The breast feeding mama. Learn about the benefits of breast feeding.
Here is the chapter index.
Chapter one ”The Benefits of breastfeeding”
(You are still a wonderful Mom if you decide not to breastfeed)
(Birth control while breast feeding and other medications)
Chapter Two ”Preparing to breast feed”
(Do I have inverted nipples ?) (What to do if I have flat or inverted nipples ?)
(My personal struggle breastfeeding) (Do you make breastmilk right after birth ?)
Chapter Three ”How the breast works” ( How does the breast make milk ?)
( What is letdown ?) ( What is hindmilk and formilk ? ) ( What is the first milk called ?)
Chapter Four ”How to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk?”
( This for information for women who breast feed naturally ) ( This is information for women who use a breast pump )
( Your baby may be getting dehydrated if ? ) ( How to tell when your baby is getting hungry ? )
( Should I give my baby water or formula ?)
Welcome Spice of life fans to breast pumping tips and tricks!!!
I wrote this post in order to help out mom’s who might wonder if using a breast pump is right for them.
This post is also a fun read on learning what everyday life is like using a breast pump.
This post also is very detailed on how to increase your breast milk supply.
I hope this post helps you out in some way I hope you succeed in breastfeeding.
If you have any questions you can ask me I’m Brittany and would love to help you out in anyway Contact us and about the author please fill out the contact form and I will answer your questions.
Here is the chapters index directory.
You can jump to what chapter you want to read from by referring back here.
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Chapter one: What in the world is a breast pump?
( Breast pump I have so many questions ) ???
( A manual breast pump will make you want to cry ).
( See if your local WIC office will let you rent a breast pump ).
( Which breast pump should you buy if you don’t qualify for WIC ) ?
Chapter two: Which breast pump should I buy while traveling ?
( While traveling make sure you purchase a double sided battery pack breast pump .)
( Make sure you buy a popular breast pump not a off brand. )
( The breast pump I personally used while traveling .)
Chapter three: Is breast pumping right for me?
( What is life like being a breast pumping mama? )
( My personal experience breast pumping .)
( How to make breast pumping possible? )
( Privacy how to use a breast pump in public ? )
( Is breast pumping boring how do I stay entertained ? )
Chapter four: How to keep your milk supply up ?
( How often should I pump ? )
( Drink enough fluids to make enough breast milk. )
( If your not producing enough breast milk eat a big mac. )
Chapter five: The joys of freezing breast milk sigh not really.
( Why I personally hate freezing breast milk ).
Chapter 1: What in the world is a breast pump ?
Breast pump I have so many questions?
Which breast pump is right for me?
This was the very first question I asked myself when I decided to start using a breast pump.
I was clueless I didn’t even know that some women used breast pumps to breastfeed their babies.
Even the word breast pump opened up a whole new door of questions for me.
In the beginning when my daughter was first born the thought of using a breast pump never crossed my mind.
I was hoping to be able to breastfeed my daughter naturally.
I struggled and struggled to breastfeed.
The nurses at the hospital showed me all kinds of different nursing positions.
All of my attempts to breastfeed naturally failed.
I wrote a separate post the breastfeeding mama
I felt like a failure I felt like I just utterly and completely failed at breastfeeding.
I thought in that moment I’m not going to be able to breastfeed my daughter.
That was until the nurse at the hospital had a conversation with me about breastfeeding my daughter with the help of using a breast pump.
The nurse explained to me that some women especially working mothers used a breast pump to breastfeed their babies.
When the nurse talked to me about using a breast pump it gave me hope.
I felt in that moment there is hope there is an opportunity for me to still breastfeed my daughter.
A manual breast pump will make you want to cry.
Before I left the hospital the nurse gave me a breast pump that my insurance covered.
My insurance company only paid for a cheap and crappy manual breast pump.
Don’t waste your money on a manual breast pump you will thank me later.
I was trying and trying and trying to make a manual breast pump work.
In that moment I was ready to cry I thought I am a failure at breastfeeding.
I couldn’t breastfeed naturally and I couldn’t breastfeed with the help of using a manual breast pump.
You will be resulted to tears if you try to succeed at breastfeeding using a manual breast pump.
I didn’t want to give up I was still determined to somehow someway breastfeed my daughter.
I knew there has to be a better product out there than a manual breast pump.
I didn’t have a lot of money in the beginning to invest on a breast pump.
You have a lot of money expenses bringing home a new baby.
See if your local WIC office will let you rent a breast pump.
I explained to the nurse this manual breast pump is just not getting the job done.
