Are you unable to double pump because your breasts are too large? Do you have to hold your breast "up" with one hand while holding the pump flange on with the other? If so, keep reading...
I love talking to people - consumers, competitors, retailers, colleagues. I am a Gemini and thus very curious about pretty much everything (except politics lol - can't stand politics!) I ask LOTS of questions. I am very social. But I think the reason I love talking to people so much is because I ALWAYS learn something!
I am normally a C cup and was a D when I was pregnant/nursing, so I had NO IDEA what large-breasted women go through, especially after their milk comes in and they grow yet another cup size or two. Can we say F, G or H cup ladies?
A while back, I was speaking to a woman at a tradeshow who told me she was unable to double pump because of her very large breasts. This is how it went down at her house: Grab hold of a breast with one hand and raise it so that the nipple was no longer facing the floor. Then with the other hand, hold the pump flange on the breast. No double pumping for her (unless she grew a third and fourth hand that is)!
And then she shared with me how PumpEase enabled her to double pump! She wasn't totally hands-free, but she was able to double pump. Needless to say she was ecstatic to cut her pumping time in half as well as to increase her supply by pumping both breasts at the same time. As you may or may not know, pumping both breasts simultaneously results in higher prolactin levels in the blood and thus produces more milk.
She was also able to pump on one side and nurse on the other with the PumpEase - another way to stimulate both breasts and get more milk! Nursing on one side and pumping on the other will also generally result in pumping more milk as your baby triggers you milk ejection reflex (letdown) better than a pump will.
Oh and sorry about the almost picture-less post. I couldn't find any images on the internet that were "suitable" when I Googled "pumping with larger breasts" or any combination of those words IF you know what I mean. ;-) We did include a picture of our favourite brand of breast pump though - Hygeia!
If you're fairly well-endowed and used a breast pump, please tell us about your experience below. We'd love to hear all about it!
Mark Friday, June 25, 2010 on your calendars. Why? Because years from now we will be looking back at this date as THE turning point for breastfeeding in our culture.
Last Friday, the USA Today Pregnancy & Wellness Report, produced by Media Planet, will reach 2.2 million readers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. It will be distributed to ob/gyn offices and physicians through the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will be carried in all Destination Maternity stores, will be distributed at March of Dimes events, will be circulated to 25,000 members of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and all member organizations, and to all physician members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Why is this ad different from others? Why did I support this unique, groundbreaking ad?
Bettina Forbes, co-founder of Best for Babes explains:
No scare tactics: There are no pregnant moms riding mechanical bulls or participating in log-rolling contests, unlike the government's ad campaign, which was criticized for a whole lot of things, including succumbing to formula lobbyists and making moms feel guilty if they couldn't breastfeed. Breastfeeding rates actually went down after that campaign. (Too bad we don't have the $3 million to spend on our campaign!)
Highlights donor milk: Most moms don't know that donor milk is the 2nd best choice to breastfeeding, and don't have access to it. Formula is 3rd.
Raises awareness of the WHO Code:The WHO Code was designed to protect moms who WANT to nurse from being derailed by aggressive formula marketing (like doctors giving mom free samples, which have been shown to decrease breastfeeding duration) but which NOBODY in the mainstream knows about. There is NOT ONE formula ad in the issue, unlike practically every high-circulation, mainstream pregnancy & parenting magazine and website, which we worked very hard to persuade Media Planet to uphold. All of the sponsors in our ad are WHO Code compliant, including Evenflo, the only WHO Code compliant bottle maker (and parent company of stellar breast pump Ameda) - we think they deserve kudos for that!
It's positive! Just like with parenting, we have to be careful not to only react to bad behavior but to recognize and reinforce good behavior. We need to create as much media attention and buzz for ads or marketing campaigns that get it right as we do for those that get it wrong.
While Best for Babes has already experienced tremendous support and kudos including feedback from actress Alysia Reiner...
"The ad is so fantastic, so hip but informative, warm but also sassy & smart, LOVE IT! So proud to be involved with you guys." ~ Alysia
I'd like to appeal to you to help them raise further funding to roll-out this campaign on billboards, bus stations and doctors' offices around the country. Please help to spread the word about it via Facebook, Twitter, email and by simply talking to others. (To make it easy for you, there are quick links to share on Facebook and Twitter at the top of this post... click away!)
So did you get your copy of USA Today on Friday? If not, you can download the Pregnancy & Wellness Report here. Tell us what you think of the ad, the report and let us know if we can count on your for support of this very important initiative.
Tags: 'best for babes', 'breastfeeding versus formula', USA Today
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I was recently in Las Vegas and took the Zappos.com tour. When their bus came to our hotel to pick us up, I was both surprised and pleased to see that it had seatbelts (and yes I put one on)! I can't remember ever riding on a bus with seatbelts and in fact, I always wondered why they didn't have them especially when you hear of the busloads of school children seriously injured or killed after being involved in an accident.
