Friday, December 16, 2016

Breastfeeding Gifts for New Moms

Shopping for an expectant or new mom?  Gift boxes and baskets are always a hit whether it is for a new baby, baby shower or even a Christmas or birthday gift.  Our favorite way of showering a new mom is with a re-usable gift box that can be used as a keepsake box for cards or even memorabilia like the first outfit, lock of hair, etc.


So now that you have the box, what goes inside?  Lactation Connection offers pre-packed gift boxes starting at $25 with lactation teas, cookies and boobie bars to help moms with nourishment and milk supply!  After all, what new mom isn't concerned about how much she has!  It is the top question, we get from new moms.

Milkmakers and MilkBooster Gift Boxes come in a variety of styles and flavor selection.  And if you are having your gift sent directly to the new mom our $6.99 shipping is a treat!  Or add a nursing gown by Amamante Nursingwear and as long as your order total is over $60 everything ships free.  Now that is a gift for mom, for baby and for you!  

Happy showering!
Tanya

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

What New Moms Need to Know about Breast Milk Supply - Supplements, Maternal Weight and Feeding Frequency

While breastmilk nutrients do not vary significantly from a healthy mom in the US to a mom in a third world country, there are supplements you should take while breastfeeding.

Prenatal Vitamins
Continuing to take your prenatal vitamins is essential due to the daily intake of vitamin B needed. Not only is this vitamin necessary for maintaining milk supply, but a deficiency in the mother's diet has been linked to lethargy and colic in the infant.

Probiotics
There is nothing more detrimental to milk supply that breast tenderness.  This can be due to poor latch so take a look at proper breastfeeding techniques, but sharp shooting pains in between feedings are often caused by yeast which is often preventable.  Probiotics are recommended if you were given any antibiotics during labor and delivery. They aid in restoring the mother's normal intestinal flora thereby thwarting yeast infections.  We recommend a live culture probiotic.  This is an over the counter medication, but the type with live cultures must be refrigerated so ask your pharmacist as they are kept behind the counter in a refrigerator.

Water
Water does not make milk, but not drinking to thirst can decrease milk supply.  Stay hydrated by drinking to thirst, not a certain amount.

Diet
Obtaining and additional 200-500 calories is optimal for milk production, but the source of these calories is not as important.  If you want to kill two birds with one stone, supplement your diet with known galactagogues to help maintain milk supply such as lactation cookies and bars.

Lifestyle
Not usually seen as a supplement, but it is a little know fact that breastmilk volume is higher in women who exercise.  This is likely because blood volume increases with exercise and blood is used to make breastmilk.

Breastfeeding Style
Mothers who breastfeed more frequently enjoy a healthier milk supply and a healthier weight. Studies show a correlation between frequent feedings and weight loss in nursing mothers.

Happy Breastfeeding,
Tanya

Resouces:  Breastfeeding and Human Lactation by Riordan and Auerbach


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Comprehensive Guide to Increasing Breast Milk Supply

Your body makes milk on a supply and demand basis. Although we don't need ounce markers on the side of our breasts to know the baby is getting enough, we tend to fret over milk supply.   Here is a comprehensive guide to easy your worries and address your concerns.

