Pumping Hacks and Tips for Moms

Modern breast pump technology can make a big difference for breastfeeding moms. What are typical pumping schedules for both exclusive pumpers and combo feeders? What are some hurdles new moms have faced? And what are some pumping hacks that can make the journey easier?

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Featured Expert

Episode Transcript

Natalie Gross 0:07
For many moms, feeding baby is a little more complicated than putting her to the breast and letting nature take its course. Maybe your baby has a tongue tie that makes latching difficult or you work in an office and aren't able to nurse around the clock. Enter the breast pump, a wonderful piece of technology that can make it easier to get breast milk to our babies. So whether you're an exclusive pumper or a one time user, an over supplier or a just a number. We're here to help you learn more about pumping and find community among other moms who are on this journey with you. Plus, you'll hear about some of the best hacks that are sure to make your pumping life easier. This is Newbies.

Natalie Gross 1:16
Welcome to Newbies. Newbies is your online on the go support group guiding new mothers through their baby's first year. I'm Natalie Gross, mom to a three year old boy and a new baby girl. We've got a great show today talking about pumping. Now if you haven't already, be sure to visit our website, that's new mommymedia.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the episodes we release each week. Another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button and your podcast app wherever you're listening. And if you're looking for a way to get even more involved with our show, then you can check out our membership club. It's called Mighty moms. That's where we chat more about the topics discussed here on the show. And it's also an easy way to learn about our recording so that maybe you can join us live. We have moms Abby, Kathryn and Sarah joining us today. Welcome to the show mamas, and to get us started, please introduce yourselves. Tell us a little bit about you and what you do your family and your experience with pumping. Sarah, do you want to kick us off?

Sarah Althouse 2:13
Sure I'd love to. So my name is Sarah and my husband. I live in the DC area I used to work on in politics. But now I'm a stay at home mom and I have two little girls. One is four years old and one just turned one year.

Natalie Gross 2:29
Great. Kathryn, what about you?

Kathryn DeBenedetto 2:32
So I think Sarah and I should get together for a playdate. So I also have two girls. One is five and one just turned one. I actually worked for the Army as a civilian. And I also live in the DC area.

Natalie Gross 2:47
And Abby, what about you?

Abby Ray 2:49
Hi, I'm Abby, my husband and my six, almost seven-month-old, live in Indiana. I am an accountant. And so I have enjoyed the ability to combo pump these last couple of months.

Natalie Gross 3:03
Yeah, so let's let's start talking pumping. So Sarah, what was your experience?

Sarah Althouse 3:09
Sure. With my first daughter, she would not nurse at the hospital. And nursing was always my plan. So they sent me home and they said, you know, just try to pump in the meantime, and I tried to nurse still and she nursed but when I went in for a checkup, she wasn't gaining weight. So they told me to try it out for a week, solely pumping and see if she gained weight. And she did. And so because she wouldn't nurse, I ended up exclusively pumping for an entire year around the clock. And I became I feel like quite an expert after a year of doing that.

Natalie Gross 3:51
Yeah, and just to kind of let listeners know. So exclusive pumping is a term that I wasn't familiar with before I had my son and ended up being an exclusive pumper now for the second time. So it basically just means that's what you do. That's how you feed your baby. There's no like contact nursing the traditional way. Kathryn, I think you have a similar story, right?

Kathryn DeBenedetto 4:10
Yeah. So my oldest was born eight weeks early. So she was in the NICU. And so there was like no chance of her latching. She was just too little too young. So I did Pom, but with her I had a very short journey. I think it was just so much going on, and probably a traumatic birth experience. So with my second I was determined to breastfeed, primarily nurse. And then I found out she had a tongue tie. And so we scratch that and then we pretty much exclusively pump for a year as well.

Natalie Gross 4:42
Good kudos to both of you. Pumping is hard and doing it for a year. We'll see if I can last that long. Abby, what about you, you talked about combo feeding or combo pumping. So tell us how that journey has been going for you.

Abby Ray 4:53
Sure. So going into motherhood. I knew that being in the office a couple of times a week. I would need to do some pumping and do breast and bottle. And so going into it, I had to start pumping when we left the hospital to get up supply. And so I had a little bit of introduction to it. And then when I went into the office, I started combo feeding. And so we do three pumps outside of breastfeeding a day. And so that was definitely a challenge, getting the process down and the organization of it all, but definitely rewarding. And I really enjoy the opportunity to do both and the tools that are available to do both. Yeah. So what does a typical pumping schedule look like for you? Like when you're at work, or at home? How does that work with with feeding your baby too.

