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How Pumping Enhanced My Breastfeeding Journey

By Ericah Miller #RealMomStory

Motherhood is a gift. It is also one of the most important full-time jobs you’ll ever have. You’re responsible for loving, protecting, shaping, and nurturing this adorable little human who was next in line to join this world we live in.  It’s a big deal. It’s a 24/7 job actually. There are no paid breaks for every four hours worked. No paid time off, vacation time, and no paid sick time. You’re paid in sweet little coos, smiles, and giggles which turn into sweet phrases and affectionate little hugs to mommy. As they grow, you feel a moving satisfaction watching them thrive at their own pace. It’s amazing. It’s one of those gifts in life I’ll never understand how I was fortunate enough to experience.

However, for me, it is a job you learn on the fly. I wasn’t warned that motherhood would leave me sleep deprived to the point of tears. Given, I decided to breastfeed without supplementing, that eliminated even more sleep from my regimen. But when one great lactation nurse introduced me to pumping, it totally enhanced my life. Pumping my breast milk allowed me to receive help from my spouse with nightly feedings. Although I was never the mom with an overflow or a freezer supply, pumping even made it possible to occasionally have an outing for myself and the occasional date night with my husband. With the twelve weeks of my maternity leave, cabin fever may eventually set in for moms like myself. You need an outlet—some quality time alone, aka ME TIME. Pumping milk allows you to do this. Also, when that maternity leave ends for us working moms, that milk gives both you and baby that warm, fuzzy feeling while you’re apart. Well, maybe not warm, fuzzy right away for mom, but it definitely gives you the security that your baby has what they need while you’re apart.

I’ve literally tried several different pumps and landed on the Spectra S2Plus.

Occasionally, I was discouraged by the amount of time I spent pumping and my output. Although my supply wasn’t in abundance, I typically had what my baby needed. It just took an eternity to get it out with the other pumps. Spectra was my fifth pump and it helped lessen the time tremendously with an even better output. I often got more ounces out with it. Another plus was that it didn’t leave me feeling like someone had attached a blaring vacuum cleaner to my chest lol. My Spectra was so quiet that I was able to pump in the office quietly without distracting anyone walking past the office like my others. A great pump can change the trajectory of your breastfeeding journey. It’s extremely easy to want to quit if you’re pumping and experiencing difficulty with supply or time allotted at work for pumping. A friendly and efficient pump can enhance the journey so much that you’ll look up like me and realize it’s already been fourteen months! I have no plans of stopping for at least the next ten months. Both of my children are pretty healthy and I honestly believe the use of my Spectra pump is a part of that success. Makes me wish I’d had my Spectra the first time around almost eight years ago!

If you’re thinking about what pump to get, trust the other thousands of us who have tried many others and stick with Spectra.  Check here to see if your insurance covers it.

 

breastshield measurement guide

4 Tricks on How To Maximize Output While Pumping

Pumping breastmilk for your baby is a huge accomplishment, one that takes time, hard work and patience. Because you are already juggling the work of caring for a child, maintaining a household and possibly also work or school, why not make the most out of your pumping session. These four simple tricks will help you to maximize your output while pumping!

1. Take a deep breath! Relaxation is key when it comes to pumping. It is really hard to have a let-down of milk when you are tense. So find a comfortable place to pump, where you can feel most at ease. Check in with your body, take a deep breath in, and on your out breath, relax any places of tension that you are feeling in your body; your face, your shoulders, and -even your pelvic floor! Consider your comfort, use a cozy chair, sip of a cup of tea and put on some soothing background music.

2. Massage your breasts. Don’t be afraid to get your hands involved with your pumping, both before and during. Just a minute or two of massaging your breasts before a pumping session can help to stimulate your milk-producing glands, allowing for a faster letdown. Massage or use ‘breast compression’ during pumping also helps to stimulate let-downs and also has the added benefit of helping to fully drain all milk ducts. Consider wearing a hands-free nursing bra so that you can get both hands in on the massage. Gently, but firmly, massage and squeeze your breast starting from the armpit, working your way towards the nipples and as close to breast shields as you can get. You can even stop pumping in the middle of a session, or when you see the milk start to slow down, and massage your breasts for a minute or two and then go back to pumping. This helps to stimulate more let-downs!

