Photos: Eric and Jamie Photo
Breastfeeding in public? How many times a day do you pump? These questions and SO MANY more are being answered below… y’all sent in so many good questions that I feel certain whether you are a rookie breastfeeding mama or a pro, you may just learn something new in the breastfeeding Q&A below.
It’s the 3rd week in our Breastfeeding 101 Series and y’all have given SUCH good feedback about this series and how much it has helped you. That makes me so happy to hear! If you’ve missed any of the previous posts you can check them out here:
- Week 1: Best Breast Pumps & Must Have Breastfeeding Accessories
- Week 2: Foods to Boost Your Milk Supply & My Favorite Lactation Cookie Recipe
Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers: Q&A
- Everything!! I’m clueless. – @katiepriest1
I hope this Breastfeeding 101 Series is helping you out, momma! You can always search “breastfeeding” on my blog or click HERE for allll my posts about breastfeeding, pumping, etc!
- Supply issues while trying to get back healthy! And balance between pumping/nursing. – @jilliankate9020
I am hearing this as a common concern that your supply will drop if you exercise and eat healthy. I have never seen my supply drop from my exercise schedule (Pure Barre, HomeFit, and Walks/Runs with the boys). Now perhaps if you didn’t work out much pre-baby and you started Crossfit or something very extreme, you might see a dip. As far as eating healthy, I try to eat 80/20 paleo and when I can, add in lactation boosting ingredients (quinoa, oatmeal, flaxseed, coconut oil, etc.). I touch more on boosting milk supply HERE! I would also recommend trying these Lactation Supplements from Fairhaven!
- How to keep supply up when going back to work @kaifritz
- As a teacher, having no time to pump so going to substitute with formula. Any formula suggestions? @sjleth
I actually haven’t formula-fed Finn but I have worked with 3 formula brands recently that I think are some of the best on the market when it comes to nutrients, mimicking mothers milk, etc. You can read about my thoughts on the three brands here: Parent’s Choice, Love and Care Formula, Comforts for Baby.
- Healthy-ish snacks to grab while BF. I’m hungry all day. @mhr_c
Definitely anything with high protein to keep me full longer – RX Bars, almond butter + banana/apple, FIT5 Meals for on-the-go lunches (you can use code MYLIFE15 for 15% off their fresh pre-made meals), overnight oats (bonus they are good for your supply!) and my favorite lactation cookies and bars shared here!
- Do you pump or also breastfeed? What’s your schedule for pumping? @gamartiniere
I pump and breastfeed. Every morning I pump after Finn’s first feeding of the day while he’s napping. Or if he wakes up at 6 am to feed, I put him back to bed, go back to bed myself and then when my alarm goes off, I pump then. I only pump more than once to twice a day when I am away from Finn at work or when he is napping if needed.
- Pumping and working full time how to manage it all. @sjleth
It is HARD. I hear you! Often times, I am forgetting pump parts because by the time I pack Leyton’s backpack for Mother’s Day Out, Finn’s diaper bag to be with the babysitter, my bag to work at a coffee shop after I teach a Pure Barre class, snacks for the time I’m away, and my pumping parts, I will inevitably forget things. I wish I had a cure to managing it all but I don’t and if someone figures it out, please share with me, HA! 😉 I do my best to lay out everything the night before but when pump parts are in the fridge, that can be hard to remember everything!
- Is baby Finn exclusively breastfeeding or has he started cereal? @hancattstiver
Right now he is breastfeeding and taking my pumped milk in bottles when he is away from me but next week I will be sharing all about how we are transitioning to cereal and solids! Make sure you are subscribed to my blog HERE so you will be notified when that post goes live!
- Tips for clothing that’s pump friendly that you don’t have to completely undress @deborah_crouse
100% the Belibea hands-free pumping/nursing bra or cami! Also, Havah Tribe has great nursing-friendly options. My other nursing favorite clothes I lived in post-baby are linked here! I also recently received a Nenikanopi (pictured above). This looks like a scarf but acts as a nursing/pumping cover or your can easily wrap it around your carseat for a carseat cover!
- Best travel pump. I love my spectra s2 but need a work friendly option @little_tree0
I share all about my hands-free Medela pump here and why I love it for travel! It is a must-have when traveling along with my Belibea hands-free pumping/nursing bra! I keep hearing the Willow is really nice to have too!
- Transitioning from at home pumping to work pumping @catelazz
One of my biggest tips is just to make sure you have everything you need at all times. I would suggest a battery operated or hand pump unless you will have a place to plug in and pump, lots of snacks, hands-free pumping bra, Ziplock Bags (store your parts in the bags in the fridge to take away the need to wash them every time. I usually wash mine every 48 hours unless they smell or seem to have a lot of build up.), or the Sarah Welles Bag, to keep your pump parts fresh and to avoid having to wash them after each use!
- Currently exclusively breastfeeding but I want to incorporate bottles @jasnicole07
I encourage you to incorporate bottles, if that works for you and baby, to allow you a little bit of freedom! I started early on the recommendation of one of my nurses in the hospital…so both Finn and Leyton started taking bottles from about 3 weeks on. We do breastmilk bottles when Finn is with a babysitter or when he stays with my family. Leyton is even feeding Finn some if it works and that makes him feel like a big helper in his big brother role! Finn is really great about taking whatever bottle we give him. He loves Comotomo, Dr. Browns, Medela, and Spectra bottles!
