Sunday, September 27, 2009

5 Biggest Mistakes Working & Pumping Moms Make

Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! Please be sure to scroll down to the end of this post to read through all of the blog posts on this month's topic, Working & Breastfeeding.

Going back to work after having a baby can be tough. Many of us, even if we love our careers, find it extremely difficult to leave our tiny babies in the care of others for 8 hours per day. For many moms, continuing to breastfeed after returning to work is a way to stay connected to your baby, even when you have to be apart for hours every day. Breastfeeding & working is no easy task, but you'll make it easier on yourself if you avoid the Top 5 Biggest Mistakes Working & Pumping Moms Make (AKA, Mistakes Elita Made Frequently While Working & Breastfeeding).


#1. Wearing a dress to work.
Unless you've invested in a dress made for nursing, you'll find yourself with a conundrum when you have to pump at work in a dress. To pull the dress up, scrunched at your shoulders, or pull it down, exposing your body from the waist up? It's a tough call and one you don't want to have to make. The good thing about this mistake is it's one you only make once. Trust me on this.

#2. Forgetting parts of your pump.
Who knew one teeny tiny piece of rubber could ruin your whole day? Forget a membrane at home and you'll be screwed. I suggest all moms learn the art of hand expressing, but most women do better with a double electric pump. Buy spare parts of your pump in bulk and stash them everywhere: desk drawers, your pump bag, briefcase, and car.

#3. Buying a cheap pump.
Although some women do really well with hand expression and manual pumps, in general it's best to invest in a good double electric. A double electric pump that only costs $50 is probably not going to cut it if you're working out of the home full-time. Scrimp and save, or ask your friends to chip in on the pump as a shower gift. If you're eligible for WIC, contact your local office. Sometimes you can rent a pump through them for free.

#4. Forgetting a bottle top.
Imagine, you've just spent the last 20 minutes pumping and you've got two bottles full of milk. You carefully place them in your bottle stand holder and dip into your pump bag for the bottle caps and realize you only have one. OK, so you can probably store the milk safely in your office's fridge, but how do you get the milk home? Again, keeping extras around of everything will keep you safe. Also stash some breast milk storage bags in your pump bags. You never know when you'll have an especially productive day and make loads of milk.

#5. Suffering in silence.
If your nipples hurt after every pumping session and you're literally sucking the skin off them, don't assume this is par for the course! Pumping ain't a joy ride, but it shouldn't hurt. Oil your pump flanges up with olive oil and be sure you're using the right size. Also, you don't have to pump on high! Try to mimic with the pump the way your baby nurses. A little faster and stronger until your milk lets down, then slower and longer to empty your breasts.

Don't miss the rest of this month's wonderful posts on working & breastfeeding!

My World Edenwild: Breastfeeding mothers need workplace support
Breastfeeding Moms Unite!: Breastfeeding at my family day care
The Milk Mama: A job where everyone breastfeeds
Momnesia the Book: Sorry, facilities guy!
Marshins: Taking your working boobs to work
Strocel: Working and breastfeeding a toddler
The Marketing Mama: Working and pumping
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Breastfeeding & working is possible & you can make it work!
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Do you really need a pump?
Vanderbilt Wife: I think this officially makes me a Mommy Blogger
Stork Stories: My breast pump and I didn't get along
babyREADY: What about breastfeeding when I go back to work?
Mum Unplugged: This is a breastfeeding office
Best for Babes: Beating the employment booby trap
Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Tips for Breastfeeding & Working
Breastfeeding Mums: Breastfeeding & Working in the UK

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Rebecca Romijn on Breastfeeding Twins

Rebecca Romijn, and by extension her husband Jerry, were very vocal about her breastfeeding their twin daughters, Charlie and Dolly. Romijn recently opened up about the time she spent nursing her twins, a period she refers to as when she was "the milk machine."

She says, "I finished nursing three weeks ago. And yes, I was a milk machine. I felt like that's all I was to them, just this walking milk machine. Now that I'm not there as many hours during the day, they're pretty clingy and I have to say I love it. It's the best feeling in the world."

OK, I find that quote to be a bit odd, but I do commend her on nursing her twins for almost 9 months. It's even more of a commitment to breastfeed multiples, but it is possible and of course it's well worth the extra effort. Since more and more women are having twins and triplets, it's even more imperative to provide moms with good breastfeeding support and information to help them succeed. If you are currently pregnant with twins, I'd like to point you to a great resource for info: Roxanne Beckford Hoge.

Roxanne is the owner of the maternity/nursing store One Hot Mama (and a blog by the same name) in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to being an actress and businesswoman, Roxanne is a mom of four, including twins whom she breastfed into toddlerhood. Her natural twin birth was featured in an episode of Bringing Home Baby, a breath of fresh air for a show that is typically filled with epidurals, emergency C-sections, formula and tons of bad breastfeeding advice. Roxanne is an all-around cool chick and smart cookie. She makes herself available to anyone who wants "been there, done that" practical advice about breastfeeding and parenting.