3. Heat things up! Applying warmth to your breast will help to dilate the milk ducts, increase circulation and encourage milk to flow. You can run your breast shields under hot water before applying them to your breasts, or you can place a hot, moist, washcloth to your breasts for a minute or two before pumping.

4. Do your breast shields fit? Having the right size breast shield can make a huge difference in your pumping output. So how do you know if it’s a proper fit for you? During pumping, your nipples should move freely in the tunnel, there should be space around the nipple, and very little of the areola should be drawn up into the tunnel. If the flanges are too small, you may experience discomfort as the nipples rub up and down along the sides of the tunnel. If it’s too big, a large portion of the areola is drawn into the tunnel. Improperly fitted breast shields can really reduce the output. Breast Shields come in several sizes, 20mm (S), 24mm (M), 28mm (L) and 32mm (XL), so don’t be afraid to try out a different size.

If you have tried these tips for maximizing your output and you just aren’t getting what you think you should, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant. A consultant will continue to troubleshoot this topic with you and help to get you on track with your pumping goals.

Do you have additional tips and tricks?  Share them with us in the comments.

 

Working and Pumping: The Struggle is Real

What To Know When Returning To Work

Well, it’s sadly that time, when you are headed back to work after maternity leave.  Hopefully, your employer offers that necessary benefit. The baby honeymoon is over and now you have some big decisions to make regarding child care and feeding.  If you’ve been breastfeeding up to this point, there is a good chance you’ll want to continue providing baby with your milk. After all, it is recommended to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months if possible to get the continued benefits such as less frequent illness.  Before your actual return, try to be as prepared as possible. Make sure you know your workplace rights, have all the gear you need and have at least a general plan for how you will feasibly pump enough to keep up your supply for baby. Here are the basics to get you started:

Protection under federal and state laws

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law with provisions related to nursing mothers and pumping at work. The guidelines include employees that are not exempt under section 7 of the law.  This includes most hourly paid employees. The law specifically calls for providing a nursing mother unpaid (unless all employees are paid for their breaks) reasonable breaks with a private room for nursing that isn’t a bathroom.  If your employer is smaller than 50 employees, they may be exempt from this law if it causes them “undue hardship.”  For full details check out these great resources here and here.  If you aren’t covered under the ACA, make sure to check your state laws.  Twenty-eight of fifty states have some kind of provision related to breastfeeding.

Planning and educating yourself

First, figure out what laws you are specifically covered by depending on your employment from the resources above.  If you aren’t sure, talk to your boss, human resources, or a workplace lawyer so you can start making a game plan.

Next, equipping yourself with all the essentials for successful workplace pumping is key.  To maintain a good milk supply it is important to have access to the best possible pump. For time management and optimal pumping, look into getting a double, electric breast pump that is hospital strength.  Under the ACA, it is also required that your health insurance provide you with a pump (either a rental or single user depending on the model). There are several pump options available and companies that will do all the footwork for you to get you the pump you need with little hassle.  Spectra Baby USA is one of these companies with the added bonus of great customer service and lactations consultants on hand as needed.  Check out their page for a comparison chart of different pumps to find the best option for you and you can also check their insurance lookup tool that locates a DME (Durable Medical Equipment) company that will work with your insurance policy to get you a breast pump covered by your plan.

Lastly, consider any accessories to purchase to make your life easier as a pumping mom.  This includes items like a pumping bra, sterilizing tools, nipple cream, adequate collection bottles, freezer bags, and insulated tote to be able to get your milk safely to and from work.  Having the right gear will keep you organized and efficient!

When and how to pump: finding a schedule.

In general, you want to pump in a way that would mimic your baby’s current feeding schedule.  This generally means that a mom will have to pump every 3-4 hours. For a full-time employee that should be 2-3 times depending on lunch breaks and commute time.  How you want to schedule these into your day is completely dependent on what works in your day. Regardless, make sure that you try to actually schedule these times into your calendar to remind yourself and your co-workers.  It’s easy to forget or skip a pumping session if you don’t make it a priority and this can negatively impact your supply. If you are short on time one day, don’t stress and just try to get in as many short sessions as you can to keep the supply signal going to your breasts.

