Watch Jada Shapiro, maternal health expert, lactation counselor, and boober founder, in this Q&A on all things nursing, pumping, expressing milk, and understanding milk supply.
You’ve made it! You’re breastfeeding. It’s all going smoothly-ish. And boom, you have to go back to work. Now you have to figure out pumping, bottle-feeding, and keeping up a milk supply, all while juggling the demands of your job and mothering! Whew. If you want to keep breastfeeding after returning to work, it’s important to ensure you don’t accidentally wean before you are ready. Weaning is the process of transitioning from breastfeeding to not breastfeeding at all.
When you are expecting a new baby, it’s normal to have lots of questions about pumping. It can feel like getting a breast pump for your milk is a top priority! Whether you plan to breastfeed/bodyfeed, exclusively pump and bottle feed or are not sure what your feeding plan will look like yet, having a pump available after your baby is born can be really helpful. In fact, most insurance companies will cover the cost of a double-electric pump and for those who end up needing a stronger hospital-grade pump—you can usually obtain one from a local hospital, pharmacy or lactation consultant’s office. In addition to having access to an electric pump, many nursing parents also like to have a hand pump like the Hakkaa or Elvie Curve. Finally, it is important to note that often the most effective and comfortable way to express milk is with your own hands. Hand expression is the best method for early milk (colostrum) removal, and lots of lactating parents continue to use manual milk expression throughout their nursing journeys!
There are many reasons a nursing parent may decide to stop breastfeeding or pumping. It can feel like a big decision or just a natural next step, but no matter why you are choosing to wean, it is really important to protect your health (both physical and mental) during the process. It might be comforting to remember that all nursing parents do eventually wean and that the body is designed for the transition.
Even before the pandemic shifted our entire lives to Zoom, lactation consultants have utilized telemedicine to reach families in the comfort of their own homes. For many of us, all our training, experience and continuing education allows us the ability to assess and support families with expert care–even remotely. Seasoned lactation consultants have witnessed so many babies nurse and feed. We have seen many cases of damaged nipples and mastitis, and we have supported countless families in meeting their goals and overcoming challenges. Our experience means we know exactly what we are looking for when a three day old newborn latches or when a nursing parent is healing from an infection.
My name is Jada Shapiro and I’m the founder of boober, a platform that connects expectant parents and new families to maternal care providers, like birth doulas, lactation consultants, postpartum doulas, and mental health therapists. Until March, we were known for matching clients with expert care providers for in-person visits. I have always maintained that there are a time and place for virtual care, but there are certain aspects of support that can only happen in the same place. Pregnant, birthing and postpartum parents benefit from empathetic in-person connections, and we stand strong as one of the few companies that focuses on the face-to-face experience.
Preparing for a baby involves making many decisions, including whether a baby nurse, postpartum doula, or family members will support you after the baby’s birth. The postpartum period, often now called “the fourth trimester,” is a time historically when people in all cultures were cared for by close family and friends from the time of birth through the baby’s first 30-40 days.
New mom bottlefeeds pumped breastmilk to her baby. Cori, the Lactation Counselor (and a boober vetted provider), reminds the mother in the background to tip the bottle slightly when the baby begins to suck in air in order to be sure to keep milk in the nipple tip, so baby doesn’t swallow air. Mother practices “paced bottlefeeding” sitting baby as upright as possible and watching her cues.
New parents typically have many questions about pumping, including what type of breast pump to get, how long to pump for, and how much expressed milk should go into each bottle. This post will answer all of these questions, as well as providing a comprehensive guide to introducing pumping into your feeding routine.
Pumping and build up their reserves of liquid gold is on many new moms to-do list. Storing breast milk correctly is an important step on that journey. Below you will find our best tips and guidelines for milk storage.
Remember, breast milk in a bottle cannot be reused if your baby doesn’t take it all. Be sure to put small amounts in bottles so you don’t have to waste precious milk.
- Page 1 of 2