pumping Archives - Lactation Link

Do I need a breastmilk freezer stash?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Uncategorized
do i need a breastmilk freezer stash? via lactationlink.com

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Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mome of 5. I’m here to answer some concerns about breastmilk freezer stashes. Enjoy!

If you spend any time on an internet breastfeeding support group, you’ll see at least a few mentions of a breastmilk freezer stash.  If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s a way some moms refer to the bags, sometimes hundreds of ounces, of breastmilk in their freezer.  

There are lots of ways women end up with freezer stashes, but are they necessary?  Do you need a freezer stash of any size to be successful at meeting your breastfeeding goals?

Having your breastmilk available in the freezer at all times is not a necessity to be successful at breastfeeding—but many families have circumstances that make it very convenient to pull milk out from the freezer to feed baby.

do i need a breastmilk freezer stash? via lactationlink.com

Common reasons moms might consider a freezer stash:

  1. You are returning to work.
  2. You have a premature or sick baby.
  3. You pump more than your baby needs when you’re at work.
  4. You want a date night or vacation away from baby.

If you don’t foresee yourself leaving your baby for more than an hour or two, you may not need a freezer stash at all!  Many mothers, throughout the world and for millennia, have successfully and exclusively breastfed their children without pumping or storing a single ounce.  Watching your baby’s feeding cues and bringing baby to breast whenever he or she wants is the best way to meet your breastfeeding goals, but we are glad we have pumps now to provide more options for moms!

There are lots of ways women end up with freezer stashes, but are they necessary? Do you need a freezer stash of any size to be successful at meeting your breastfeeding goals?

If you have more questions about pumping or storing milk, like how to get the most milk in a pumping session or how long your milk can be stored in the fridge or freezer before going bad, check out our Pumping and Storing video class.  It has everything you need to know to pump and store your milk!

Thanks for stopping by,


Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

How to pump breastmilk as a college student

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Features, motherhood

Hi mamas! I think you are going to love today’s interview with a student mom about her experience expressing milk and being a mom on a college campus. Gabrielle Lysenko is a student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in nursing. She is a mother of two: a 3 year old daughter and a 6 month old son. She and her husband Adam live with their two children in Utah.

Learn how one mom received the support she needed to breastfeed as a student. Read tips on how to get the support you need to pump…

How has your university supported breastfeeding and caring for your baby while you are a student?

On-campus childcare

First, they offer on-campus childcare at a highly subsidized rate. Your monthly payment is based on your income but never exceeds $9/hour which is very competitive. The children are cared for by people with childhood education degrees and the environment is very comfortable. They care for my baby the way I would by accommodating cloth diapers, feeding breast milk by bottle or breast depending on my preference, formula feeding, or offering solids. They also baby wear. These people are pros. I’ve seen them soothing three babies at a time while each one sleeps happily on their lap, chest, or snuggled into their side.

They always welcome me into the classroom for feedings or just to play with my baby in between classes.  I’ve heard them talking about how much they miss the babies over weekends and breaks as well. They truly love our children.

Lactation Rooms + Family Area
Then there’s the multiple lactation rooms on campus. They have computers, printers, private feeding cubicles with closing doors and outlets to plug in breast pumps as well as comfortable rocking chairs and tables to place homework or pumps on. There is a freezer to store pumped milk in as well. There are toys, books, and a tv with children’s shows to entertain older kids while their parents work. There are even private group study rooms in this family area should you need a more peaceful environment.

Supportive staff
But you don’t always have to go out of your way to find an environment compatible with family life. I take my son to all my anatomy TA and supplementary instruction hours. He cries sometimes and coos as babies do. Everyone giggles a bit because he usually strikes a complaint right after the TA asks a particularly difficult question, seemingly voicing all of our complaints. The TA’s and other students have told me they don’t mind at all having him in class.

But perhaps the most surprising thing has been breastfeeding uncovered during TA hours. My son usually gets cranky and has to eat around that time, but no one has ever batted an eye. The TA’s and other students still talk to me and work out problems while my son is latched. If it ever made them uncomfortable, I never knew.  I’ve felt more comfortable having my baby with me on campus than I have in other public areas. The University of Utah as well as their students and employees are very understanding, welcoming, and accommodating.

What inspired you to go back to school?

I read an article that showed, scientifically speaking, children are more inclined to go on to get a college level degree if their mothers have one. It had always been important to me, but I was really happy being a mom. Then, as I re-embarked on my educational journey, I realized how much more there was for me. I saw what it was to be a person outside of my family. For the first time in my life, I had something that was just mine that I could be proud of. It was at that point I decided I wanted a degree I could actually use after I graduated. I wanted it all: to be a career woman and a mother. I wanted my children to see how hard I was working to accomplish something so they knew they could do it too. I also realized that having something to fulfill myself would make me a better mother. So far, that’s been absolutely true and I am beyond glad I made this decision.


