Category

Breastfeeding support

3 pumping tips to get more milk out in less time

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood, Recommended Products

Okay pumping mamas, this post is all about you!  Whether you are pumping to store just a little extra for a night out or you’re a full-time working and pumping mom, having the know-how to get the most out of your pumping sessions is so valuable.  Our lives as mothers are so busy that truly the minutes count!  So if I were to share a few tips that may shave a few minutes off your pumping routine, you’d be all ears, right? I get questions and comments all the time from pumping moms like this:

“Can I pump just a few times a day but for longer periods and still keep up my milk supply?” or

“I have a really good milk supply and don’t have the time to pump, I’ll be okay going 5-6 hours between pumping sessions, right?!”

{Clip and Pump hands-free pumping accessory}

My response is always the same.  Frequent breast stimulation (every 2-3 hours you’re away from baby), is what maintains your milk production.  It’s based off supply and demand.  So you can’t get away with pumping less often but you can make your pumping sessions as efficient as possible.  Who doesn’t want to get more milk out in less time?!  Keep in mind, as baby gets older and is feeding less often, you’ll want to pump at least as often as your baby is breastfeeding.

I know that you don’t want to spend your life hooked up to a machine that goes ee-ah-ee-ah for any longer than you need to!  I remember pumping when I went back to work as a labor and delivery nurse and I was a little overwhelmed when I started but pretty soon I had a system down and I flew through my pumping routine!  Today I’m partnering with Bravado Designs to “hook you up” with 3 tips to help you get the most milk out in the least amount of time during your pumping sessions. Let’s be honest, we’ve got other things to do, right?!   

#1 – Get familiar with your pump and it’s parts

If possible, get to know your pump before you ever need to use it.  It can be frustrating trying to figure out how to work something for the first time when you need to use it right then!  Becoming familiar with it a little while in advance can help ease any of those worries and create confidence with the pump.  Get the pump out of its box, read the instructions, take apart the parts and put them back together a few times, plug it in, power it on and off, and learn any of the functions.  

Just for you: Did you know you can get a free breast pump through your insurance?  Click here to get it ordered.

Cheat sheet: The flange is the circular part of the pump that touches your breast and you want to be sure you have the right size!  When you start pumping, check to be sure there’s just a little bit of space all the way around your nipple as it goes in and out.  You can also book an online consult with us to make sure you have the right size!    

#2 – Go hands-free

Did you know that pumping alone just provides suction, but when a baby is breastfeeding they are applying suction plus compression?  So pumping by itself can leave out compression altogether. There’s a way around this! Research shows that using your hands (doing breast massage + compression) while your pumping gets the most milk out.  This is where going hands-free with your nursing bra comes in handy! The clip and pump hands-free pumping accessory from Bravado Designs is a great option because it easily attaches to any nursing bra so you don’t have to completely switch bras every time you need to pump.  

Here’s how it works:

Just for you: You can get 15% off your total purchase with the code ‘LLINK15’ on bravadodesigns.com. They also have great maternity and nursing bras and tanks.  Here’s a few other posts that show some of my favorite nursing bras: Best Nursing bras and tanks || Nursing bra myths debunked

Cheat sheet: I have step-by-step video tutorials on hands-on pumping inside my Pumping and Storing Breastmilk online course.  Want a sneak peek inside my courses?  Try my free mini-course here.  

#3 – Establish a routine

Set reminders for your pumping breaks!  It’s easy to get into work or travel mode and forget about the clock!  Setting a reminder on your phone for specific times can help you remember to pump every 2-3 hours.  Frequency in pumping is the most important thing when it comes to maintaining your milk supply when you’re away from your baby.  

Pumping: Use the hands-on pumping technique for 10-15 minutes (depending on how much time you have).  Use the clip and pump accessory to save you time.

Washing the parts: A quick wash with hot, soapy water for the parts that come in contact with your breastmilk is recommended by the CDC.  If you’re using a shared pump, wipe it down with a disinfectant.  You can let your pump parts air dry on a paper towel.