For moms having twins, Rox recommends the Double Blessings nursing pillow, Dr. Barbara Luke's twin book, and this page on home births of unexpected twins for inspiration for a natural birth. Roxanne is an amazing woman and I encourage you to check out her blog and if you're lucky enough to live in L.A., stop by and see her in her store. She'd love to talk to you about breastfeeding.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday 5

Welcome to the latest edition of the Friday 5. Enjoy!

Ana Ortiz, one of the stars of Ugly Betty, is breastfeeding her daughter in between filming scenes for the show. Imagine that, a workplace that's supportive of employees breastfeeding!

Multinationals in Vietnam sell baby formula so aggressively that they often break laws designed to promote breastfeeding.

In case you need a reminder: Nestle are the Bad Boys of Business.

Gossip Girl Kelly Rutherford has taken her ex to court for refusing to bring her baby to set to nurse, and stressing her out and affecting her milk supply.

A Danish study shows a link between toxin levels in mother's milk and testicular cancer in boys.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Speaking of Working & Breastfeeding...

The video below provides a laugh, although it is a bit NSFW because of the language. Look out for the pumping at work scene!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New study favors fortified formula?

When I read the headline of this news article, I was completely taken aback: "New evidence favors fortified baby formula." Huh? There is now evidence that infant formula that's fortified with DHA/ARA from algae is now favored over breast milk? Says who?

Well, the newspaper article title is a bit misleading, but so says a group of doctors who tested 202 9-month-old babies on their ability to perform a series of problem-solving tests. According to the study, which is published in the current issue of the journal Child Development, 51% of the babies who were on fortified formula from birth successfully completed the 3 tests, compared with only 29% who got regular formula without the added DHA/ARA.

Some babies in the study had been breastfed and those who were weaned from breast milk to formula when they were 4 to 6 months did equally well on all of the tests whether they got the fortified formula or not. According to the researchers, the take away is that perhaps these babies didn't receive the enhanced formula long enough for it to make a difference. But maybe the real reason is that they'd already gotten the benefits of the breast milk!

Now this study is all kinds of flawed. As Arwyn from Raising My Boychick noted on Twitter, if the study had noted the level of nutrition of the mothers of the breastfed babies and if formula company money wasn't involved, maybe it would be worth paying attention to. Yes, that's right, all of the formula used in the study was "donated" by Mead Johnson, makers of Enfamil. Wasn't that nice of them? In addition to donating the formula, Mead Johnson also paid two of the doctors (Hoffman & Birch) involved for subsequent studies. Dr. Hoffman has also received consultant fees from Mead Johnson to provide educational seminars for pediatricians. Let me guess, Dr. Hoffman recommends Enfamil!

These types of studies really frustrate me because the science is flawed and then you get headlines that scream "formula is better than breast milk!" and many people believe it. How many people who read this article will take the time to look up the abstract of the journal article where the study was published and realize this whole thing is just another marketing tactic by the formula companies. The sad part is that a lot of new parents will fall for this ploy. As Barbara Moore, president and CEO of Shape Up America!, told in an e-mail, "This is a disturbing new development....Now parents will be encouraged to forgo breastfeeding--which is optimal for both mothers and babies--in favor of a hyped up infant formula."

And let's not forget there are some dangers associated with feeding babies formula that has been fortified with DHA/ARA, including gastrointestinal upset, jaundice, apnea and even death. For a great report on these enhanced formulas, please take the time to read Cornucopia's research in "Replacing Mother: Imitating Human Breast Milk in the Lab." Are these added ingredients safe, risky, or a benign marketing gimmick to sell more formula? Do your due diligence to decide, but please don't let Mead Johnson do it for you.

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New Warning on Evenflo Breast Pumps

The company Evenflo recently released a brand new double electric breast pump, the Comfort Select Performance Dual Pump. The pump was a redesign based on company research and discussions with moms on what they needed and wanted in a breast pump. They had a big marketing campaign back around June where they did several giveaways on "mommy blogs." Annie @ PhD in Parenting reviewed the pump and I was given one to review as well. Since I rarely pump anymore, my plan was to give the pump to my friend who was pregnant to use and get her feedback and post it to the blog. I actually just visited her and her new daughter this weekend and gave her the pump, with the caveat of waiting until at least 6 weeks postpartum to use it. My friend will be staying at home with her baby, so I thought this pump would be great for her as it was billed as an "occasional use" pump.

Now, literally days after I dropped it off to her, I see that the FDA has issued a warning against this pump, saying it found manufacturing violations at two of the plants where the breast pumps are made. In addition, Evenflo reportedly received complaints from several women who claimed they received electrical shocks from using the pump. The FDA says Evenflo failed to properly investigate these claims. According to the news article,

"Amy Neff, Evenflo's associate general counsel, said the company does investigate its consumer complaints but said the problem was a 'documentation issue.' In its letter, the FDA said the company's response to the complaint-investigation problem is now 'adequate.' However, on the medical-device reporting problem, the FDA said the company has yet to fully address the agency's concerns.

Lindsay Harris, Evenflo's vice president of quality and product integrity, said, 'We are working cooperatively with the FDA' to address the agency's concerns. He said the company reports all device complaints to the agency."

