pumping at work Tag

Elvie Stride Double Electric Breast Pump

How breast pumps revolutionized breastfeeding

When was the first breast pump patented?

For most of human history, breastfeeding was the only way to nourish a new baby. Even breast pumps are older than you might think. The first pump was patented in 1854, and it was generally used as an aid for mothers with inverted nipples or for infants who were too frail for breastfeeding. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was a lifesaver for families who needed it.

Do all moms pump?

According to the 2005–2007 Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II), nearly 9 in 10 breastfeeding mothers had successfully expressed milk at some point during the baby’s first year. Many of those moms used a breast pump regularly. In some cases, they fed their infants exclusively pumped milk.

How are today’s breast pumps different?

Breast pumps have improved steadily over the years, becoming more comfortable as they became more commonplace. Today, pumps come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and suctions. While hospital strength double electric breast pumps are still better used at home, many new pumps are silent, discreet, and portable. Women can even pump in their nursing bras without cords or bags to draw attention.

What are the benefits of breast pumps?

Breast pumps aren’t always necessary, but they offer a lot of benefits. If you’re a military mom or a mom who has to return to work early, a breast pump makes sure your baby doesn’t miss out on all of the nutrients only found in breast milk. If you experience frequent engorgement, pumping offers relief. On the flip side, regular pumping can help to keep your milk supply up if you’re worried about your production. It’s also great to have on hand if you have to give up breastfeeding suddenly and need to slowly back down your supply.

Are there other revolutions in the history of pumping?

Definitely. Our company’s history is rooted in revolutionary ideas where pumping is concerned. Our founder Krisi LaMont lobbied on behalf of nursing moms for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it. Our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas and babies every day, one mother at a time.

What are the most revolutionary breast pumps?

In terms of space age technology, the Elvie Stride probably wins out. You can pump directly into your bra using an app on your phone. However, pumps like the Spectra S1 are truly revolutionary in their ability to help mothers who may require hospital strength suction. The most revolutionary pump for any mom, though, is the one she feels comfortable with. Need help finding your breast pump? We’re here for you. Give us a call or email today.

working mom and baby

5 tips for pumping success when you return to work

Returning to work after having your baby can be a mixed bag of feelings. On the one hand, no one can blame you for feeling a little excited about the prospect of spending time with adults. On the other, you’re definitely going to miss that little bundle of joy while you’re away. If you’re breastfeeding, it can be even more daunting and more emotional. How do you find time during the workday to pump? Will your colleagues be supportive?

Don’t worry. We’ve been there ourselves, and we have five tips that will help you make the transition smoothly.

Know your rights

Thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most employers are required to provide reasonable break time for nursing mothers to express breast milk. They must also provide a private space that is not a bathroom in which employees can express milk at their discretion. There are some exemptions, which leads to our next tip.

Know your workplace pumping policies

Some workplaces are exempt from the Break Time For Nursing Mothers law. For example, if your workplace has fewer than fifty employees and they can show that following the law would create an undue hardship, they do not have to provide nursing breaks. Talk to your employer early to learn their pumping policies. If they don’t have policies yet, work with them to establish expectations before you return to work.

Prepare ahead of time

Pumping at work is much more common than it once was, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to walk right into the first day without a plan in place. Don’t wait until the last minute. Get all your ducks in a row and your supplies gathered together a month or two before you go back. That gives you plenty of time to check and double-check to make sure you’ve got everything you need, including flanges and freezer bags. Around the same time, start building up a stash of frozen breast milk to make sure you’ve got backup if your first few weeks are more hectic than you anticipated.

Start practicing now

Part of being prepared is practicing, so start pumping a month or more before you go back to work to get the hang of it. Then, practice pumping in your work clothes to make sure you’re at ease when you return to the workplace.

Pick a pump that works for workplaces

The right breast pump makes all the difference when it comes to returning to work, and one of our personal favorites is also covered by insurance. The Elvie Stride was created by working mothers to work for working mothers. The hands-free bra is worn under clothing and collects milk in-bra, plus it’s ultra-quiet, which makes it super discreet. You can literally pump at your desk on in the cab of a truck with the Stride! That makes returning to work so much easier.

If you’re a mom trying to balance work with nursing, the working moms at Milk N Mamas Baby are on your side. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you need a little extra support and encouragement.

military mom frustrated by lack of nursing support

How to support breastfeeding moms in demanding jobs

No one reading this blog will be surprised to learn that moms make up the fastest-growing segment of the labor force. While many working moms are in traditional fields of education and healthcare, more and more women are finding employment on construction sites, in the military, and in other physically demanding careers. Among these working women, 6 in 10 are new mothers who are just getting the hang of breastfeeding.

What challenges do nursing moms in physically demanding jobs experience?

In 2021, breastfeeding Olympic athletes made the news because they were banned from bringing their nursing children with them. U.S. marathon runner Aliphine Tuliamuk and soccer player Alex Morgan petitioned the Tokyo Olympic committee to ease the ban, but the response of the Olympic Committee did little to improve the situation. Children were forced to stay outside the Olympic Village in strict quarantine in hotel rooms. Given the conditions, many of the breastfeeding athletes chose to leave their infants at home, a decision that has the potential to disrupt their nursing relationship in the long run.

While these harsh limitations were imposed because of COVID, it’s a stark reminder of how nursing mothers and their infants are often an afterthought in employee policymaking, in particular in more physically demanding professions. Moms face numerous challenges when they’re attempting to return to work while nursing, including:

  • Finding time to take pumping breaks during long shifts,
  • Lack of an appropriate private space for pumping breaks,
  • Lack of support from employers and colleagues.

