Quick tip: Use the Site Map (also located above) to find topics by category.
(My apologies to those that do not use the Pump in Style Advanced.)
- Speed/vacuum adjustment - This is not meant to be turned up to the highest speed. When selecting a speed, turn the knob up slowly until just past your most comfortable setting. Then, turn the knob down slightly. Remember, you want to simulate what babies do when breastfeeding, and a baby’s suck is slow and low, not fast and high. Pumping at the max speed can not only damage your nipples, but it can also affect your supply.
- Let-down button – This button can be used to stimulate a let down. When used, more milk can be produced in less time when pumping at maximum comfort.
- Tubing – Condensation may build up in your tubing as you pump. Be sure to keep your tubing dry in between pumps to prevent mold from growing inside. To dry out your tubing, swing them around quickly (like a lasso). Then, let the pump run for a few minutes until all the condensation has evaporated out completely. Do this after every pump.
- Valves and membranes – If the valves and membranes are not completely dry when you pump, the valves may not work properly. This can affect the efficiency of your pump, possibly lowering your output. Be sure to properly clean and air dry these parts in between pumps. NOTE: If you remove the membranes from the valves, be SURE to replace them when setting up for your next pump. If you accidentally replace the valves without the membranes, you may think that your pump has stopped working and put yourself through unnecessary stress.
- Membranes – Keep an eye out for damaged membranes. Sometimes membranes may be damaged, but not visibly so. Be sure to replace your membranes approximately every 3 months.
- Breast Shields – Be sure you are using the correct size breast shields. To determine if you are using the correct size shields, look at your nipples as they are drawn into the tunnel of the shields during pumping. They should move freely and easily, and should not rub against the sides of the tunnels.
Honestly, I didn’t even try. Why? Because I heard so many stories about insurance companies giving frustrated new mommies the runaround. I simply didn’t have the patience for an insurance company runaround when I was trying to take care of my crying newborn and pumping 6 times a day!
A good friend of mine (Kelly Smith) posted a link to a website that takes all the frustration out of getting your free (well deserved) pump. Even if you’ve been pumping for 10 months like Kelly, getting another pump might help. (The anxiety of not having a backup pump was there throughout my entire pumping experience.) Follow these simple steps, and hopefully getting your free pump will be as easy for you as it was for Kelly!
(Note: Only the following insurance providers are listed on the website. If your insurance is not listed, you should contact your insurance company directly. Aetna, BCBS Michigan, BCBS North Dakota, Blue Shield of California, Cigna (New York State), EmblemHealth GHI, EmblemHealth HIP, Empire Blue Cross – NY, Humana, Lifewise, Magnacare, POMCO Group, Premera Blue Cross, Wellmark BCBS of Iowa, Aetna Affiliates: Allied Benefit System, Christian Brothers, Coresource, Meritain Health, Nippon Life Benefits, Preferred Health Professionals.)
- Visit https://yummymummystore.com/insurance.html
- Select your insurance provider from the drop-down menu
- Add the pump and accessories you want to your cart
- Click Proceed to Checkout
- Register for an account
- Enter your billing information
- Enter your shipping information (if different from billing info)
- Enter your insurance information (here is what the page looks like and the information you will be asked to provide)
- Complete the Acknowledgement and Consent section (check the boxes and sign in the signature box)
- No need to enter shipping method
- No payment information is required
- Review, and place your order! (here is what the review screen will look like)
I may have missed the boat when pumping for Jimmy, but I sure as heck won’t be missing out when I have my next child!
Ok, so I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, but somehow never got around to it.
There’s something called an Upper Lip Tie (or ULT) that is often overlooked when newborns are being checked for the first time. A ULT can range in levels of severity. A severe ULT is basically when that piece of skin that attaches the lip to the gums (also called a frenulum) connects really low on the gum line and/or is really tight. This causes a restriction in upper lip movement.
What does that mean? Well, it can lead to several things.
- Poor or painful latch when breastfeeding
- Large gaps between front teeth (and potential relapse after orthodontic care)
- Dental decay on upper front teeth
- Speech problems
What does this have to do with pumping? Well, as you just read, a ULT can lead to problems latching while breastfeeding. What that means is, if you are pumping because breastfeeding was painful or ineffective, your child may have a ULT.
Does it matter if I’m not going to try latching again? If you think your LO might have a ULT, consider the implications mentioned above. If you are concerned, consider seeking advice from a specialist.