This got me thinking about an oft-discussed, "remember when" conversation amongst my sisters and I... "Remember when we were kids and Mom and Dad both smoked in the car WITH THE WINDOWS ROLLED ALL THE WAY UP? And remember how we used to tuck the seatbelts in behind the seat because no one wore them? And remember how mothers used to ride in the front passenger seat with babies on their laps? And remember when Dad used to go out for drinks with the guys after work and drive home drunk all the way from downtown Vancouver?"
IT ALL SEEMS SO WEIRD NOW. I feel quite uneasy if I ever ride in a motor vehicle without a seatbelt (e.g. in a taxi, bus or limo). Our babies are in 5-point harness, rear-facing car seats. My Mom NEVER smokes in the car - in fact, she doesn't even smoke in her own house, or anyone else's for that matter (even if the homeowners themselves do)! In fact, many US States and Canadian Provinces (BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia) have passed laws prohibiting smoking in your car if you have children with you. And who risks driving drunk anymore? Not I, and I'm sure, not you either.
It's all what we're used to - the cultural norm. These changes didn't happen overnight. When the change first occurs, people resist because generally, people don't like change. I remember HATING to have to wear a seatbelt when it became law. Today, when I get into the car, I couldn't imagine even backing out of the driveway without a seatbelt. It feels weird NOT to have it on! So gradually things change and then everyone thinks back to "remember when" and how, in contrast, their past behaviours feel so odd and distant and CRAZY today!
And speaking of "what we're used to", what other mammals do you know that drink milk from another species? And what other mammals do you know that drink milk past infancy? The fact that we have been brainwashed by the Dairy Industry to think we should ingest cow's milk as the "norm" is a perfect example of the blinders we wear in our culture. When you REALLY sit down and think about this, humans drinking cow's milk is NOT NORMAL. Yet many of us do it without ever questioning it.
The same goes for the Formula Industry and their marketing campaigns that have brainwashed both health care professionals and consumers to really believe that artificial feeding is as good as breastmilk. I believe that formula should only be available by perscription and in a tin with a generic label - no brand names, pictures or promotional messages such that it is in Iran. But I digress. That is a whole other post.
Another example is fashion, albeit a bit less significant societally, but may resonate with some readers all the same. Do you remember when skinny leg jeans came into style? (yes I know I am dating myself). I remember thinking I would "never" wear them. Yuck! I loved my bell bottoms! But there we were a few months later enmasse.
My sister sent me an article that she had ripped-out of the October 2009 issue of Canadian Family magazine entitled "Bunch of boobs". It is a true story by Catherine Connors, citing a situation she found herself in - with painfully engorged breasts, sans a breast pump and an offer to nurse another woman's hungry baby - an act that would solve both problems - settling the hungry baby and relieving her painful engorgement. The article also appears on her blog bearing the title, They Shoot Wet Nurses, Don't They?
I think Angie Felton of ParentDish sums it up quite nicely in her article, Cross Nursing - Natural extension or disgusting and weird?, in which she writes, "When I was in the midst of my own nursing years (I nursed all four of my kids) nursing a friend's baby wouldn't have been more intimate to me than giving them a bottle, simply a means to END THE CRYING. However, I was in a completely different mindset where breasts were purely utilitarian baby feeding devices. I'm no longer at that point, and can understand people being grossed out at the thought of breastfeeding someone else's child."
But shouldn't we all take a step back, adopt a similar mindset and realize that breasts ARE utilitarian baby feeding devices? I know it is hard to wade through all the sexual images we are inundated with in our culture to achieve clarity on this, however, this is the reason women have breasts and men don't. Think about it. I also realize that this task may be more difficult for non-moms - I didn't become a mom until I was 38 years old and thus had formed opinions (albeit misinformed ones) about many subjects around breastfeeding and motherhood. For example, my opinion about the length of a mother's breastfeeding relationship with her child was summed up in a statement such as, "If they're old enough to ask for it, then it is time to wean." How naive was I? Today I am quite irritated by the term "extended breastfeeding" because it labels it as an "outside the norm" activity. How can we view breastfeeding a toddler as "weird" when the experts at the AAP, the AAFP, Health Canada and the WHO all recommend exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first six months of life and continuing to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond? I was wrong. I was misinformed. Educate yourself. It's your responsibility to do so before voicing an opinion.
I too am finished breastfeeding my children, however, if I had milk today and found myself in a situation similar to Catherine's, I'm certain I would partake. As far as how I would feel about it, I think it "could" feel a little weird, almost illicit (only because of the cultural perception) to breastfeed another mother's child, however, I don't think that feeling would last more than a few seconds before it changed into exhilaration, empowerment and inspiration! I believe I would actually feel quite proud - as though I was a trailblazer for all women!