The last big consideration is your milk supply as your switch from breastfeeding to the use of a pump.  Your baby is much better at extracting milk from your breast than a machine, so if you have trouble initially with the amount you are pumping don’t be discouraged.  Keep these basic tips in mind: keep hydrated, eat healthily and frequently, stimulate an adequate let down with massage, heat or thinking of your baby (even look at a picture!), stay relaxed and comfortable and make sure you have the right size breast shield.

With the right preparation, you will manage the transition into a work-family balance well.  You rock mama! Keep up the good work providing liquid gold for your child while crushing those career goals.  

Exclusively Pumping: Why and How

By Jennifer Gaskill


As a first-time mother, I experienced both the demanding and rewarding sides of providing breast milk for my child.  My breastfeeding journey was unique and challenging. Like many moms today, my expressed breast milk saved the day. Nowadays, exclusively pumping, once the territory of mostly NICU moms, has become the chosen feeding option for more women.

Some women turn to pumping after dealing with latch and supply issues and/or lack of support at the start of their breastfeeding journey.  For these women, pumping is the one way to supply breast milk to their child. Moreover, working mothers must build up a milk bank before going back to work, helping make the transition easier for both mom and baby.  It is essential that moms considering pumping choose an efficient pump.

Choose the right tool

Most experts state that quality, closed-valve, hospital-strength pumps work best.  Exclusive pumpers must choose a pump that can endure five or more sessions per day throughout the breastfeeding experience. Here are some tips for choosing a pump:

 

  • Choose a pump with 250 mmHg or higher vacuum strength (also known as a hospital strength). Spectra’s single-user pumps are among the hospital-strength pumps recommended to exclusive pumpers. Moms can customize their settings to personalize vacuum pressure and cycle speed.  
  • If you cannot purchase a pump, you can rent one or buy a used one. When using these options, always choose a pump labeled as ‘multi-user’. Otherwise, the motor may not be designed to endure multiple users and an exclusive pumping regiment. Always purchase new accessories/parts; rentals and second-hand pumps include pump and motor only.  
  • Most insurance companies provide coverage for hospital-strength pumps. You can call your insurance plan or go online to determine your breast pump coverage. Breast pumps are issued by “DMEs” (durable medical equipment) and you can find one that works with your insurance plan here.

 

Timing is everything

Initially, exclusive pumpers should pump as often as the average newborn baby nurses (about 8-12 times per day). Experts recommend pumping every two to three hours. The timing starts from the beginning of one session to the beginning of the next.  To protect your supply, avoid going longer than three hours between pumping sessions.

Maintaining breast milk supply

When starting out, it’s normal to see as little as 2 oz. combined per sessions. As supply builds, average daily output peaks at 19-30 oz.  Around four to six months, supply naturally starts to self-regulate and milk composition changes often to a higher fat content. A similar shift occurs around 8-12 months. Keeping pace with baby’s feeding schedule will ensure your supply continues to meet baby’s needs.   To keep the pump performing at its optimum, you must replace the accessories/parts periodically.

Maintenance and back-ups are essential

Be sure to regularly inspect and replace parts, especially valves and membranes. Exclusively pumping mothers should look to replace these parts every 2 months and part-time pumping mothers every 3 months. Worn, damaged, or incorrect parts are often to blame for supply fluctuations.   Furthermore, have at least one backup set of replacement parts/accessories available in case of emergency.

Support for exclusive pumping moms is out there.  Whether it comes from a close-knit group of friends, a lactation consultant, or an internet community of like-minded moms. We all know providing breast milk for baby is a labor of love, and having the appropriate supplies and resources makes the journey so much easier.  You can join our support community on Facebook here.

Spectra Baby Hero Image

The Benefits of Breastfeeding & How to Make a Good Supply

By Jenn Foster, MA, IBCLC, RLC

We’ve all heard that “breast is best”…but, why? What’s so different about breast milk anyway? Is it really that important?  The answer is, yes! And here is why:

A baby’s digestive system isn’t mature enough to prevent infections until around 6 months of age. That’s why it’s recommended to give baby only breast milk for the first 6 months of life. Breast milk has live cells and antibodies that help prevent infections and coats the intestines. These active properties cannot be reproduced and are not present in artificial baby milk.

