If you don’t, then all you need to do is contact Milk n Mamas Baby and we’ll take care of this process for you so you don’t have to worry. Go ahead and take a look at our product offerings, but if you have any questions about our breast pumps, how to have them covered or any of our other products or services, feel free to contact us at any time.