With regards to HIV and other communicable diseases, the "knee-jerk" reason most commonly heard in opposition of this issue, I trust that the mothers of today are intelligent women and will use her common sense in choosing a wet nurse or a cross-nursing partner that she trusts. I simply don't accept that as a valid reason not to cross-nurse. Mothers will protect their child in every aspect of parenting including this one. Case closed.
So the next time you witness or read something in the media that makes you feel uncomfortable or upset, perhaps take the time to do a little research. Find out the where's and the why's; if it has ever been the "norm" in the past, find out WHY it went "out of fashion" (for lack of a better word) and decide for yourself if that reason is something you agree with or if its the result of unfortunate shifts in our cultural thinking. Change isn't ALWAYS for the better.
So would you nurse another woman's baby? Tell me about it below.
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Anyone who spends any amount of time pumping breast milk for their baby realizes quickly how mind-numbingly boring it can be. One of the biggest let-down killers is bottle-watching: waiting for the bottle to fill and only getting the drip, drip, drip... Be one of the many women who exclusively pump (EP) and you quickly realize that these hours of your life must be filled with something other than waiting for the oxytocin release. After I finished my year of EPing, I calculated that I had spent approximately one entire month of my life with my breast pump. And while I never question or regret the choice I made to express milk for my son, I also know that this time was not always relaxing or enjoyable. Finding something to do while pumping, however, can help make the experience more enjoyable. So what are your options?
There is (excuse the expression and the pun) the boob tube. During my midnight pumping sessions I became a connoisseur of late night and late, late night television. I truly believe David Letterman and I had a personal relationship. (Note to self: I must reconnect with him.) Emergency 51, Marcus Welby, and Quincy were all on in the wee hours of the night and got me through many 2 a.m. pumping sessions not to mention teaching me all about emergency medicine and autopsies!
Sleeping of course can not be discounted as an option. Yes, it can be done! While usually not a planned activity during pumping, you will be equally surprised as I was the first time you wake up, milk overflowing the collection bottles, and a sense of disorientation overflowing you. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend sleeping as an option, it is possible, does happen, and when it does happen to you, know you are not the only one!
Talking on the phone can be a very pleasant way to pass the time (as long as it’s not your nosy mother-in-law you are talking to) and keep your mind off the bottles. However, you might want to carefully consider who you are talking to so when the inevitable question of “What is that noise?” arises, you can answer without embarrassment or at the very least have a quick, and perhaps distracting, response preplanned.
One of the most common methods to pass time while pumping is to surf the web. With countless hyperlinks to follow, filling fifteen to twenty minutes of your time is quite simple. Catching up on posts on the many discussion boards focused on expressing breast milk helps to build community, camaraderie and support which is so critical in what can be a very isolating activity. On the downside, you have to avoid the many opportunities available on the internet to spend money!
What else can you do? Really pretty much anything. I have even heard of women who drive their car while expressing! And when you start to consider all the possible ways to pass the time while pumping, you begin to wonder, “Just how do you manage all these things while trying to operate the pump, hold the collection bottles, do breast compressions, deal with the overflowing bottles...?”
Well, watching television can be done without the need of hands. Sleeping can easily begin without a need for hands, but pretty much anything else will require an extra set of hands- or the use of the ones you already have. For me, this was accomplished through my wonderfully short stature. In most cases, this is a detriment, but when pumping, my short stature allowed me to precariously perch the collection bottles on my knees with one forearm pressed against one bottle and the hand on the same arm holding the other bottle. This of course only frees up only one hand making very slow work of typing and requires everything be within close reach. For women nursing at the keyboard they have come up with the acronym “NAK” (nursing at keyboard) to explain poor keyboarding or spelling. I have yet to see anyone use “PAK” (pumping at keyboard) but perhaps it is time it is used as well.
Since I was pumping, more than five years ago, there have been a myriad of products come to market that allow for hands-free pumping. Hands-free devices provide a certain amount of freedom impossible without them. While not necessary, a good hands-free bra can allow women to focus on something other than the bottles and the milk being expressed and actually help to improve the volume of milk expressed. Using a hands-free bra can actually reclaim some of the time spent pumping and turn it into something that you can use for yourself.
So, what do YOU do while pumping? Drop us a line below and tell us about it!
Stephanie Casemore is the author of Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk: a Guide to Providing Expressed Breast Milk for your Baby. For more information on exclusively pumping or to purchase Stephanie's book, visit www.ExclusivelyPumping.com
So who has a connection at INFACT Canada or the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada or better yet, at the Department of Justice of the Government of Canada - the department responsible for the upholding of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Specifically Section 15(1) and Section 28. Let's lobby for some breastfeeding ads like this one! Short, sweet and OH SO to the point!