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday 5

Happy Friday! Thank goodness for holidays and a week that flew by. Here are some interesting breastfeeding stories in the news this week.

A Swedish dad is pumping 'round-the-clock in hopes of bringing in a full milk supply to breastfeed future children. He will be pumping in public and says if folk don't like it, that's their problem.

An article about the (Not So) Secret War Against Breastfeeding.

Oh, looky, another woman harassed for nursing in public! Seems she wasn't being "discreet" enough.

Totes/Isotoner fired a woman for taking "unauthorized pumping breaks" and the Ohio State Supreme Court sided with the company. Guess what brand of umbrellas I'll never buy again?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has designated dozens of rooms on campus as lactation spaces. Students will never be more than a 5-10 minute walk from a private place to pump!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Join September's Carnival of Breastfeeding

In honor of Labor Day, September's Carnival of Breastfeeding theme is "Breastfeeding & Working." Do you have any funny stories about pumping at work? Were you able to take your nursling with you to the office? We'd love to hear your stories about breastfeeding while working.

If you'd like to join the September Carnival, please send your submissions by September 21st. The Carnival will go live September 28th. As always, we are looking for posts that are:

- Well-written and grammatically correct
- Thoughtful and on point for the carnival theme
- Submitted by blogs that are of interest to our readers (breastfeeding, parenting, etc.)

If your post is selected for inclusion, you will be asked on the day of the carnival to edit your post to link back to each of the other participants in the carnival. Examples of past carnivals can be found here.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Giveaway: Baby's Bliss Nipple Cream for Mommies

I was recently contacted by Mom Enterprises to review & giveaway their new nipple cream, Baby's Bliss Nipple Cream for Mommies. The name of the product sounded very familiar to me, so I did some Googling and realized I had blogged about this company before. In June 2008, the FDA recalled the company's Mommy's Bliss nipple cream due to precautionary concerns over two of the ingredients, phenoxyethanol and chlorophenesin. A lot of moms were disappointed to hear about the recall because the nipple cream was one of the few that was free of lanolin, which causes an allergic reaction in a small percentage of the population.

For those of you who were fans of the old formula, I'm pleased to let you know that Mom Enterprises went back to the drawing board and created a new product, Baby's Bliss Nipple Cream for Mommies.

The new product is an entirely new nipple cream that is all food grade, petroleum and paraben free and has received the Whole Foods Premium Body Care approval. Although I am way past the days of nipple soreness, I remember the cream I used was very greasy. This nipple cream is not at all greasy, and contains soothing ingredients like shea butter and avocado, which make it thick and rich and creamy.

The nipple cream is available for purchase online for $12 and can also be found at your local drug store or health & wellness store.

The company is very excited about this new product and has offered a tube of the cream to one Blacktating reader. Bonus? The packaging contains a coupon for $1 off your next tube. Want to win? Just leave me a comment telling me who's going to get the nipple cream if you win!

Contest opened to residents of the US & Canada only, please. Contest will run until midnight EST on Wednesday, September 16th. Winner will be selected via and notified via email & on this post. Winner will have 48 hours to respond, at which point another winner will be selected.

Congratulations to ZealandsMom! Please check your email and send me your address so I can get your gift out to you ASAP.

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Photo of the Day: Health Care Reform

I saw this picture posted on Jezebel yesterday. The photo features supporters of health care reform attending a candle light vigil in Denver, CO. Is it just me, or does the woman in front look like she's about to nurse her baby? There is something in the way she's looking at her and holding her that makes me think yes. Or do I just see breastfeeding everywhere because it's what I want to see?

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wendy Williams: "I couldn't breastfeed"

I don't care what anyone says, I absolutely LOVE Wendy Williams. She is a hot mess in many ways, but I love that she's so over the top. The wigs, the make-up, the huge breast implants, the humongous jewelry, the skin-tight clothing. Wendy takes everything we think of as "feminine" and turns it up 10 notches. She is a gossip and loves nothing more than to dish dirt, but she keeps it real about her own past, including an addiction to drugs and the problems in her marriage. I've never seen her break down, so imagine my surprise when I saw Wendy brought to tears by her inability to breastfeed.

Heartbreaking, right? I know that Wendy had, as she puts it, a tumultuous relationship with her mother. Wendy seems to feel that, in this moment, her mother really came to her rescue and supported her because she didn't force her to continue to breastfeed. Her mother gave her the out to switch to formula.

I love Wendy, but I don't think this is "support." Support would have been to sit with her and hold her, help her to latch the baby on when he woke up hungry. Support would have been to tell her, "First thing in the morning we're going to go back to the hospital and see a lactation consultant together!" Support would have been to tell her that things seemed bad now, but that they'd get better. I've written before about my own struggles in the beginning and about how the support from my partner made all the difference to me continuing to breastfeed and I was seriously committed to making it work! Imagine how I would feel today if he had given me the green light to give up when I was at my lowest point? Sort of like Wendy, I guess, who can still be brought to tears over not breastfeeding 9 years later.

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