How to Choose a Breast Pump That’s Right for You

nursing and pumping

Nursing and pumping has become a huge part of my daily routine. That said, choosing the right breast pump is extremely important.

I’m breastfeeding for a second time, and recently received pump number three. So, I consider myself somewhat of a breastfeeding and pumping connoisseur. I’ve shared tips and tricks to maintaining milk supply, and how to choose a breast pump that’s right for you.

I know that nursing and pumping isn’t for everyone. But, I took the liberty of reviewing a few breast pumps that you may find helpful.

Please don’t forget to give my video a thumbs up and subscribe. Also, you can enter to win a Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump, bottle, and pumping, by clicking here!

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Pumping Made Easy With Lansinoh **Giveaway**

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Breastfeeding the second time around is definitely harder than the first time. When I gave birth to my daughter over three years ago, I was fully prepared for the whole nursing experience. I thoroughly did my research. There were a few hiccups along the way, but the experience was an overall success. After giving birth to my son last July, I was met with a few more challenges. But, being able to pump has been a key factor in making nursing possible both times.

When you’re a first time mom of one, all of your attention is given to one child. However dividing time between a preschooler and an infant is a whole other ball game. My life is a constant juggling act, and nursing is no different.

I dealt with cracked and sore nipples – not to mention many sleepless nights with Princess. Round the clock nursing sessions became a normal routine, and it’s been the same with Baby O.

Chafed nipples are no longer an issue, but I’m still nursing 24/7 it seems. I’m usually breastfeeding during the night, when my son wakes up in the morning, before I drop him off at day care, and when I get home from work. Despite my busy schedule, I’ve found ways to make sure my baby gets the nutrition he needs. If for some reason I’m unable to nurse Baby O, I pump and store milk in the refrigerator. I even have a stash in freezer just in case my supply runs low.

lansinoh storage bags

Other moms have asked me how I do it all. Sometimes I wonder that myself. But in all honesty, finding a routine and sticking to it has helped me tremendously.

Pumping has become an integral part of my breastfeeding experience. Since returning back to work from maternity leave, Baby O has been going to daycare. I normally pump about four times a day. The breast pump that I’ve had for the past three and a half years has held up pretty well. However, it almost went dead not too long ago. It seemed like the motor was about to give out, which made me realize the importance of having multiple pumps. Through the Affordable Care Act, I was able to get a free electric pump, which I’ve been using as a back up.

I recently received a third one, the Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump, and it has quickly become one of my favorites.

SignatureProProduct

Courtesy Lansinoh

With a hectic schedule, the timer displayed on the LCD screen helps me to stay on track. The adjustable modes make pumping comfortable. I also noticed I’m able to express more milk than the other pumps I’ve used. Even though it doesn’t come with a cooler, it does include a tote bag. I love that it’s light-weight and easy to carry around. I also have the option of being able to pump one breast at a time – talk about convenience!

When I’m pressed for time and need to pump, the Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra comes in handy, and offers a comfy fit. I’m able to multi-task easily. Most days I’m applying makeup while pumping.

Courtesy Lansinoh

Courtesy Lansinoh

I’m able to pump directly into the Lansinoh bottles, attach the collar and sealing disk, and store in the fridge for later. Sometimes I’ll attach the NaturalWave Nipple for Baby O to drink from when I’m at work.

It took a while for him to get accustomed to it though. Switching to the fast flow nipple has alleviated the problem. The Natural Wave nipple allows for the same sucking actions a baby learns while breastfeeding, which lessens the chances of nipple confusion and gas.

Despite a crazy schedule, my second nursing experience has turned out pretty ok so far. I can’t believe Baby O is already seven-months-old! Hopefully, we’ll make it two years again.

In the spirit of nursing and pumping, Lansinoh will be giving away a Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump (~$149), Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra (~$35), and a Lansinoh bottle with NaturalWave Nipple (~$17) to one of my readers. Be sure to follow the instructions below to enter, and stay tuned to more Lansinoh product reviews. In the meantime, check out this Lansinoh video for more pumping info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A special thanks to Lansinoh for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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Why More Moms Should Want to Breastfeed

IMG_2871I was fortunate to have breastfed Princess for two years. That was one of my main goals as a mom. I wanted to make sure that my baby received the best start. I’ve had conversations with other moms in the past about nursing, and quickly realized that it’s a hot button issue.