The nurse advised me to try my luck at the WIC office that sometimes your insurance will pay for you to rent a breast pump.
I took a trip down to my WIC office where I was in luck they had one breast pump left.
The lady at the WIC office told me I was pretty lucky as they did not keep many breast pumps in stock.
Apparently a lot of women were starting to use breast pumps especially working moms.
The brand I used from WIC was Medla it plugged into the wall.
It was a strange looking device to me it was different than anything I ever saw before.
It was a big and bulky machine.
The medela breast pump was large enough to need a carrying case.
Little did I know at the time that I would be using that very same Medela breast pump for one year and one month.
Which breast pump should you buy if you don’t qualify for WIC ?
If you don’t qualify for WIC then what do you buy?
I recommend buying the Medela pumping in style.
The Medela pumping in style is similar to what WIC furnished me to rent for a year and one month.
It looks like the same model I used and you can bring it with you while you travel.
Having a breast pump that is easy to use for convenient travel is important.
You can’t just be stuck at home all the time you got a life to live.
The Medela pumping in style is a great name brand.
I recommend getting the warranty because the store will not let you return a breast pump.
This is something important to consider while choosing a breast pump.
You cannot exchange or get your money back on a breast pump once the seal of the box is opened.
This is why getting the warranty is important because you can have the company fix the breast pump if it breaks.
The great thing about the Medela pumping in style is it comes with this battery pack so you can pump anywhere.
The Medela pumping in style also comes with a convenient carrying case for easy travel.
In my opinion medela is going to be the future when it comes to breastfeeding accessories and breast pumps.
I believe if you buy a medela breast pump you will be able to find replacement parts for your breast pump.
I don’t recommended buying an off brand breast pump because the replacement parts are hard to find.
If you get the warranty on your breast pump the company should fix your breast pump and replacement parts.
I really believe you will be happy with the medela brand.
Chapter 2: Which breast pump to buy while traveling ?
So I learned what in the world a breast pump was.
I learned that a manual breast pump just wasn’t going to work for me.
I had a wonderful breast pump from WIC however this wonderful medela breast pump did not have a battery pack.
I began to think of what kind of breast pump do I need for traveling?
I personally purchased an evenflo breast pump.
Sorry I would advertise the Evenflo double sided breast pump but could only find the single on Amazon.
I purchased the evenflo with the battery pack.
I believe my evenflo was around $80 I had the evenflo with the battery pack.
The evenflo that I purchased came as a single breast pump for around $40
However you obviously need to buy a double sided breast pump not a single breast pump LOL we ladies have two breast not one.
While traveling make sure you purchase a double sided battery pack breast pump.
Whichever breast pump you decide to buy for traveling you need to consider this.
If you buy a single breast pump you obviously need to buy another breast pump.
We ladies have two breast not one.
It’s much faster and easier if you are traveling to use a double breast pump not single.
Here is an evenflo double sided breast pump.
Sometimes it’s better to buy a breast pump online than at the store.
I say this because most stores try to sell single breast pumps instead of double sided.
( Or the store I went to only sold breast pumps as single sided ).
I loved my evenflo but purchasing the breast pump as a single instead of a double was a pain.
Try your luck online.
Make sure you buy a popular breast pump not a off brand.
I really wished that in the beginning I would have just purchased the medela pumping in style.
Not that I didn’t love my evenflo because I did.
However here is my expensive story of not knowing which breast pump to buy.
I bought a single breast pump in the beginning not realizing I would need double.
( Which breast pump brand was it I won’t say I don’t like bad talking brands ).
I just advise not buying a off brand breast pump buy a breast pump that is popular.
To figure out if the breast pump is popular look for the brand.
For example with Medela breast pump you can also find breastfeeding accessories.
Medela breastmilk storage bags.
Medela breastmilk storage bottles.
Medela Breastmilk Collection Storage Feeding Bottle with Lids-8 Pack (8 Bottles and 8 Lids)w/lid 8oz /250ml
If you keep seeing the name brand you can conclude that it is popular.
If the breast pump is popular like the medela brand you can be assured you will be able to purchase replacement parts.
So I bought a name brand won’t say which one it was because I’m not here to bad talk brands.
Anyway this name brand sucked.
I couldn’t get my money back or make exchanges.
A breast pump needs powerful sucking and pulling to do it’s job.
I really loved my medela at home from WIC.
However I didn’t want to buy the medela pumping in style just for traveling it is a little pricy.
So I bought the one crappy name brand that wouldn’t do it’s job so money down the drain.
Then I bought a fantastic breast pump however it was a off brand.
