November 9th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • PumpingWarm & Fuzzy

The Jazz Singer and Her PumpEase

Last week I received the following email. After reading it, I realized it was written by a customer who had recently purchased a PumpEase from our website and who had also just received our November newsletter that touched on Prematurity Awareness Month. I also realized it was from a fellow Canadian (yay) and that she was a little bit famous (yippee). As always, I felt extremely honoured that one of our products helped a mom reach her personal breastfeeding goals (jumping up and down with glee).

"I don't think I already wrote to you guys, but I just wanted to say a big thank you, in light of Prematurity Awareness Month.

Whitney's preemie baby

My son was born 10 weeks early when he arrived on April 26th of this year. I was hurled into a scary and foreign experience, which included pumping 10 times a day while he spent some time in hospital growing and getting stronger.

I was so clueless about it all, having not had time to properly research and read about breastfeeding - let alone birth - and so everything was a big hurdle.

Pumping was hard and discouraging at the start, but I was determined, knowing that it was the only thing in my power that I could do to help my son. So with cracked and throbbing nipples, I soldiered on.

Whitney's son at 10 weeks

One day, one of the other NICU moms was sitting in our pump room at the hospital casually reading a magazine and checking her email while she pumped. She was using a PumpEase - the one with the badass cherries on it. It was like a shaft of light shone down on her from the fluorescent bulbs above.

"What is THAT?!" I demanded, "and where can I get one?!"

I soon ordered my own online and I love it. It didn't change my life but it really made what was a very difficult time just a little bit easier, as in the 3+ hours I was spending pumping every day, I could keep in touch with my family, letting them know about my son's progress, I could read, have a glass of water... and I am so grateful. It was also nice to hear that it was made in Canada. Hooray!

I love functional, yet beautiful design. I really think you should let all the lactation consultants in Canadian hospitals know about them, PumpEase is awesome and certainly makes something difficult and trying a lot less frustrating.

Thanks again,

Whitney Ross-Barris
www.whitneyrb.com"

Cool huh? Ya, I thought so too. And yes Whitney, we WILL be sure to let all Canadian LC's know about PumpEase - working on that right now in fact. :-)

Please be sure and follow the link to Whitney's website to take in a few sultry notes of her eclectic voice. OBVIOUSLY this email made my day. What made YOUR day today? Tell me about it down there .

{Photo credit: Whitney Ross-Barris}

November 4th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Stacy-Ann • Pumping

Guest Post: Pumping at Work

This is the fourth of six posts in the "Pumping with Weather Anchor Mama" series by Stacy-Ann Gooden.

Stacy-Ann currently delivers the weather week nights in New York City, however considers her most important role being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog Weather Anchor Mama.

My goal was to pump for one year and I’m proud to say that I’ve exceeded that! I’d sneak away two to three times during my shift, in between shows for about 15-20 minutes a session. It can be a bit tedious carrying all that gear and washing all the parts after each use, but it’s worth it! I’ve spoken with other moms who’ve mentioned that they tried doing the deed for a number of months, but later gave up, so I would like to share some tips with those of you planning on nursing and pumping at work, that have helped me tremendously!

Stacy's pumping office

As I mentioned in Part 1, there isn’t always time to pump at work. When there’s active weather, my job takes precedence. Thankfully that’s not always the case. I have a pretty understanding employer who allows me a place to express milk each day. Some may feel they don’t have the opportunity to pump at work, but I firmly believe that you can do it. It’s just a matter of planning and asking your employer for assistance.

When I made the announcement that my hubby and I were expecting, I immediately told the HR representative that I planned on breastfeeding and began making arrangements as I drew closer to my due date. I had heard stories about moms pumping in the bathroom and decided early on that that wasn’t going to be me. I wanted a nice clean and comfy environment to pump in.

Stacy's pumping office

I can’t say it was a spa-like setting, but it was sufficient. It was neatly tucked away from everyone, and the office came complete with a microwave and refrigerator. I’ve been able to pump during my lunch hour and store away my milk for the remainder of my shift. Talk about convenience!! I also had a key, which was icing on the cake.

Here are my top five tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to plan early! Once you announce your pregnancy to your boss, ask about a pumping room. I know there may be some exceptions, but most businesses will provide a pumping room (that is not the bathroom).

Lansinoh bags

2. Research different pumps. I’ve heard that hospital pumps are the best, but I feel that my Medela is right up there! It’s pretty expensive, so be sure to add it to your registry. If no one buys it for you, you are eligible for a percentage off after your new arrival! My little one also enjoys drinking from the Medela bottles.

3. Get some storage bags and containers. I tried a few, but I like Lansinoh bags because they store and pour easily and they're affordable.