I would never want to come of like a preacher. Whatever a mom chooses is her business. Some tell me that they didn’t produce enough milk. Some have even told me that nursing made them feel uncomfortable. I remember one mom telling me that she doesn’t want her child sucking on her boob.

I have my own personal views on nursing. For me, it’s a must. Breastfeeding has allowed me to develop a strong bond with my child and it saved me a ton of money. I didn’t have to buy any formula.

Now that baby number two is on the way, I plan on doing the same. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, I can also take advantage of getting a free breast pump. You can find more information in my recent post, I got my breast pump covered by insurance and you can too  at www.whattoexpect.com.

After reading, maybe more moms will consider nursing as an option.

 Would getting a free breast pump encourage you to nurse?
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Happy Blogversary To Me!

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 I told my hubby “it’s my anniversary” and he looked at me like I was crazy.  He finally got it when I said “it’s my blogversary,” hence the weird title.

I can’t believe it’s been a year!  I never thought I’d have a blog.  My first post explains why.  I really didn’t know what to expect.  But, I’m pleasantly surprised at the positive feedback that I’ve received.  Someone told me that they were inspired by my nursing diaries.  Whenever I here those words, “I love your blog,” I get so excited.  On the flip side, I didn’t know how difficult blogging could be.

I thought writing a post would be a no brainer, but sometimes I struggle to gather my thoughts.  I also wonder whether or not I’m being too personal.  The internet could be a great place to connect.  But, it could also be scary.  I worry if something I’ve written would ever come back to bite me in the you know what.  Overall, it’s been a great experience.  My blog has been a great tool in keeping in contact with family and friends.  It’s been my escape and my place to vent.  Most importantly, Princess will one day read this blog.  I hope that by documenting my journey to balance career and motherhood (along with so many other things), she’ll get to know her mama in a different way.  She’ll know that her mama was determined at giving her the best life ever.

I look forward to many more years of blogging.  Here’s what I hope to accomplish within the next year.

1.  I hope to gain more followers.  My goal was to get 100 followers in a year or less.  But, 91 ain’t too bad.  If you haven’t joined my site yet, please do.  All ya gotta do is click that blue button that says ‘join this site’ to the right and follow the simple directions from there.  You can also follow by email.  While your at it, connect with  me on twitter, pinterest, vimeo, facebook, youtube, and google +.  Princess also has a tumblr account, in case you want to follow that too. Btw, she doesn’t know that I know about it.
2. Host more giveaways.  I never wanted my blog to be all about prizes.  But, I would like show my readers how much I value them.  So far, I’ve given away tickets to Madam Tussauds, a gift card Target, makeup, and some fab earrings.
3.  I would love to keep writing for other blogs.  I’ve done some guest posts for Baby Center and Snugabell so far.
4.  Hit up some conferences.  I’ve already signed up for Blogher and I can’t wait to go, and meet other bloggers.
5.  Keep blogging, and post great pics!  I need help in the photography department.  I may just have to take a class.

I want to thank everyone for visiting Weather Anchor Mama.  I appreciate all the feedback and advice that I get.  So, keep ‘em coming.  What you like/dislike about my blog?  I’m a big girl.  I can take the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Weather Anchor Mama
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Nursing Diaries (Part Four)

“Pumping At Work”

As I mentioned in Part One, there isn’t always time to pump at work.  When there’s active weather, my job takes precedence.  Thankfully that’s not always the case.  I have a pretty understanding employer who allows me a place to express milk each day.  Some may feel they don’t have the opportunity to pump at work.  But I firmly believe that you can do it.  It’s just a matter of planning and asking your employer for assistance.

When I made the announcement that my hubby and I were expecting, I immediately told the HR representative that I planned on breastfeeding and began making arrangements, as I drew closer to my due date.  I had heard stories about moms pumping in the bathroom and decided early on that that wasn’t going to be me.  I wanted a nice clean and comfy environment to pump in.

 I can’t say it’s a spa like setting, but it’s sufficient.  It’s neatly tucked away from everyone, and the office came complete with a microwave and refrigerator.   I’ve been able to pump during my lunch hour and store away my milk for the remainder of my shift.  Talk about convenience!!  I also had a key, which was icing on the cake. 



 

My goal was to pump for one year and I’m proud to say that I’ve exceeded that!  I’d sneak away two to three times during my shift, in between shows (for about 15-20 minutes a session).   It can be a bit tedious, carrying all that gear and washing all the parts after each use.  But, it’s worth it!  I’ve spoken with other moms who’ve mentioned that they tried doing the deed for a number of months, but later gave up.  So, I want to share some tips with those of you planning on nursing, and pumping at work that has help me tremendously!

