Chammomile ice pack pads.
Take your pads or pantyliners put them on a cookie sheet on wax paper pour fresh chammomile tea on them and let them absorb put in freezer and freeze take out and stack with a small piece of wax paper in between each one. Use after birth as a healing ice pack.
Get a good pump. I have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced tote bag, and itâ€™s one of my closest friends î„… Great things about the pump are that itâ€™s super portable, itâ€™s got sufficient storage room for taking it places, and it works really well. I bought my pump at Babies R Us with one of those great 20% off coupons they give out.
Be sure you have a good number of the accessories that go with the pump. Iâ€™ve got about thirty bottles for pumping into and feeding my daughter. I have about ten of the Medela 5 ounce bottles (which actually hold about 6.5 ounces). I also bought eighteen First Essential 5 ounce bottles off of Amazon. Theyâ€™re much cheaper than the Medela bottles (I bought them for $11.90 for 9), they screw into the connectors/elbows, and the Medela nipples work with them just as well. Iâ€™ve also got eight of what I call pumping â€œkitsâ€, that is sets of two shields/trumpets, two connectors/elbows, two valves, and two membranes. I bought plastic shoe boxes ($1 each at Walmart) for each kit and use them for storing my kits by my pump, storing milk in the fridge, storing bags of milk in the freezer, etc.
Be sure you are using the right size shields. My sister gave me a lot of her accessories from when she was pumping, and she used the 24 mm shields. The lactation consultant measured me at my appointment, and I need 30 mm ones! The difference in pain and pump efficiency was AMAZING!
Buy a correctly sized bustier so you can pump hands-free. I got a black one so itâ€™s less likely to stain. I leave it in my bag when not in use.
I used to have problems with my shields not staying in place while I was pumping. I realized it was the flaps from my nursing bra not being completely out of the way and interfering with my shields staying properly suctioned.
I put a receiving blanket up under my breasts and on my lap while Iâ€™m pumping and afterwards when Iâ€™m cleaning up to catch any leakage. Itâ€™s also handy if you need to quickly cover up.
If pumping isnâ€™t working, it could be the membrane isnâ€™t attached to the valve correctly or has a hole in it.
The iPhone app Baby Connect is GREATî€Ž! It has a timer for pumping sessions, has an alarm where you can set how long you want to pump and will alert you when time is finished. It also charts tons of data â€“ total volume for each day, number of sessions, average duration of sessions, average volume of sessions, and average interval between sessions. It can also keep track of bottles (with excellent charting and averaging features), diapers, nursing sessions, medications (I keep track of my meds and my daughterâ€™s), babyâ€™s sleeping, babyâ€™s moods, and lots more. Beyond that, multiple people can access all the features from their phone. My husband has the app and can access his at any time to see the information or input his own data. He checks in on us from work pretty often î• When I go back to work, my MIL is going to stay with our daughter. Weâ€™ll get her the app as well so she can input data and I can check in on them when Iâ€™m at work î‰
Set yourself up with a pumping station. Leave your pump there when youâ€™re not traveling and keep all your clean accessories there. Iâ€™ve also got a basket there where I keep all my medications, my daughterâ€™s meds, hand lotion, lip balm, two extra bottles and caps for backup, my nursing pads and lanolin (I like Johnsonâ€™s pads because Iâ€™ve never had a leakage problem when using them, theyâ€™re not individually wrapped so itâ€™s better for the environment, and they have an adhesive strip on them if you need to keep them in place in your bra), a trashcan for used nursing pads and other trash, magazines to help pass the time, and anything else you need in armâ€™s reach while you're pumping.
Have something to do while pumping. Once Iâ€™ve updated my info in BabyConnect, I go on Facebook, Baby Bump (of course), CNN, watch Netflix, read magazines or a book, etc. It really helps time pass! Guess what Iâ€™m doing right now! î…
Get a nursing cover. I got mine from uddercovers.com for free (just paid shipping â€“ do a Google search, they often have promotions). I donâ€™t feed from the boob, but the cover is useful for when people are in the room who Iâ€™m comfortable pumping in front of but donâ€™t care to flash my boobs at. Itâ€™s also REALLY helpful for when I need to pump outside the house. I was actually pumping in my car in the Macyâ€™s parking lot when a CURRENT, MALE student of mine walked by (Iâ€™m a high school teacher)î„‡. My cover paid for itself in that very moment!!
Leave your plug at home when traveling. Instead take a battery pack (mine takes AAs) and have extra batteries in your bag. Iâ€™ve also got a car adapter but havenâ€™t used it yet.
To cut down on dishwashing, I simply rinse my accessories after a session and store them in the fridge until my next â€œappointmentâ€. I only use two kits per day now â€“ one for the daytime and one for nighttime â€“ because I refrigerate the parts in between. I do so much less washing and have so much more time now!
Pumping parts are dishwasher safe in the top rack. I bought 2 Munchkin Dishwasher Baskets from Amazon to hold bottle caps, valves and membranes (I actually put the valves & membranes in the wash assembled â€“ I havenâ€™t lost a membrane yet!) Thankfully my dishwasher has a sanitizing rinse feature so everything gets not only clean but sanitized as well. I bought a Boon Grass Drying Rack as well so I can air dry bottles and shields. Itâ€™s cute, and I donâ€™t need to worry about bottles falling over or shields touching the countertop.
I use unscented dishwashing detergent because I found that the smell of regular detergent sticks to the plastic î†, especially of the bottles, and I really didnâ€™t like that for my daughter. I use Seventh Generation dye and perfume free.
If you need replacement tubing (I got some milk in mine one time and have not been able to clean the drops out), call Medela customer service at 1-800-435-8316, talk to a customer rep, tell them you have some kind of issue (like milk that wonâ€™t wash out î„…), and they will send you tubes for free! î—
Massage your breasts while pumping to help empty your ducts. Especially when there are times Iâ€™m engorged, massage helps. Go up as far as your collarbone, as far out as your armpit, and donâ€™t neglect your cleavage. Like I said before, I havenâ€™t yet gotten a clogged duct. There have been two times when I was starting to get mastitis, but I made sure to pump even more often and massage my breasts. The infection never progressed and cleared up by the next day.
To get the most output, pump at least eight times a day for at least 15-20 minutes. Yes, itâ€™s time-consuming, but Iâ€™ve never had a supply problem (thankfully!), average over 60 ounces total every dayî, and have more than eight gallons of milk frozen for when I go back to work.
Medela freezer bags are convenient because you can pump right into them, but theyâ€™re expensive and only have one zipper. I like the Lanisoh bags because theyâ€™re bigger (donâ€™t overfill them though!) and they have a double zipper so you can be certain itâ€™s sealed. Plus, once I freeze them laying flat, theyâ€™re the perfect size for storing sideways in all those plastic shoeboxes I have.
Please add on other things you've learned or questions you have!