How Do I know If Pumping Is Right For Me?

When breastfeeding and pumping come to mind, the first thought that typically comes to mind is a mama’s return from maternity leave.  If you’re a mom, you know this can be an exciting transition back to some “normalization”; but, it can also be very stressful in trying to coordinate a routine that will keep you and baby on track for feedings.  This is when some peace of mind can be found in choosing the right breast pump. Finding what works best for each mom is simple nowadays with a company like Spectra Baby USA where you can compare and contrast top of the line Spectra models, get your pump covered by your insurance, and talk to certified lactation specialists.

In addition to returning to work, there are several other benefits of investing in a breast pump.  Here are the top reasons that you should consider:

Baby comes earlier than expected and needs to be in the NICU

We all hope this doesn’t happen to us, but if it does it’s great to have a plan in place.  Your baby’s tiny mouth may have trouble latching and need to be supplemented with a bottle, but that doesn’t mean it has to be formula. Did you know that the biology of your breast milk is so powerful that it will be perfectly tailored to your baby no matter when they are born?  Nothing is more therapeutic for these little rock stars than their mother’s own milk. Plus, once baby gets to come home you will already have a steady supply of milk!

For NICU mothers, it is very important to use a hospital-strength breast pump of 250mmHg or higher. All of our Spectra breast pumps are this strength or higher; so, rest assured that we have the pump you need!

Birthing was harder than expected on mom and/or baby

Whether there were complications, you and baby are having a hard time recovering from interventions or you’re simply exhausted it can be a struggle to get your milk supply initiated.  Those first few hours and days after birth are crucial for promoting milk production. If baby isn’t up for feeding yet, the good news is that a Spectra breast pump can mimic a baby’s suckle and promote milk production.  This knowledge can be a great relief and decrease your stress levels, another important aspect of breastfeeding!

Baby refuses the breast

This can be disheartening but, sometimes baby simply won’t accept the breast (before completely giving up request a lactation consultation with Spectra Baby USA here.  This doesn’t mean that you have to throw breastfeeding completely out the window.  Your bundle of joy can still reap all the benefits of your milk by sticking to a pumping schedule!

Issues with engorgement making it hard for baby to feed

This is a fairly common issue with breastfeeding, especially for first moms.  Baby is usually the best treatment as frequent removal of milk can help with the engorgement and ensure an adequate milk supply.  However, if you’re too engorged or sore for a proper latch a pump will definitely help to soften the breast prior to feeding. Just be careful to not pump more than a few minutes and then, offer the breast to baby.

You need an increase in milk supply

Increasing milk supply is best when planned for morning time or late evening hours when the breastfeeding hormone prolactin is at its highest.  Supplementing between feeds (or, within one hour of offering breast to baby) with a pump will promote increased supply if you feel you need a boost for your growing hungry babe.

You need rest or extended “me” time

Depending on how often your baby feeds, it may seem impossible to get out of the house without baby. Having stored milk means a significant other, grandma or trusted babysitter can stay home with baby and allow you to sleep, shop, or do whatever your heart desires without a baby attached to your boob. Just ensure that you are removing milk at the same time that baby is getting a bottle of your expressed milk; you don’t want to go longer than 4 hours without removing your milk.  Some personal space is what every mom needs from time to time to help them maintain some sanity!

As a new mother or a mother returning to the starting line, there is plenty of learning and adapting going on as you care for and love a tiny human. Don’t let the stress of whether you can effectively breastfeed be piled onto your list of duties.  If any of these apply to you, a pump from Spectra Baby USA will be a great addition to your pumping station for helping your little one thrive.

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If you’re already a Spectra user, we would love to hear about your journey in our comments below.

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Travel Tips for Flying While Pregnant

Travel Tips for Flying While Pregnant

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, now that you are pregnant you may be wondering what steps and precautions you should be taking.  Since pregnancy by itself is hard enough on you, here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind to make flying more enjoyable:

  1.       Check the Airline’s Flight Policy for Pregnancy

In general, there are no restrictions on flight travel during a healthy pregnancy.   Discuss any concerns with your physician first and then check the specific policy with the airline you’re using.  As you reach the third trimester, each airline may have slightly different regulations for how long into the pregnancy you are allowed to fly.  Generally, domestic flights are allowed up to 36 weeks but international flights vary greatly by airline from 30-36 weeks. If you’re traveling later in your pregnancy, it may be smart to have a written letter from your doctor stating how far along you are and that you are healthy and allowed to be traveling.

  1.       Bring snacks

Growing a human requires extra calories with the paradox of having limited space to actually eat!  Pregnancy hunger is the worst and can leave you feeling exhausted and nauseous. Travelling is already rough enough with a prego belly, so come prepared with snacks.  Try to choose nutrient-dense snacks that you will enjoy and can get through security (cheese sticks, nuts, fruit, etc.).

  1.       Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is so important during pregnancy to minimize issues with swelling, blood pressure and constipation while optimizing the health of your growing baby.   Bring your own empty bottle and fill it in the terminal. Almost all airports have drinking fountains so take full advantage. The one small glass they give you on the airplane (if they even give you that) just isn’t enough, especially when you’re breathing dry recycled air.  Plus, who wants to pay $5 for a bottle of water in the airport! If you follow this step, you’ll be happy to follow the next recommendation.

  1.       Get an Aisle Seat

This may not matter for a shorter flight, but if it’s is over an hour, chances are you will be back and forth to that bathroom a few times.  Trying to hold it will increase your chances of a bladder infection and having an accident (especially if you have to sneeze!). Pregnancy also increases your chance of blood clots when you sit for too long, so take advantage of the aisle and try to get up and stretch and walk every hour.

  1.       Maximize your Comfort

Pregnancy is already uncomfortable enough and airplanes are notorious for their terribly uncomfortable seats.  So bring some tools from home to maximize your comfort. Bring a small pillow or roll up a sweatshirt to tuck behind your low back for some spine support in your seat.  A neck pillow will help you comfortably get some much-needed rest without waking up with your chin on your chest. And lastly, invest in a good pair of compression stockings to help with swelling and cramps in your legs.  These are all affordable items that will make your travel experience much more enjoyable.

  1.       Ask for Help

Know your limits for lifting.  If you have a particularly heavy bag or are suffering from back pain to begin with, don’t be shy to ask for help with putting anything in the overhead bin.  People are generally more than happy to help if you just ask!

  1.       Plan Ahead

Minimizing stress is important for your pregnant body.  Plus, those pregnancy hormones might lead to an embarrassing full-on meltdown if something goes wrong.  Try to arrive at the airport ahead of schedule with all your necessary documents well rested, fed and hydrated.  Don’t leave packing to the last minute and maybe even make a list ahead of time so you don’t forget something in your pregnancy fog.  Good preparation will prevent unnecessary stress.

Follow these simple tips and traveling will be easy and manageable at any stage in your pregnancy.  Enjoy the last few moments you have of traveling without having to worry and care for a tiny human! Hopefully, you find traveling so enjoyable that you’ll go on a relaxing babymoon!

 

Leave us a comment about your travel tips!

 

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