Saturday, December 30, 2017

Breast Sheild Size - How Your Breast Pump Flange Affects Your Milk Supply

One of the most common breastfeeding questions we get is regarding a mom's breast pump.  What breast shield size will work best?  Choosing the correct breast pump flange is even more essential than choosing the correct nursing bra size, although both are important.  The figure below shows what a correct fitment inside your breast pump flange should look like.

It is imperative that there is enough room to draw the nipple into the flange so that the areola is compressed where the lactiferous sinuses are located.  As you can see from the image below, the lactifeous sinuses are located about an inch behind the nipple.  

This is where the majority of the milk pools before milk ejection which is why it is essential to compress the sinuses properly when pumping.  If the flange is too small, the nipple is compressed and not the milk sinuses.  

If the breast shield you received with your breast pump does not fit properly as in the first image, you need to seek out the correct size as soon as possible.  When the nipple is drawn into the flange, there should be adequate room on one or both sides of the nipple.  If not, examine your nipple at rest prior to pumping.  What is the diameter of the nipple?  Using an everyday object like a coin can help you determine diameter.  The image below will offer coin size comparion and tips on how to measure.

If you nipple is the size of a penny or even a nickle, the standard breast shield size that came with your electric breast pump may work for you.  This is because some of the brands offer a slightly larger flange than the 24 mm commonplace breast pumps such as Medela.  For example, Ameda breast pumps include an Ameda 25 mm breast pump flangeHygeia breast pumps include a Hygeia 27 mm breast pump flange.  ARDO includes an ARDO 26 mm breast shell flange.

But if your nipple fitment looks or feels too tight or if you can visually see that your nipple diameter is larger than a nickel, you will need to purchase a larger breast flange right away.  The following manufacturer's offer custom breast pump flange sizes for your convenience:

Ameda Custom Fit Breast Flanges in M/L breast flange that fit 28.5-30.5mm or L/XL 32.5-36 mm

Spectra 28 mm breast shields and Spectra 32 mm breast shields

ARDO 26 mm breast shells and 28-31 mm breast shells (AKA breast shields or breast flanges) and even an XXL ARDO 36 mm breast shell

For brands like Medela or Rumble Tuff, we recommend using Pumpin' Pal Super Shields so that you get the benefit of a better fitment and can avoid back strain due to leaning forward while pumping without an angled breast sheild.

What if your breast shield is too large?  Inserts are available from several manufacturers to make your breast flange smaller.  If your nipple diameter is the size of a dime or if too much of the areola is being drawn into the breast shield, try an insert.  Some manufacturers even offer a silicone massaging insert which actually helps with milk let down.  Spectra offers the Spectra Silicone Massager which reduces their standard breast shield to Spectra 19-21 mm.  ARDO offers a ARDO 22 mm breast shell insert or the ARDO 26 mm Optiflow Massaging Insert for use with the ARDO 31 mm breast flangeAmeda offer the Ameda Flexishield which is a 21 mm massaging insert that will fit both Ameda and Medela breast shields.  I have seen moms pump an extra ounce of breast milk when using a Flexishield massaging insert.  This is due in part to the correct size for better milk sinus compression, but also because silicone massaging inserts like the Ameda Flexishield, Spectra Massager or ARDO Optiflow massage the areola much like the peristaltic wave of the infant's tounge when the baby is at the breast.  This action tends to assist the let down reflex.  Other breast pump manufacturers such as Hygeia, Rumble Tuff, Medela, and Bailey can be used with the Pumpin' Pal Small and Pumpin' Pal X-Small Super Shields.  The Pumpin' Pal small and x-small Super Shields yeild some let down assistance as well due the movement of a flexible silicone breast shield.  

Buying the correct size breast flange is as essential for milk supply as changing your valves, diaphragms or filters on your breast pump to maintain proper suction.  In addition, if the breast flange is uncomfortable, moms tend to pump less and wean sooner.  Here's to hoping this information impowers you to keep on breastfeeding and pumping!

Happy Pumping!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Black Friday Breastfeeding Deals! - Cyber Monday Nursing Bra Sale and more!

     It's that time of year again.  The time when Lactation Connection has it's best sale of the year:  Black Friday and Cyber Monday!  Sale starts early so, the best selection for the Black Friday Sale starts now.

With breastfeeding deals starting at .99 cents and prices up to 70% off, this is the time to shop for the nursing mother.  Stock up on nursing bras under $10.  And true to Lactation Connection form, bras aren't just for the small busted mama.  There are $10 nursing bras for sizes up to H cup and band sizes 42, 44 and even 50 for our curvier mamas.  Get a great deal on breast milk storage bags and bottle labels at 35-50% off!