Storing the milk:  If you’re at home, remember that breastmilk is good for 5 hours at room temperature, so don’t feel like you have to rush it to the fridge if it’s the middle of the night.  When you go to store it, you always want to label it with the date (you’ll always use the oldest milk first), and if you’re using a shared fridge (like at the hospital or work), you’ll want to add your initials, too.  As soon as you can, get it stored either in the fridge or freezer, not on the doors and as far back as possible.

Cheat sheet: In a pinch and don’t have time for a full 10-15 min pumping break?  A 2-5 min hand expression session over a sink or with a towel on your lap will help until you can get your pumping session in.

I hope these 3 tips on pumping were helpful!  Thanks to Bravado Designs for partnering on this post.  You can get 15% off your total purchase on BravadoDesigns.com with the code ‘LLINK15’.  Share your pumping tips with me in the comments — would love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

5 Nursing Bra Myths De-bunked

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Recommended Products

 

Finding a comfortable bra that provides shape in any stage of life is like finding gold in the sand, am I right?  A great bra can make a huge difference in our comfort and our confidence! Or how about one less thing to worry about when you’re pregnant?  Or something pretty and functional to put a little magic into the ups and downs that come with the postpartum time, or as we like to call it around here, the fourth trimester?  

Maybe you’ve overheard things from other moms like “{*Sigh*}…It is what it is” or “You just have to get through it” when it comes to maternity bras during pregnancy or nursing bras postpartum.  There are a lot of myths out there and today I’ve partnered with Bravado Designs to help shed some light on all this boobie talk and de-bunk anything you’ve heard that you don’t need to worry about!  Read through to get a peek into their newest styles and colors, as well as some of their tried-and-true staples, and a Lactation Link exclusive promo code I begged them to give you!

Ok so here they are, 5 Nursing Bra Myths De-bunked!

MYTH #1 There’s no way around it, nursing bras are U-G-L-Y!

De-bunked: Need I say more than this image?

This line is sooooo beautiful!  The colors are so complimentary for all skin tones and don’t resemble a traditional, boring old nursing bra AT ALL!  Let’s say you’re like the majority of women and are caught still wearing their nursing bra even a year after baby has weaned, there’s no shame when you have one of these beautiful styles on.

{The Invisible nursing bra}

Lindsey’s recommendations:

My favorite for everyday wear: The invisible

Wear with your favorite tee: Buttercup

Sleep bras: Ballet and the Bodysilk Seamless

MYTH #2 It’s impossible to achieve shape while your breastfeeding

De-bunked: Have you heard of or experienced the uni-boob? (Asking for a friend.)

The official definition describes the breasts being lumped together (typically by a spandex-y nursing sports bra type-thing) and results in your chest looking more like one large breast rather than two.  Hang on (get it), it’s not a lost cause! With the right fit and structure that provides support but separation (your breasts prefer their own room!), you can still have a shape in your bustline when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.  

Lindsey’s recommendations:

Going out or back to work: The Belle Underwire

Everyday shape: The invisible and The Buttercup

MYTH #3 Wearing an underwire while breastfeeding is a big no-no

De-bunked: It’s been said, “An underwire will cause mastitis.”  Mastitis is inflammation of the breast tissue like plugged ducts or a breast infection.  I’m here to tell you: the underwire isn’t necessarily the culprit! The real issue is a bra with a poor fit – this could mean with or without an underwire!  If the fabric or underwire of your bra feels like it’s pushing deep into your ribs, or your breast tissue is spilling out the top of the bra, it doesn’t fit right.  That poor fit can restrict blood flow and block milk ducts leading to other issues. The bottom line is: don’t be afraid to wear an underwire while breastfeeding if it fits right!  

Try this on: The Belle Underwire 

Check this outBravado designs FIT video

MYTH #4 Pumping is an ordeal even when you’re wearing a nursing bra

De-bunked: Pumping takes time and let’s face it, time is a commodity for moms with an infant!  In my online breastfeeding classes, I teach how to get the most milk out in the least amount of time…it involves being hands-free while you pump.  Bravado has a great solution – their “Clip and Pump” hands-free accessory which connects to any nursing bra so you can quickly get your pump going – without changing all your clothes several times a day!  

