When I was a newbie mom, for some reason I had done little to no research on breastfeeding, as in zero. I had seen my bestie doing it, she delivered 7 months before me, and I was teaching Mommy & Me Yoga and witnessed plenty of nursing. And, with the exception of the first 48 hours, it became incredibly easy to breastfeed, like I was a natural. However, what I didn’t know did come back to bite me, approximately 7 months later. I went back to work part-time, coupled with my baby getting a double ear infection, my milk supply dwindled and she started losing weight. It was a nightmare. I didn’t own a pump, didn’t know the first thing about them, and didn’t really have the funds to purchase one. In the hell that developed for the next few months as I tried to bring my supply back and invested in a pump, a little too late, NEVER did the pediatrician or his office staff encourage me to seek lactation support, direct me to The Pump Station or La Leche League, or a milk bank. Although I begged them to help me as I was adamant that I didn’t want to move her to formula…they wanted me too…it was a very difficult time indeed. Luckily since then, I have learned much about all of the above, and have had the honor of working with Wendy Haldman, Co-Founder of The Pump Station. She allowed to let me interview her on pumping tips & colic myths:
1. When should new moms start pumping? This depends greatly on how the mother/baby couple is doing. Assuming mother and baby are doing well, infant is gaining weight, mother has no issues with engorgement or significantly sore nipples, we would suggest that a mother wait until the baby is about 3 weeks old. Mothers of preterm infants should begin pumping within 6 hours of giving birth. If the infant is not feeding well, mother and baby are separated for whatever reason, and/or the real trigger, baby is being supplemented with formula, we would recommend that the mother begin pumping immediately. She should use a hospital grade pump and express her breasts every 3 hours around the clock for about 20 minutes.
2. Is it true colicky babies are bottle fed babies? Not necessarily. Although formula tends to cause more digestive issues than human milk and bottles in general tend to deliver more air to baby’s stomach, a breastfed baby can still exhibit symptoms of “colic”. (3 hours of crying, @ least 3 times per week, from 3 weeks of age to about 3 months). The breastfed baby with colicky symptoms may have painful reflux. Mothers who have a strong let down reflex and large milk supply may have a baby who cries after feeds. These babies are often helped when the breastfeeding mother block feeds and changes her nursing positions.
3. Is there a minimum power capacity that women should look for in a pump? Like the stronger the better, right? There is no one pump that is perfect for all mothers. The power capacity may have absolutely nothing to do with the amount of milk a mother can express. In general, the majority of women will pump more milk in less time using a hospital grade pump, but not all women will find this to be true. If the suction is too strong and therefore painful for a mom, she will express less milk, not more.
4. What is the most common question you are asked by a newly Breastfeeding mom? The question most commonly asked by new breastfeeding moms is “Am I doing this right?” followed by “Do I have enough milk?”
Team PAM interviewed Wendy Haldeman, RN, MN, IBCLC, Co-Founder of The Pump Station & Nurtury. Wendy has helped 100′s (probably a gross underestimation) of women, babies, and families in LA in all things breastfeeding. Consider joining their newsletter for more regular information on the topic.
***Reminder, although this blog is providing the expert advice of a Masters prepared Nurse, this is just a blog. We are not meeting with you individually and providing an assessment of your specific situation. Please use common sense and take these opinions under consideration, talk with your mate, and consult with your medical provider.