Abby Ray 5:45
So I tried to be as close in line with him eating as possible. And so when we're apart, either from an office, or elsewhere, I try to always pump when I know he's eating to keep up with that schedule, and then it can change on the weekends. And which when so when I'm with him, then I don't have to pump. So I try to always keep in line with his schedule.

Natalie Gross 6:08
Okay, Kathryn and Sarah, would you exclusively pumped for a year? What was the typical pumping schedule like for you, especially, you know, in those early days, when you're kind of in the thick of it.

Sarah Althouse 6:20
For me, I had a low supply. And I actually pumped around the clock every two hours. And I did that for six, seven months straight, to get my supply up to get enough milk. And even after the six months continue to the year, I pretty much kept that schedule up pretty close to that I would pump at 10pm before I went to bed, usually freeze that milk. So I'd have milk after I stopped pumping after the year. And then I'll get up at 5:30 so I had milk from when she got up and then from there counting to every two hours, every after the seven months, I gradually cut back on how many times a day then just pumped for a longer duration instead.

Natalie Gross 7:01
Wow, that is impressive. I just cut back from the you know the eight or whatever that you start with. I'm down to six now. And I'm like, oh, I don't know how I even did any more. Because it's hard to even just to get these six in. So it's a lot. Hats off to you, Kathryn, what about you? What did that look like?

Kathryn DeBenedetto 7:20
Yeah, so same, I feel like in the beginning, it was just so much going on. Because like you have like a new baby, you're trying to like, get acclimated, figure each other out. And then you're also pumping. So I felt like in the initial period, I don't know, maybe some people start off better. But I was like, Okay, I'll do you know, four times, six times, and then you know, builds up or whatever. So then when I finally got with the program and started actually saying, Okay, we're going to be exclusively pumping and this and that. I would say I was probably pumping like you said eight times a day. I definitely did the middle of the night pump. I was also like low supplier. That was probably my best pump of the night was that in the first in the morning with like prolactin levels and all that good stuff. And then once I regulated so around like 12 weeks or so then I I slowly started to cut back to like seven palms and whatever. And then I cut back I think to five, because my initial goal was six months. And then I felt guilty because why not -- motherhood? I was like, No, I'm not ready to wean yet. So then I like bought it back up. So then I ended up just sticking with six for a long time.

Natalie Gross 8:33
And so for you and Sarah, I'm curious, like I already mentioned before I exclusively pumped with my son. I didn't know I thought it was either, you know, breastfeeding the traditional way or feeding baby formula. I didn't know there was this kind of in between. So I'm curious. How much information did you have before that became your reality as well?

Sarah Althouse 8:56
Yeah, for me, I had no information. I knew what pumping was, but I just assumed out nurse. And like you said in the hospital or the pediatrician, that kind of two options. The only two options really presented were well, either she nurses or you give her a bottle formula. And I think every time I tried to bring up exclusively pumping at first they were like it's not sustainable. You're not going to be able to keep it up. But I think some fire inside me was like, Oh, watch me. I will. But once they kind of knew I was sticking with it. They didn't really push back anymore and sort of commended me on it. But yeah, I really had no information about exclusive pumping. I'm not sure I'd heard that term before. It became my only option at that time.

Kathryn DeBenedetto 9:42
Same for me. I didn't even think about pumping. I mean, it was like I got a pump from my insurance and was like okay, how hard can this be? And then when I was in the NICU with my oldest I worked exclusively exclusively with the lactation consultant, but she was very pro-breastfeeding in the sense of nursing. So she would, you know, send me home like okay, make sure you're pumping and doing this and that, but honestly I have to looking back I wish I would have done the research into breastfeeding in general, just as much as I did the research looking at like a car seat and a stroller. Because there's like so much information out there and it's really trial and error, but you can't wing it that is like the one thing you cannot do like you it really is supply and demand and you have to understand that more is better and getting fitted properly like there's so much that goes into it and it to me makes or breaks your journey. So the second time around I was like much more successful because I kind of had such a rough start with the first one that I realized like okay, if I really want to do this like I have to invest in the process.

Natalie Gross 10:50
Thank you mom so much for sharing. We are going to take a quick break and when we come back we'll be meeting our expert Lisa Meyers, creator of the Ceres Chill. She's going to share some pumping tips and tricks with us so stay with us.

Natalie Gross 11:10
Today on Newbies, we are talking about pumping -- the pros the cons of the challenges everything in between. Our featured expert today is Lisa Myers. She is the creator of theCeres Chill which is a product that many of us pumping mamas are familiar with. But I will of course let Lisa tell you more about that. Lisa, welcome to Newbies. Welcome back to Newbies, I know you were on an episode not too long ago. So thanks so much for being here.

