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Power Pumping – A Quick Way to Increase Milk Supply New 2020

power pump

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Hopefully, this headline caught your attention because power pumping sounds badass and that is exactly what a nursing mama is! There are natural ways to encourage a strong or steady milk supply such as a diet that includes oatmeal, plenty of water, or supplements such as fenugreek or mother’s milk tea. You can also encourage higher production of milk through power pumping. When you choose to nurse, you are judging the amount of milk you produce according to your baby’s satisfaction and weight gain. The number of wet and soiled diapers can also reassure you that your baby is hydrated. 

Unfortunately, our bodies do not always do exactly what we want. Many moms experience their milk supply decreasing before they are ready and this happens for a number of reasons. A mother’s dehydration, menstrual cycle, overall health, and even stress can impact milk supply. However, if your milk supply is dwindling before you and your baby are ready to stop nursing and there is no medical reason why then you can look into methods to keep your supply steady like power pumping. 

power pumping

What is Power Pumping?

Power pumping is a method that stimulates the body into producing more milk due to supply and demand. It is similar to cluster feeding, which is a period of time in which the baby feeds more frequently between their feeding schedule. The higher demand may be due to fussiness or a growth spurt. It also promotes an increase in milk supply. This may not be a walk in the park if you are already feeling strained by breastfeeding, but it is the best way to keep supply up if that’s your ultimate goal. Keep a good nipple cream around to make this process seem a bit more bearable! 

Whether you are nursing or pumping, the body produces the hormone prolactin. Prolactin levels increase during pregnancy and after birth so that the mother’s body can make breast milk. The body also produces more oxytocin for encouraging milk “let down”. Power pumping means there is more demand so the body will produce more prolactin.

While nursing your baby should increase supply to your baby’s demand, you can help it along with power pumping. The use of your breast pump for the purpose of increasing milk supply gives your body the idea that the demand is greater. It also works to empty the breasts so that the body knows there is a need to make more milk. If any milk is left over in the breast, the body may not consider that there is still a demand for milk.

How Long Should You Power Pump?

Whether you use a single pump or a double pump, you can finish each session in one hour. Double pumps can be more effective because there is no need to switch breasts in between and more prolactin is produced when both breasts are stimulated.

power pump

Double Pump Schedule:

  • Pump 20 minutes
  • 10 minutes rest
  • Pump 10 minutes
  • Rest 10 minutes
  • Pump 10 minutes

Single Pump Schedule:

  • Start by pumping 10 minutes on the right breast
  • Pump 10 minutes on the left breast
  • Then pump 10 minutes on the right breast
  • Pump 10 minutes on the left breast
  • Next pump 10 minutes on the right breast
  • Pump 10 minutes on the left breast

Power pumping can be done once a day. Milk supply increase can take between 2 to 7 days to see results.

How to Power Pump Comfortably

Use a Great Pump

First things first, you will need a pump! But, what are the best pumps for power pumping? Truthfully, any pump will do. Since power pumping is so frequent, though, being hands-free might be nice. Here are our favorite hands-free options!

Stay Hydrated

Frequent power pumping sessions will require you to up your water intake. Water bottles like this with little reminders will help!

Stock Up on Nipple Cream

After each pumping session, use nipple cream or coconut oil to relieve or prevent chapping or chafing. Here are a few of our favorites that offer great relief and are totally safe for breastfeeding moms to use. 

Upspring Nipple Balm Organic Coconut Oil

Upspring Coconut Oil is a great choice for relief for breastfeeding moms. It not only soothes but also protects and repairs. This balm is not greasy at all so application is easy and comfortable. You will also be happy to know it is made of all natural ingredients and perfectly safe to put on before breastfeeding. Get yours here!

Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

This is a vegan and cruelty-free option! Earth Mama’s organic breast cream is also non-GMO. It does not include any beeswax but instead is made of soothing plant products. It absorbs very fast but heals quickly all while bringing you soothing comfort. Check pricing here!

Best Nipple Creams

Honest Company Organic Nipple Balm 

This nipple balm is made of deeply hydrating olive oil that revitalizes sore or chapped nursing nipples. You can apply it as often as you like and it doesn’t ever need to be wiped off before feedings. Check it out here!

Best Nipple Cream

When Is the Best Time to Do Power Pumping?

You want to be able to power pump when your baby is not hungry. A good time would be during a naptime. Mothers generally have a higher volume of breast milk during the morning. If you can get an hour for pumping during a time of the day when you can be calm and comfortable, it will aid in your milk production. Naptime is best if you are the sole caregiver, otherwise, find a time when there is another caregiver such as a partner or family member who can help out. A comfortable seat with a dedicated spot for the pump equipment is ideal. Calming music, positive baby reminders, and even warm compresses can help. Stress and anxiety about the amount of milk you produce will be counterproductive.