How do these challenges impact breastfeeding?

Obviously, limited time and space creates a barrier to breastfeeding and pumping. However, even when businesses and institutions like the military provide the time and space required by the Break Time for Nursing Mothers provision of the ACA in 2010, they often neglect to actually create a support system, which proves to be even more important to mothers and babies.

Nursing mothers who feel unsupported in the workplace are also more likely to lack confidence in breastfeeding, and that takes a serious toll on how long they are willing to nurse. In fact, support, in general, plays an outsized role in how long women continue breastfeeding and pumping. According to the CDC, unsupportive work policies, lack of family support, and unsupportive hospital practices and policies are all obstacles for nursing moms to overcome.

How does supporting breastfeeding moms impact the workplace?

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources released their Business Case for Breastfeeding. In this study, they found that investing in lactation support services in the workplace produces a return of three dollars for every one dollar invested in breastfeeding support. When military moms and other hardworking mothers feel supported, the study found improvements in the following areas:

  • greater employee retention,
  • increased productivity,
  • lower healthcare costs,
  • increased employee engagement, and
  • and lower employee absenteeism rates.

How can I support breastfeeding moms in demanding jobs?

Support legislation that supports breastfeeding moms.

Stay abreast (pun intended) of federal and state laws that impact breastfeeding moms, including those who are working. If your state has room for improvement, call your legislators and demand it. You can find specific laws related to breastfeeding here.

If you are a business or organization, become an advocate for nursing moms.

Businesses that provide real, meaningful support for breastfeeding and pumping mothers will have a stellar employee for life. Mothers who feel seen and supported will have an enormous positive influence of company culture, and you will have an enormous positive influence on a healthier, happier community.

Get creative with implementing effective strategies for supporting nursing moms.

Clinical studies have found a number of strategies that enhance breastfeeding among working women, including:

  • early postpartum support,
  • maternity leave policies,
  • teleworking,
  • flexible working hours,
  • access to space and time to extract milk,
  • support from colleagues and supervisors, and
  • the existence of explicit policies to support breastfeeding working mothers.

It’s Time To Start Supporting Breastfeeding Moms

Filling physically demanding jobs is already a challenge for many employees. Making positions more attractive to nursing mothers has the potential to attract and retain valuable new employees. If you’re a mom trying to balance work with nursing, the working moms at Milk N Mamas Baby are on your side. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you need a little extra support and encouragement.

Young mom with cute baby boy, mother breast feeds baby on bed, natural tones

Must-have accessories for breastfeeding moms

We’re hoping you’re spoiling the new mom in your life with dinners that she doesn’t have to cook and cozy pajamas that she’ll have plenty of time to sleep in. While you’re spoiling her, make sure her necessities are stocked up. If she’s planning to breastfeed, we recommend these must-have accessories to make her life easier and more comfortable.

Nursing Bras and Pumping Bustiers

A comfortable nursing bra is a must for nursing mothers. They provide support for tender breasts as well as easy, discreet access for breastfeeding babies. They also offer coverage and prevent leakage when nipples leak. If you’re pumping, you should also invest in a hands-free pumping bra like the Medela Easy Expression Bustier or the Simple Wishes Pumping Bra.

Tip: Wait until later in your third trimester to purchase a nursing bra or bustier. Your breast size will peak at around eight months and remain at that cup size for several months postpartum.

Nursing Pads

Nursing pads absorb leaks between feedings, keeping your bra and your nipples drier. This prevents irritation and promotes air flow to tender skin. Pads also provide a soft barrier to prevent your bra from rubbing sore, bruised nipples.

Tip: Medela Washable Nursing Pads can be tossed in with the laundry, saving on the cost of constantly replacing pads.

Nipple Cream

During the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for nipples to become more sensitive. Nursing can cause the tender skin to dry out, to become cracked and itchy, and sometimes to bleed. Over time, your body gets used to the new conditions, and your nipples will heal. During those first few weeks, though, a good nipple cream can ease your pain and speed up recovery.

Tip: You can get a 12 oz. tube of Medela Tender Care Lanolin for Tender Breasts PLUS disposable nursing bra pads, breastmilk bags, and more in the Medela Accessory Starter Set.

Totes

In some cultures, mothers stay in bed with their newborn for the first month or more to give both time to get to know one another and adjust to their new life together. That’s not the way here, though. Moms are up and at ‘em earlier than ever, and if that’s your plan, plan to be carrying a tote or two along with your new bundle of joy.

Tip: You can pick up stylish cooler bags, breast pump bags, and even bundles of bags in a variety of colors and patterns from Milk N Mamas Baby when you purchase your breast pump.

Portable Pump

If you’re going to be an on-the-go kind of mom, a portable pump is a must-have accessory. We love the hands-free Elvie Stride if you’re planning to pump while traveling, but it’s also great for pumping around the house, at work, or running errands. We’ve even seen women wearing the Stride on ski slopes!

Tip: If you’ve got an FSA/HSA card, you can use your funds to purchase a portable pump like the Stride or the lightweight BabyBuddha®  to compliment your normal use pump.

Pick up everything a breastfeeding mom needs at Milk N Mamas Baby

From pumps to accessories, at Milk N Mamas Baby, we’ve got everything you need for a comfortable breastfeeding and pumping experience. Give us a call to get started.

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.

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.

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!