Now, I’ve noticed a number of women asking questions about this over the past year, so I thought I’d briefly share my experience with Jimmy’s lip tie and his revision.
I started exclusively pumping at around 3 weeks pp because breastfeeding was incredibly painful. I didn’t realize what was causing the pain until several months later. We discovered Jimmy’s lip-tie at around 5 months. His lip-tie was extremely severe and we were most concerned with the possibility that he would develop speech problems. After researching as much as we could, we discovered that a revision using a laser (instead of clipping it) was recommended. We visited an oral surgeon that specialized in treating lip-ties. We also talked to an Orofacial Myologist about the implications of the procedure (how to make sure it healed properly).
The procedure itself lasted about 5 minutes. We were in and out in 20 minutes (including signing a few consent forms). The oral surgeon swaddled Jimmy in a blanket, and laid him down on me so I could hold him tight and comfort him during the procedure. He used Novocaine to numb Jimmy’s gums. Jimmy cried a lot during the procedure, which broke my heart, but I kissed and hugged him throughout. There was no bleeding and he was able to take a bottle almost immediately after the procedure. He was completely healed in about a week.
Now, I’m not suggesting that all ULTs need to be revised. I am just hoping to spread some information about ULTs to the pumping community.
If you’re looking for support (and you know I’m all for support!) there is a facebook group full of helpful ladies… https://www.facebook.com/groups/tonguetiebabies/
And don’t forget Pump Strong America if you’re looking for pumping support
Imagine having a group of pumping moms that meet regularly, right in your home town. You’d meet once or twice a month over coffee and snacks, and share stories (which will probably be stories of commiseration) with each other for an hour or so. How amazing would that be?
I think I have a way to make that happen… but can’t do it alone. So, let me explain what I have in mind, and how you can help make it a reality.
Here’s what I envision.
All pumpers (past, if they would like, present, and future) will converge online in one place (a facebook page). There, they will find a link to different facebook groups… we’ll call them chapters… one for each state (some larger states will have a few). Each person will join the chapter for the state they are in (we’ll start with the US but can spread out to different countries if there is enough interest). They will then begin connecting with other pumping moms in their (greater) area.
At first, the chapters will include members from across each state; so you may not be close enough to meet each other in person. However, as the chapters grow, you will be more likely to find other pumping moms near you. My hope is that soon enough, sub-chapters will form, and pumping moms will be able to coordinate in-person group meetings. That’s when the fun begins!
So that’s my vision. Here’s how you can help make it a reality.
- I created a facebook page called “Pump Strong America”. This will be the hub where you will find links to all the Pump Strong chapters. General ground rules and guidelines will be posted there as well.
- “Like” the page.
- Find your chapter, and join the group.
- We need a moderator for each group. If you are interested in moderating a group, let me know!
- Wondering what moderators will be responsible for? Moderators will make sure people are respectful to one another and promote a positive and supportive environment. They will also collect information on where members are located and determine when it would be possible for a sub-group (or several sub-groups) to be formed. They will then appoint a sub-group moderator (or choose to be moderator themselves) who will be responsible for coordinating in-person group meetings.
- Promote Pump Strong America! The more members we have, the more success we will have in creating sub-chapters and meeting in person!
- Continue to encourage other pumping moms and ask for advice if you need it. That’s what we’re all here for after all!
Let’s take full advantage of all the amazing technology the 21st century has given us! What do you say?
[This is a follow-up to my previous post: The secret to success as an (exclusive) pumper]
First, I’d just like to say how unbelievably proud I am to be a part of this AMAZING community of (exclusive) pumpers–past, present, and future. The amount of support and appreciation I have seen every single pumper show each other warms my heart. I have never felt or seen so much encouragement from any other community that I have been a part of (and there have been many over the years). And that’s why I am ecstatic that so many of you want to wear Pump Strong bands. We get to show encouragement to others without even having to say anything!
In the meantime, a couple of my pumping pals (see what I did there) suggested that I make Thank You cards for other pumpers, similar to the Thank You cards that have been made for moms that breastfeed. So, I did just that. Feel free to print some out and subtly give them to fellow pumpers when you spot them. (A big thank you to my friend, and fellow EPer, Kelly Smith for coming up with the wording for these cards.)
I should be receiving the Pump Strong bands in about two weeks. Please keep this message alive. The more of us that wear the bands, the greater the chances we’ll know a fellow pumper when we see one!
For detailed information on the Pump Strong bands, see my previous post… The secret to success as an (exclusive) pumper.