Is my baby getting enough?
When your baby is first born, his wet diapers should increase daily. On day one, he should have at least one, day two, he should have two, up until day six. After six days of age, they have six to eight pale wet diapers daily and three to four "cottage cheese and mustard" stools. Other ways we can tell the baby is getting enough milk is that he makes quiet swallowing sounds at the breast. The breast feel full before the feeding and softer afterward. The baby seems satisfied after twenty minutes of swallowing. Babies may loose 7-10% of their birth weight, but begin regaining at day 6 and gain 5-7 ounces per week on the average until 6 months of age. The stools can change at 4-6 weeks of age. Only if your baby is not gaining well, invest in a good baby scale that you can use to monitor breast milk intake and growth.
Do I need to drink more water?
Water does not make milk, but make sure you are drinking to thirst. If you are dehydrated your body does not function optimally.  
Can I increase my milk supply with supplements?
If you want a boost increasing milk supply, there are several galactagogues on the market. Fenugreek is safe and effective and can be found in most areas. Make sure you are talking a quality brand like Nature's Herbs or Natures way in an appropriate quantity.  You should take 600-626 mg capsules that only contain Fenugreek.  This normally increases milk supply in about 48 hours.  If you are an average size mom, you should take three capsules, three times daily so 9 per day.  Plus size moms can take up to 5  600-626 mg capsules per dosage for a total of 15 per day.  Make sure you are not getting loose stools and check milk supply after 3 days by nursing the first session in the morning and then double pumping with a good quality double pump like the Hygeia EnJoye LBI, Spectra S2, or the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump for 15 minutes. If you don't own a quality pump, hospital grade breast pump rentals are available monthly for delivery nationwide.

How much is enough?
You should be yielding 2.5 oz per lb of baby's body weight per day.  To calculate if you are making the appropriate amount take your baby's weight for example 8 lb multiply by 2.5 which in this case would equal 20 oz per day.  Then divide by 8 times per day for a baby under 6 months.  This means from both breasts you should be making 2.5 oz for an 8 lb baby.  Here is a link to a page where you will find to an easy to read milk intake feeding supply chart.
Can I increase my milk supply with a breast pump?
Yes!  If your baby will nurse frequently even if milk supply is low, use the baby; but if your baby will not latch or will not stay latched long enough for you to get adequate stimulation, by all means use a quality pump like the Hygeia EnJoye LBISpectra S2Ameda Purely Yours or the Ameda Platinum Breast Pump.  If your baby is under six months old, you should be pumping or nursing at least 8 times per day for 10-15 minutes of double pumping.
If you are already nursing eight times per day, use your breast pump to simulate a growth spurt.  Studies show that you need one hour of additional stimulation per day to increase milk supply.  Pump an additional 10-15 minutes three times per day for five days in a row to simulate a growth spurt and increase milk supply.  If you miss a day, start the process over. You can accomplish this by moving feedings and or pumping to every 2 hours instead of every three or pump.  Frequency is better than duration for increasing milk supply so don't cheat by making pumping times longer.  They need to be more often.
Are there other supplements that help with maintaining milk supply?
There are several other supplements that I would recommend substituting for snacks. Instead of a candy bar, grab a Boobie Bar.  Instead of a cookie, grab a Milkmakers Lactation Cookie.  Moms do need an additional 500 calories per day to make milk.  Most of us get them instinctively, but if you are already over your calorie limit, a good mothers milk tea is a good option.  Nursing Mama Tea now even comes in kcups!

Are there other tips for maintaining a healthy milk supply?
Busy moms can sometimes miss feeding and or pumping.  Don't just forget them, make up for missed pumping times at work when at home or put later in the day pumping closer together if you have a meeting.  If you are out for a short time and someone else is fed the baby before you could make it back, make sure to pump immediately upon return.  This helps milk supply as well as restocking your freezer.
Is my body capable of making enough milk?  
Insufficient milk supply syndrome is actually very rare.  A mother with a complete mastectomy on one breast can still nourish a baby just as a mother of twins can nourish two. Most milks supply issues are about mismanagement of stimulation of the breast and insufficient extraction of the milk, making your body think it doesn't need to make more.  
What other tips do you have for managing milk supply?