Below are some top benefits for both mom and baby:

For mom

  1. Mom has less of a chance of hemorrhage after delivery
  2. Mom has a lower risk of breast cancer, brittle bone disease, anemia and more
  3. Moms are more likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight
  4. Breastfeeding saves time, money and builds mom’s self-confidence

For baby

  1. Baby has a lower risk of ear infections, fewer allergies, and less time with illness
  2. Babies who are breastfed have better dental health
  3. Babies who breastfeed have statistically a higher IQ
  4. Lower cortisol levels (less stress) for baby when nursing which helps to ensure better brain development, regulated body temperature and promotes bonding

 

What happens when breast milk isn’t offered to baby?

When an infant is not breastfed, there are risks for both the mother and baby.  Mother has more of a risk of hemorrhage after birth, takes longer to return to pre-pregnancy weight, and can miss more work due to infant illness. Baby has a higher risk of numerous ailments, including higher risk of ear infections, allergies, and asthma.  

What if I’m not able to nurse at breast?

For some mothers, nursing at breast isn’t always possible and this is where an efficient breast pump is very important. Spectra offers many breast pumps models that are all well above hospital strength of 250mmHg.

It’s important to remember that breastfeeding is all about “supply and demand”, whatever is removed from the breast will be made. So, you need to be pumping or nursing every 2-3 hours. Try not to exceed four hours without removing breastmilk to ensure an adequate milk supply.

If you are exclusively pumping, it can be difficult to maintain a full milk supply. Double pumping can be helpful in keeping those important lactation hormones raised. Hands on pumping can also be helpful (breast massage before, during and after) as well as keeping something that smells like baby next to you when pumping.

What is the bottom line ?

Every ounce counts and every drop of mother’s milk you provide to baby is a lifelong gift.  Whether you can provide one ounce of your precious milk or more, keep it up! No mother should feel less than amazing for their choice of how they feed their little one.

We are here to support you! We have a robust Facebook Mom Group where you can be supported by Spectra pumping moms just like you.  In addition, we also have Spectra Certified IBCLCs that are here to help you along your breastfeeding and pumping journey!

References: Stuebe, A. (2009). The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2(4), 222–231.

How to Build Up a Freezer Stash Before Going Back to Work

by Amanda G

Not every mama has the option to work from home after she brings that bundle of joy into the world.  This truth makes feeding baby challenging for those of us who are pumping and working.  The question then becomes, “what am I supposed to do and how do I do it”?  Before you go crazy, make sure you know your legal rights on pumping at work and what is supposed to be offered by law to you.  

Once you are no longer cross-eyed from the legal jargon, you can now focus on the How- To of building your stash.  A freezer stash can be really helpful when you’re preparing to go back to work and dealing with that anxiety of how do I feed my child!?  Many nursing moms pump while they’re at work and then have the baby’s caregiver feed the milk they pumped the following day. However, for the first day back at work, you’ll need to have some milk stored up ahead of time for your baby. Here are some ways on how to get started.  

 

What’s the best way to start building up a freezer stash?

When you’re nursing, it can be hard to know when you should pump for your freezer stash, because you still want to have enough milk in your breasts to feed your baby at his next feeding.

Your best bet is to start pumping within 30 minutes after your baby finishes nursing, giving you enough time to get your baby down for a nap or situated with tummy time, but also plenty of time before baby’s next nursing session to give your breasts time to fill up again.

When you sit down to pump, you’ll want to pump for about 10-15 minutes on each side. A double electric pump like the Spectra S1 or S2 will be most efficient.

 

How do I store the milk when I’m done pumping?

The best way to store breast milk in the freezer is in a breast milk storage bag.

When you’re done pumping, use your breast shield as a funnel – put it in the breast milk bag and pour the milk from the bottle into the funnel. This will help make sure that you don’t spill any precious milk when you transfer it. Label the milk with the date, and if you’re going to be bringing frozen milk to a daycare setting, make sure to put your baby’s name on the breast milk bag.

