double pumping Tag

Tips for pumping on the go during holiday travel season

Holiday travel is a mixed bag. After nearly two years of pandemic life, the idea of getting on the road to grandma’s house is exciting. But it can also be a little stressful, especially if you’re trying to maintain a pumping schedule to keep your little one fat, happy, and protected from the flu and other seasonal viruses. Never fear, mama! With a little planning, you can virtually eliminate the hassle associated with pumping on the run so you can enjoy your holidays wherever you are.

Preparation

Being prepared ahead of time is key to a successful trip when you’re traveling with a baby and a breast pump. As a mom, you’re probably already tired, so trying to plan last minute is bound to get you in trouble. Nothing is quite as nauseating as getting five hours down the road and realizing you’ve forgotten something important.

Make a list and check it twice

What are your must have items when you’re pumping? Make a list right now so you can check everything off as you pack and once more as you load up the day of the trip. Don’t forget items like:

  • Spare pump parts
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • Backup manual pump

Pack early

Last minute packing inevitably leads to leaving behind important things (and, often, bringing less important things). Pack the day before you’re due to leave, at least, to ensure you’re thinking straight and checking that list.

Invest in a comfortable nursing bra (or two)

Breasts are more sensitive while you’re nursing and pumping, so treat them right – especially when you’re already going to be under some stress. Since breasts are larger when they’re fuller, err on the size of a bra that fits at that most tender time. Tight bras are the worst, and you don’t want to have that kind of negativity in your life during the holidays.

Take a reliable (preferably portable) breast pump

You do not want to get to your destination only to discover that your pump has gone kaput. Since many traditional pumps are bulky, we recommend a portable breast pump like the Elvie Stride. This little breast pump has revolutionized pumping and travel. Don’t believe me? Just do a search of #elviestride on Instagram and check out all the moms pumping on ski slopes and by hotel pools! The Stride’s two sleek hubs fit neatly into any standard nursing bra. In other words, you can literally wear them anywhere, including at a holiday dinner table, without anyone noticing. Plus, they’re hands-free, which means you can pump and drive if you want.

The catch is that you can only purchase the Elvie Stride at select durable medical equipment (DME) companies. But there’s good news! We have them in our shop, and they’re covered by most insurance providers, including Tricare. If you’re considering getting yourself a pump, now’s a great time to treat yourself to a pump that will make holiday travel simpler.

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 whether you’re at home, work, or on the go!

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.

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 milknmamasbaby@gmail.com.

woman meditating with baby

Meditation, breastfeeding, and mindful mamas

Being a mom is often overwhelming. It’s not easy being responsible for a whole other human (even less so when you’re responsible for a few of them). Moms frequently feel lost in a brain fog. Even though breastfeeding is linked to that feel good hormone oxytocin, it’s not uncommon to feel “touched out” after a day of nursing. Mindfulness meditation is one way to re-center yourself on those challenging days. And it may be good for breastmilk production, too.

What is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is exactly what it sounds like – a practice that combines meditation and mindfulness. Meditation is a centuries old practice that has been used in nearly every culture and religion to encourage calm, centeredness, focus, and awareness. In its most basic form, it is sitting or lying comfortably and focusing on your breath, a mantra, or a specific object. However, writing in a journal, walking, and breastfeeding can all become a meditative practice if you are practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply drawing your focus to the present moment and being fully involved in the experience of it.

The benefits of meditation for breastfeeding moms

Being a new mom can be a stressful time, especially when you’re juggling breastfeeding with work and other responsibilities. It’s not uncommon to feel exhausted and even depressed as a new mother. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation is a “simple, fast way to reduce stress” while cultivating inner peace. Research suggests that meditation helps to clear away information overload while offering a new perspective on stressful situations. It can reduce negative feelings while increasing patience. Research even suggests meditation may improve some medical conditions that are aggravated by stress, for example, anxiety, chronic pain, and tension headaches.

Meditation and breastmilk production

Notably, new research suggests that meditation may boost breastmilk production and even make pumping a more pleasant experience. How? The hormone oxytocin plays an important role in breastfeeding, as it triggers the let-down reflex and encourages mother-infant bonding. Studies show that stress hormones play a role in reducing milk production and inhibiting milk transfer by interfering with the production of oxytocin. According to one study, mindfulness meditation leads to the release of oxytocin in the brain, promoting a sense of well-being and stimulating bonding. More importantly to breastfeeding mothers, that release of oxytocin may stimulate breastmilk production.

Meditation while pumping for improved production

In another study, women who listened to a relaxation tape while pumping for twenty minutes a day had a 63% increase in milk production compared with the control group. Imagine that! Using your pumping session as an opportunity to meditate can boost your breastmilk production and improve your mood, your patience, and your stress levels.

How to practice mindfulness meditation while pumping

  1. GET COMFORTABLE. Find a cozy, quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. (This is a good time to call on your partner to run interference and protect your peace.) Attach your breast pump (or pumps if you are double-pumping) and find your maximum comfortable vacuum.
  2. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING. Close your eyes and focus your attention on the rise and fall of your breath. Breathe in deeply, and when you release your breath, imagine stress and tension leaving your body.
  3. SCAN YOUR BODY. As you breathe in and out, scan your body from head to toe, noticing tension and letting it go. Keep breathing and allow your attention to your breathing to ground you if your mind begins to wander.
  4. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You have many distractions in your life right now, many responsibilities, and your brain is likely to try to tiptoe back to those thoughts that cause you stress. That’s okay. Make a note of the thoughts and then gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
  5. REPEAT DAILY. For maximum rewards, repeat this practice at least twice a day for twenty minutes each.

A comfortable breast pump is important for this practice as it won’t distract you or cause discomfort. 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.

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.