Throw this in your pumping bag: Clip and Pump accessory

MYTH #5 Nursing Moms just have to “get by” with discomfort during breastfeeding

De-bunked:  If you’re like me, when you get home, your first item of business might be to take your bra off so you can relax!  The great thing I’ve found about the Bravado Designs bras are they are designed to fit like an extension of you, so you may not even think about your bra anymore!  Keep in mind that your size may change a bit from your pregnancy into the first several days postpartum to when your milk supply regulates (around two weeks postpartum).  There are several styles I feel can grow with you and others you may want to wait until your supply regulates or plan on buying two sizes in.

Sleep bra: Ballet, The Original

Everyday: Invisible, Belle, Bodysilk Seamless

Thanks for stopping by today!  All my Lactation Link mamas can get 15% off of their entire purchase at Bravado Designs with the code ‘LLINK15’.

Questions about maternity or nursing bras?  Leave them in the comments below!  How about getting started with my free breastfeeding course?  Sign up here.

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, BSN, IBCLC

 

*This post has been in partnership with Bravado Designs.  All opinions are my own.

Three Reasons Why Working Mamas Love These Pregnancy and Postpartum Products

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood

Are you a working mom?  Pregnant and curious about how you’ll be feeling towards the end of pregnancy?  How about navigating the return to work scenario after baby arrives? Coming from a mama who worked as a labor and delivery nurse after I had my first baby and now as a lactation consultant and mom of two – I totally get the extra stress, added pressure, and all the “what if’s?” that pop into your head! From pregnancy to postpartum and then back to work, it can be a lot to manage! Well, if you’re feeling that stress and pressure, you’re in luck.  I’ve partnered with Bravado Designs on this post to show you some of my favorite “hacks” to make the pregnancy and postpartum period a little easier. I’ll be sharing a few products that can help “take a load off” and a few tips to help manage the stress! Keep reading to get my free download “How to avoid role overload”.

Pregnant Mamas

Three reasons why pregnant mamas, especially pregnant working mamas are loving the Bravado Designs Belly and Back Multi-Zone Pregnancy Support Band!

1. Distributes Weight

The belly band has 7 targeted knit-in support zones are designed to help evenly distribute maternity weight from a growing belly to reduce stress on your back during pregnancy. This will be especially helpful if you are a working mama with a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time.

2. Belly Support

The tighter-knit panels in the belly band will provide you with lower back support and belly support during your pregnancy. he best part about this band is that It can provide amazing support for women at all different times in their pregnancy. In the picture below the girl in the first picture is 33 weeks pregnant, the first in the second picture is 21 weeks pregnant and the girl in the third picture is 38 weeks pregnant.

 

3. Comfort

The material of this belly support band is soft, seamless, and has 4-way stretch fabric that hugs your pregnant belly. The super stretchy jersey center allows your belly to continue to grow comfortably and its long length offers coverage that is great for layering. Remember to wear comfortable clothes throughout your pregnancy and especially over the belly band so it can properly do it’s job in providing the ultimate level of comfort for you and your belly! 

Pro tip: Staying active during your pregnancy helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling and will also help your ability to cope with labor. Here are some simple ideas for staying active during your pregnancy:

  • Take a walk on your lunch break.
  • Climb the stairs instead of getting taking the elevator.
  • When you’re shopping, carrying the bags and walk at a brisk pace.
  • Start taking an exercise class at the gym.
  • Go for a hike or a nature walk and enjoy the outdoors!
  • If you have other children walk them to school, if it’s not too far.
  • If you’re doing the housework, turn on some music and put some energy into it.
  • Take a break from your daily routine and dance to your favorite music!

Pumping Mamas

Three reasons why postpartum mama’s are loving the Bravado Designs Clip and Pump Hands-Free Nursing Bra Accessory

1. Get the most amount of milk out in the least amount of time

This accessory just goes on over your bra and saves you time in taking your bra off or changing bras.  Hands-on pumping requires a hands-free pumping experience. You can use your hands to massage your breasts while you’re pumping which will help you get much more milk in much less time!

2. Fast and Conveient

This clip and pump accessory attaches right to your regular Bravado Designs nursing bra. Don’t even worry about having to take time out of your day to change your bra at work. Just clip on the clip and pump bra and you’re good to go!

3. Smart Design

It’s elastic-enforced figure 8 opening holds bottles in an ideal upright position and gives you an option to pump on one side and breastfeed on the other! It also is made out of super soft, breathable material.

