Working And Breastfeeding

Working and breastfeeding mothers can use a pump if and when they decide to return to work.

Returning to work after having a baby is a traumatic experience. When you have decided to breastfeed it can be even more traumatic. Many questions and worries can quickly make you panic. Returning to work doesn't have to be the end of your breastfeeding relationship. There are many options available. If you work near your baby you can go on site to feed him each day. You can have your baby brought to you during each feeding. If these are not an option for you, as with many moms, your only choice would be to pump at work for your baby's next day's bottles.

Breastfeeding is just as much an art as it is a science. The same goes for pumping. Your first step would be to determine just how much you will be pumping. This will make all the difference in the world on the type of pump you choose. If you estimate that you will be pumping a lot, i.e., working full time, five days a week, two or more times a day, everyday. You are going to need the best pump you can afford. For the part timer or just wanting to pump to run errands, or to have an occasional bottle, a smaller electric or manual pump should do just fine.

Pump Types:

This is a list that I have compiled of the better pumps on the market. Although this is not a complete list, it should give you an idea of the pumps that are available. Medela makes the Classic which is primarily an in hospital or rental unit and is the best pump for the marathon pumpers. They also have another rental type called the Lactina. A pump that you can purchase from Medela is the Pump In Style. It has both speed and suction control like the Lactina and is also a popular pump for the working mom because it is lightweight and self contained. For lighter use Medela makes a Double Ease and Mini Electric. Ameda Egnell (now Hollister) makes The Elite and The Purely Yours which is also a self-contained unit and comes a close second to the Medela Pump In Style as far as benefits and is a little less pricey. Ameda also makes a manual pump that I hear is pretty good.

When mentioning the manuals I must also give credit to the Avent Isis. This pump has petal inserts and is a great back up pump. I personally have the Medela Pump In Style and the Avent Isis which I love them both for different reasons. Price range on these pumps varies only slightly from area to area. The rental pumps are going for about $30 to $60 a month and most rental stations give discounts for renting for longer periods of time. The pumps for purchase range from $30 to $250. . I believe the cost is well worth your breastfeeding relationship. A rental station would be a hospital gift store, a specialty shop or even on the Internet. Please do not waste your money on the "bottle" brand (except for the Avent) of breastpumps. To make them as cheap as they are, the motor is just not capable of doing the job. These types of pumps don't work well; they can damage your breast tissue and are painful.

Not all women can respond to the pump. Some women have no problems at all. What you are trying to do with a pump is to fool your body to think that the baby is nursing. That is another reason for the better pumps out there. They are made to most mimic the baby's sucking so that you can have a letdown thus be able to pump more milk. Letdowns are very important in pumping. It is normal to be able to get 1 to 2 ounces of milk at each pump session. It is also normal to be able to get 11 to 12 ounces of milk at each session. Every woman is different and it all depends on the circumstances around your pump session. Such as your schedule, level of relaxation, having a letdown, day of the week and the time of day You can generally pump more on a Monday than you can on a Friday. You also pump more ounces in the morning than you do in the afternoon or evening.

When your output is low there are some tricks to help increase your supply. Pumping more often, such as every two hours at work in stead of every three, nipple stimulation, breast compression or massage to achieve a second letdown within the current pump session. Leaning over to let gravity help, squeezing the part of the breast outside of the horn and drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of rest. There are also other ways to increase your supply such as taking the herb fernagreek. The usual dosage is three caplets, three times a day. It is best to build up to that dosage over a couple of days to see how your body will react to the herb. Drinking Mother's Milk tea is another way, but my favorite is eating oatmeal, in any form. I have not been able to find out exactly why oatmeal works but it does in the majority of women who have tried it. Keep in mind when you use these methods to help build your supply it's going to take a couple of days so don't expect it to happen on your next pump session.

It is also important to keep a pumping schedule. My current schedule is 10 AM, 1 PM and 4 PM. As soon as I get home I nurse. Altering your schedule for an unexpected meeting one-day will not affect your supply, but doing so on a regular basis probably will. Once you have your schedule set it becomes a part of your workday. Besides, I like the breaks.

Another point that I learned after I started my pumping career is that what you pump is NOT what your baby eats. Pump volume and baby volume is different. Pump volume depends on the things mentioned earlier. The baby is better able to empty your breast than a pump is. Pump manufactures are trying hard to create a pump that is just like baby. After all the more comfortable the pump the better your output will be.

When your pumping career starts, things can get a little hectic. Try to stay relaxed as possible and get extra rest. Look at what you have accomplished! You just had a beautiful baby, you are providing the best nutrition you can for him and you are working at home and at work. It will get easier and before you know it you will feel like the pump is just a part of your day. Also keep in mind there is a lot of support out there. I personally don't know anybody in my city that is also breastfeeding but I have a ton of support on the Internet. Do searches for breastfeeding and breast pumps, you may find that you will overwhelmed with responses.

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