To freeze the milk, lay it flat in the freezer; this way, the frozen milk takes up less room and you can stack the breast milk bags easily.

 

How long can you store breast milk in the freezer?

This depends on the type of freezer that you have – with most normal freezers (where you’re opening and closing the doors to get ice cream and frozen pizza and other essentials out), breast milk is good for 3-6 months. Deep freezers (which are opened less frequently) will keep breast milk up to a year. A small freezer inside a mini fridge only keeps breast milk for two weeks.

If you have a large stash of frozen milk, it’s a good idea to rotate it (using the oldest milk first) so you don’t waste any.

 

What do I do with frozen milk when I’m ready to use it?

If you or a caregiver is thawing milk to use immediately, remember that warm water is always best.  You can put the bag of frozen milk in a bowl of warm water, which will thaw and heat it at the same time. Be careful not to burn yourself when you reach in to get the milk. (I’ve done this a few times.) Keep in mind that hot water can kill the live cells, so warm water is best and not above 37 degrees C or 98.6 F.

If you’re preparing bottles to be given to your baby the next day, you can thaw the milk in the refrigerator or by putting it in a bowl of cold water. (The cold water will be faster.) Once it’s defrosted, you can put it in bottles and store overnight in the fridge. Thawed milk should be used within 24 hours.

Remember mamas, don’t expect to pump A LOT at once; approx. 2oz combined sides is “normal output”.

Did you miss the live Q&A? No worries:

What Happens When I’m Sick and Breastfeeding?

As a mom, being exhausted is a pretty normal part of having a new baby.  With lack of sleep and an intense focus on your little one’s needs over your own, there is a pretty good chance that your immune system will get run down at some point.  So what happens when you come down with the flu, cold, stomach bug or even food poisoning? If you are breastfeeding, it’s only natural to be worried about what you may be passing onto your baby and will most likely provoke the following questions:

Is it safe to breastfeed when I’m sick?

The short answer is YES.  For a run-of-the-mill illness, the benefits of continued breastfeeding far outweigh any negative ones.  The only two illnesses where breastfeeding is not recommended are HIV and lymphoma (HTLV-1), both very rare and unlikely to be an issue. If your doctor plans to manage your sickness with medications, just make sure they know you are breastfeeding so that what you’re being prescribed is safe for baby and won’t decrease your milk supply. You can consult the Infant Risk Center for specific medication guidance.

But won’t my baby get sick from me?

With any bug a mommy might catch, she is most contagious before symptoms appear and the body launches a full immune response.  Thus, chances are high your baby was already exposed to your germs before you started feeling sick at all. With your body now building up its own antibodies to fight the bug, these will naturally carry over into your breast milk to provide your baby the best immune protection possible.  Through breastfeeding, if baby gets sick they will recover quicker from the provided antibodies, nutrition, hydration, and comfort. While either of you is sick, don’t forget to follow standard illness prevention like washing hands, avoiding face contact and coughing away from your baby.

What about mastitis?

Mastitis is an infection of the breast that can lead to pain, swelling, and heat in addition to flu-like symptoms of fever and chills.  Although you may not be feeling well enough to breastfeed, it is actually the most beneficial thing you can do to fight the infection. Without regular milk expression, there is the risk of complications such as an abscess which can lead to further pain and being forced to discontinue breastfeeding earlier than planned. Heat, massage, rest, adequate nutrition and fluids and continued emptying of the breast thoroughly (either via baby or a breast pump) is key for recovery.

What you should do to recover.

Being sick while taking care of your baby is hard enough without having to add anxiety over the loss of milk supply!  So keep breastfeeding, eat healthy, and get enough sleep and fluids no matter what illness you’re battling. If baby is refusing to feed due to a change in milk flavor or consistency, use a pump maintain milk supply and promote optimal recovery.  Stay positive and know that you will get through this bump in the road with a little self-love while still being able to care for baby.  A little extra snuggle time while feeding is just what the doctor ordered!

Have further questions?  Contact a lactation specialist today here.

Did you miss the live Q&A? No worries:

Am I pumping enough?

Am I Producing Enough Milk For Baby?

Every nursing mother wonders from time to time if she is producing enough milk. Hey, we’re moms, worrying and wondering is what we do. If you’re pumping, there is an added step to the dance of supply and demand. How do you know if you need to increase your supply? Should you pump more?