Quality brands on sale like Bravado Designs, Amamante Nursingwear and La Leche League are on sale now.  As well as breast pumps from ARDO that make great gifts.  Speaking of gift, what a great time to get a jump on Christmas shopping.  And what new mom wouldn't love a nursing nightgown or nursing pajamas under the tree?   You can even choose a gift-boxed sleepwear set to send directly to the new mother.  Gift box is finished off with a red tulle bow to capture the holiday spirit.

Here are a few of the breasfeeding deals you can get while supplies last!  There are pajama pants, nursing bras, and breast milk storage solutions under $10.  

And lots of options up to 70% off under $25 including Breast Milk Cooler Totes, nursing nightgowns, manual breast pumps and Bravado Bras!

Need more choices?  Take advantage of the savings on our best-selling Bravado Nursing Bras!

Quantities are limited so shop now for best selection!

Happy Black Friday!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Best in Plus Size Maternity Nursing Wear

Packing your hospital bag is not as easy when you are a curvy mama!  There are several multi-purpose styles that can really help get you ready for baby and extend your maternity and nursing wardrobe.

My first recommendation is a quality nursing bra.  If you are a plus size mom with smaller breasts, my recommendation is the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra in size 2X.  This bra is a great transitional nursing bra as it fits multiple cup sizes for your changing shape.  The 2X nursing bra size in this super comfortable seamless nursing bra with removable foam pads works well for the following bra sizes.  42DD, 44DD, 444D and 46DD.  If you are a DDD ie F cup or larger, there are more supportive options in your size.

For our bustier mamas, the Bravado Embrace Nursing Bra is a great choice.  While it is a soft cup no wire nursing bra, it has a proprietary fabric that holds it's shape and your shape beautifully!  Although not technically a plus size nursing bra, the 36 band nursing mom who is well endowed can benefit from this bra as well since it is available in 36JK and 36LM nursing bra size as 40D/E, 42D/E, 44D/E and 44F/G.

Another great option that is priced for every budget is the La Leche League Jacquard Nursing Bra. This bra is perfect for the F, G and H cup nursing moms.  Lactation Connection has a special purchase price of below $20 on their LLL nursing bras, so now is the time to snag your bra. Keep in mind that since the LLL Jacquard Nursing Bra is not a multi-cup nursing bra to fit more than one size like the Bravado Embrace, don't go up a size as the molded cups may be too big.   La Leche League also offers style 4315 which is a lined wire free nursing bra in sizes up to 42DDD/F

Next, you will want to shop for a great nursing nightgown or pajama set.  Most brands don't accommodate curvy moms well and with sizing all over the place, it is hard to buy online.  We offer Amamante Nursingwear which is sized by bust for the nursing nightgowns and both bust and pant size for the nursing pajamas making it easy to order online. These fit so well that we rarely get returns on these nursing nightgowns and pajamas.  Amamante's styles offer a built in sleep bra with enough support for sleepwear and to keep nursing pads in place while you sleep!  Available in sizes 2X and 3X for our curvier moms.  Choose the Signature Nursing Gown or Belleza Nursing Nightgown in 2X if your bust size is 40DD-42DD.  If you are a 40DDD/F, go up a size to the 3X which fits  40F, 42DD-44DD.   For the pajama pants, size 2X fits 20/22 and 3X fits 24/26.  Sold as nursing pajama sets or separates if you need a different size for your nursing top vs your pajama bottom!

Here's hoping these selections make you feel like the beautiful nursing mama you are!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Bravado Nursing Bra Clearance

It doesn't happen very often, but once in a great while we need to clear out premium brands to make room for more inventory!  This is currently the case with the best-selling Bravado Designs Nursing Bras in select styles and colors.

As of today, September 8,  2017 this is what we have in stock that you can get at a great bargain. Take an additional 15% off these styles with coupon code EXTRA15 while supplies last!