What did this mean for me that I was a dummy did not get the warranty and I couldn’t get replacement parts.
A off brand might not carry replacement parts.
Don’t buy a breast pump if you don’t see that name brands replacement parts.
Money down the drain for two brands of breast pumps.
So after this I purchased the evenflo which was a great breast pump.
The breast pump I personally used while traveling.
The evenflo breast pump I used it for one year and one month while traveling.
Sorry I would advertise the Evenflo double sided breast pump but could only find the single on Amazon.
With the evenflo it was a very comfortable breast pump.
It was easy to breast pump both sides of my breast at the same time.
I loved my evenflo it is also a popular breast pump.
The evenflo was a popular breast pump.
This meant I could find replacement parts for my evenflo.
The name brand evenflo also had many breastfeeding accessories.
Such as …
Evenflo breast milk bags.
Evenflo breast milk storage bottles.
Evenflo 5oz Milk Storage Bottles, 12 Count
In conclusion I recommend the Medela pumping in style as well as the evenflo.
Make sure it says on the box double sided and battery pack.
Chapter 3: What is life like being a breast pumping mama ?
My personal experience breast pumping.
I’m not going to lie I’m not going to sugar coat it I’m going to be 100 percent honest breast pumping exclusively with no formula substitution is at times mentally and physically exhausting.
It’s tiring to breast pump breast milk 6 to 8 times a day living life 3 to 4 hours at a time until it is time to pump again.
In the beginning breast pumping breast milk is overwhelming it however does become easier when you get used to the same routine every day.
Make pumping time your time to relax and just think go somewhere to pump away from everyone your bedroom for example and watch television for 15 minutes.
Pumping time is your time to stop cleaning the house even though it’s dirty or you need a break from your baby everyone needs a break.
Have your husband or another family member like your baby’s grandma watch your baby until you are finished pumping.
Don’t become discouraged it is overwhelming in the beginning and honestly I wanted to give up many times.
The reason I didn’t quit is because I love my daughter and I knew about all the benefits that breast milk could do for her health.
In the beginning from until the time my daughter was one month old until she was three months old she would drink 2 ounces of breastmilk 8 times a day.
This is when she was really little when babies metabolisms aren’t stable.
My doctor recommended that I wake my baby up in the middle of the night and feed her.
I feed my baby for the first 3 months 2 ounces of breastmilk every 3 hours this means she drinked breastmilk 8 times a day and I pumped 8 times a day.
At the beginning I was exhausted and felt like a moo cow pumping breast milk 8 times a day.
Now this is what my doctor told me I’m not saying this is what you should do you must talk to your own petitriction to make sure you are getting the correct information.
After my baby turned 4 months old I was told by my doctor that my baby could sleep for 6 hours at night this means I could sleep a little more and pump a little less.
When my baby was 4 months old she was still drinking breast milk 6 to 8 times a day and I was pumping 6 to 8 times a day.
When my baby was 6 months old the doctor told me I could let her sleep for 8 hours at night and I loved this I could sleep some.
It was a little easier at night I no longer had to wake my baby for her bottle every 3 hours or even every 6 hours she was sleeping 8 hours.
Even though I no longer had to wake up my baby for her bottle I still had to wake up to pump so she could have food for the following day.
When my daughter turned 6 months old I could sleep 4 hours at a time before having my alarm clock to wake me up to pump.
It can get hard to pump breastmilk at night waking up every 4 hours is exhausting.
If you don’t pump breast milk when you are scheduled to your breast will fill up with too much breast milk.
If your breast get to full of breast milk they can hurt get swollen and even lead to a infection.
At night it helps to walk around first and splash your face with water before you pump.
In conclusion babies need to eat a lot and to begin with you will feel like your baby is turning you into a moo cow but it is possible to keep up with your baby.
It is tiring but after a few months of the same routine this will begin to feel like the same old same old and you will get accustomed to this.
How to make breast pumping possible ?
Breast pumping wouldn’t be possible if my family wasn’t there to help me watch my baby while I use the breast pump.
It is a family effort to raise a baby your family needs to be there for you to make breast pumping possible.
While I use the breast pump my husband watches our baby or her grandmother and even her aunt watches her a lot.
You cannot use the breast pump and watch your baby at the same time I only attempted once it is impossible I’ve tried.
If my family goes out to town I have to go as well even if I don’t want to.
Or my husband or my mom my babies grandma one of them has to stay at home with me so they can watch the baby while I am using the breast pump.
It is impossible to use the breast pump and watch a baby at the same time.
To make breast pumping possible my husband and I work as a team a night.