Some nursing mothers struggle with too much of a good thing. Their breasts are so full between feedings, they swell to freakish proportions and leak on everything. When these moms settle down to nurse, their babies sputter and gasp, trying to gulp down all the milk that pours out.  While this can be messy, embarrassing, even painful, it is also blissfully reassuring. Too much milk means they don’t have to worry about a starving baby. But what if you are producing a more manageable amount, does that mean your supply is inadequate? Not necessarily.

It could mean that your baby and your breasts are just really grooving well together. Your body might be matching what your baby needs perfectly. But, your mother-in-law keeps asking if you are sure the baby is getting enough to eat. You notice that your baby isn’t as pleasingly plump as the formula fed babies. You have just started to pump and not much comes out. You’re worried.

Is my baby getting enough milk?

There are a few ways to tell if your little one is well fed.

Weight gain

If your baby is gaining weight as expected, you probably don’t need to worry. But be aware that exclusively breastfed babies grow at a different rate than babies who are given formula or who are started on solids earlier than 6 months. Make sure your doctor is aware of healthy growth patterns for babies fed with breastmilk, and only breastmilk.

Average weight gain for the breastfed baby within the first month of life is approximately 1oz per day (or, 5-7oz a week). At four months of age, baby should be gaining about 0.6oz a day (or, 3-5oz a week).

An alert, happy, and active baby

A baby that isn’t getting enough to eat is either lethargic or will be miserably hungry, crying a lot and unable to sleep. All babies have a colicky time during the day; but, a baby who isn’t getting enough milk will be visibly upset for the vast portion of the day. If your baby seems content after eating, sleeps well, and is alert and energetic when awake, then he or she is almost certainly not hungry.

Noisy and messy feedings

Babies generally make swallowing noises and have drips of milk in the corners of their mouths when they are nursing. This is definitely a good sign. But some babies are more polite, so if all else is normal, don’t worry.

Peeing and pooping

At first, you should see several stools a day, and then later at least once a day. Even if stools are a little less frequent, they should be regular, soft, and easy to pass. Liquidy stools are common and normal for the breastfed baby. Formed stools aren’t present until solids are introduced. Breastfed babies also wet around seven or eight diapers a day. What goes in baby, must come out!

Am I pumping enough?

If your baby shows the above signs of being healthy and well nourished, then your milk supply is stable and adequate, and by definition, you are pumping enough.  But there may be times when you want to add extra pumping sessions to your day. 2oz combined breasts is the average pumping yield, anything over this amount is icing on the cake!

If you need to supplement

If for whatever reason your doctor recommends that you need to supplement, you can increase your supply.  There are few medical indications for supplementing and you can do so with expressed breastmilk, donor breast milk or artificial baby milk.  It is also possible to return to exclusive breastfeeding, with increased pumping and gentle, frequent exposure to breast. Pump every time your baby takes a bottle of breastmilk or artificial baby milk  If you can, add in an extra pumping session about an hour after you last pumped or nursed your baby.

You are new to pumping or transitioning back to work

Your body might need to get used to pumping. For some women, it works like a charm the first time, but others need to train their breasts and brains and hormones to let down in response to the pump, even with a pump that closely resembles the natural process.

But what if you don’t need to supplement yet, but worry that your milk supply isn’t quite keeping up? Or maybe you need to increase your supply so you can build up a stockpile of stored milk. There are ways to produce more milk naturally, with a combination of pumping and nursing techniques. Consult our Spectra Certified IBCLCs for targeted breastfeeding and pumping assistance.

Leave us your comments and/or questions below.

Did you miss the Live Q&A?  Check it out here:

Spectra breast pumps

Which Spectra Breast Pump is Right for Me?

by: Brittney F.

Let’s face it, Moms, there are A LOT of choices out there when it comes to breast pumps. If you’ve chosen Spectra, congratulations!  As a breast pump company, we offer the best options for the busy nursing Mother. Our pumps are versatile, discreet, and most importantly, NATURAL feeling. A lot of Moms find themselves here, asking themselves “which pump do I choose?”  To help you decide, we’ve put a list describing each and what it includes for you.