What tips do you have for other mothers of young children that are considering more education?

Make absolutely certain you have a good support system. Your whole family has to be on the same page. After that, let all other fears fall away and enjoy the journey. Learning is invigorating. Don’t deny yourself that pleasure by worrying about how much TV your kids are watching or how badly you’re eating (guilty). Your college career is a small blip in the span of your life and your children’s’ lives. They’ll be better for it and so will you.


For more information on how to get support for expressing milk as a student, visit The Pregnant Scholar. And to find out what resources your university has for parents, visit Pregnant On Campus.

It seems that Gabrielle has found such an incredible support system that has helped her be confident in her choices. I wish you all the same! If you have been a student as a mother, what helped you the most? Share in the comments.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for coming by,


Lacey Parr, CLEC

World Prematurity Day + Donating breastmilk

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support


Today is World Prematurity Day, a day to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preemies and their families. Preemies are at risk for a number of health issues, including necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that can be life-threatening. After giving birth to a premature infant, the mother may have her own health issues that prevent her from breastfeeding right away. Donor milk can help fill the gap.  Human breastmilk reduces the number of days a preemie needs intravenous feedings, reduces the frequency of surgery and reduces mortality rates. (1)

Learn the general guidelines for donating your breastmilk to a milk bank. || Breastfeeding video classes for pumping and storing breastmilk.

When a mother donates her milk to a milk bank, it is blended, pasteurized and then shipped to various hospital NICUs in the surrounding area. The blending ensures an even distribution of the special components of breastmilk. The milk is gently heated during pasteurization to ensure any bacteria is eliminated.

General guidelines for donors

If you are interested in donating, here some of the general guidelines. You can check with your local milk bank for specific requirements.

  • Be in good health
  • No tobacco or illegal drug use
  • Alcohol use is limited to less than 2 ounces on a regular basis
  • Willing to undergo blood testing
  • You or your partner cannot be at risk for HIV
  • More at Human Milk Bank Association of North America


We spoke to a few mothers about why they decided to donate their milk. Some decided to donate because they had an oversupply and wanted to share with someone in need. One mother we spoke to learned about donation when her son was 7 months old. She had been a preemie herself and wanted to give back in a way. She was able to donate close to 100 ounces. Whatever the reason, donating breastmilk is a selfless and generous act. We applaud you!

Some donor moms have found our Pumping and Storing class to be helpful while preparing to breastfeed and pump extra. If you have any questions about how to balance breastfeeding and storing milk, let us know in the comments and we will share the answers over on instagram.

For more information about donating breastmilk, visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


(1) National Coalition for Infant Health. (2016). Infographic: Why Premature Infants Need Access to an Exclusive Human Milk Diet. Retrieved from: http://www.infanthealth.org/blog/2016/7/infographic-why-premature-infants-need-access-to-an-exclusive-human-milk-diet?rq=infographic 


How one soldier got the breastfeeding support she needed

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Features, motherhood, Uncategorized

Today in honor of Veteran’s Day, we wanted to show our respect and gratitude for all active and retired military, especially the many mothers who are in the military. We are so grateful for your sacrifice and send our love to you!

Today we are highlighting Leslie Felder SSG, USAR. She is an Army Staff Sergeant and is sharing her experience breastfeeding and pumping as a soldier. Enjoy!

With my first child in 2012, the Army did not have a specific regulation addressing female soldiers’ needs for pumping.  I found that what it did have written most likely hurt more than it helped. Pumping logistics were left up to the soldier, their supervisor, and command team.  They were to come up with a specific plan that could meet the needs of the army, unit, mission, and soldier.  Most often, in that order. After my second baby, the Army created a new breastfeeding policy.

Learn how one soldier got the breastfeeding support she needed. Learn how she was able to pump and store milk while away for training.

Some of the negativity I received came from lack of understanding of how breastfeeding worked and the needs of a lactating mother. A few things that worked in my favor to get me and other females in the unit support were: I am a Staff Sergeant and Platoon Sergeant and could advocate for my subordinates, I became a certified lactation educator counselor (CLEC), and the Army later published the Army Directive 2015-43, the Revised Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy. These things coupled with being in a Combat Support Hospital made breastfeeding in uniform more doable. That’s not to say we did not have challenges.

Click through to learn how Leslie and another soldier pumped while away for several days at a training.

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