December 19th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Stacy-Ann • Pumping

Guest Post: Keeping My Milk Supply Up

This is the fifth 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 and her daughter

One of my biggest concerns as a nursing mom has been keeping my milk supply going strong. I’ve spoken with so many moms who say they were unsuccessful at breastfeeding because they ran out of milk. I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I consulted my doctor for advice. Basically, I researched my butt off.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to keep my supply going: 

1) When I told my daughter’s pediatrician that I was going to breastfeed, he told me to drink water before, during, and after each nursing session. As soon as we returned home from the hospital, I sent my hubby out to buy several gallons of bottled water. I kept it close by throughout my maternity leave. The doc also mentioned that I shouldn’t give my baby water for the first 6 months. So, taking in water myself meant my baby and I both stayed hydrated.

2) I’ve maintained a healthy diet by taking in about 500 extra calories a day. The added bonus is that breastfeeding helps me burn a lot of calories. (Every now and again I hit the gym, so eating more is sometimes necessary).

3) I nurse a lot (the more I nurse, the more milk I produce).

4) I pump at work.

5) There are plenty of lactation cookie recipes that include the ingredient brewer’s yeast that’s believed to increase milk supply. Other mamas swear by Fenugreek or other galactagogues. I haven’t got around to trying any cookies, and I didn’t notice much of a difference when I took Fenugreek. However by maintaining a healthy diet and nursing and pumping as much as I can, I have kept my supply solid. It’s all about dedication baby!

Following these simple tips has helped me through my breastfeeding experience. It’s been over a year and I’m still going strong!

Did you ever feel that you didn't have enough milk? Was it real or perceived? If the former, were you successful at increasing your supply? Tell us how you did 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.

November 26th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • About this Blog & MeJust for FunWarm & Fuzzy

"All About My Mom" (by my soon-to-be 5 year old daughter Michaela)

I don't know about you, but my brain goes a gazillion miles an hour while doing two particular things - showering and driving (by myself); this is of course as opposed to *normal* when it goes only a million miles an hour. ;-) It isn't often that I'm alone outside of working, so in these two situations, the ideas flow FAST - so much so that I'm thinking of picking up some of those bathtub crayons so I can write my ideas down on the shower wall. I already have the car scenario taken care of - a pad of paper that I scribble ideas down on at the 'next red light'.

The other day (in the shower) I was thinking about my youngest Michaela and the fact that she will soon be five (insert cliché phrase about how fast they grow up here). Then I remembered the interview that I did with my elder daughter Antonia when she was about the same age and made a mental note to sit down with Michaela (see, need the crayons!) and do the same.

I was originally inspired by Annie's post over at PhD in Parenting in which she invited us to "interview" our child about their mother and share the responses. Get ready for some "awww's" and some chuckles. Here we go...

Michaela

What are mothers for?

For hugging.

How are mothers made?

You put them underground and make them grow.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

First you go to the hospital and when you grow up a bit you'll be a kid and then you grow more and more and then you're a mommy (or daddy).

Why am I your mommy instead of another woman being your mommy?

Because I was in your tummy.

What kind of little girl was I?

A little kid.

What did I need to know about Daddy before I married him?

Because you got in love.

Why did I choose Daddy to marry?

Because he had a big fat beard and long hair.

Who's the boss at our house?

Daddy and you.

What's the difference between mommies and daddies?

One has different hair and one speaks different.

What do I do in my spare time?

You make us dinner.

What would it take to make me perfect?

Because you are so pretty and I like you and I love you so much.

If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?

Nothing.

It's nice to think that Michaela thinks I'm perfect the way I am - that makes one of us!

Having now done this exercise with both my girls, what stood out for me most was that Antonia's answers flowed quite easily whereas Michaela said, "I don't know" and "Is that right?" quite a few times - I honestly didn't think we would get through all the questions. This rings true to form for their little personalities - not to "label" them per se - however Antonia tends to be more academic and artistic while Michaela is more physical (generally). It is so interesting to witness their characters developing and watch them morph into little individuals!

I welcome you to join in the fun - ask your son or daughter the same list of questions and link back to this post.  You can put the url of your post in the comments.

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

Pumping While Shopping at Target with Jen from Life with Levi

Pumping While Shopping with Jen from Life with Levi

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 shared with 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 shopping at Target while wearing Heelys. (Thanks Jen, now I want a pair of Heelys too...)

This post is the sixth 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!

Like Jen mentions in her post, it is hard to believe we started this video series almost a year ago with her Black Friday video. I'll admit that before meeting Jen, I didn't really consider that someone could use PumpEase in public. I can't tell you HOW MANY times I've wished I could go back to that moment on the Dragons' Den set and tell Jim Treliving, "YES, she could pump while driving/riding her bike/mowing the lawn...." I admire Jen for being creative, open-minded and tenacious. A life approach that will surely present her with many amazing opportunities. And now I can't wait to see where "we" go pumping next!

How long did you pump for before you hung up the horns? Did you have a pumping goal? If so, did you meet or exceed it? Drop a note with your pumping "bio" below.

Aside from working full-time, attending night school and being a wife and mom 24/7, Jen blogs over at Life With Levi. You can also catch-up with her on Twitter and Facebook. Be nice now and go say "Hi!".

{Photo credit: Jen / Life with Levi}

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.