  • Nurse within the first 30 min to 1 hour after birth, delaying the bath for skin to skin contact.
  • Try to minimize engorgement and don't leave engorgement unresolved.  Nurse often, waking the baby every 2-3 hours.  Use warm compresses and a breast pump if the breasts are too hard for the baby to latch on.  The first day, the baby tends to sleep longer after the initial hour after birth, but continue to try and after that 6-10 hour period increase your efforts.
  • Don't miss feeding unless you are pumping.
  • Don't forget about growth spurts when you are working.  If you are away from your baby at the 3 week, 6 week, 3 month or 6 month time period, pump every 2 hours instead of every 3 for a total of 11-12 nursing or pumping sessions per day.
  • Delay solid foods until the baby had not only double his birth weight but is sitting alone unassisted.  Sitting without help (even from a Boppy) coincides with the loss of a tongue thrust reflex that indicates readiness for solids.
  • Feed solids only after breastmilk.  Breastmilk is still the main source of nutrition for at least the first year so do not fill the baby up on inferior food.  Nurse or give breastmilk first.  Besides, who wants green beans on your breast?

Here's to a healthy milk supply!
Tanya

References:
Fenugreek: One Remedy for Milk Production by Kathleen Huggins, RN, MS
Fenugreek: Overlooked but not Forgotten by Rima Jensen, MD

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Breast Milk Intake Scale

One of the top questions we get, is how much do I leave for my baby in a bottle when I am away at work?  After all, your breasts don't come with ounce markers because your baby feeds on demand.  But for moms who are working or away from their baby short term, it is important to know how to determine how much milk is appropriate to leave.  For infants up to six months old, the quickest way to determine this is to take your baby's current weight rounding up to the nearest half pound and multiply by 2.5.  For example, a baby who is 10 lbs will need 25 ounces per day.  Then divide by the number of feedings per day, normally 8 for an infant under six months of age.  Therefore 25 ounces divided by 8 feedings is 3.12 ounces per bottle which we will round up to the nearest quarter ounce.  In other words, leave 31/4 ounces for a 10 lb baby for every 3 hours that you will be away.  Also leaving an extra frozen bottle is a good idea for emergencies.  Here is a link to a breast milk intake chart for those of you who are like me and have a mental block when it comes to math.
Breast Milk Intake Chart
If you are trying to determine breast milk intake in those early days for your peace of mind or if your baby doctor is indicating that your baby is slow to gain weight, an affordable accurate baby scale with memory is a great tool.
http://www.lactationconnection.com/Hygeia-Healthy-Baby-Weight-Trending-Scale-p/10.0009.htm
Remember, diapers are a great indicator that your baby is getting enough.  Infants from day 6 through 6 weeks should have 6-8 wet diapers per day and 3-4 dirty diapers larger than a silver dollar.  Also note that older babies who are on solid food do not use this chart.  At that age, they take an average of 24-32 oz per day in addition to three solid meals per day.  When feeding solid foods, breastfeed first as breastmilk is still the main source of nutrition.  

Best wishes!
Tanya

Monday, July 11, 2016

World Breastfeeding Week 2016



World Breastfeeding Week is upon us! The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2016 is Breastfeeding:  A Key to Sustainable Development.  Breastfeeding has so many benefits, but this year the focus is sustainability.  A few of the key points that are being used as the focus for this year are:

No Poverty - Breastfeeding is naturally a low-cost way of feeding babies that does not put an economic burden on the household.

Zero Hunger - Breastfeeding is food security for infant through age two and helps prevent hunger, malnutrition and obesity.

Health & Well Being - Breastfeeding improves the development, health and well being of the infant as well as improves health of the mother.

Education - Breastfeeding improves mental and cognitive development and therefore improves learning.  Educating our children help sustain the future of society as a whole.

Many breastfeeding coalitions will be hosting World Breastfeeding Week events during August 1st-7th.  Lactation Connection supports these endeavors such as the Big Latch On with donated Amamante Nursingwear auction items for these events.  If you know of an event in your area, please comment with a link to the event so local moms can attend.

Our company, Lactation Connection has been promoting breastfeeding since 1993 and provides quality affordable products to nursing mothers as the need arises.  In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we will be offering our lowest prices of the year on nursing bras, nursing gowns and nursing pajamas.  Nursingwear is more than a luxury, it helps mothers feel comfortable promoting sustained breastfeeding past the first year.  So take advantage of our $10 nursing bras, $15 nursing gowns, and $20 nursing pajamas during our World Breastfeeding Week flash sale!  When sharing this sale, don't forget the #wbw2016 hashtag.



