Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Black Friday Cyber Monday 20-70% OFF Breastfeeding Sale of the Year!


You will not believe the deals we are offering for our 2016 Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale at Lactation Connection!  This breastfeeding sale offers 20-70% OFF brands like Bravado, Amamante, La Leche League, Juno Blu, Snugabell PumpEase, ARDO, Hygeia and more!  Here are a few of the selections from this sale that contains over 50 breastfeeding essentials!

Select Bravado Nursing Bras are 20-50% OFF including Original, Alure, Embrace, Sublime, Sweet Pea and Bliss!


Designer breast pump cooler totes from June Blu 50% OFF!


Amamante Nursingwear nursing gowns and pajamas starting at $9.99 for sleep bras and separates and $19.99 for made in the USA breastfeeding sleepwear!  You won't get this quality at this price anywhere else!


ARDO Amaryll Breast Pump $19.99!!  This is an effective comfortable breast pump great for occasional and is compact enough to fit in a diaper bag for emergencies.


Hygeia Healthy Weight Baby Scale with memory for breast milk intake 30% OFF and includes free shipping!


Select Snugabell Toni Dresses $19.99 and PumpEase Hands free pumping bras $24.99!



If you are expecting or breastfeeding, you do not want to miss this once a year sale.  Shop early on 11/18/16 for the best selection.  These styles and products are only a sample of what is on our Black Friday Cyber Monday breastfeeding sale!  Prices only good while supplies last.  Sale dates 11/18-11/28 2016.


Happy Breastfeeding Black Friday!
Tanya
http://www.lactationconnection.com


Monday, October 24, 2016

Breastfeeding: Guide to Preparing for Breastfeeding

I have been asked to speak at an event at a Motherhood Maternity store in the next few weeks.  The topic, Preparing to Breastfeed.  There are many misconceptions about getting ready to breastfeed, but much of your success is about education.  You as a reader of this blog, are doing just that.  Getting a head start by getting information prior to delivery.  Knowing what is normal, what to expect and when to get help is essential.

Know Your Body

Watch for indicators that your body is getting ready to produce milk.  The most common is breast tissue growth.  Your breast should change and get larger before delivery.  You may or may not leak colostrum in the last trimester, but you should have some breast size change during the pregnancy.  

Check for flat or inverted nipples.  This is not a simple, look in the mirror exam.  You will need to put pressure with your thumb and index finger approximately 1" onto the areola (figure A) to see if your nipple protrudes or instead goes flat or hides when the areola is compressed (figure B).  


If you do find you have flat or inverted nipples, there are steps you can take.  If you are not at risk for pre-term labor, a nipple everter such as the Avent Niplette is a good option.  If you are high risk, then you will want to make sure you have a breast pump available for immediate use.  If you are waiting on an insurance pump, then purchase an inexpensive quality manual breast pump like the Ardo Amaryll.  This pump is a great value and can be used to evert the nipple prior to latch on by pumping for a few minutes before breastfeeding.  



Get Comfortable with Your Breasts

Common mistakes that moms make can lead to sore nipples so it is wise to know how to hold and support the breasts during feeding.  The C Hold is most commonly taught today, but many moms don't realize that the bottom half of the C is as important as the top.  Not only make sure that the thumb is not impeding the baby's latch on the areola, but make sure that the fingers underneath are not in the way as well.  It is very common for moms to have their fingers in the way so even when the baby wants to do a deep latch, they can only get so close due to the obstructive digits.   The image below shows the correct hold when latching the baby.


Don't Fall into Booby Traps

If you are getting advice such as you need to toughen up your nipples before breastfeeding, you need to think twice.  Much of the advice you get is anecdotal and not research based and some advice is simply just rooted in old wives tales.  Make sure the sources you are listening too are indeed breastfeeding experts.  (In the case of this blog, it is written by a retired international board certified lactation consultant with three children, two grandchildren and 23 years of experience in helping mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.)  Back to the case in point, nipples do not need to be toughened.  Rubbing nipples to prepare them for breastfeeding only breaks down natural keratin layer which makes you more prone to trauma.  The remedy, a good latch.     



