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|

Bottle or Tap: Does It Really Matter?

Bottle or Breast_Pic_EditedIn the hierarchy of infant food options, breastmilk reigns supreme. The introduction of breastmilk into a baby’s gastrointestinal system sends signals to the brain, organs, muscles, and nervous system that prime both the body and brain for optimal growth and development by jumpstarting a host of reactions that lead to everything from better vision to increased athleticism. Just look at Michael Jordan and soccer superstar Pelé: if more dads knew that Jordan was breastfed for three years and Pelé for five years, push presents would come with strings attached!

There is no question that breastmilk provides your baby with the best start, but does it really matter if he drinks it straight from the tap? While providing bottled breastmilk is leaps and bounds better than feeding your baby commercial infant formula, there are minor differences between breastmilk consumed

By |December 9th, 2013|

Pumping Got You Down? Pump Up the Jam to Increase Milk Output

Music_Pic_EditedPumping moms may be surprised to learn that rocking the tunes while pumping can have an impressive impact on milk output. In a study for Advances in Neonatal Care, researchers showed that mothers pumping milk for their preemies in the NICU produced more milk while listening to music—two to three times more milk, in fact!—than those who pumped without a musical soundtrack. And it wasn’t just the quantity but the quality of milk that improved: the milk these moms made while listening to music had a higher fat content and more fat equals faster growth.

More flow and better milk just by cranking up the music? Sounds too good to be true, but researchers speculate that music’s relaxing properties increase the amount of oxytocin released into the mothers’ bloodstream. And, as we know, oxytocin stimulates milk letdown, and faster letdown means more milk at every visit to the pump. Working moms get an extra benefit, too: playing music while pumping is a sure-fire way to muffle that embarrassing, telltale “I’m-pumping-in-here” noise. 

By |November 8th, 2013|