I’m so excited to welcome K.C. Dreisbach to Gym Craft Laundry to give us some tips about nursing and pumping and also introduce us to her new book, Trials of the Working Parent (available on Amazon.) Without further ado, welcome KC Dreisbach!
Hi! Welcome to Day 1 of “Trials of the Working Parent” Blog Book Tour! I’m glad you could join us, and I’m grateful to Herchel, here, at Gym Craft Laundry. Kicking off our Tour, we are going to talk about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has to be one of the most controversial topics out there in the world of motherhood. Questions surrounding this topic abound, and there are some very strong opinions about what a woman should or shouldn’t be doing when it comes to breastfeeding.
As a Marriage & Family therapist, I have worked with many women who struggle with this; many of which are working moms. The amount of stress they feel on a daily basis of juggling their work duties and expressing breastmilk brings them to my office. Maybe you’re one of these women, feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your job and the nutritional needs of your baby. Perhaps you don’t work but you’re unable to breastfeed your infant, so you struggle to find the time to take care of your daily tasks and pump breastmilk. Regardless of your specific situation, trying to balance life and expressing breastmilk is tough work.
In my new book, “Trials of the Working Parent,” I tackle this topic. I interviewed tons of amazing mothers and collected their best tips and advice on how to more effectively incorporate expressing breastmilk into their work or daily routine. For today’s blog post I want to provide you with some of those tested tips! So, let’s get started….
Breastfeeding & Pumping: Tips from Experienced Moms to Make It Easier
It makes sense that certain products would make expressing breastmilk so much easier. And if you’re balancing the insanity of life and pumping, then some of these products can help make things easier for you, and thus, reduce the stress. Here are four products out there that can assist in smoothing out the “rough edges” of pumping. There might be others, but these were the biggies if your budget allows it. If you’re pregnant, consider placing them on your Baby Registry.
- Double Electric Breast Pump- You can’t express breast milk if you don’t have a pump! And a Double Electric is the way to go! Not only does it more effectively empty your breast of milk, but it manages both breasts at the same time, thus cutting the time you spend pumping in half!
- Sanitation Wipes- I personally used Medela Quick Clean Wipes, which allowed me to clean the different parts of my pump without needing soap and water. This was super helpful when I had back-to-back clients at work, and I had little time to squeeze in my pumping sessions.
- Hands-Free Pumping Bra- Several women recommended this product. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a bra that holds the horns of your pump up to your breast for you. This allows you to work on something else while pumping, such as typing up that report for your supervisor or folding laundry on the sofa.
- Warm Compress Products- Some women struggle to let-down milk while pumping. Warm compresses applied to the breast before beginning to pump can help your breast let-down milk. Some women claim that they even produce more milk by applying warm compresses before and during pumping. You can simply use a warm, moist towel, but if you’re interested in a less “wet” solution, Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy pads came highly recommended by many moms. This product can be heated in the microwave until warm (not HOT!) and placed on the breast. Not only are they an aid for pumping, they have other applications as well, like soothing breast engorgement.
Note from Herchel: I used those Breast Therapy pads and loved them! I give them to new moms as a shower present all the time.
Issues in the Adventures of Pumping
Now that we’ve reviewed products, let’s talk about some of the issues that come up for women when it comes to pumping.
- Letting-Down Milk- As mentioned before, moms can struggle in letting-down milk, especially if they’re not home. Tricks to help this dilemma include warm compresses (see above) and reminders of your baby. Have you ever heard a baby cry and then suddenly begin dripping milk? This is a biological mechanism that kicks in to make sure you can feed your baby. Use this trick to your advantage. Record your baby crying on your phone, have a picture of your child, or bring something that smells like your Little One. This can all help you in letting-down milk when it comes time to pump.
- Have a Pumping Routine- As moms, most of us thrive on having a schedule. It’s the only way we manage to keep our head on straight, right? Pumping should be included in that schedule. This is especially important for moms who are Exclusively Pumping. If don’t make time for pumping in your day, it just might not happen. Skipping pumping sessions have a long-term consequence too, because it signals to your body to produce less milk.
- Poor Breastmilk Production- So many moms struggle with producing enough breastmilk for their child. There are a variety of reasons of why this might be (such as poor latch, weak suck from the baby, etc.…), but many lactation consultants will tell you that dehydration is one of the biggest problems for poor breastmilk production. I spoke with Doris Wogec, a nurse and lactation consultant for several years who was even featured in the Sacramento Bee newspaper for her amazing work with new mothers and their infants. Doris shared with me that dehydration was one of the most common issues for poor breastmilk production. Her recommendation was that mothers should get in the habit of drinking a glass of water (8 oz) for every breastfeeding/pumping session they have. This helps to replenish the fluid used in the production of breastmilk, plus gives you some fluid for you and your own body! Doris also states that, if dehydration doesn’t seem to be the issue, then you should speak to a lactation consultant in your area to help diagnosis the problem.
I hope this article helps give you some ideas on how to make breastfeeding and pumping easier for you to incorporate in your life. For more extensive ideas and tips, pick up a copy of “Trials of the Working Parent,” available on Amazon in paperback and e-book versions. If you’re interested in following me on the Blog Book Tour, check me out on Facebook @kcdreisbach to get updates.
That’s all for today! I will see you on August 8th at The Terrific Five, and, as always, Happy Parenting!
Guest Author bio
K.C. Dreisbach is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Southern California. She has spent years in the field of mental health helping thousands of families achieve happy, healthy lives. Currently, she is a Clinical Supervisor for a non-profit agency working with troubled youth and their families. She is also the author of the new book, “Trials of the Working Parent.” In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her two young children and husband.