After my son was born I had the privilege of spending the first 4 months of his life home with him before returning to work. As I re-entered the work force I experienced great anxiety over being separated from my son. Would he take a bottle? Would he cry the entire time we were separated? Would I be able to pump enough? Would it ruin our breastfeeding relationship? He was so little, I wanted nothing more then to just cuddle and nurse him all day! Unfortunately, that was not a financial option for my family. So I searched for products that would ease the transition and would like to share them with you.
Breast pump bag:
As a pumping mother you feel a little like a dairy cow, so anything that brings style and fashion into life again is greatly appreciated! When I first returned to work I toted 4 separate bags with me: my work bag, pump bag, lunch bag and cooler. I felt like a crazy bag lady walking into my medical clinic. Now with the help of a stylish pump bag I only take 2 bags: my lunch bag and my pump bag/work bag that has special compartments for a breast pump and ice packs to cool my milk. Having everything in one place is wonderfully convenient and helps me get out of the house faster, a huge help when you are trying to get to work on time (especially with a new baby).
One of my favorite brands just came out with a couple incredible pump bags!
Lansinoh Breast Pump:
Pumping is difficult, frustrating, and at times painful. It feels un-natural and can be inconvenient so anything that makes pumping easier is a huge bonus. After trying three different pumps I finally found one that easily stimulated my milk let-down with minimal trauma to breast tissue and maximal milk collection. The Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump has a specially designed let-down phase that automatically starts at the beginning of any new pumping session. Just like your baby takes frequent quick suckles, the pump provides quick gentle suction. Once the let-down phase ends it automatically transitions into pumping phase. With three different phase options and easily adjusted suction strength, it is easy to find the best balance for your body. Plus, all the information is stored in your phone to easily access anytime you need.
Pump with your shirt on! When you must pump at work, privacy can be a struggle. Freemie was designed by an Emergency Room physician whom struggled to pump while working. As a physician she couldn’t stop attending to her patients and lock herself in a private room. Freemie is discrete, fitting inside your bra, and hands free! It is so freeing to be able to continue your work flow while attending providing nutrition to your child. I no longer feel rushed to complete my pumping session in the short 15 minute break, that means I am less stressed which translates into improved milk production! Plus, you have the options to buy either the entire pump system or just the Freemie cups to work with your current breast pump. Freemie is truly innovative in the pumping world!
Unfortunately, pumping does not stimulate milk production as well as nursing your baby does. This is because baby’s mouth is able to compress and suction while the pump is only able to provide suction. Therefore some people notice a decrease in milk production upon returning to work. The number one lactation booster is maintaining hydration because if you are dehydrated, you won’t be able to produce milk. Some people, myself included find that you can boost both your milk supply and the fat content in your milk supply by consuming galactagogues. Examples of galactagogues are oats, and brewer’s yeast. The struggle I had was finding reasonably priced treats that also taste good. But after much searching, and sampling, I am excited to share my favorite brand with you. Milky Mama! A local brand that was created by a registered nurse, Milky Mama’s treats are fantastic! With options that include lemonade, smoothies, brownies, and several varieties of cookies. All recipients avoid use of Fenugreek because it has been linked to gas problems in babies, breathing difficulties in women with asthma, and can cause a decrease in milk supply.
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Patricia Bast was born and raised in Southern California. She earned a bachelors degree in science at UC Irvine, then went on to graduate medical school from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Northern California. After several years working as a pediatrician Dr. Bast choose to expand her training to include lactation consultant. Dr. Bast is now raising her children and taking care of patients in beautiful Georgia.