Pro tip: One of the most frequently asked questions is “how can I return to work and keep my milk supply up”. Here’s my best pro tip on what you can do: If possible, start preparing for returning to work before you go on maternity leave by meeting with your supervisor before you go on maternity leave and come up with a plan for when you return to work. You’ll also want to know the best time to start pumping a little extra milk (hint: it depends on how much maternity leave you have).  This can be such a hurdle for working moms I created a whole class to help. It’s called Pumping and Storing Breastmilk, and it’s like a blueprint for returning to work and breastfeeding – keeping your goals intact!  

I also think having a good bra and an easy way to do hands-free pumping is a must. Here are a few of my tried and true favorites:

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

Original Nursing Bra

Are you a working mama? I would love to hear in the comments what’s helped you or what you still have questions on!

Make sure you fill out the form below to download my best tips on How to Manage Role Overload!

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Thanks for stopping by,

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

 

Does my baby need a probiotic?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Features, motherhood, Recommended Products

So many questions from all of you mamas about baby’s tummy, including,  “Should I give my baby any supplements or a probiotic?”  Today I’ve partnered with Evivo to answer that question, as well as let you know a little bit more about how baby’s gut health works!  First and foremost, remember that human milk is perfectly tailored to the needs of human babies, and it changes as babies grow and their needs change. In addition to this, it’s packed with live disease-fighting cells and other important immune factors. It really is the perfect first food for babies. New research into the infant gut microbiome is giving us even more of a glimpse into why breastmilk is so important. What is an infant microbiome? The term microbiome here refers to the microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that live in and on your baby’s body. Some of the bacteria in our microbiomes are bad and cause disease and inflammation, and some of those bacteria are good, and an essential part of a healthy immune and digestive system. As it turns out, human milk feeds both the baby AND the good bacteria in baby’s gut microbiome. (1)Would you believe that about 15% of mother’s milk is made up of an ingredient that babies can’t use? This ingredient is an amazing group of over 180 different specialized sugars, called Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). The only organism that can utilize HMOs is an important kind of good bacteria that lives in the gut of babies, called B. infantis. HMOs help B. infantis to flourish and crowd out the bad bacteria that have been linked to a higher risk for conditions like colic, eczema, asthma, allergies, obesity, and diabetes. (2)

In the past, babies received B. infantis from their mothers during birth. However, there have been some shifts in the developed world during the past few generations that have led to a significant change in babies’ microbiomes. Cesarean sections, formula feeding, and antibiotic use have been important medical developments for many families, but they have contributed to a disruption in the transfer of important good bacteria, including B. infantis. That’s why I’m so excited about Evivo.  It’s the first and only clinically proven probiotic to help restore gut balance to the infant microbiome, and it’s designed specifically for breastfeeding babies.  In a clinical trial led by the University of California, Davis Medical Center, babies that were given Evivo showed an 80% reduction in potentially harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Clostridia, Staph, and Strep and a 79% increase in good gut bacteria. (3)  A reduction in the bad bacteria can help lower your baby’s risk of allergies, eczema, childhood obesity, and even decrease fussiness.  In combination with your breastmilk, Evivo can help lay the foundation for good health that lasts a lifetime. Using Evivo is as simple as 1-2-3. Once a day, simply take one sachet out of the fridge or freezer and pour into the included mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of expressed breastmilk and mix with a spoon. Feed the mixture to your baby using the included syringe. (Don’t add to a bottle).  

It’s simple: Pour. Mix. Feed.Click here to get your baby started with Evivo. Use these promo codes for an exclusive offer for Lactation Link readers.

HCP310 – $10 off starter kit (4 weeks or more)

HCP320 – $20 off starter kit (8 weeks or more)

Both codes are limited to the first 500 redemptions!

You can order and check out more FAQ about Evivo here.

Thanks for coming by today!

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

This post was written in partnership with Evivo. All opinions are my own.  

[1] Smilowitz JT, Lebrilla CB, Mills DA et al. Breast milk oligosaccharides: structure-function relationships in the neonate. Annu Rev Nutr. 2014;34:143-169.

