pumping at work Tag

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!