All of Spectra’s models include the following:

  • Breast Flanges
  • Wide Neck Bottles
  • Discs
  • Locking Rings and Caps
  • Duckbill valves
  • Backflow protectors
  • Tubing
  • Power Cord & Adapter

 

The S1 Plus

The Spectra S1 Plus offers up at an amazing 3lbs. Compared to lugging around those 12-pound breast pump “purses”, this thing is a dream. This rechargeable model is perfect for Moms on-the-go and working Moms alike. It is quiet, operating at the ‘noise’ level of a library and convenient. The S1 has a massage mode, that imitates your newborn’s sucking rhythm and adjustable suction level with a timer. The S1 model also includes a night light to help you see when you wake up for that inevitable 1 AM session.

The S2 Plus

The S2 Plus is Spectra’s all-electric premier model. It is perfect for Moms who stay at home with their little ones and can have a set place to pump. This model, even lighter than the S1 Plus, comes in at 2.5lbs. While it is lighter and does have all of the same features, this pump is not rechargeable. If you take it with you, you must bring the power cord to plug it in and stay in the same place while you pump.

The 9 Plus

The 9 Plus breast pump is amazing because you can literally stick it in your purse. It comes in at a whopping half a pound. What weighs half a pound? A tomato. A tomato weighs half a pound. This beauty of a pump offers the same features as the two previous models, minus the nightlight. Even more, it does not have to stay plugged in and it offers the most convenience and portability for on-the-go Moms. If you have a place to go, you can take this pump anywhere.

The Dew 350

This pump is a bit different from the other pumps. It’s near and dear to my heart because it is for Moms whose little ones are unable to breastfeed. Whatever your reason to need this pump, you can rest easy knowing that Spectra is there for you and understands what you’re going through. This pump has backflow protection and comfortable suction levels, just like the other pumps, but was designed with Moms who are just having a bit of trouble with breastfeeding. It’s not meant for all Moms, just Moms with little ones like my boy, who have feeding difficulties.

 

No matter what type of Mom you are, Stay-at-home, Working, On-The Go or Work-From-Home, Spectra has the right pump for you. You and pick up all of these pumps, as well as some super cute accessories like a gorgeous our black tote and blinged-out baby bottles at SpectraBabyUsa.com.  Leave us your comments below.

 

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.

Did you miss our live Q&A? No worries:

What To Know When Returning To Work

Well, it’s sadly that time, when you are headed back to work after maternity leave.  Hopefully, your employer offers that necessary benefit. The baby honeymoon is over and now you have some big decisions to make regarding child care and feeding.  If you’ve been breastfeeding up to this point, there is a good chance you’ll want to continue providing baby with your milk. After all, it is recommended to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months if possible to get the continued benefits such as less frequent illness.  Before your actual return, try to be as prepared as possible. Make sure you know your workplace rights, have all the gear you need and have at least a general plan for how you will feasibly pump enough to keep up your supply for baby. Here are the basics to get you started:

Protection under federal and state laws

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law with provisions related to nursing mothers and pumping at work. The guidelines include employees that are not exempt under section 7 of the law.  This includes most hourly paid employees. The law specifically calls for providing a nursing mother unpaid (unless all employees are paid for their breaks) reasonable breaks with a private room for nursing that isn’t a bathroom.  If your employer is smaller than 50 employees, they may be exempt from this law if it causes them “undue hardship.”  For full details check out these great resources here and here.  If you aren’t covered under the ACA, make sure to check your state laws.  Twenty-eight of fifty states have some kind of provision related to breastfeeding.

Planning and educating yourself

First, figure out what laws you are specifically covered by depending on your employment from the resources above.  If you aren’t sure, talk to your boss, human resources, or a workplace lawyer so you can start making a game plan.

Next, equipping yourself with all the essentials for successful workplace pumping is key.  To maintain a good milk supply it is important to have access to the best possible pump. For time management and optimal pumping, look into getting a double, electric breast pump that is hospital strength.  Under the ACA, it is also required that your health insurance provide you with a pump (either a rental or single user depending on the model). There are several pump options available and companies that will do all the footwork for you to get you the pump you need with little hassle.  Spectra Baby USA is one of these companies with the added bonus of great customer service and lactations consultants on hand as needed.  Check out their page for a comparison chart of different pumps to find the best option for you and you can also check their insurance look up tool that locates a DME (Durable Medical Equipment) company that will work with your insurance policy to get you a breast pump covered by your plan.