Breastfeeding Education

The best way to prepare for breastfeeding is education so take a breastfeeding class at your local hospital, read a quality breastfeeding book not just a section of a book written for pregnancy.  I highly recommend The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins.  If you are in a rural area and don't have access to classes, you can use youtube but make sure the instructor is qualified before you watch.  

Resources

Know where to get help before you need it.  Feel free to email me with questions, but finding out if there is a La Leche League group or a local lactation consultant that hosts a Latch Clinic is a great help.  You may even have an IBCLC who does home visits in your area.  This is information you want to have before you need it!

While you are preparing your home for your baby, make sure you have prepared with information, resources and education.  A few supplies can go along way to make things easier as well.  I recommend a nursing nightgown or nursing pajamas with integrated sleep bra that offers easy access but holds you nursing pads in place, a quality double electric breast pump with a closed system to prevent contamination and cotton breathable washable nursing pads.  Bottles are not recommended until the baby learns to breastfeed well which is usually after 6-8 weeks so if you are pumping for storage, add some breast milk storage bags to your shopping list.  And finally a nursing bra that fits multiple cup sizes like the Bravado BodySilk Nursing Bra or a less expensive alternative is the Amamante Caress & Contour Nursing Bra.  

Happy Nesting!
Tanya





Friday, October 21, 2016

Breast Milk Storage - Breastmilk Organizer and Storage Info and Tools

The number one question we get from pumping mamas is about how to store their expressed breastmilk.  A common misconception is that you have to freeze your breastmilk for later use.  While freezing is a good option for undetermined later use, feeding freshly expressed breastmilk or refrigerated breastmilk is an even better option for multiple reasons.

Benefits of Feeding Fresh Breastmilk

  1. Fresh breastmilk has living white blood cells which protect against illness.  It is tailored to protect the baby against illnesses to which the mother has been exposed.  Some of which are contracted by proximity to other siblings, etc.
  2. Breastmilk can be left at room temperature for 6-10 hours which means that if you pump milk before work in the morning, it can be given to your baby during the next two feedings without having to refrigerate and warm.
  3. Breastmilk is good in the fridge for 5-7 days.  Ideally, what you pump Monday, can be given on Tuesday and what you pump Friday, can be given the following Monday.  This completely eliminates the need to freeze and kill living blood cells in breastmilk.  Using breast milk storage organizers such as Breastmilk Bandit Bottle Bands for each day of the week, help you to organize and use your freshly expressed breast milk efficiently.



Using Frozen Breastmilk

While using freshly expressed breastmilk is optimal, frozen breast milk still retains immune properties and nutrition far superior to breast milk substitutes.  Here are some tips for using frozen breastmilk.

  1. Freeze refrigerated breastmilk within 24 hours of expression.  Don't wait several days before choosing to freeze your breast milk.  If you are not going to use it within the next 5-8 days, freeze as soon as possible to avoid using up the life of the breast milk.
  2. Store towards the back of the freezer away from the walls of a self-defrosting refrigerator and away from the drop in temperature that comes from standing with the freezer door open while making your selection.
  3. Know your storage limits.  Refrigerated milk is good for 3-6 months while milk kept in a deep freeze is good for 6-12 months.  Here is a link to breast milk storage guidelines for your reference.
  4. Choose storage options that are good for the environment.  Optimally, freeze in glass bottles but if you choose plastic use re-usable breast milk bottles that have a sealing disc.  Another option that is good for the environment are biodegradable breast milk storage bags like Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags.  Freeze breastmilk flat and then store inside another zip lock style freezer bag for even more protection.  This way you are only throwing away one bag every once in a while that does not decompose instead of using a plastic bag for every bottle than stays in the landfill.
Warming and Defrosting Breastmilk

Optimally, you can defrost breastmilk by sitting it on the counter at the previous feeding so in the next 3 hours it comes to room temperature.  If you have not defrosted ahead of time, microwave water (not the breastmilk) and then take the container of water out of the microwave.  Place the breastmilk bottle inside the container making sure the water will not displace over the rim.  This process will take about 30 minutes to defrost.  You can also use this method to warm a refrigerated bottle which will take about 10 minutes. 

