Tag Archives: tips

Huge giveaway! Enter to win more than $530 in breastfeeding + working essentials

In the coming months, I’m teaming up with some of my favorite breastfeeding brands, plus my favorite bloggers, to offer some amazing giveaways to help any working mom-to-be face down her breastfeeding + working demons with more confidence.

Check out the amazing stuff, worth more than $530, that you can win:

Work. Pump. Repeat. giveaway

This thing is awesome. It includes a double electric Ardo breastpump that is so quiet you won’t even have to lie on conference calls, a Nurse Purse pump bag, UpSpring fenugreek + blessed thistle supplements, a SimpleWishes Supermom bra and nursing cover/scraf, a set of Pumpin’ Pal flanges, Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags and breast pads, Ardo microwave steam-clean bags, and a Milk It Kit filled with do-not-disturb door signs and milk labels. And oh yeah – a signed copy of my book. More details on this gear on my website.

So what are you waiting for? The giveaway runs 8/31/15 to 9/3/15, and the winner will be announced on the GroVia Diaper facebook chat night – hosted by yours truly – which runs 9-10 pm eastern time on 9/3/15 on GroVia’s facebook page.

Check it out, share, and enter:

GroVia + Work. Pump. Repeat. working & breastfeeding giveaway

Breast Milk on Ice: How to Build a Freezer Stash Before You Go Back to Work

Work.Pump.Repeat. cover***Update!! From building a freezer stash to talking about your body with the person who signs your paychecks, my new book, Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, is now on sale. You can order now, via:

…and this blog has a new home, at http://workpumprepeat.weebly.com/blog. Please join me there!

Now, then…

Once you start thinking about your first day back at work, you’re likely to have some burning questions about how on earth to store up enough milk to leave with your baby’s caregiver. How to build up a stash is the question I get asked most often by new parents.

After you’ve learned how to pump, you have to get on a regular schedule of pumping and saving milk if you want to build up a stash. You have likely heard a lot about the supply and demand aspect of breastfeeding – that supposedly perfect cycle of your body making as much milk as your baby needs. This might make you wonder how you will ever get any additional milk to save for when you go back to work. But it is entirely possible, assuming you have a pretty normal milk supply. (If you have a low supply and/or are already supplementing with formula, you will have to work harder to store up milk, and you are likely looking at your caregiver supplementing during the day. And you are still an awesome parent.) Continue reading Breast Milk on Ice: How to Build a Freezer Stash Before You Go Back to Work

Breastfeeding: Where Perfect is the Enemy of Good

When I was in business school, I had a classmate and friend named Josh, with whom I worked on every group project. Fortunately for me, he is one of those people who will always tell you the truth about yourself. He called me Captain, and if I were sugar-coating it I would say this name came from my demonstrated leadership abilities, but in honor of Josh, I’ll shoot you straight and tell you it was probably because I’m bossy.

Anyway. One day, we were arguing about what needed to be done on something we were working on, and I wanted to do more, more, more. And Josh looked at me witheringly and said, “Captain, your problem is that you let perfect be the enemy of good.”

I’ll admit it took me a solid 36 hours to understand what he even meant by this. Because in my mind, perfect has always, ALWAYS been the thing to strive for. Especially when it was something measurable, with grades, scores, rankings, or numbers of any kind. But when I did finally get it, it changed my life.

This tendency toward perfectionism and neurotic need-to-measure-itis came into full flower when I had my first child. Breastfeeding was something I could be perfect at, if I just worked at it hard enough. And it was something so rife with measurables, I was practically giddy with anticipation. Ounces (of milk pumped or fed, and gained by the baby, and frozen in the freezer). Feedings per day. Hours of sleep at a stretch. Weeks until baby slept through the night. Count count count. Measure measure measure.

And then there was the “Exclusive Breastfeeder” badge.

Continue reading Breastfeeding: Where Perfect is the Enemy of Good

Lactation Couture

Congratulations! You no longer have to shop for maternity clothes! Thank God, because it was so difficult to find cute things.

…and, I’ve got some bad news, on a couple of fronts.

First, don’t put those maternity clothes away yet. You’re going to need them for a couple of months. You’re definitely walking out (ok, hobbling) of that hospital looking at least 6 months pregnant. And if you’ve had a C-section, anything with a waistband is just a silly idea for a couple of weeks.