4. If you do decide to pump at work, don’t forget to pump and/or nurse at home. Your boobies and baby will thank you later for keeping that supply going! I’ll talk more about how I was able to rebuild my milk supply in Part 5.

5. If you’re not comfortable with your pumping conditions at work, then speak up! You want your pumping experience to be as comfortable as possible.

I hope you find these tips helpful. For more info on pumping and breastfeeding laws, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Happy pumping!

Did you pump breastmilk for your baby after you returned to work? What is the best tip that you can share with us from your experience? We'd love to hear from you!

The content of this post is based on the personal experiences of Stacy-Ann Gooden and may not reflect evidence-based information. Your experiences may differ. Please consult your health care provider and/or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for advice.

October 16th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Jen • Pumping

Pumping While Raking Leaves with Jen from Life with Levi

Jen from Life with Levi pumping while raking the leaves!

You remember Jen - she is the lovely mama that began as one of our wonderful PumpEase customers and shortly thereafter evolved into a true PumpEase Ambassador of her own accord. Jen first sharedwith us, the story of her bumpy road to exclusively pumping and pumping in public (PIP) on Black Friday and now with this post, she shows us how she pumps while raking leaves. You GO girl!

This post is the fifth of TEN in the "What Can You Do While Pumping" video series. Please check back regularly to see where Jen sets up the horns next!

When Jen finally leaked this "pumping while" video and I saw that it was raking leaves, I must admit I was a bit melancholy. You see, we kinda got ripped-off this summer up here in Vancouver, Canada and I've been in denial about it being fall. I looked outside at the leaves on my lawn and reality bit me in the behind. And yes, I realize that this has nothing to do with pumping or breastfeeding. <sigh> I think I need to go book a flight to Mexico or something.

By the way, you can follow Jen on Twitter and "like" her on Facebook if you'd like to catch-up with her one-on-one.

Have you been inspired by Jen to pump in places that you may never have considered previously? Please tell us about it below...

{Photo credit: Jen / Life with Levi}

September 15th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Stacy-Ann • Pumping

Guest Post: Introducing the Bottle

This is the third of six posts in the "Pumping with Weather Anchor Mama" series by Stacy-Ann Gooden.

Stacy-Ann currently delivers the weather week nights in New York City, however considers her most important role being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog Weather Anchor Mama.

As the saying goes: "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get your prince." Well my Princess had to drink from many bottles, before finding the right one.

Tommee Tippee newborn starter set

Within the first couple weeks of having my daughter, nursing became second nature. Getting up for nighttime feedings was tough, as you parents already know, but I knew what I was getting into and complaining about it was out of the question. Nonetheless, my little Princess and I were doing just fine. That was until we had our first doctor's visit. I told the pediatrician that I planned on returning to work, and asked about the best time to introduce the bottle. He told my hubby and I that we basically should start right away. He then said, "If you don't, she may never take the bottle!" The thought of not being able to go back to work because my daughter wouldn't take the bottle was absolutely terrifying. That actually happened to a close friend of mine. After a few weeks of exclusively breastfeeding, her daughter refused to drink from the bottle. So she had no choice, but to quit her job in order to nurse. I applaud her for doing that because if it came down to it, I'd do the same thing. But, I also made a commitment to return to work after my twelve-week maternity leave. It wouldn’t have been an easy decision to become a stay at home mom. So on that note, my hubby and I took the doctor's advice and got the baby bottle introduction rollin'.

I didn't realize that it would be so difficult. We had tons of bottles that were gifted to us at our baby shower. We first went with the Tommee Tippee newborn starter set. I read good reviews and figured it would be the right choice for my baby girl.

I also read that the bottle was designed with a woman's nipple in mind. It has a wide nipple base, it flexes and stretches like the breast, and produces less air build-up. Princess had already been dealing with a lot of gas, so I thought that this would definitely help. Not!!! Milk leaked everywhere, and it was clear that Princess didn't like drinking from this bottle. It was a complete mess! I ended up having to return the set. I knew that introducing the bottle would take some time, but I never really thought we would have to go through a bunch of different ones.

Stacy-Ann's daughter

My sis had also given me leftover unused bottles from her baby shower. We tried those and Princess wouldn't drink from them either. There were a bunch of others that also didn't work out. I was beginning to lose hope when I remembered the bottles that came with my breast pump. I filled one with breast milk and my hubby gave it to her. She loved it!

Who knew that babies had a bottle preference? It was like auditioning for a role! Finally, everything was working out. My hubby and I even developed a system where we would give her one bottle every other day, and he'd be the one who fed her. Since I was nursing, it was only right that he experience feeding time. It also further strengthened their daddy-daughter bond.