I pump breast milk throughout the night and day and my husband will feed our baby her bottle.
My family watches my daughter when we’re out at town if I use a breast pump.
I do believe you can breast pump and work at the same time.
I’m not sure what the life experience would be like breast pumping and working I was a housewife at the time.
I’m not 100% percent sure but I believe I read somewhere that there is a law that protects women to pump while they are at work.
If you want to work and still breast pump to feed your baby I recommend looking online for breastfeeding laws in the workplace for your state.
Privacy how do you use a breast pump in public ?
In the beginning I didn’t know how I was going to breast pump while traveling.
What I done was use a windshield sun shade that you put over the windshield to keep your car cool.
A windshield sun shade is what I literally used to hide from people while I pumped in the car.
No laughing a windshield sun shade is way easier to shield yourself than blankets that slid off easily.
Breast pumping both sides of your breast at the same time is challenging as well as trying to keep people from peering.
If you are in town and are breast pumping in the car you need to see what you are doing and you need room.
I came up with the idea to use a windshield sun shade myself for privacy because it is stretchable and bendable.
Using blankets did not work for me it’s hard to see what your doing correctly there is too much movement you have to fix your pumps correctly.
Don’t use blankets you don’t want to accidentally flash people.
If you use blankets you cannot visually see everything to make sure you have your breast pumps on correctly.
If it was really hot outside and I was out at town and I had to use the breast pump I would either crank up the car and turn on the AC or crack the door.
I don’t care what people think of me and I am 100% happy with who I am however I still noticed a lot of people looked at me funny.
I suppose it did look strange I was a woman sitting in my car in the parking lot with a windshield sun shade wrapped around me.
I attracted a few looks some people even cracked their necks trying to see what I was doing.
When it became extremely hot around in the 90’s and 100’s when I couldn’t stand the heat I would pump in a bathroom at a store.
I don’t care what others think of me but I still felt a bit embarrassed having to pump in a public restroom.
Breast pumps have a loud motor and in my opinion sound like a vibrator.
However when it’s in the 90,s and 100’s even with the AC on or the door cracked it’s still too hot even if it’s only 15 minutes.
Is breast pumping boring how can I stay entertained?
In the beginning I knew if I was going to stick to breast pumping I would somehow someway have to keep myself entertained.
I watched television while I used the breast pump.
I soon got talented enough to change the channel with the remote if I got bored with a program.
The technique is to place the remote on your lap and to use your wrists to hold up the breast pumps to keep them in place and to use your hands to change the channel.
This takes Practice it took 2 months for me to get the hang of changing the channel while breast pumping.
I soon got bored being by myself in my bedroom watching television so I taught myself to play on the internet on my cell phone.
It took some practice but once you get used to breast pumping it is possible to pump breast milk and play on your phone at the same time.
I will pump breastmilk and surf the web at the same time I will check email play games pin on Pinterest whatever it takes to pass the time.
Keep yourself entertained and breast pumping won’t be such a drag and easier to get through.
Chapter 4: How to keep your milk supply up ?
How often should I pump ?
My breast pump became my breast friend LOL I made a funny
I would pump and pump and pump it seemed like.
I personally used the breast pump for both the left and right breast for 15 minutes every 3 to 4 hours.
You need to pump both breast at the same time every 3 to 4 hours in a 24 hour day for 15 minutes.
If I go three hours pumping I pump both breasts for 15 minutes.
If I go four hours pumping I pump both breast for 20 minutes.
How much breast milk will I make ?
To be honest the first two months I was ready to throw in the towel and quit breast feeding because I was hardly making any milk.
But I didn’t quit I knew my baby needed the breast milk even if it was a tiny bit.
I pumped every three hours in a 24 hour cycle for 15 minutes on both breasts and was seeing hardly any results up to 2 months.
I had to substitute some with formula it’s OK if you have to substitute with formula at the beginning it takes a little while to build up a good enough milk supply.
If you do have to substitute some with formula it doesn’t mean you can pump less you have to follow a strict pumping schedule.
Every day I started to see more and more results which encouraged me to keep pumping.
My advice stick to your pumping schedule don’t slack off the less you pump the less you will make.
Drink more fluids to make enough breast milk.
With breast pumping sometimes you will make the same amount every time sometimes you will make more sometimes less.
If your on a strict pumping schedule and are pumping every 3 to 4 hours and are making less milk there are reasons behind this.
You are pumping 6 to 8 times a day for me sometimes I had to pump 8 times a day sometimes I got to pump 6 times a day it depended on how much milk I was producing in order to feed my daughter.