Second, now you have to get nursing clothes. Where maternity clothes just had to accommodate your growing body, nursing clothes have to accommodate what are likely to be amazingly/terrifyingly large boobs (if not on Day 1, then within a couple of weeks), a (maybe) shrinking tummy, spills of milk and spit-up and many other substances, and the almost constant need for your baby (or at work, your pump) to get access to your boobs. This results in a shockingly limited and kind of weird set of designs that you are supposed to make do with for the duration of breastfeeding.

And third, here’s the really bad news. You thought maternity clothes were bad? Nursing clothes are terrible. Just terrible. They do not seem to be made with looking professional and halfway decent at work in mind. The cute stuff is often crazy expensive and at least for my cheap ass, doesn’t seem worth the investment for what will ultimately be a short-lived time in my life.

On to the good news: You can make normal clothes work for both nursing and pumping. First, remember that by and large, if you can nurse a baby in it, you can pump in it.

Continue reading Lactation Couture

Breastfeeding Confidential: What “They” Are Not Telling Us…and Why?

I just got off the phone with a friend who is three weeks into her first baby. She was eating breakfast while talking to me, her baby asleep on her chest in the baby-wearing-thingie, dropping crumbs into the baby’s hair as we talked. She sounded happy – exhausted, but happy, and as at ease with being a first-time mother as one could expect.

All that changed when we started talking about breastfeeding. “I can’t leave the house,” she told me. “My husband is great and keeps telling me to go take a break, take a walk, whatever. But all I hear in my head, the whole time I’m gone, is the baby screaming with hunger. What if she gets hungry before I get back? I hate being the only way she can get food.”

GOD, I have been there. Being someone’s sole source of nutrition is one of the most physically and mentally taxing temporary jobs I have ever taken on. You get your “break” and all you do is stress that the baby got hungry before the normal feeding time, and next thing you know you’re texting your husband constantly – or worse, cutting your massage (side-lying, because your boobs hurt too much to lie on your front) or pedicure or coffee with a friend short and racing home to bring your boobs back within firing range of the baby’s mouth.

So, this friend and I got to talking through learning to use her pump, then beginning to build up a stash of milk by pumping once a day, immediately after the morning feeding. We talked about giving the baby a single ounce of formula to make sure she could tolerate it, and then having the can of formula on hand in case of absolute emergency and for some mental relief that there is a back-up method if it’s needed. We talked through introducing a bottle to the baby, and how she shouldn’t freak out if it didn’t go well at first (when my son first seemed to be rejecting the bottle, I went immediately to a dark place of I’m Never Going to Be Able to Go Back to Work, I’m Going to Be Tied to This Baby Until College). These tactics, together, create a tiny space for independence: get to the end of the pedicure, sip the cup of coffee slowly, take an extra loop around the block with the dog. Little victories that can lead to bigger ones later. And, for working mothers, these things also set up skills and resources for the back-to-work bonanza.

In the midst of this conversation, the second big thing my friend said to me rang just as true: “Why don’t any of the books tell me how to do this?” I asked her what she meant specifically, and she replied, “You know, they say ‘start pumping to save up milk for when you go back to work’ – but they don’t ever say HOW to do that. They say ‘introduce the bottle’, but they don’t tell you what that’s going to be like. You’re just totally on your own.”

Continue reading Breastfeeding Confidential: What “They” Are Not Telling Us…and Why?

Top 10 Hacks for the Working, Breastfeeding Mom

I’ve been around the block when it comes to working and breastfeeding – or, more accurately, working and pumping. I’ve interviewed hundreds of working moms for my upcoming book on the same topic (I’ll take any title suggestions you’ve got – my best one so far is Pumping At Work Sucks), and I’m amazed at the hacks and workarounds we come up with to make this whole horrible thing a bit easier.

So here, I bring you my 10 Best Hacks for pumping at work.

10. If you forget a pump bottle, steam-sterilize a coffee cup to catch the milk in. Wash and rinse, then add 1 oz. of water. Cover with a saucer or plate, and microwave for 2 minutes.

9. If you hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door of your lactation room, make sure it’s at eye level for men, too. They might not notice a sign hung down by their chest.

8. If your regular “lactation room” is a closet with no lock, hang a curtain on a tension rod inside the door to create an extra barrier between you and any intruders. It’ll buy you 5 seconds to frantically shout “occupied”.

7. If you forget breast pads, cut a pantyliner in half and stick it inside your bra cups. It even has adhesive!

Continue reading Top 10 Hacks for the Working, Breastfeeding Mom