Lastly, consider any accessories to purchase to make your life easier as a pumping mom.  This includes items like a pumping bra, sterilizing tools, nipple cream, adequate collection bottles, freezer bags, and insulated tote to be able to get your milk safely to and from work.  Having the right gear will keep you organized and efficient!

When and how to pump: finding a schedule.

In general, you want to pump in a way that would mimic your baby’s current feeding schedule.  This generally means that a mom will have to pump every 3-4 hours. For a full time employee that should be 2-3 times depending on lunch breaks and commute time.  How you want to schedule these into your day is completely dependent on what works in your day. Regardless, make sure that you try to actually schedule these times into your calendar to remind yourself and your co-workers.  It’s easy to forget or skip a pumping session if you don’t make it a priority and this can negatively impact your supply. If you are short on time one day, don’t stress and just try to get in as many short sessions as you can to keep the supply signal going to your breasts.

The last big consideration is your milk supply as your switch from breastfeeding to the use of a pump.  Your baby is much better at extracting milk from your breast than a machine, so if you have trouble initially with the amount you are pumping don’t be discouraged.  Keep these basic tips in mind: keep hydrated, eat healthy and frequently, stimulate an adequate let down with massage, heat or thinking of your baby (even look at a picture!), stay relaxed and comfortable and make sure you have the right size breast shield.

With the right preparation, you will manage the transition into a work-family balance well.  You rock mama! Keep up the good work providing liquid gold for your child while crushing those career goals.  

 

© Copyright 2018 - Spectra Baby USA

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Shipping Information

All Pumps (used or unused) must be shipped back to us within the 4-day return guaranty—starting from the day it was delivered to a customer. All accessories (used or unused) that came with the pump must be included with it (when returned) otherwise their value will be deducted from the amount being refunded. All items/accessories to be returned within the 4-day return guaranty must be unused and unopened due to the personal nature of these items. They are non-returnable if the hygienic seal has been broken. Contact us to arrange the return.

e.g. ALL 1-2 deliveries will require a signature for release. 

*1-2 days Priority Mail Express (Note: Some restrictions may apply for more information please visit www.usps.com/www.ups.com)

*Please allows us at least 24 business hours to process your order.
e.g 2-3bussines days or Standard shipping are NOT guaranteed on expected days by USPS. (For more information please visit www.usps.com/www.ups.com)

Expedited shipping is not available for shipments to Hawaii, Alaska, U.S. Territories, PO Boxes, or Military APO/FPO addresses. Please allow additional time for orders shipped to these addresses.

e.g. Signature is required upon delivery for all orders above $100.00

*A refund will be processed deducting shipping charge. For any attempt to delivery, return to sender or refuse packed. 

We do NOT accept international credit cards or gift card. Please do NOT enter international credit cards or gift card because your account will be charged but you will not receive the product.  Spectra Baby USA does NOT sell, ship or warranty pumps in or out of Canada.  Not authorized for sale in Canada.


*The Postal Service does not provide a money-back guarantee if items sent via Priority Mail fail to arrive by the scheduled delivery date.

*Note: Deliveries may take longer–up to 40 days for APO, FPO, or DPO addresses.

 

2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines & Hours

Spectra Holiday Shipping Deadlines

We know how important it is to get your order on time during the holiday season.  Please note our Holiday Shipping Deadlines

FedEx Ground Standard Shipping – Place order by December 14

FedEx 2 Day – Place order by December 20

*Please allow for 24 hours for processing your order*

Spectra Baby USA will be closed at 1 PM EST Monday 12/24 in observance of Christmas.  We will resume regular business on Wednesday 12/26 at 8 AM EST. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Orders placed after 10 AM EST on December 24th will be processed on December 26th.

During this time, if you have an emergency, please contact us through our Facebook private messages and we will do our best to get to you within 48 hours. If this is a health emergency, please call 911.