Think about it that’s a lot of fluid coming out of you what you need to be doing all throughout the day is drinking every time you think about it you need to be drinking.
This advice is the same for women who breast feed naturally you need to drink drink and drink some more if you are dehydrated you will not produce the milk your baby needs.
You are probably dehydrated if your not seeing the results you were hoping for.
Doctors recommend that the average person drinks 8 glasses of water a day you need to be especially doing this if you are breast feeding.
Your body has to have fluids to survive and your breasts need fluids coming in to make enough breast milk.
A good way to tell if your dehydrated check your pee every time you go to the bathroom the darker yellow it is the more dehydrated you are the clearer your pee is the more you are hydrated.
If you are sticking to your pumping schedule and are drinking plenty of fluids and your still not seeing results you want then you need to be eating enough.
If your not producing enough breast milk eat a big mac.
The more calories you are taking in the more milk you will produce you don’t have to eat everything and the kitchen sink in order to make milk but you need to eat a balanced diet.
You need a balanced and healthy diet you will make hardly any milk if you have went all day without eating.
I myself didn’t want to eat that much after I’d given birth I was worried about my weight however my family kept me on track and made sure I ate.
I have always noticed I am producing more milk after I eat you cannot starve yourself think about your baby.
If you are producing hardly any milk try adding something as simple as a yogurt on top of your meal plan for the day.
If I was drinking enough and pumping enough and still not seeing any results sometimes I would eat a high calorie meals.
Chapter 5: The joys of freezing breast milk sigh not really.
Why I personally hate freezing breast milk.
Over time after 2 and a half months if you stick to your strict pumping schedule you will have flowing milk like a river.
Your strict pumping schedule should be every three to four hours pumping both breasts at the same time for 15 minutes.
Since in the beginning I was strictly pumping every three hours I had so much milk I had to freeze it.
If your baby has reached a time when they can sleep some without being feed every three hours then this is what I recomend for you to do as well.
When my baby began to sleep some I realized I didn’t have to wake up every three hours that I could at least sleep for 4 hours at a time.
It is so much easier to just pump enough for your baby for the following day if your having to pump so much your having to freeze than slack off some.
If your making to much that your having to freeze your breast milk pump every 4 hours instead of 3.
In my personal experience if I was worried I might have to freeze my breast milk I would go 4 hours that day and go back to 3 the next.
You will understand how to balance out how much breast milk you are making a day once you get the hang of it.
I am against freezing breast milk there’s nothing wrong with it if you are wanting to make this decision or if you are a working mother.
I however believe it is a annoyance and time consuming.
I have heard stories that some women had to throw breast milk away because there was no room in their freezer to me this is ridiculous.
If you have to throw away perfectly good breast milk you are pumping to much and need to slack off pumping some.
Your breast make as much breast milk that is being removed if your making to much pump less your breast will adjust to the change.
Freezing breast milk was exhausting I finally realized this was just to much and slacked off breast pumping some and only pumped what my baby needed that day.
I had 8 full storage bottles a day I filled with breast milk I hated freezer bags they were expensive and not easy to reuse.
So I used storage bottles they were convenient and reusable and it was easy to pop a frozen bottle of breastmilk in the baby bottle warmer.
Storage bags were always so time consuming hard to open I spilled my milk a lot and it was overall a pain.
If you choose to freeze I feel for you because in my personal experience it is exhausting but if you choose this method use storage bottles there a life saver.
Pour your breast milk into a storage bottle find a scrape piece of paper write the date on it oh yeah did I mention when you are freezing you have to rotate the date of the milk.
What I would do was find a scrape piece of paper write the date and put a piece of tape on the scrape piece of paper.
So that was 8 storage bottles filled with breast milk 8 pieces of scrape paper and tape and 8 times having to write the date down.
And then you have to rotate the breast milk everyday the oldest date goes to the top and the newest date goes to the bottom this ensures the breast milk doesn’t gets ruined.
Another thing I hate about freezing breast milk is that the bottle warmer takes 15 full minutes to un thaw the frozen breast milk.
When you have a crying baby who wants their food right then it is very stressful waiting for their bottle to take 15 minutes to un thaw.
And I have had instances where I forgot that the frozen breast milk was on the bottle warmer and had to put the boiling hot milk in a pan of ice water.
What I’m trying to say is breast pumping is a lot of work 8 times a day can be exhausting but good news if you’re making to much only pump 6 times a day.
Don’t make it harder on yourself only pump enough for your baby for the following day and sleep at least 4 hours at a time during the night.
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