Pump Up Your Pumping Skills

In this blog we have our in-house lactation expert, Jennifer Horne, explaining how you can make breast milk pumping easier and more manageable.

stressed about breast pumping

Pump Up Your Pumping Skills

Let’s face it, pumping is a lot of work. Besides the time it takes to actually pump, there are parts and bottles to wash, there’s your pump bag that needs to be prepared each day with supplies, and finally there’s the time to feed your baby. But for moms on the go especially working moms, pumping is a necessary part of breastfeeding.

Below are 5 tips to help you save time and make pumping more manageable:

1. Pump into the bottles your baby will use

This may sound obvious but have your baby drink out of the bottles that come with your pump. It will save so much time transferring milk and washing extra containers. Plus this will avoid the dreaded spillage of breast milk! If your baby won’t take the pumping bottle, try to see if your baby’s favorite bottle will screw into the pump. For example, the Dr. Brown bottles fit nicely into the Medela Freestyle pump parts.

custom bottle

2. Ease up on the part washing

Pumps come with many parts that need to be cleaned constantly. To save some time at work, buy an extra set of parts. Consider leaving one set at work just in case you forget them. Another time saver is to put your fully-assembled pump parts in the fridge (covered with a plastic bag) in between pumping sessions. This may not be ideal for all moms but for some it’s ok to skip a washing or two. However, at the end of the work day, all parts should be thoroughly washed and dried. Don’t forget that parts can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher!

cleaning breast pump parts

3. Go hands free

They say women are the best multi-taskers so why not free your hands while pumping to get other tasks done. There are several pumping bras out on the market but you can also make your own. Simply choose a front closing sports bra and cut two small openings in the front. For smaller breasted women, you may be able to just slip your pumps into your regular nursing bra. Don’t forget to leave an extra shirt at work and avoid embarrassing milk stains.

discreet breast pump

4. Pump during your commute

If you have a long commute, consider pumping in the car. Most electric pumps have a car adaptor. You will want to do this with a double electric pump and go hands free.  Use a jacket, a large sweater, or even a scarf to keep your pump concealed while driving. You could even check out the latest technology in breast pumps, Freemie. The Freemie breast cups are compatible with most pumps and are easily concealed under your shirt. You can pump on planes, trains, and automobiles.

freemie breast pump

5. Consider upgrading your pump

Although most commercial double electric pumps will do a great job efficiently removing milk, if you truly need to boost your stash try a hospital grade pump (requires a prescription). Hospital grade pumps are typically more powerful and as a result they require a shorter pumping time. These pumps also tend to be much quieter. However, most insurance companies do not cover these pumps. The most cost effective way may be renting one from your local hospital or an online lactation store.

hospital breast pump

By Jennifer Horne, MBA, Certified Lactation Educator Counselor, Nursling Lactation

There you have it; hope this helps, and maybe inspires you to pump while you read our next blog.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to take a breastfeeding class near you CLICK HERE! If you have questions you can CONTACT US HERE. Follow us on FACEBOOK HERE, and INSTAGRAM HERE!

What Is A Rebozo And How Can It Help Me During Labor?

A Rebozo is a hand woven fabric that is traditionally used as a shawl and has been found to be very useful in labor with certain techniques applied. The Rebozo has been known to help laboring mothers save energy, push effectively, and reduce pain and discomfort.

Rebozo For Labor

While there are creative ways your Rebozo Certified Doula can use the Rebozo, we’ll go over the three most popular techniques here. You may want to ask your Rebozo Certified Doula to practice these methods during a prenatal visit.

1.       Rebozo Sifting

Have you ever panned for gold? Jiggled a cup of Jello? Similar concept; except what your jiggling is a lot more valuable than gold. This movement helps a laboring mom reduce the stress on her muscles and ligaments. It can also reduce the pain felt during contractions as the added pressure can be very comforting.

So how do you Rebozo Sift?

rebozo sifting

Simple; you’ll need a partner, like dad, your Doula, or your Midwife. If you’re using one person, they’ll wrap the Rebozo around your belly, while not crossing the ends. Think of a shoe shine rag. Then with both ends in your partner’s hand, you can get on all fours, or on your knees while leaning over a squat bar/birth ball. Your partner then, gently sifts/jiggles your belly side to side.

If you’re using two people, such as a Doula and your partner, each one of them will hold an end of the Rebozo while they sift your belly.

2.       Rebozo Anchor

A Rebozo Anchor can help you push more effectively. How? When your Doula has placed you in the proper position for the Rebozo Anchor you will feel the correct muscles activate for more efficient pushing.

What’s the proper position for a Rebozo Anchor?

rebozo for labor

Good question! Your Rebozo Certified Doula will wrap the Rebozo around her back while sitting, then she will instruct you to sit in front of her will holding one end in each hand. Then, as you feel a contraction and the urge to push you should pull on the Rebozo ends while your doula counters the movement (kind of like tug of war). The resistance you feel when pulling the Rebozo, will help you push down and help push your baby out.

This technique can be practiced very carefully, but should be reserved to the pushing stage of labor as you do not want to accidently create an onset of early labor. I would recommend only practicing this with a Certified Rebozo Doula.

3.       Rebozo Squat

A proper Rebozo Squat can help you gain all the benefits of squatting during labor, with the added bonus of saving you more energy! Let’s get right into how to Rebozo Squat.

Rebozo Squat

Your Certified Rebozo Doula will wrap the Rebozo around your back, while she holds one end in each hand. You will then start to squat when she tells you it’s okay. Your Doula will act as a counterbalance for you, effectively balancing some of the kinetic energy needed. This will result in an assisted squat that will reduce muscle fatigue to you.

So there you have it, three of the most popular ways to use a Rebozo during childbirth. If youre still unsure of how to use a Rebozo, ask your Doula if she is a Certified Rebozo Doula; if so, she will be able to help.

You can visit our Doula Page Here for more information on how I use a Rebozo during labor for my clients.

If you have any questions about this topic or natural childbirth, Doulas, etc., please Contact Us Here, or DM/Comment on our Instagram page via @babylovencp.