Power pumping can be done once a day. If it is necessary, it can be done in the evening when your baby goes down for the night and before you go to bed.

When Should You Not Power Pump?

Power pumping should only be used in cases of low milk supply. If you power pump with adequate milk supply, it can lead to oversupply and painful engorgement. Also, your body may produce more foremilk which is thinner and does not fill your baby as much as the thicker, richer hindmilk. Too much milk production can affect both you and your baby.

Who Can You Talk to About Power Pumping?

A lactation consultant can answer questions regarding your baby’s latch and breastfeeding questions in general. They can assure you that your milk supply is adequate when your newborn is hungry about every two hours because breast milk is digested faster than formula. It is important not to compare breastfed babies to formula-fed babies because the composition is different. A mother who is nursing adjusts to the needs of the baby just as the baby will adapt and become more skilled in suckling. Enjoy the bonding time with your baby and don’t let stress get in the way of nourishing your baby with the best food for them.

Hopefully this headline caught your attention because power pumping sounds badass and that is exactly what a nursing mama is! There are natural ways to encourage a strong or steady milk supply such as a diet that includes oatmeal, plenty of water, or supplements such as fenugreek or mother’s milk tea. Check out some helpful ways to increase milk supply! #pumping #milk #powerpumping #momtips #motherhood

Have some questions about Pumping. Feel free to list them in the comments  Also, check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group, it’s a great group of moms where you can share your experiences, ask for advice and even help out another mom!

You Might Also Enjoy:

How to Score a Free Breast Pump – Tips, Tricks & Questions to Ask

Best Electric Breast Pumps – Top 9 Choices

How to Wean From Pumping – Breastfeeding Tips from a Pro

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Gap is to Old Navy as Gymboree is to … New 2020

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If you already know the answer to this analogy, then pardon my ignorance, but for the rest of you, the answer is: Crazy 8. I just learned this.

Yes, Gymboree has launched a cheaper, hipper brand and my husband just told me about it as he unpacked some clothing for our kids he had bought online from Crazy 8. Hello? How does he know about a new kids brand before I do? Oh, because he is the master of e-commerce?

Anyhow, shipping is currently free and they have some 2-for deals like 2 tshirts for $12.

Note to Heather whose daycare does not allow onesies on babies: Many long-sleeved t shirts for Milo like the one pictured here which is $4.99.

And, for the fancy pants moms among you, did you know that Janie and Jack is the Banana Republic of the Gymboree family? Well, I didn’t until just now. Call me slow.

Keyword: Gap is to Old Navy as Gymboree is to …

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Tech Tuesday: An easy way to keep track of kid quotes New 2020

kidquoter_3

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My daughter has a wonderful knack for inventing words. “Waggy”, if you don’t know, is an adjective that describes wide-leg pants, such as men’s-styled pajama bottoms. On Pajama Day at preschool, you might think twice about wearing your waggy jammies, because if you want to climb a lot, they may get in your way.

All kids say the darndest things, of course. And all parents forget those things pretty quickly.

Enter technology.

kidquoter_1

Storybots has a new app called KidQuoter that invites you to capture (and share) the memorable things your children say. You create a profile for each child, including their picture and age. When you add a quote, the app generates a cartoon-ish digital postcard that displays the quote with the child’s picture name and specific age, ie 5 years 8 months, at the time you entered it.

kid-quotes-app

You can change the background color of the image, store multiple faces for each kid, and change their outfit before you save it. It makes for a really cute image, but like all JibJab ecards, the photo you uploaded is just the child’s face; the costumes and headgear are fun illustrations. For my daughter especially, I wish there was a way to include her hair.

Once you save the image, you can easily share it on Facebook, Twitter or in an email that will automatically have the subject line “{Child’s Name} said…” My husband was away this weekend and I definitely had my ears pricked up to send him funny things the kids said. Alas, the children are simply not charming and funny all the time. If you like to send your partner updates throughout the day, this is a cute way to execute it.

 kidquoter_3

This app is free, and if your child is nearing two, I think it’s time to start writing down what she says. The mornings on which she requests “breffaxt” won’t last forever.

Keyword: Tech Tuesday: An easy way to keep track of kid quotes

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Love letter to Play Cafes New 2020

I love a good indoor play space

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In a seven-day span, I will admit to visiting Cafe PriPri, Tumble & Tea, Studio Grow, Habitot, and the kindergym at the Berkeley YMCA. Why did I do that? Did I do it for you, dear anonymous reader? Did I do it for myself or my son? No, I did it because Whitney asked me to and sometimes I still like that. 🙂 I’ll be reporting back on all my opinions and findings in the next two weeks.