Nursing was still my top priority and I didn't want to overdo the bottle feeding in the beginning. I heard that some babies end up losing interest in nursing completely if that happens. That's when nursing and pumping became my routine. I began expressing milk and storing it in the freezer.

I am a planner who likes to keep things in order. Call me crazy, but you never know what can happen. I could be sick and need to take medication (which could affect milk supply and/or my baby), or I could have to work late. I believe it's great to have extra breastmilk handy. Besides, pumping and nursing kept my milk supply up.

Princess still prefers drinking from the breast pump bottles, and I am still nursing. Of course, every baby is different and I am in no way endorsing any of the products mentioned above. But whether you're a stay at home mom or work outside of the home, I think it's so important to let your baby be the judge. Some nursing moms may choose to introduce the bottle with formula, while others pump their own milk. Either way, you may have to go through a few bottles before finding that right one.

How many different bottles did you have to introduce before your baby took one?

The content of this post is based on the personal experiences of Stacy-Ann Gooden and may not reflect evidence-based information. Your experiences may differ. Please consult your health care provider and/or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for advice.

August 29th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Stacy-Ann • Pumping

Guest Post: Nursing Around the Clock

This is the second of six posts in the "Pumping with Weather Anchor Mama" series by Stacy-Ann Gooden.

Stacy-Ann currently delivers the weather week nights in New York City, however considers her most important role being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog Weather Anchor Mama.

Stacy-Ann's daughter

After giving birth some moms may opt to have their newborns spend some time in the nursery, while they catch up on sleep. But, I wanted my baby with me 24/7. It wasn't because I didn't trust the hospital staff. I wanted that time to nurse and bond with my baby. It was something I planned to do early on, so I was prepared to miss out on sleep. Some people thought I was crazy, but I didn't care. I was committed and ready for the long haul.

The first two nights in the hospital I don't think my hubby and I got any rest. My baby girl kept us pretty busy. She loved nursing from the moment her lips came in contact with my boob. Breastfed babies usually nurse every two hours, but it seemed like Princess nursed throughout the entire day. At one point it was like every five to ten minutes. I had already informed my doctor and the nursing staff that I intended on exclusively nursing, so formula was not an option. At one point, I was offered a pump, but I thought introducing the bottle that early could possibly create nipple confusion. With the exception of the normal check-ups, Princess stayed with us the whole time in the hospital. But, we eventually reached a point where we both needed to get some shuteye. I asked one of the nurses to take her to the nursery for a couple hours. It was a smart move on our part because once we got home; sleep time for us was a rare occasion. Let me rephrase that, I barely got any sleep.

When you decide to nurse, you are the only one that can feed your baby. It seemed like Princess wanted the boob around the clock. It's now a blur to me, but my hubby says that I was like a machine. We chose not to have too many people around the first few weeks because she was so new. Plus, we both wanted to spend as much time as possible bonding with her. As I mentioned before, my work schedule could be pretty grueling. I knew that in a matter of months, most of my baby's time would be spent at daycare. So, I sucked it up and did what I had to do. But, my saving grace was my hubby. Everyone has a breaking point, and I am no different. Not only did she always want to nuzzle up to my breast, my baby girl would only nap while in motion. She didn't like the swing or the vibrating bouncers, which meant that I had to walk around the entire house to get her to fall asleep. Most of the time I was a walking zombie, so my hubby took over touring duties. I don't know what I would have done if I were alone. I give all you single parents a lot of credit.

Stacy-Ann breastfeeding

After a few weeks, we introduced her to the bottle (which I will chat more about in Part 3). It was a much-needed break for me. I'd pump and my hubby would feed her, while I caught up on some z’s. I'm not talking a full night's rest, but more like a couple of hours here and there. However, it was still a nice break.

My daughter just turned one and she still loves the boobies. She's already eating table foods, but she enjoys nursing before bed and before she heads off to daycare. She hasn't been sleeping through the night for the past few months because of teething issues. So, she finds comfort being breastfed during the night too. My doc says that at her age she shouldn't be nursing through the night, but it helps her sleep. I choose to bask in these nursing days because it will eventually come to an end. There will come a time when she won't want to nestle up to my boob anymore.

A lot has changed since we bought Princess home a year ago. I've gone from getting about a couple hours to about five hours of sleep during the night. Even though I'm still missing out on my beauty rest, I wouldn't have it any other way. My baby is happy and healthy. I thank God for that each day.

Did your baby nurse "around the clock". How did you cope? Please tell us about it below.

The content of this post is based on the personal experiences of Stacy-Ann Gooden and may not reflect evidence-based information. Your experiences may differ. Please consult your health care provider and/or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for advice.