Believe it or not, new couples and new mothers still do not all know about the benefits of breastfeeding.  Spread the word!


Happy #wbw2016
Tanya


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pump Up Your Production: Milk Supply and the Pumping Mama

With today's easy to use breast pumps, moms sometimes think they just need to pump at work at lunch and break and then just go about their business.  Pumping, just like breastfeeding should be intentional.  We don't choose to breastfeed because someone said it is better for your baby.  We breastfeed because we educate ourselves to want the best for our child.  Pumping should also not be so haphazard.

First choose a quality hygienic breast pump.
There are many breast pump out there that while commonplace, are not the best choice.  You need an auto-cycling breast pump that does at least 60 cycles and has a closed system like Hygeia, Ameda and Spectra offer.  Double pumping increases the prolactin levels as well as save you time. Prolactin is the milk producing hormone.

Next determine your pumping schedule.
A mother of an infant under six months should pump at least every 3 hours that she is away from her baby.  That time frame is from the beginning of one pumping or nursing session to the beginning of the next.  If your schedule is erratic, you should still pump 3 times per day on an 8 hour work day. Just put some of them closer together if needed to get this time in.

Allow enough time for pumping.
You should allow a full 10-15 minutes for double pumping and then an extra few minutes to rinse your parts and put them away.  Do not stop pumping if milk stops flowing unless the time on the clock has passed.  Otherwise your body will think you don't need as much milk.  A good rule of thumb is that if milk is flowing for less than 10 minutes, pump for 10. If it is flowing past the 10 minute mark, pump for 15.  These extra few minutes simulate the non-nutritive sucking your baby does when nursing and is imperative for milk supply.

Don't forget about growth spurts.
Infants nurse more frequently during growth spurts.  At 10 days to 3 weeks, the first growth spurt is evident with the baby asking to be fed more frequently.  Breast pumps don't cry to be used so we have to intentionally pump more often during this 5 day period.  Pumping every 2 hours is best during the baby's third week, sixth week and three month milestone.  If this is not possible at work, pump at home after feeding the baby at least three extra times per day.  Don't worry about the amount of milk you are extracting.  This is more for stimulation than extraction, indicating to your body that your baby is about to grow and will need more milk.

Maintain your breast pump.
Professional grade breast pumps like the Hygeia EnJoye, Spectra S2 have systems that are dependent on maintaining suction.  Replacing breast pump valves and filters every six to eight weeks is essential for keeping your breast pump working at it's optimal level.  Keep breast pump parts on hand and replace on schedule or more often if you notice evidence of decreased suction or damage to your parts.

With good information prior to embarking on full time pumping or working and breastfeeding it is entirely possible for you to maintain a healthy milk supply.

Happy Pumping!
Tanya




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Nursing Nightgown: Nursing Gown Review

What are moms looking for in a nursing nightgown?  Soft breathable fabric, easy nursing access and something made right here in the USA that won't fall apart before you can use it again with the next baby!
The Amamante Nursing Gown collection offers something for every mom.  We love the Signature Nursing Gowns because they have a built in sleep bra that just pulls down to nurse.  So when that bilateral let-down occurs (nursing on one side and leaking on the other), your nursing pad is held in place by the soft sleep bra style cups that are contoured to your curves.
Amamante Signature Nursing Gown in Plum