Bravado Original Nursing Bras 
1012 S+ Butterscotch, White
1012 M+ Black
1012 L+ Black, Butterscotch, White
1012 XL+ Black, Butterscotch, White
1013 S++ Butterscotch
1013 M++ Black
1013 L++ White
1013 XL++ Black, Butterscotch, White
Bravado Body Silk Nursing Bras - Select Colors
1401 S Pink Ice
1401 XL Garnet Red, Pink Ice
1436 Yoga S Charcoal
1436 Yoga XL Charcoal
Bravado Sublime Nursing Bra
131 32DE French Vanilla
131 32FG French Vanilla
Bravado Embrace Nursing Bra - Select Colors
122 32DE Black
122 32FG White
122 34BC Black
122 34DE White
125 36DE Coral
125 36FG Coral
122 36LM White
125 38DE Coral
125 38FG Coral
122 40DE Black
122 42DE Black
Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra
125 32DE Chai
125 36HI Ivory
Bravado Allure Underwire Nursing Bra
160 32FG Chai
160 36FG Chai

Use Coupon Code EXTRA15 while supplies last!!!…/1922.htm

Hope this give you a lift!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Storing Breastmilk: Protecting the Fat Content in Breast Milk

Every mama wants a fat and healthy breastfed baby.  I always love seeing thunder thighs on an infant, but while this may be moms goal, you need to take into consideration the infants personal growth curve which is also affected by their genes.  If mom and dad are very trim, we may not need to expect rolls of fat on our infants.  Breastfed Infant Growth Charts need to be observed by nursing mamas.  If your pediatrician's office has given you one that has a formula company brand on it, this can undermine your perception of a successful growth rate in your infant.  If your infant was in the 15% at 8 weeks, don't expect them to be in the 50th percentile as they grow.  As long as your infant has not been diagnosed with low weight gain or slow weight gain, they should continue to grow at that pace.  While gaining weight, they should remain in a similar percentile throughout the chart as they age.

Having said that, there are things that we do that can undermine the fat content in our breast milk. One occurs if there is hyper-lactation or overproduction of breast milk and the infant fills up on foremilk while nursing at the breast.  If your baby has green or frothy stools, this may indicate a hindmilk imbalance.  Some suggested remedies are to put the baby back on the initial breast after burping instead of moving onto the second breast.  The downside to this is if the second breast is not emptied, you may get plugged milk ducts so if you are trying this remedy, palpate the unused breast and if any areas are hard, express that breast with a quality breast pump.  Another remedy is to use the pump for 2-3 minutes of double pumping prior to the feeding to take off some of the foremilk.

Another way, we can increase the fat content in breast milk is for the pumping mama.  If you are expressing milk into a bottle, pouring that into a bag and then back into a bottle for feeding, you are loosing fat!  The fatty milk clings to the sides of each container losing small amounts every time you transfer your milk.  The solution is to pump into whatever container from which you are going to feed the baby.  Many breast pump manufacturers offer standard universal threading such as Ameda so that you can pump into standard bottles.  Others such as Hygeia and Spectra offer a bottle adapter.   Bottle adapters allow you can pump into standard bottles or if you prefer the wide mouth bottles, you can use purchase bottle sets with nipples such as Hygeia bottles or use the popular Avent nipples with Spectra bottles.

Breastmilk Bandit offers no mess bottle labels to help you use your bottles for expression, storage and feeding.  These breast milk storage labels stick to themselves, not the bottle so you can remove them at will.  They are very economical and help you use bottles rather than bags which is optimal unless you are feeding from a bag in bottle system.  Unfortunately, those are few and far between that can be pumping into directly and then fit into the bottle housing.  If you are doing this successfully, please feel free to comment on which type you are using and how it is working for you as the goal is to help moms get more fat into their babies.

Here is to the one time fat is a good thing!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

World Breastfeeding Week 2017: Biggest Sales of the Year

     If you are a nursing mama, there is no better time to buy your breastfeeding supplies and nursingwear that during World Breastfeeding Week.  Companies that cater to nursing moms tend to offer their deepest discounts during the week of August 1-7 making it the best time to buy breastfeeding products!  Lactation Connection is no exception offering our best prices in celebration of WBW2017!

This year's theme for World Breastfeeding Week is "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together".

     Lactation Connection has been helping moms sustain breastfeeding with quality products since 1993 and our World Breastfeeding Week sale is in progress now!  Take advantage of our current sale on nursing bras from $17 in sizes through G cup and Bravado Bras as low as $27 with free shipping!  Made in the USA nursing nightgowns and nursing pajamas from $17-27 are on sale as well as all cotton or bamboo nursing pads by Amamante Nursingwear and Bamboobies for only $8.17!

     Shop now for the best selection on nursingwear and nursing bras!  We are also offering an unprecedented discount on our already low prices on breast pump parts.  Our breast pump parts sale includes brands like Spectra, Hygeia, Ameda, ARDO, Limerick, Bailey, Rumble Tuff, Pumpin' Pal Super Shields and Avent!  August 1-7, 2017 take 17% OFF breast pump parts with coupon code WBW17.  Sale limited to quantities on hand.  Free shipping applies to all Bravado Bras and all orders over $60.

