Going back to work with a new baby at home means breastfeeding moms start thinking about pumping. And many moms ask themselves or friends, “How can I pump more breastmilk?” After nursing two babies, I learned some tricks and found my groove, and I know you can, too!
Here are some tips I have after pumping at work for two babies – my favorite is #3, most people don’t know about this one!
1. Focus – Focus on pumping, not work. Don’t work or talk on the phone when pumping, especially in the beginning. Every time I tried to think about anything important during my pumping sessions I pumped noticeably less milk. So use the time to relax.
2. Relax – In the early days when I had trouble relaxing enough to get the milk flowing (also called a “let down”), I would look at a picture of my son, close my eyes and visualize the ritual of picking him up, sitting in the rocker and getting ready to breastfeed. Most of the time that would help me relax enough to get the milk flowing. Some moms pack a baby shirt or blanket in their bag with the baby’s smell on it, too. And just like starting out nursing, it’s important not to hold your breath. Breathe, breathe, and breathe!
3. Try for a second let down – This is my biggest tip that most new moms don’t know about. When it comes to pumping, just like nursing, our bodies have cycles of let-downs. After pumping for 5-10 minutes you might notice your milk has stopped flowing. Don’t pack up your pump just yet! This is when your baby would change his or her sucking pattern to get your milk to flow again, and your pump can do that, too. Once your milk stops flowing, turn your pump onto the highest, fastest setting to simulate the baby’s sucking pattern. On the Medela PISA, turn it off and turn it back on – on high. This will help you have a second let down and can save you a lot of time. For many months I would sit and wait, sometimes up to 10-15 minutes, trying to get another let down. This is hard to do when the pump is on the regular pumping suction setting. Once you get into the habit of simulating your baby to stimulate a second let down by turning it to the high setting again, you will save time and get more milk!
4. Drink water – Like when you are nursing at home, it is important to stay hydrated at work and eat little snacks throughout the day.
5. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a natural way to increase milk supply and I found that my pumping output was dramatically higher whenever I ate it for breakfast (the instant packets work well). If you are really struggling with milk supply, you can research some of the safe herbal supplements on the market like Mother’s Milk Tea.
Check out my Breastfeeding: How to pump successfully at work post for more tips, including ideas on how to talk to your boss and coworkers, recommendations on pumps, hands-free pumping bras, milk storage bags and more! I’d also love to stay in touch on facebook and twitter!
Note: This post was written from my experiences as a working mother who pumped for two babies. I am not a lactation specialist or health care professional.
Last week I went up north with my boyfriend and his kids (my kids were at their Dad’s house). We stayed in a cabin by a lake.
And it was the strangest thing – I didn’t have to worry about food allergies for an entire week! I almost feel guilty talking about it now, how much I enjoyed being carefree for a week, after living so carefully for so many years.
We could eat and cook anything we wanted in the cabin. This included trail mix, eggs for breakfast and peanut butter sandwiches, foods that we can’t even have in my house because trace amounts are dangerous for my daughter who has multiple, severe food allergies.
We ate out at restaurants we normally would not be able to go to… And for a special birthday that took place on the trip? We got a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. And not just any ice cream cake… he picked out the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream cake! And it was great!
I have to be honest, it felt really great to be able to relax around food and not have to cook as much. It’s the first birthday in 6 years we’ve been able to buy a cake rather than me baking one myself.
I’ve been playing around with Periscope, the new live streaming app you can get on iphone and droid smartphones. I encourage everyone to download it and check it out (and follow me there!). Recently, while grocery shopping, I thought I’d try live streaming to see if anyone was interested in hearing and seeing the types of foods I buy. Interestingly, there were people who joined throughout the entire 20 minutes or so and a few folks who asked questions.
I saved a copy of my “scope” here and uploaded to YouTube. Feel free to watch it here to see what types of products we buy.
You can find more of my food allergy posts, tips & recipes on my Food Allergy page. I’d also love to connect with you on my Marketing Mama facebook page and twitter. This post, and all posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert and encourage you to consult with a doctor on your personal medical situation.
We don’t keep secrets in our family, but we can keep surprises.
Secrets are usually something bad that can hurt someone, while surprises are something good, such as a present!
Along with that, I’ve taught my children that if any adults ever say to them, “Don’t tell your Mom (or Dad) about this,” that it’s VERY important they tell me right away and I will never be mad at them for doing so. Grown ups only say that if they did something wrong, but when it comes to the safety of my children, I need to know about it. Adults should not be forming secrets with children, period. It’s not healthy for the kids and it sets up a bad power dynamic between the adult and the child. Feeling the pressure of keeping a secret for an adult can create unneeded stress and anxiety for children.
The same goes true the other way – babysitters and teachers should never say to a child “I won’t tell your Mom (or Dad) about this” in order to cover up for the child. I know sometimes people are tempted to do this. The child might plead, “Please don’t tell my mom or dad.” Or the adult might use it as leverage, “I won’t tell your parents about this IF… ” which is also unfair to the child.
Kids make mistakes. Adults make mistakes. But when we keep them secret, they can become shameful, embarrassing and can even be hurtful when they come out later.
We visited the Zweber Farm (part of Organic Valley) a couple years ago and had a great time. Experiencing an organic farm first hand had a big impact on me and my children, especially helping us better understand the differences between conventional and organic dairy foods. We became big “Organic Valley” fans (and customers) from that day on!
Organic Valley is hosting its annual Farm Discovery tour this month – a great opportunity for you and your family to tour a local organic farm, learn about where your food comes from, eat organic food and participate in interactive activities like butter making.
The free public event for the MN farm will be held Saturday, June 27, and you can register for a tour near you on their website. Visit this page to find Organic Valley farms across the country to see where they have farms near you.