Lisa Myers 11:33
No, this is the best I really appreciate the space that you've created and the the community because it's nothing like I had it. It makes me feel old to see how much has changed since I had my daughter. She's now eight and my my little guy who inspired series show is getting older every day. But this idea that breastfeeding is going to come naturally. And it should be easy is a real myth and can undermine your success. And so, yeah, being able to hear from these moms, I can so relate so for my with my daughter, I felt like I completely failed. I got to just under six months, but I supplemented from the beginning. She was screaming in the hospital and it was a what they call it I guess a Baby Friendly Hospital.

Natalie Gross 12:28
Baby Friendly Hospital, right, which there's no nursery. Yeah, they leave the baby with you breastfeeding all of that.

Lisa Myers 12:34
Exactly. Like I would say, aggressively advocating for breastfeeding. I I was in labor for 52 hours with an emergency C section and I like finally came to and on the whiteboard. It was like goals for the day exclusively breastfeed. And I was like, Oh, I mean, it is a goal. I was kind of thinking keep the Baby Alive first me alive second, and then you know, whatever happens happens. But yeah, so hearing these stories, I can completely relate. I came up with series show, which is a breast milk storage system. When I went back to work, I was one of the lucky ones that actually had a maternity leave. And still, I was going back to a group of guys I worked with and I thought I had it all figured out, I had my pump, I had all the pump parts, I was going to make this work. And I had the benefit of an amazing lactation consultant. And she saw I was in terrible pain, breastfeeding my son, she said, that toe curling pain that I see you're in, is that every time and for the whole time, or is that just the beginning. I'm like, you know, like, breathe into the pain, breathe into the pain and like every single time the entire time. And she said, We're gonna make this work for you. Every single ounce counts. And so I went back to work, I was determined to make it work. And there were no good options for breast milk storage. And so many moms like these moms are determined to succeed and whether you're exclusively pumping and you're staying at home, or you're trying to pump when you're at work and breastfeed when you're at home or any variation of those. You just have to have the support and the tools to succeed. And for so long. The industry just lagged because I think moms more than anyone else, just put their heads down and just grit their teeth and they're determined to grind it out. They're like anything to keep the kid alive. I'm going to do this. And yeah, sure, I don't have what I need. But this is all I've got, and I will make it work and I'm really happy to say that the world is now conforming to what these amazing women need to be successful. So we now have you know, wearable parts pumps, we have quieter pumps, we have hospital grade pumps and everything in between. And I think having good advice whether you can afford a lactation consultant, or you can attend a mommy group, with other women who are experiencing similar challenges, or you can follow some of these incredible people on social media, there are so many really, really great women out there who are nurses, IBCLCs or just moms who have seen it all and are testing the products and know the struggle, following them. And being part of those communities and having that support is so key. But yeah, practical tips. I mean, these women have said it keeping to a schedule, I would say having spare parts at work. I remember a day where I was at work. And I was missing the tubes for my Medela pump. And I remembered after the fact that I let my you know, three year old daughter play with the tubes as I was breastfeeding my son because it was like anything to keep everyone happy. And that day at work, and like that was a mistake. But I didn't have them. And there was nothing that could be done. But Amazon deliver same day, but it was like a minimum order. And so I ordered a hand pump, and I ordered it that wasn't enough money. So then I ordered I think hard seltzers because I was like, Yes, this is what this day requires. I'm barely surviving this right now.

Natalie Gross 16:37
So yeah, you know, moms who are going back to work. And now I know a lot of us can work from home, or maybe have some of that flexibility a couple times a week. But there are moms who are going back into the office and don't even have a place or a time to pump. And I know Lisa, that's something we talked about on the last episode you were on about returning to work after maternity leave. So can you share some tips for moms who are getting ready to go back to work? How did they get in the frame of mind? And what do they need to know about pumping in particular?