1.  Don’t be afraid to plan early!  Once you make the announcement to your boss, ask about a pumping room.  I know there may be some exceptions, but most businesses provide a pumping room (not the bathroom).

2.  Research different pumps.  I swear by Madela.  I’ve heard that hospital pumps are the best.  But, I feel that Madela is right up there!  It’s pretty expensive.  So, be sure to add it to your registry.  If no one buys it, you get a percentage off after your new arrival!  My little one also enjoys drinking from the Madela bottles.  Maybe your baby will too!


3.  Also, get some storage bags and containers.  I tried a few, but I like Lansinoh bags because it stores and pours easily and it’s affordable.


4.  If you do decide to pump at work, don’t forget to pump and/or nurse at home.  Your boobies and baby will thank you later for keeping that supply going!  I’ll talk more about how I was able to rebuild my milk supply in Part 5.

5.  If you’re not comfortable with your pumping conditions at work like the location or conditions, then speak up!  You want your pumping experience to be as confortable as possible.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  For more info on pumping and breastfeeding laws, visit http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389

Happy pumping!

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Nursing Diaries (Part Two)

“Nursing Around the Clock”


After giving birth some moms may opt to have their newborns spend some time in the nursery, while they catch up on sleep.  But, I wanted my baby with me 24/7.  It wasn’t because I didn’t trust the hospital staff.  I wanted that time to nurse and bond with my baby.  It was something I planned to do early on, so I was prepared to miss out on sleep.  Some people thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care.  I was committed and ready for the long haul.  The first two nights in the hospital I don’t think my hubby and I got any rest.  My baby girl kept us pretty busy.  She loved nursing from the moment her lips came in contact with my boob.  Breast-fed babies usually nurse every two hours, but it seemed like Princess nursed throughout the entire day.  At one point it was like every five to ten minutes.  I had already informed my doctor and the nursing staff that I intended on exclusively nursing, so formula was not an option.  At one point, I was offered to pump.  But, I thought by introducing the bottle this early could possibly create nipple confusion.  With the exception of the normal check ups, Princess stayed with us the whole time in the hospital.  But, we eventually reached a point where we both needed to get some shuteye.  I asked one of the nurses take her to the nursery for a couple hours.  It was a smart move on our part because once we got home; sleep time for us was a rare occasion.  Let me rephrase that, I barely got any sleep.

When you decide to nurse, you are the only one that can feed your baby.  It seemed like Princess wanted the boob around the clock.  It’s now a blur to me, but my hubby says that I was like a machine.  We chose not to have too many people around the first few weeks because she was so new.  Plus, we both wanted to spend as much time as possible bonding with her.  As I mentioned before, my work schedule could be pretty grueling.  I knew that in a matter of months, most of my baby’s time would be spent at daycare.  So, I sucked it up and did what I had to do.  But, my saving grace was my hubby.  Everyone has a breaking point, and I am no different.  Not only did she always want to nuzzle up to my breast, my baby girl would only nap while in motion.  She didn’t like the swing or the vibrating bouncers, which meant that I had to walk around the entire house to get her to fall asleep.  Most of the time I was a walking zombie, so my hubby took over touring duties.  I don’t know what I would do, if I were alone.  I give all you single parents a lot of credit.

After a few weeks, we introduced her to the bottle (which I will chat more about in Part three).  It was a much-needed break for me.  I’d pump and my hubby would feed her, while I caught up on some z’s.  I’m not talking a full night’s rest, but more like a couple of hours here and there.  However, it was still a nice break.

My daughter will be one this week and she still loves the boobies.  She’s already eating table foods, but she enjoys nursing before bed and before she heads of to daycare.  She hasn’t been sleeping through the night for the past few months because of teething issues.  So, she finds comfort being breast fed overnight too.  My doc says that at her age she shouldn’t be nursing through the night, but it helps her sleep.  I choose to bask in these nursing days because it will eventually come to an end.  There will come a time when she won’t want to nestle up to my boob anymore.  

A lot has changed since we bought Princess home almost one year ago.  I’ve gone from getting about a couple hours to about five hours of sleep during the night.  Even though I’m still missing out on my beauty rest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My baby is happy and healthy.  I thank God for that each day.




Weather Anchor Mama

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