When I open the door to your Studio Grow play space, the angels sing… “ahhhhh” (can you hear it?). The place is frickin’ beautiful and makes me wish that I were three years old again and could really kick back and enjoy myself (rather than a thirty-three-year-old pregnant woman chasing around an inexplicably sobbing 18-month old).

What I really love:

  • It’s so big and spacious, with so many stations and opportunities for fun (balls, keyboards, water tables, doll houses, etc!)
  • The stations invite imaginative play experiences with appealing, simple, well-organized toys and/or manipulatives.
  • It’s clean and bright (even on a gray day) with handy Purell dispensers at every turn
  • There’s a place for snacks and nobody’s making me deal with a two-drink minimum
  • There are regularly-scheduled multi-cultural fun activities (although to be honest, that’s not much of a differentiator in Berkeley, and Holden can’t sit still long enough to enjoy himself)

What I really don’t love:

  • The price – even with the volume discount packages, I can’t afford the place. Additional adults all cost more money. I feel like I just need to go to the depths of Habitot because it’s already paid for the year.
  • It’s so big and fun, I never get to hang out with the friends who meet me there

Bottom line: Awesome for special occasions, when somebody treats me to admission, or if I have a full day to kill

I love a good indoor play space


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Question for you: What did you look forward to doing as an adult when you were little? New 2020

Question for you: What did you look forward to doing as an adult when you were little?

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Before I became a thirtysomething mother whose eyes fill with tears at any mention of childhood hunger or loss of a spouse, I maintained what I now recognize as a gratitude practice. No, I was not spending a moment each day to be mindful of how lucky I was to be safe, healthy, and loved; rather, I would marvel to myself, “I am a grown up! I can stay up as late as I want and have Snickers bars for dinner! I can watch unlimited hours of television. No one will stop me!”

Last weekend I attended a curated reading called Voices of the Year at the BlogHer conference. The emcee introduced each author by sharing one thing that the author had said she looked forward to in adult life when she was a child. I wanted to pose the question to everyone at my table immediately.

I never ever eat a Snickers bar for dinner. My mother’s lessons are too ingrained in my head. But I would easily eat one after dinner — if I had thought to purchase one.

How about you? What did you look forward to doing as an adult? Do you do it?

Keyword: Question for you: What did you look forward to doing as an adult when you were little?

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Fashion Don’t: Fake High Heel Shoes For Babies New 2020

heelarious

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I have a very long and diverse list of blogs I slog through each morning looking for content, so I see strange unholy things on the internet all the time. However, this is the only thing in recent memory that actually, literally, made me gasp aloud in horror.

heelarious

These are soft faux leopard-print high heels for babies, and they make me cringe. Learning that they cost $35 makes them all the worse. Seriously. Just. So. Wrong. I don’t like to be judgmental about people’s baby fashion choices, but I am going to make an exception for these and say there is no good reason to subject your baby to this. Or me, in case I’m in the room too.

Image source: www.popgadget.net

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Tape up a train track for your toddler New 2020

Tape up a train track for your toddler

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A few weeks ago, a stroke of genius hit and I laid these “train tracks” down on the rug in Julian’s room. At four-and-three-quarters, he is over the whole Thomas thing, but larger scale train action definitely still turns him on.

All you need is a roll of painter’s tape, the kind that removes from walls with minimal damage.

As you can see, Julian has he has an extensive dress up collection (see his cowboy hat, santa hat, and tiger suit?) , and he put his engineer get-up on every day after school for about a week. We collected all of the stools and small chairs in the house and lined them up in rows of two. He sat in the front with a cardboard box that was his “control panel”.

Tape a train track on the floor | RookieMoms.com



The icing on the cake was the hole puncher we gave him.
He passed out magazine reply card inserts for us to use as tickets. When he announced “Tickets, please!” we would present our paper for him to punch a hole through. Somehow this made it all very official. I think a toddler close to two would be inspired to play imaginatively these tracks, too, but of course without the hole puncher aspect.

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Introducing Wacoal nursing bras (sponsored) New 2020

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

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This post is sponsored by Wacoal America. All content and photos created by Rookie Moms. 

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

Baby Margot and Rookie Mom Kym at home, trying to get out of the house

I have been brought to tears by an uncomfortable maternity bra, so I know that finding a good nursing bra is worth a small tub of gold. I don’t have a small tub of gold, but if I did, I’d gladly trade it for something that provides support, nipple access, and straps that don’t dig into my shoulders.

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

I convinced rookie mom Kym to take the new Wacoal nursing bras for a stroll.

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

Let’s take a closer look at the sport nursing bra.

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

This nursing sports bra is made of bounce-reducing wicking fabric, with mesh details for cooling. It’s designed for medium impact activities with a wide elastic bottom band for stability. The back straps are close-set to reduce slipping. One-handed opening and closure, obviously!