     Don't miss this once-a-year sale!

Happy World Breastfeeding Week,

Monday, July 17, 2017

Working and Breastfeeding: Getting Ready for Day Care

If you are a working nursing mama, the first question we get is "How much breast milk do I need to leave?"  And that is a great question because if you leave too much, the care giver may overfeed and you will find yourself playing catch-up with your milk supply day after day.

The average baby needs 2.5 oz of breast milk per pound of body weight per day.  So if you have a 10 lb baby, you multiply by 2.5 and get 25 oz per day.  Then divide by the number of feedings per day for a baby under six months which is 8 unless the infant is going through a growth spurt.  So 25 lbs divided by 8 feedings is 3.12 oz per bottle which you can round up to the nearest 1/4- 1/2 oz.

The next question from moms is when are growth spurts?  The first one usually comes between 10 days and 3 weeks, then six weeks, then three months and six months.  The are usually indicated by more frequent feeding and lack of satiation, but wet diapers ensure that milk supply is still evident.

 Next moms ask, "How many bottles do I leave?"  During a non-growth time, leave one bottle for every 3 hours with an extra frozen bottle just in case of spillage or the instigation of a growth spurt,

While you want to stock pile your breast milk prior to going back to work, use mostly fresh breast milk as it will have the current antibodies your baby needs to fight of any infections to which you and your baby might have been exposed.  If you need to use up some frozen milk, use it on Monday and then use the milk you pumped Monday on Tuesday, what you pumped on Tuesday on Wednesday, etc.  Then on Friday you can freeze again if you want to or save it for Monday if your stock pile is running low.

Organize and label your breast milk.  Getting your milk ready for your work week helps things run smoothly.  Using bottle bands like the Breast Milk Bandit bottle bands will help you know which milk is fresh to use each day.  They will also help ID your milk for the day care worker.  You can even write your baby's name on them if you want to.

As for pumping at work, ensure that you have a quality double breast pump with a closed system and rinse your breast pump parts and air dry them.  Since most moms don't have time or space to air dry, using a breast pump parts air dry bag for your pump parts is an excellent way to maximize your time and avoid yeast growth on your parts from being in an enclosed warm moist environment.  The Breastmilk Bandit Air Dry Bag also separates parts from other surfaces so dirty counters don't contaminate your parts and moisture from rinsing the parts doesn't get in your tote or on other surfaces.  There is even room for a hands-free pumping bra in the outer pocket.

Here is to success while working and breastfeeding!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If your Breast Flange Size Reducing Your Milk Supply?

If you have the wrong breast flange size, it can greatly reduce your output when your are pumping and decreasing the amount of milk extracted signals your body to produce less milk!
There are a lot of things you can save money on when you are breastfeeding, but getting the right size flanges and replacing essentials like valve and filters is not the place to scrimp as both those things can greatly reduce your milk supply.  I have created an image to help you determine your nipple size.  Use this as a guide to buying the correct breast flange size no matter what brand you have.  Some brands don't have a full range of sizes, which is why Pumpin' Pal is perfect!  Not only do their Super Shields help you lean back and save your back while you are pumping, their breast flanges now come in sizes from x-small 15mm to x-large that fit up to 40mm nipple diameter.  Remember the nipple diameter does not include the areola, just the nipple itself and it is easy to see when you have just finished nursing or pumping.

To find larger or smaller breast shields from Ameda, Spectra, Hygeia, Rumble Tuff and ARDO, shop  

Here's is to happy pumping and more milk!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Making More Milk: Getting the Most out of Lactation Tea

I have been helping mothers breastfeed since 1993.  Long before Milkmakers Cookies and Boobie Bars, mother's milk tea has been around.  While lactation tea can be an effective way of helping boost your milk supply, it is important to know which ones are beneficial and if you are getting the most out of using them.

Fenugreek lactation tea can be very effective, but if using a tea bag, make sure you are steeping your tea for 15 minutes to get as much of the herb into your tea as needed.  You can then remove the bag and reheat the tea, or pour over ice for iced tea.  Manufacturer's recommend drinking three glasses a day for at least three days to see results. 