What else should you be looking for?  Soft, breathable fabric that doesn't show wear prematurely and comes out of the dryer looking as good as new.  Amamante is right on point with 96% rayon and 4% spandex offering a two way stretch that moves with you.  In addition, the straps are top notch because they are made with fold-over trim to stay in place and not all all too common cheap substitute that the ones made in China offer.
Finally, we all want value.  You are not going to buy a $20 gown that will keep its shape for the long haul, so Amamante are priced in the mid-range making them accessible for all moms, a great gift for the mom on a strict budget and a great value for the moms who wear them well after weaning.
Hands down, we think this is the best nursing nightgown on the market today!
Most recently, Amamante has come out with the Belleza Nursing Nightgown.  It offers the same empire waist usable for both maternity and nursing, but with a soft lace inset instead of the elastic bra band that comes with the Signature Nursing Gowns.  The Belleza nursing gown is also a couple of inches shorter for moms who prefer a shorter nightgown.  Amamante's designes are made with mothers in mind and babies at heart, but they didn't forget daddy with this feminine flattering nursing nightgown!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pumping Schedule: Working and Breastfeeding


We get this question often as to how to ensure a healthy breast milk supply while working and breastfeeding.  Just as in raising kids, consistency is essential.  Most moms return to work when the baby is 4-8 weeks old so we will give you a typical schedule to keep you on track as well as a schedule for the early growth spurts.

This schedule is for a 24 hour period on any given 9-5 workday and can be modified to your changing schedule.  The imperative is to nurse or pump every 2-3 hours for a total of 8 times per 24 hour period when your baby is under 6 months old.  If you choose to delay solids past 6 months, then continue this schedule until solids are introduced.

Please note that we are not advocating scheduling a baby's every feeding.  Feeding on demand is best for milk supply so if your baby asks to be fed earlier that your normal "schedule" by all means, feed your baby.  We do however find that working mothers benefit from a routine when it comes to pumping to ensure that they do not miss feedings and therefore do not adequately stimulate the breast which lowers milk supply.

Sample Feeding - Pumping Schedule for Infants who Night Feed

6:00 am feeding

8:30 am feeding

11:30 am pumping

2:30 pm pumping

5:30 pm feeding

8:00 pm feeding

10:00 pm feeding

3:00 am feeding

Once the baby begins sleeping through the night, put daytime feedings/pumping closer together so that you still meet the 8 times per day minimum feedings.  

Sample Feeding - Pumping Schedule for Infants who Sleep Through the Night


5:00 am feeding

8:00 am feeding

11:00 am pumping

1:00 pm pumping

4:00 pm pumping

5:30 pm feeding

8:00 pm feeding

10:00 pm feeding


This schedule will vary when your baby is going through growth spurts.  PLAN on feeding or pumping every 2 hours for a total number of 11-12 times per day during the week that your baby is 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and the week that your baby turns 3 months old.  This will help ensure that your milk supply grows with your infant's needs.  For at least 5 days during that period, you will want your feeding and pumping schedule to look something like the one below:

Sample Feeding - Pumping Schedule for Infants During a Growth Spurt*


3:30 am feeding

5:30 am feeding

7:30 am feeding

9:30 am pumping

11:30 am pumping

1:30 pm pumping

3:30 pm pumping

5:30 pm feeding

7:30 pm feeding

9:30 pm feeding

11:30pm feeding



As a working mother, you should choose a quality closed system double breast pump such as Spectra, Hygeia or Ameda make.   The convenience of a hands-free pumping bra is nice.   Make sure that you are changing your breast pump valves and filters or backflow protector to keep your breast pump working at it's optimal suction levels.  Do not risk low milk supply by not replacing your breast pump parts.  Use a phone app timer or equivalent to make sure you pump for a full 10-15 minutes of double pumping whether milk is coming out or not.  The law of supply and demand when it comes to breastfeeding is more like DEMAND and then the SUPPLY will come!  