Checking Breastmilk Temperature

Just like you have seen on television, it is fine to test breastmilk on your wrist, BUT make sure that the milk has been gently swirled in the bottle not shaken as not to kill the living white blood cells that you have taken such great care to preserve.

In summary, no matter which method or container you use to store and serve your breastmilk it is still far superior than artificial infant formula.  If you only occasionally feed a bottle of breastmilk and mostly feed from the breast, there is no need to be overly cautious.  But if you are an exclusively pumping mama or you work 5 or more days a week, I encourage you to use fresh breastmilk over frozen whenever you can.

Happy Pumping,
Tanya

Monday, October 17, 2016

Troubleshooting your Hygeia Breast Pump: When to Replace Hygeia Parts

If you are new to pumping, you want to know what to do about maintaining your new breast pump.   All breast pumps need to be maintained to function at optimal levels and Hygeia breast pumps are no different.



Getting Started

When you get your pump, remove the breast shield from the Hygeia tubing.  Then remove the valve from the breast shield.  Sterilize only the following parts:  breast shield, valve, bottle, bottle ring, disc and cap.  Do not sterilize the filter or tubing.  Sterilize using the top rack of the dishwasher, microwave steam sterilizer bag or boiling water.  If you use boiling water, bring the water to a boil and then leave in for no longer than 3-5 minutes or you will have cloudy or warped parts.  Do not use a bottle brush to clean breast pump parts.  Do not wash Hygeia filters.  Keeping the filters dry, helps maintain their integrity longer.

Re-assemble as per instructions.  If you has misplaced your instructions, you can download these Hygeia EnJoye breast pump instructions.  But remember, although these breast pumps have a closed system and when you purchase your own kit, you should not share these types of breast pumps with other mothers.  Although there is no cross contamination of yeast with a used breast pump, the motor is made to last for one baby and older pumps may compromise your milk supply.

Now that you have your breast pump re-assembled, set your pump to a fast speed and the highest suction level where you feel comfortable.  Too high of suction will not help the milk let-down if you feel discomfort.  Quick speed gives you the most cycles per minute which helps with milk production and double pumping increases prolactin levels which help with milk supply.  For a single baby pump for a full 10-15 minutes of double pumping even if milk stops flowing earlier.  This tells your body you want to produce more milk.  

Troubleshooting:  Replacing Breast Pump Parts

The most common problem with low suction on your breast pump is the result of a part in your kit. To keep your pump functioning at optimum levels, replace the Hygeia valve and Hygeia Bacteriostatic Filter parts every 100 pumping sessions.  For a mother who works 5 days a week and pumps 3 times per day, that is every 7 weeks.  The rule of thumb for the working mother is to replace these parts every 6-8 weeks. Other parts should be replaced as needed.  If you see pinholes in tubing, warped or scratched breast shields it is time to replace parts.  Other indicators are if you had a yeast infection as boiling will not kill yeast or if you see a tear in your valve.

It is important to keep replacement parts on hand so that a misfortune with a broken, melted or loss part does not interfere with your milk supply.  Having extra breast shields aka breast flanges are also a good way to keep from spending as much time cleaning your parts.  Before you purchase extras however, make sure that the standard size is comfortable.  You should have space on at least one side of the pump shaft for your nipple to move freely while pumping.  If there is no space or you feel discomfort, consider purchasing the next size breast flange.  

Maintaining your breast pump is a proactive way to keep your milk supply, but don't forget to pump frequently and don't miss feeding sessions without pumping.  For moms with babies under 6 months, that is 8 times per day of feeding or pumping and over 6 months, you need stimulation 5 times per day.  Ensure an extra 3 pumping sessions during growth spurts which occur at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months.  These extra sessions are a good reminder to replace your pump parts and step up your number of pumping sessions for the full 5-7 day growth spurt period.

Happy Pumping!


