The Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) requires insurance companies to cover breast pumps and breastfeeding services. Aeroflow Breastpumps offers great customer support while assisting mothers-to-be with selecting a pump to meet their needs. They offer a variety of pumps and accessories, as well as upgrade options that are HSA eligible. Just click the link above and enter the requested information to start the process. Check with your local IBCLC if you have questions about selecting a pump that is right for you.
Remember the rule of 5
- human milk is safe at room temperature for 5 hours
- human milk is safe in the refrigerator for 5 days.
- human milk is safe in the freezer for 5 months.
Using stored breast milk
- frozen milk can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight.
- frozen milk should be used within 24 hours of thawing.
- never warm breast milk in the microwave.
- an unfinished bottle of breast milk is ok to offer your baby at the next feeding.
- Breastfeed your baby before you leave for work. I know, the mornings are rushed and stressful, but letting you baby breastfeed before you are separated is good for your milk supply and reduces the total number of pumping per day.
- Once at work, pump every 3 hours, or when your baby usually breastfeeds.
- Pumping sessions will probably take 10-20 minutes. Pump until the milk stops flowing, and then about 1-2 minutes longer.
- Hand expression for a couple of minutes after you’ve finished pumping can really maximize your supply.
- DON’T WATCH! Try looking at a picture or video of your baby. Your milk will letdown quicker and you will pump more milk if you are distracted with happy thoughts of your baby.
- Breastfeed as soon as you are reunited with your baby. Ask your baby’s caregiver not to bottle feed too close to the time you will be together again.
Begin bottle training when your baby is around 4-6 weeks old. Babies are usually good breast feeders by this age, but still young enough to accept a bottle.
- choose a time of day that your baby is happy.
- pump your breasts and leave the room while someone else feeds your baby (your baby is more likely to take a bottle if you are not around).
- one bottle every other day is usually often enough for baby to learn to bottle feed.
Begin pumping to build your milk supply 2 weeks before returning to work.
- pump both breasts with an electric pump for 15 minutes after the 1st and 2nd breastfeeding of the morning.
- store the milk in freezer using breast milk storage bags to maximize space in your freezer ( 2 oz per bag to begin with and no more than 4 oz per bag later).
Infant weight loss
All babies lose weight until mom’s milk comes in on day 3. If baby is breastfeeding well on day 1 and 2, the weight loss probably won’t exceed about 7% of baby’s birth weight.
Weight loss greater than 7% may indicate that baby isn’t breastfeeding effectively yet. A Lactation Consultant can access the situation, determine if there is a concern, and assist, as needed.
Babies should have a weight check on day 4 if there are any concerns with weight loss on day 3. Once mom’s milk is in, baby should not lose any additional weight, and should begin to gain about 1 ounce per day or 5 ounces per week during the next 3-4 months.
The milk comes in
Mom’s will notice their breasts are heavier and fuller on day 3, sometimes even before then. Moms who don’t experience breast changes by 72 hours after delivery should consult with their Lactation Consultant.
Once mom’s milk is in, she will begin hearing her baby swallow milk. The baby will probably breast feed just as often as he did on day 2, but some of the feedings may be shorter because of the increase in mom’s milk volume.
Pumping for comfort
Mom may notice that there is more milk in her breast than the baby needs. If mom is uncomfortable between breast feedings, she can pump her breasts for just long enough to feel comfortable.
Mastitis is an infection in the breast that causes soreness or a lump in the breast. Breast infections that do not improve within 24 hours should be evaluated by your doctor and may need to be treated with medicine.
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Breasts feel warm or hot to the touch and appear pink or red
Self-treatment in the 1st 24 hours:
- Breastfeed or pump the affected side often. This will keep the milk moving freely and your breast from becoming overly full.
- Massage the area, starting behind the sore spot. Move your fingers in a circular motion and massage toward the nipple.
- Apply a warm compress to the sore area for a few minutes before breastfeeding.
- Rest and get extra sleep.
- Increase fluid intake.
- Use over the counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
- Wear a well-fitting supportive bra without an underwire.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY IF:
- You have red streaks near the affected area of the breast.
- Your symptoms came on severely and suddenly.
- Your symptoms have not improved in 12-24 hours.
- Difficult latch– Many mothers and babies need additional help with latch. Even mothers and babies who breastfeed well in the hospital may struggle when the milk comes in.
- Nipple pain– Soreness in the 1st week is normal. Cracks, bleeding, or blisters are not normal. These are signs of poor latch. The Lactation Consultant can observe a breastfeeding and assist with positioning and latch. Mothers don’t transfer milk well if their baby is not latched correctly.
- Poor infant weight gain– A baby who continues to lose weight after mom’s milk is in, or gains too slowly, may not be effectively breastfeeding. The Lactation Consultant can observe a breastfeeding and use very sensitive scales to measure the amount of milk transferred from mom to baby and assist with a plan to increase milk intake.
- Hospital discharge before the establishment of breastfeeding- Moms and babies often leave the hospital or birthing center very quickly after delivering. Any mother and baby discharged before successfully latching should see a Lactation Consultant for assistance.
- Concerns regarding milk supply– Many mothers worry that their milk supply is insufficient for their baby’s needs. This is rarely the case. Most milk insufficiency is perceived. True milk insufficiency is uncommon, but can be identified and addressed with the help of a Lactation Consultant.
- Observed breastfeeding– Breastfeeding should be observed by the Lactation Consultant after the milk comes in to verify milk transfer. This is an excellent opportunity to receive education regarding nutritive vs non-nutritive suckling, and the importance of each.
- Pumping Education– Mothers often receive a breast pump in a box without knowing how to assemble or use it. A visit to the Lactation Consultant is an excellent opportunity to learn about pumping and storing milk. Flanges should also be fitted properly.
- Mother is returning to work– Moms are often anxious about maintaining their breastfeeding relationship after returning to work. Lactation consultants can provide education regarding pumping and storing milk, paced bottle feeding, and transitioning from breast to bottle.
- Nipple shield use– Nipple shields are necessary at times, but should always be used under the guidance of a Lactation Consultant. The underlying need for a nipple shield should be determined and the issue corrected, if possible.
- Reassurance- Lactation Consultants are a great resource for providing mothers with reassurance that breastfeeding is progressing well. Mothers often begin to worry when baby cluster feeds during a growth spurt or teething. Observed breast feedings and weight checks are a great way to provide that reassurance.
Click here to Find a Lactation Consultant near you