With five adjustments, this bra can shrink with you — as many of us experience (slow) slimming in the year following pregnancy. Plus, it’s comfy enough to wear all day. If you wear yoga pants all the time, why not a sports bra?

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

This flexible underwire bra is engineered to not dig into breast tissue while providing support. While I adhered to the wisdom that underwire is to be avoided, I would have really appreciated a t-shirt bra like this to wear with more fitted clothing. Since we’re inside the house today, you’re seeing the straps hang out of a tank top. Real life.

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

This bra also has five hook and eye settings, one-handed unclipping of cups, and comes in nude and black.

The adjustable straps enable moms to accommodate the fluctuating volume of their breasts throughout the day.

Thanks to Kym for reviewing these bras with me. Baby Margot thought it was a fun activity, too!

Wacoal introduces nursing bras

This post is sponsored by Wacoal America. All content and photos created by Rookie Moms. 

Keyword: Introducing Wacoal nursing bras (sponsored)

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How-To: Healthy-ish Halloween New 2020

veggie_skeleton

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If your kid is too young to know about the pleasures of candy, you’ll have no trouble restricting her intake on Halloween. You might really enjoy watching her slobber over her first mini-Snickers bar and that will be the end of a very nice evening.

For those with toddlers and preschoolers, however, there may be some anxiety and power struggles over the candy situation. I once had a visiting 2-year old melt down in my entryway on Halloween night.

My son and I have a deal going. I’ll let him eat some candy along the way as we trick or treat. Then, when we get home, he gets to keep five pieces in the fridge, and the rest get set outside his bedroom door. Overnight they will magically turn into a toy. (We did this last year, too.) The remaining five pieces get consumed over the next five days, and then we’re on to the next thing.

The nice people at the company who make Pirate’s Booty sent me a few other tips. They encourage us to “be kind to other parents” by passing out a healthy low-fat snack (like, um, maybe Pirate’s Booty?) or a non-food item like glow sticks. (I love this idea!)

Also, pump your kids full of healthy food before they go to any candy fest neighborhood event. We had this kick-ass skeleton veggie tray last year.

veggie_skeleton
And finally, if your kid is otherwise healthy, plays outside, eats fruits and veggies sometimes, you’ll just have to rest assured that it’s no big deal to have a few candy overdoses each year. When they’re older, Halloween will be a night filled with aerobic activity as they run around egging houses and stealing pumpkins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pump your kids full of healthy food before they go to any candy fest or neighborhood event. We had this kick-ass skeleton veggie tray last year. #healthy #halloween #health #spooky #trickortreat #fall #happyhalloween #pumpkin #food #halloween2019 #halloweenideas #halloweenfoodideas #foodie #veggies


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My kids’ first time at Camp Grandma New 2020

Grammy and the boys at Camp Grandma

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Aside from childbirth — in which I got a lovely all-expenses paid trip to the hospital down the street for two nights with my husband — Alec and I have never been away from the kids together. (Aww crap, I just realized that I have been telling that story for a while now, but even in the hospital, we obviously had one baby to care for).

Grammy and the boys at Camp Grandma

When my mom offered to come out from Ohio to watch my three sons while Alec and I enjoyed a mid-week escape, I said, “YES PLEASE!!”. While I may have been fantasizing about two weeks on another continent, we decided for a three-day roadtrip in California. Baby steps. We also agreed that weekdays would be the easiest because the children have school and childcare for most of the day. Thus my birthday getaway and foray into Camp Grandma was plotted.

My mom arrived last Monday afternoon in time for us to share a mother-daughter lunch and pedicure before we launched into kid-care and hands-on training for pick-ups, tantrums, dinner protocol, meal planning, and minivan navigation. In the morning, we did drills on wake-up-and-leave-the-house including quizzes on where we keep clothes, lunchboxes, and coffee supplies. My aunt would join later in the day for an extra pair of hands. I felt ready.

Alec and I headed out the door with our tiny rental convertible and drove off leaving them for some family-bonding time.
parents getaway

Whee!

While we were away, we got a few text updates and photos to let us know that things were going well (enough).
Kids at camp grandma

… as well as a few questions about where the heck we keep things.

Texts from grammy

Luckily, they all got into a groove because our second and third nights away, we were completely off the grid with no cell reception and *gulp* no WIFI.

We returned from our getaway to a family dinner and a birthday karaoke excursion. We hired a sitter so that my mom could join us for an adults-only evening and celebrate the success of Camp Grandma. Please excuse the quality of the iPhone photo in party lighting but I love this picture of me and my mom as I’m singing Radiohead Creep. See the lyrics? Priceless.

Mother daughter karaoke to Radiohead

I know my kids had a terrific time with my mom. Sawyer, at 18 months, is still asking “Gammy go?” now that she’s returned home. I hope we can do it all again soon.

[All photos from me or my mom]

Keyword: My kids’ first time at Camp Grandma