Some herbal lactation teas are such a pleasure to drink you won't need to remind yourself to drink more than one cup a day.  Milkmakers Lactation Tea are infused with nourishing herbs including oatstraw, nettle, and fennel to increase mom's milk supply.  And as a tea lover, I have had spa worthy tea brands that aren't nearly as tasty as the Milkmakers Coconut Lactation Tea.  If you love tea and you like the flavor of coconut, this will become your new favorite even after you baby weans!  This tea is more concentrated, so steep for 5-10 minutes.  The manufacturer recommends 2 cups per day for maximum results.

Here's to making more milk!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Breastfeeding: Benefits of Nipple Cream

There are many things sold out there that you do not need for breastfeeding.  One example are hot compresses.  They can be expensive upwards of $20 for an item you use temporarily.  My suggestion for this is a disposable baby diaper.  It is imperative to soften breasts that are engorged before feeding or pumping with warm compresses, but a baby diaper run under hot water can be very effective and costs about .50 cents each.

And while some moms only need expressed breast milk to soothe their breast, having a good nipple cream around can be a lifesaver.  I recommend purchasing a quality nipple cream prior to delivery. That way, you aren't sending your hubby to the grocery store in the middle of the night and he comes home with something with pesticides or other substances that can be harmful to the baby and not
helpful to you.

While HPA Lanolin has been the go-to nipple cream in the past, many companies such as Ameda have discontinued carrying this product.  Today moms prefer an all-natural approach.  While there are several all natural nipple creams out there, moms prefer the soothing of coconut oil.  Coconut oil not only soothes and hydrates nipples, it offers anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that most nipple creams do not.

So what are the benefits of breast milk and nipple cream besides a soothing feel and hydration? According to research sited below, there is evidence that the presence of ‘epidermal growth factor’ in breast milk has potential therapeutic benefit in promoting the growth and repair of skin cells. Moist wound healing results in wounds healing 50% faster when the internal moisture of the skin is maintained.  So, save your money and don't buy a commercial breast compress; but instead put a moist wound healing all natural breast cream like cocout oil on your shopping list for baby!

Happy Breastfeeding!

Mohrbacher and Stock (1997)
Renfrew, Woolridge and Ross McGill (2000)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stay at Home Mom Jobs for Nursing Moms

While working outside the home and breastfeeding is an option due to efficient breast pumps that empty both breasts in just 10-15 minutes like the Hygeia EnJoye LBI and the Spectra S2 Breast Pump to name a few, many moms are opting to work from home.  Some companies are offering this option to their employees, however most moms have to look for ways to make money from home.
One such mom I know owns a business named Heart to Hand Crafts and makes signs from her home to supplement her families income.  This is not uncommon.  Being closer to your baby for feeding often helps moms breastfeed longer so moms are actively looking for jobs for stay at home moms.

As a mompreneur myself, I started Lactation Connection on my kitchen table in 1993.  Our business grew from at home to a retail location and then went online in 1999 and has continued to serve nursing mothers with quality products ever since.  One product stemmed from the need for nursing nightgowns and pajamas that were both beautiful and functional.  We couldn't find quality made in the USA nursingwear that served the need of keeping nursing pads in place, easy to pull down, but yet had a built in sleep bra since moms don't have time to get a shower until later in the day and need a bra for some support!  Out of this need Amamante Nursingwear was born in 2005.

Amamante has been sold across the USA in hospital boutiques, maternity and breastfeeding stores as well as online, but in 2017 it is about time we support the SAHM (stay at home mom) who wants to supplement her family's income.  To that end, we are introducing Party Packs.  Mom can purchase the Nursing Pajama Party Pack or the Nursing Lingerie Party Pack or both, throw a party for their expectant and breastfeeding friends and use the styles in the party pack for fitment and to fulfill orders.  This allows moms to have a risk free way of sharing their love of our nursingwear with other moms, make some extra cash and choose to become a full wholesale customer.  Party Packing Mamas make about 25% profit on their sales and can order single items with free shipping to send direct to their customers. Or they can become full retailers which allow them to purchase at our wholesale prices will low $100 and make even more profit.  This is also a great way for breastfeeding groups to do fundraisers for World Breastfeeding Week and other events.  Moms love to shop for a nursing nightgown and nursing pajamas that serves the function while making them feel beautiful.  And every mom needs a nursing bra in sizes to accommodate her changing shape that offer easy access and a comfortable fit.

To learn more about Amamante Nursingwear Party Packs, visit our Direct Sales Page.  If you have additional questions, give us a call M-F 10-4 CST at 800-779-5722.

Whether you work from home or outside the home, I just want to encourage you to continue to provide your baby with your liquid love!

Happy Nurturing!