Happy Pumping,
Tanya


*Growth spurts typically occur either at 10 days or 3 weeks, and then recur at 6 weeks, and 3 months and last for 5-7 days.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Getting Ready for Breastfeeding: Nursing Bras & Nursing Gowns

One of the questions we get most often in the last trimester of pregnancy is what do I need for breastfeeding?  Moms may need a breast pump to return to work, but most often the real question is what clothes do I need.  You don't need to have a full on wardrobe for breastfeeding, but a few essentials will make your life easier, and even help you succeed at breastfeeding.  We see moms get frustrating trying to pull up a non-nursing gown to access the breast or even get plugged milk ducts from pulling a tight sports bra up from the bottom or an under wire bra down from the top.  Even when moms are not on a strict budget, they sometimes don't buy a nursing bra simply because they just don't know what size to get.  Here is some advice to make thing simpler:

1.  Sleep Nursing Bra - These are usually under $20 and are a must-have to keep your nursing pads in place.  During the first 6-8 weeks postpartum moms normally leak breastmilk, especially at night. Bilateral let-down also causes leakage so when the baby is nursing on the first breast, the second breast starts to leak.  We all know that new moms don't always get dressed until later in the day so wearing a sleep bra ensures you have some support and a place to hold your nursing pads until you change into your daywear.  By the way, using cotton nursing pads instead of disposable nursing pads will save enough money to pay for everything we mention in this article!  You will want 2-3 sleep bras.  We recommend buying them in the last month of pregnancy. Buy 2 in the bra size you wear at that time and a 3rd one size larger to accommodate for engorgement.

2.  Transitional Nursing Bra - It is futile to try to guess your breastfeeding bra size while you are still pregnant, but you need a nursing bra immediately after delivery.  We have seen too many husbands come in and ask for a bra for their wife.  It is sweet, but pretty comical as they usually have no idea of even what band size she is.  The best course of action is to get a nursing bra with a multi-cup fit.  This will allow you a wider range of sizes with stretch fit comfort which is essential because you are larger during the engorgement period, visibly fuller before and after feedings during the first 6-8 weeks, and regulate down at about 8 weeks when your ribs go back into place.  For example, the Amamante Caress & Contour Nursing Bra in size small/medium fits 32B all the way through 36D.  Other examples of this type of bra are the Bravado Double Plus Nursing Bra.  These type of bras usually range between $30-$35.

3.  Nursing Gown - You will definitely want to invest in a nursing gown or pajama set that easily accesses the breast.  One with an integrated sleep bra can also reduce the number of sleep bras that you purchase.  Amamante Signature Nursing Gown and Serenity Nursing Pajamas have a full sleep bra built in.  Other crossover styles or other styles of nursing sleepwear will need to be worn with a sleep bra to keep your nursing pads in place.  A quality nursing gown or pajama set will run between $30-50.  When creating a budget for nursingwear, keep in mind that artificial infant formula costs between $150-$170 per month.  Use that as a guideline to invest in breastfeeding instead.  



For under $170, you can build a postpartum nursing wardrobe
2-3 Nursing Sleep Bras
2 Transitional Nursing Bras
1-2 Nursing Gowns or Pajamas

Happy Breastfeeding!
Tanya








Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ARDO & Lucina: Finding Breast Pump Parts for ARDO Calypso and Melodi Breast Pumps

In helping moms find breast pump parts for their insurance pumps, we noticed a similarity between the Lucina Melodi and ARDO Calypso breast pump parts.  In investigating further, we contacted Lucina whose chat rep denied such a connection.  You be the judge.  The parts are identical except the color of the cap on the double pump kit that fits on the flange.  While Lucina Melodi Advanced and Melodi Prime have a purple cap, ARDO Calypso and Carum use a green cap. We further noticed that the ARDO Amaryll manual breast pump is the exact same pump as the Lucina Melodi Manual Pump.


Finally, we took a close look at the Lucina Double Pump Kit image on their website and we noticed that you can read part of the ARDO brand name on the side of the flange shaft.  


Our conclusion is that the parts are made by the same company and can be used interchangeably. Good news for the mom who can't find Lucina Melodi breast pump parts!  We would love to get your feedback on using the ARDO parts on your Lucina Melodi Advanced or Melodi Prime breast pump!  

Happy Pumping,
Tanya