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Tips & Tricks for Pumping Mommas

>> Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's been brought to my attention that I have been keeping the best kept secret for pumping to myself. I promise, I had no idea that I was keeping this little gem from you! Totally wrong of me to assume that you all knew about the hands free pumping bra by Medela. That's right Mommas, you can pump and do whatever else you need to do, like type a blog post about pumping hands free!

Before I went back to work I visited a local hospital that had a great lactation department in their gift shop. The Lactation Consultant even sat with me and shared some of her knowledge {I was very nervous about pumping and going back to work}.

The LC showed me all of the accessories that I would need to pump at work, like the hands free pumping bra. She introduced me to Lily Padz. She helped me understand the supply & demand concept as it relates to breastfeeding. And she helped me figure out my pumping schedule. Sometimes you just need someone to spell things out in black and white for you!

Her best piece of advice for starting out was to pump an hour after each nursing session, during the hours of my work day ONLY {because I was going to pump at work, nurse at home}. Again, supply and demand. If I would have pumped night and day, my body would produce too much milk at night when I didn't plan on pumping.

I started pumping about three weeks before I went back to work. And by the time I went back I had a pretty good frozen stash. Even if it was just an ounce at time, it built up! Once I was back in the office my pumping schedule followed Jackson feeding schedule. Pretty easy, right? I pumped when he was at home taking a bottle of my breast milk with the nanny. At first, totally OCD, I even made my nanny text me when she started giving Jackson a bottle. You do not have to be that exact:)

The best part about starting out the way the LC recommended was that my body was used to producing double what Jackson needed during the day. Remember, I was nursing and pumping again an hour later. When I went back to work, I was only pumping during these times. So, I was able to pump almost twice as much as he ate in a day. This calmed my crazy Momma nerves quite a bit. I was so worried that I'd run out of frozen milk. Now I think I have enough frozen to feed a small village:)

I've followed the LC's advice for the past year and she lead me down a great path. As Jackson got older and dropped feedings, I did the same. I would panic that my supply would go away as I went from 3 sessions to 2, and then from 2 to 1. Obviously, it didn't go away. But, it did take about a week for my body to adjust.

Sleep, hydration, diet and stress can really do a number to your output! I know its hard to do, but relax. The more you stress about your supply, the worse it gets. Some days you just pump less. Before you know it, you'll be filling up those bottles again and bragging about how much you just pumped:)

P.S. I pumped 6oz. in the time it took to type this;)


Amber July 20, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

Great tips Momma! :)

Ashley July 20, 2010 at 12:34 PM  

I find this whole nursing/pumping thing very confusing, I hope it becuase I have never done it and just dont knwo what to expect yet.
I am going to have SO many questions for you, you are so good at all of this and explaining it and I love that you feel open enough to talk about it!
Thanks so much for the post, it is really helpful!
And that bra looks like a good idea, if you dont have that do you ahve to hold those things in place the whole time?
See, I am dumb about this!

KJJ Houston July 20, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

Great post I hope to go longer with my 2nd!! I only did 2.5 months and wish I had gone longer, but I was such an emotional mess!

I met so many people on the river and our group connected with so many other groups, its always a blast! I even ran into people that knew my husband (who was back in Houston watching the baby) CRAZY! Have a love/hate with that river always say I had too much to drink/wont do it again...and then I always go back the next year excited as a 12 year old ..ha! :)

Tim and Heather July 20, 2010 at 3:55 PM  

even from the beginning you were so helpful with feeding and pumping advice. The oatmeal idea was great! I wish I could have pumped longer, it was too hard with gastric relfux and TWO babies!!! I was reluctant to get the Medela hands free bra because I wans't sure how long I'd be able to pump, and it was kind of expensive for something I wasn't sure I'd use much, so I got a bra that fit me at Target on clearance, and cut small holes where the nipples are. It worked like a charm! AND, it looked like something Madonna would wear circa 1984 :)

Karen July 20, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

I am so glad you posted this, you are quite the wealth of information pumping momma! :) It's funny, because I am pumping as we speak and really would love that hands free bra right now! My supply has been so slow lately, your post has really motivated me to get pumpin'!


Katie July 21, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

oh my goodness, that bra is TOO funny looking! However, hands free pumping? Thats GREAT!

Cearley July 21, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

I enjoy your posts so much!! Thanks! :)

Andrea August 4, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

Very informational post! I don't know how I stumbled across your blog, but I'm your newest follower! I am expecting my first, due at the end of winter and BF totally stresses me out. I will also return to work and already I'm dreading figuring out the BF/pumping schedule. I will probably have a lot of questions for you in the future! Hope you have a great day! ~Andrea

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