Lisa Myers 17:11
So I think first and foremost, approaching it not in a devastating, defeatist way, but just telling yourself, okay, it's not going to be easy, it's going to be hard, I'm gonna face challenges, but I've faced challenges before, what do I need to overcome these challenges, and then prepare yourself with, you know, a pump, and some sort of storage system, which I completely fail that but inspired a product nonetheless. And then, you know, spare parts if you can do it, but also realizing like, what sort of an environment am I going into like, Are these people who understand the challenges I'm facing and the advantages for them in supporting me, and I think that's what's missing a lot. So there are a lot of rights, there are a lot of opportunities for employers to do the right thing. But they don't often understand the challenges that these women are facing coming back into the workplace, or what very simple things they need to be successful and be healthy. And so I think, going back to work, understanding your rights, and you know, there are lots of small employers that don't fall under the same, you know, federal obligations, or maybe statewide obligations, with the minimum number of employees, and that sort of thing. But I think if all employers understand that it's in their best interest to support their employees, and it keeps their employees healthier, and it improves everyone's morale, I think to offer women a private, clean, safe place to pump, then everyone wins. And I think often it's approached as a demands like, oh, I need additional breaks, or the employer sees it as you're asking more of them, which certainly, I'm not saying it's going to be easy. But if you can approach it as something like I can be more productive, I will almost certainly have fewer sick days. And I will appreciate it at such a level that I will continue to perform for you in an outstanding way. Employers will be supportive and then you'll be successful at your goals and you'll feel feel better as a mom and I know that when I feel better as a mom, I'm a much higher performing person in the world. So yeah, that's I think critical is knowing your rights, but then presenting it in a way that you're not demanding something you're trying to partner with your employer or your co workers for all of you to be successful as a team

Natalie Gross 20:02
We've kind of already you know, used some of these terms in our conversation with moms already in this episode. But you know, there's oversupply or under supplier just enougher, right, where you're like making just enough for your baby and maybe not building up a freezer stash. But can you kind of explain what those terms are and some of the other popular terms we use, and then offer some tips or strategies for moms out there who may be an under supplier and want to boost their supply?

Lisa Myers 20:26
So I think these terms come with a ton of self judgment and deprecation I, I would say I was always an under supplier with my son, I think I could have been a just an offer, but I went back to work. And so you know, I failed. And with my daughter, I was an under supplier, because I supplemented with formula early on. So I fail. And that's like me, that's the mom guilt I carry an under supplier as someone who supposedly does not provide enough milk for their child. It's, it's, I think, more rare than is experienced by moms. And maybe all of you feel that on this podcast, too. Because it unless a lactation consultant is weighing your child after each feeding. You've got a pediatrician saying, Oh, they're not gaining enough weight, or you're like, gosh, I still, I don't know how much did they drink, like, and then you pump and you don't respond to the pump, like you respond to a baby nursing. And so you're not pumping as much as they're actually getting, you're like, oh my gosh, two ounces. That's not enough, how could that possibly fill this growing child's belly. So an under supplier, I would say more often than not as someone who perceives that they are not providing enough, sometimes it's a condition it's a it's a physical condition that prevents you. But more often than not, you are experiencing a perception that you're not providing enough. It's also can relate you not nursing enough or pumping enough. And I experienced that I did not pump enough when I returned to work. And the only way to keep up your supply is to continue to present the demand to your body because your body is going to of course only produce what's necessary. It's trying to keep you and the baby alive. So producing additional milk when the milk is not being drawn, it would be silly. So creating that demand either by nursing regularly or by pumping or power pumping, which power pumping is pumping on a schedule that almost mimics a like a growth spurt with a baby like a cluster feeding and creates a real demand on your body. And you can sometimes increase demand that way oversupply. I feel for those women, as someone who was an under producer, I can't even imagine what it is to be an over producer. You have so much milk, you have to constantly get it out. You know, you're able to donate sure you're able to meet your baby's needs. Absolutely. But gosh, that is a lot of pressure on you to get the milk out and not have that ongoing discomfort in your body. So yeah, I think under supply is often improperly perceived by moms, but can be a physical condition and lactation consultants can help. I don't think supplements or cookies is really do the trick. looking after yourself. Having photos of your baby when you're pumping, trying to get out of a crazy mindset, those things can help. And I was never good at them. I was always stressed. I didn't get enough sleep. I certainly didn't get the right nutrition all the time. But just enough for is somebody who can provide just enough every day and feels okay about what they're doing. And oversupply is also equally hard.

Natalie Gross 24:13
Yeah, I love how you talked about kind of the perception aspect of that as well. Thank you so much for touching on that. All right, so before we take another break, I know pumping can often be thought of as a real drag. But let's talk about some of the pros of pumping from your perspective.