- How do you respond to negative comments from family about your choice to breastfeeding? @kelsss_94
Oh sweet friend, mom-shaming and breastfeeding negativity is near and dear to my heart. I wrote a whole post a few months ago about my mom-shaming experience and you can read it HERE.
- Bottles, nipples and pacis @christyhamon
Our favorite bottles that closely resemble real breasts/nipples linked here and Finn’s favorite paci is here! My nurse in the hospital told me she doesn’t believe in nipple confusion so I’ve just gone with her advice…it has served us well!
- Just a tip – I always kept dark chocolate in my pump back as a treat @sandpiper_lane
Love this tip!! Thinking I need to take your advice 😉
- Nursing friendly sports bras @mander38
My all time favorite nursing friendly sports bra is Kindred Bravely’s Sublime Nursing Sports Bra! Use my code HEATHER20 for 20% off!!!
- How did you find a bottle baby Finn liked? @susieq_hughes
- Best tips for getting through the first month @sethkristinakosinski
Sleep when you can, soak up every moment, get a sitter even for an hour to get a break if needed, figure out special ways to love on your older babies. I break down what our hour-by-hour schedule looked like when Finn was a newborn HERE. Also, my 4th Trimester Must Haves/Postpartum Must Haves were crucial. You can see them all HERE.
- Traveling logistics without baby? @annakav6
I have traveled twice without Finn since he was born. Obviously, pumping is KEY. When securing travel plans, I have to know for sure that the hotel I am staying at will accommodate my nursing needs and provide me a fridge/freezer to store milk. I pump every 4 hours during the day and refrigerate the milk. I freeze right before the plane ride so that it will stay good throughout the flight + TSA told me it will go faster if you freeze it to get through security. I bring a little insulated soft cooler with me to store the milk in while traveling. While in the airport or on-the-go, I pump in bathroom stalls if there is no nursing room which is a little icky but you just have to do what you gotta do! I LOVE the Fairhaven Health Milkies products that make on-the-go pumping easy. Definitely stock up on their storage bags before traveling!
- Due in June. What do you recommend with pumping? @jessica.n.bunn
- What’s the best way to start pumping for the first time? Timing, age of baby, how frequent @meredithvarnadore
I started pumping within the first week or two with both Leyton and Finn because I knew I would be wanting to go on date nights or trips for longer than 2 hours at a time. I knew I wanted a stash built up so I started early! I didn’t kill myself to do it every day if I had a hard day but made it a goal to do so just 1-2 times a day according to the Moms on Call schedule when they were napping. I also had no idea I should be squeezing my boobs to help empty them…learning from other mamas was priceless!
- How you learn how to operate your pump properly? Any online resources you use? @staceyann15
I can totally relate that pumps can be so complicated with the many buttons and parts. I share about which pump I like more because of the easy-of-use here. But I would also recommend Youtube searching your pump and watching videos there if there are none on the brand’s website or ask a close friend or family member! That’s what I mainly did!
- Do you do extra pumping sessions to build stash or just ones where he’s getting a bottle? @jessicacorman
I do extra pump sessions to build a stash, especially as I neared the end of my maternity leave or before I travel!
- Does he go easily from breast to bottle @sethkristinakosinski
Yes, he does! We introduced bottle at 10 days old-2 weeks old to help him begin the transition.
- Did you wait to introduce the bottle for a certain amount of weeks @sethkristinakosinski
We waited until Finn was 10 days old-14 days old to introduce a bottle. My nurse in the hospital told me she doesn’t believe in nipple confusion so I’ve just gone with her advice…it has served us well! I also had Eric feed both boys while I was out of the room with the bottle so they’d get used to having it without my smell or being near.
- Pumping and wine @frances_raybon
The lactation consultant told me you do not have to pump and dump. She suggested mixing the pumped milk (after having wine) into other pumped breastmilk. The illustration she shared with me was this: if you poured a handle of alcohol into a swimming pool, it would be too diluted to make a difference. So, she was implying the baby would never get enough to really matter. Another rule of thumb is to not feed baby at the breast if you don’t feel confident enough to drive after having a drink.
- When baby starts sleeping longer stretches at night do you have to pump to maintain supply? @alainamarie0531
No! Just sleep, momma! I only woke up every 3 hours during the night to pump for Leyton when I had dried up my supply to bring it back.
- Any weaning tips? Approaching 1 year goal and really want to avoid mastitis during weaning phase @bawatkins88
Yes, you can use cabbage leaves to dry yourself up (like I accidentally did with Leyton). If you search Pinterest for weaning tips, you will see that there is a weaning schedule that drops feedings each day for an easier transition.
- Is Finn on a schedule with feedings? How is different day and night? @ellspin
We follow the Moms On Call feeding schedule so he feeds every 3-4 hours during the day. Unless he is sick or something is off, he sleeps throughout the night and we let him cry it out if he wakes up at this point.
- In the beginning you pumped at night even if Finn wasn’t awake to feed correct? @emcginty02
No, I did not! With Leyton, when my milk dried up and I was trying to get it back, I would wake up throughout the night and pump every 3 hours to try and get my supply back!
- How long is your typical BF session? @jlycondon
I typically breastfeed for about 15-20 minutes each time and I try to pump for the same amount of time if possible! As Finn is getting older and more aware, he is now more easily distracted by his brother and other things in the room so feeding time can vary.
- Nursing through thrush or mastitis @sb…
Thankfully, I have not had either one.
- Any experience with foremilk and hindmilk imbalances? @reeniemcstevenson
I don’t know as much about this as I would like to but I have been learning a ton from Legendairy Milk so check out their Instagram and website for tips!