[2] Fujimura KE, Sitarik AR, Havstad S et al. Neonatal gut microbiota associates with childhood multisensitized atopy and T cell differentiation. Nat Med. 2016;22(10):1187-1191.

[3] Smilowitz JT, Moya J, Breck MA et al. Safety and tolerability of Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis EVC001 supplementation in healthy term breastfed infants: a phase I clinical trial.BMC pediatrics 2017 17:133.

Best Nursing Bras and Nursing Tanks: 3 Nursing Must-Haves

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Features, Recommended Products

Every day on Instagram, I get questions like:
“What’s the best nursing bra?”
“Where can I find nursing tanks?”
“I’m looking for a cute nursing bra!”
Today I want to answer your questions and help you get started with 3 basic nursing pieces (Lactation Link tested and approved!) from Bravado Designs that every nursing mama could use – and use lots!! Read through to get an exclusive promo code from Bravado Designs.

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Here are some unconventional but super helpful baby gifts from a mom who knows.

Unconventional & Super Helpful Baby Gifts

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, community breastfeeding support, Recommended Products

If I’m being honest, there isn’t much that a baby needs. What a baby needs is to breastfeed and to be held. And you as a mother are great at doing both! But motherhood is not to be done alone. Every mother needs support and love. Baby showers are a great way to show our love and support to new moms. When giving a thoughtful gift, this love and support are felt even more! Here I have collected 7 baby gifts that will not be returned to Target but that the mother will use and reuse with gratitude!

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Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier via lactationlink.com

3 Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

We know that prenatal breastfeeding education is a big factor in breastfeeding success (1). We are thrilled to help moms get the information they need prior to birth to have a successful breastfeeding experience. In addition to prenatal education, there are a few ways to help breastfeeding get off to a good start. Labor and delivery is one place to look.

When all the focus is on helping mom and baby have a safe delivery, we might forget about a few things during labor and delivery that can help make breastfeeding easier. Here are a few things about labor and delivery that not only help you have a more enjoyable experience, they can also help get breastfeeding started well. Be sure to discuss any of these options with your healthcare provider and place of birth.

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Breastfeeding Around the World: Part 2

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support

As part of our World Breastfeeding Week celebrations last week, we heard from moms in South Africa, India, Belguim and more. This week, we are interviewing moms from Australia, Venezuela, Brazil and more about their breastfeeding stories. We hope that their experiences help put your breastfeeding journey into perspective and help you feel connected to mothers around the world. Enjoy!

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Can I exercise and breastfeed? via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?, motherhood

After healing and resting from pregnancy and childbirth, many moms feel the need to bring some more movement into their routine. Often moms are concerned about how exercise and breastfeeding can go together. Luckily, studies have shown that moderate exercise will not affect your milk supply (1). So why do so many moms worry about exercise and breastfeeding? Lots of new moms begin exercising around 6 weeks postpartum and at the same time, baby often starts nursing more frequently. Many moms think this means they are having issues with supply, related to their exercise. But actually, 6 weeks is a normal growth spurt when baby will need to nurse more often. So feel free to start moving your body in healthy ways without any worries about supply. If you do have consistent worries about supply, please contact a lactation consultant. We have 4 lactation consultants here at Lactation Link that can help online or in-person.

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3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood via lactationlink.com

3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood

There are some things I wish I would have known as a first-time mom. From my thorough Pinterest research (snicker) I assumed that the best thing I could do for my baby was to create a beautiful nursery and buy a bunch of stuff. Spoiler alert: we didn’t use the nursery or much of the stuff. Baby slept in a pack n’ play next to our bed for most of his first year. Creating a cute nautical-themed nursery was fun, but unnecessary.

What I wish I would have done was prepare to learn how to breastfeed. I thought I would just figure it out at the hospital. The nurses were great and encouraged me but had other patients to help too. So I went home not quite knowing what to do. I devoured every book on breastfeeding at my local library and went to several lactation appointments and we eventually hit our stride. We had a wonderful breastfeeding experience for over 13 months which led to even better experiences with my second and third children. But learning how to breastfeed didn’t have to happen when I was sleep deprived and anxious about my newborn. If I would have had access to a breastfeeding class like our Breastfeeding Basics class, I know breastfeeding would have come much easier.

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