Tanya

Troubleshooting your Spectra Breast Pump: When to Replace Spectra Breast Pump Parts

Today's consumer wants plug and play electronic equipment, but breast pumps require a little more preparation.
Getting Started

When you get your pump, remove the breast shield from the backflow protector.  Then remove the valve from the breast shield.  Sterilize only the following parts:  breast shield, valve, bottle, bottle ring, disc and cap.  Do not sterilize the filter aka backflow protector or tubing.  Sterilize using the top rack of the dishwasher, microwave steam sterilizer bag or boiling water.  If you use boiling water, bring the water to a boil and then leave in for no longer than 3-5 minutes or you will have cloudy or warped parts.  Do not use a bottle brush to clean breast pump parts.  Do not wash backflow protectors.  Keeping the filters dry, helps maintain their integrity longer.

Re-assemble as per instructions.  If you has misplaced your instructions, you can download these Spectra S2 breast pump instructions.  But remember, although these breast pumps have a closed system and when you purchase your own kit, you should not share these types of breast pumps with other mothers.  Although there is no cross contamination of yeast with a used breast pump, the motor is made to last for one baby and older pumps may compromise your milk supply.

Now that you have your breast pump re-assembled, set your pump to a fast speed and the highest suction level where you feel comfortable.  Too high of suction will not help the milk let-down if you feel discomfort.  Quick speed gives you the most cycles per minute which helps with milk production and double pumping increases prolactin levels which help with milk supply.  For a single baby pump for a full 10-15 minutes of double pumping even if milk stops flowing earlier.  This tells your body you want to produce more milk.  

Troubleshooting and Breast Pump Parts

The most common problem with low suction on your breast pump is the result of a part in your kit. To keep your pump functioning at optimum levels, replace the Spectra valves and backflow protectors every 100 pumping sessions.  For a mother who works 5 days a week and pumps 3 times per day, that is every 7 weeks.  The rule of thumb for the working mother is to replace these parts every 6-8 weeks. Other parts should be replaced as needed.  If you see pinholes in tubing, warped or scratched breast shields it is time to replace parts.  Other indicators are if you had a yeast infection as boiling will not kill yeast or if you see a tear in your valve.

It is important to keep replacement parts on hand so that a misfortune with a broken, melted or loss part does not interfere with your milk supply.  Having extra breast shields is also a good way to keep from spending as much time cleaning your parts.  Before you purchase extras however, make sure that the standard size is comfortable.  You should have space on at least one side of the pump shaft for your nipple to move freely while pumping.  If there is no space or you feel discomfort, consider purchasing the next size breast shield.  

Maintaining your breast pump is a proactive way to keep your milk supply, but don't forget to pump frequently and don't miss feeding sessions without pumping.  For moms with babies under 6 months, that is 8 times per day of feeding or pumping and over 6 months, you need stimulation 5 times per day.  Ensure an extra 3 pumping sessions during growth spurts which occur at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months.  These extra sessions are a good reminder to replace your pump parts and step up your number of pumping sessions for the full 5-7 day growth spurt period.

Happy Pumping!
Tanya

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Labor Day Sale: Pack Your Hospital Bag for Breastfeeding

Labor Day is fast approaching.  There is Labor Day and then there's labor day! Lactation Connection is helping you with both.  For the first time, hard to keep in stock items like double pump kits and breast pump spare parts kits are on sale at an additional 20% off!  Whether you have a new baby or your are re-stocking from the last one, there items are essential.  You want to start fresh with new parts especially items like valves and diaphragms if you are pulling out an older pump.  If you are getting ready for the first baby, these types of items such as valves and filters or diaphragms depending on the pump model you have are must have extras.  Your breast pump function and suction depend on them so if you depend on your pump for milk supply at work or for exclusive pumping, you will want to take advantage of this sale for Ameda, Spectra, Hygeia, Ardo, Limerick and Bailey Medical breast pumps.  If you have a Medela pump, just get a new pump as the Medela brand doesn't hold up as well past the first baby.  We recommend pumps with closed systems to decrease incidence of bacteria blowing into the milk.  Closed system breast pumps will have a filter or diaphragm in the personal kit to prevent this from happening.



Don't forget to stock up on your nursing bras especially sleep bras for breastfeeding from Amamante and multi-cup bras Bravado nursing bras that will fit and last longer due to your changing shape!


Enjoy your Labor Day,
Tanya