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Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC

About Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC

Allegra Gatti Zemel is a registered nurse, Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. With 10 years of work in hospitals, classrooms, and private homes, Allegra writes from the heart about her work at the breast.

Pumping 101: How to Pump Breastmilk for Your Baby

Pumping 101_YbreastThere are few things less bizarre about early motherhood than that first time you turn on a breast pump to express milk for your baby. But once you get past the awkwardness of your first time at the pump, you gain an appreciation for your body – your functioning breasts and hormones, an appreciation for this machine – just press a button and after minutes there is milk in a bottle?!, and an appreciation for your baby – a wonder, perhaps, how this little being transfers milk every few hours and is growing more and more plump from your precious food. Still, I know the look of bewilderment that first time.

Whether your baby is hours, weeks, or months old, there are a few universal tips that can help maximize your effort and make the process that much more enjoyable.

By |October 22nd, 2014|

The Truth About Toddler Formula

Todder Formula_YbreastCountless doctors have commented on the probiotic and immune-boosting nature of breastmilk, a live and unique food. Formula companies try to make baby formula just like breastmilk, but if you’ve ever read the list of ingredients on the back of most packages, you’ll see a base of cow’s milk with lots of added vitamins and minerals… and you’ll also see stabilizers, emulsifiers, and a host of other additives for shelf life, palatability, marketability, and caloric value. Unfortunately, infant formula could be considered the ultimate processed food.

Maintaining Your Career and Milk Supply: Pumping Through 13-Hour Days

Pumping at Work_EditedMaternity leave is up, and it’s time to get back to work (though I’d argue that caring for a newborn is some of the hardest work you’ll ever do!). The transition from stay-at-home mother of a breastfeeding newborn to high-functioning, schedule-keeping, pumping mama is never easy, but I’m here to remind you that it can be done. This is my story of how I worked 13-hour days, kept up with my career, and pumped enough to “breastfeed” exclusively (bottles of pumped milk count!).

When my first child was 12 weeks old, like many moms in the U.S., I went back to work. Lots of us work long hours, and as a floor nurse at a hospital, there was no getting around my 12.5-hour shift. With travel time, that meant I was often away from my infant for 13 or even 13.5 hours at a time, sometimes missing his entire waking day. Luckily, he woke to breastfeed at night and I could