Lisa Myers 24:29
The pros of pumping are that it allows us to be away from the babies that we love so much and we're trying to keep alive but being able to pump whether it's a wearable pump, or a hospital grade pump, whatever it is, you are able to extract milk when you don't have your infant at your breast and there are a lot of women that choose or must exclusively pump and for them and their infants pumps, or, excuse me language, a freaking miracle like it is something that allows them to have that intimacy to provide that nutrition and have the the health for both the mother and the baby that otherwise wouldn't be available. So I think the pumps and the recent innovations are an absolute miracle. And I love seeing the changes that are happening because they give more and more freedom for moms and partners and caregivers. Because now those grandparents, those dads, those partners can go out in the world with breast milk and provide nutrition to those infants without having their mother, you know, like right there with their breasts bear to provide nutrition, it can be something that happens at any time anywhere with whoever is present.

Natalie Gross 25:58
Thank you so much, Lisa, for all of that wonderful commentary. We're gonna take another quick break. And when we come back, we are going to keep hearing from Lisa and our other mom guests. So stay tuned.

Natalie Gross 26:17
Welcome back, I want to bring back mom guest, Sarah, Kathryn, and Addy back to this discussion. Let's talk pumping hacks. Mamas tell us your best hacks that have made this journey easier for you.

Abby Ray 26:30
The craziest thing when it comes to pumping is finding the tools that you actually need. Like I feel like it's very relatable to all the baby things that you need or need. And so finding the right stuff was really big to me and doing research to seeing like what worked the best and following along on social media, to really have a group of people that can give you good ideas. Learning random stuff, like my favorite hack that I recently saw since I do combo feed is that pumping bras and nursing ones both work the same, that you can use a nursing one, and you can hack it into a hands free pumping bra. So I definitely I've really enjoyed the community of people on social media that can provide little hacks like that other stuff that I've seen that has really paid off is wet-dry bags definitely helped save a lot of money when it comes to storing your parts when you're out and about. And I'm very excited that Lisa is here because the Sarah is chill has definitely been a great hack. The all the things that it does, has been really helpful all the way from bottle warming to milk storage.

Natalie Gross 27:43
I agree with all of those that making the nursing tank into pumping bra has been really helpful for me too.

Abby Ray 27:52
Yeah, who knew I was so excited when I saw that because pumping bras are expensive. And it's nice to have a variety.

Natalie Gross 27:57
Yep, absolutely. Sarah, Kathryn, anything to add?

Sarah Althouse 28:02
For me a car adapter. It was a huge pumping hack. Whenever I drove, I worked for the first nine months, maybe it was first baby was born and driving to work, I could pump. If he took a long drive to see either of our families in the state, it was very easy to pump in the car, I was already there. As Lisa mentioned that the power pumping was a really good hack to get my supply up and up. And then my other half would just be to do something useful with your time while you're pumping. I did a lot of like online courses, learning different stuff. I run a blog and just learning different things, aspects of that and social media and newsletters and all that. So I just try to make good use of my time, which helped me get go easier and out make me look forward to pumping. So those three probably my top top tips.

Natalie Gross 28:56
Yeah, that's better than all the scrolling on social media that I do. Kathryn, what about you? I definitely use the fridge hack. And um, that was like a saving grace. And definitely the pitcher method. So the fridge hack is pretty much you start the day with a clean pair of pumping parts. And then after your sessions, you put them back in the refrigerator, you can put them like in a Ziploc bag or a wet dry bag, or you can just put them in the fridge. That's what I did. But it's great because for your next session, you're not thinking like I need to wash another set of pump parts and you just feel like you're constantly pumping. If you're not washing, you're pumping and it can be overwhelming. And for the pitcher method, and some people you know, obviously there's lots of research out there that you can make your own decisions obviously and you can add your milk throughout the day into a larger container versus labeling it by the hour or you know if you feel like you have a different type of milk composition in the morning vice at night and this way, you just mix it all together. And then as you feed your baby, you know, they're getting whatever they'll give me throughout the day. I did that all the time. Like, I found a couple of online, like social media accounts like everyone talks about and to me that really made the biggest difference. And of course, like having a extra set of pumping parts so that when you're exhausted at the end of the night, at least you know you have a clean set was also a really good thing.

Natalie Gross 30:26
Moms, did anything Lisa say resonate with you? Particularly going back to work after maternity leave and kind of figuring out how pumping was going to play into your day. I know Abby, you kind of already touched on that in the beginning, any any thoughts.

Abby Ray 30:39
It's definitely a daunting task to go back to work, you've just had a baby, and you're introducing yourself to pumping. And that's a whole new thing that you have to incorporate into the workplace. And you can do all the research in the world until you're actually doing it and getting into a schedule and learning what works best for you and incorporating those two rules. It's a big hurdle to cross but with the right tools and community, it can be a success.

Kathryn DeBenedetto 31:05
Yeah. I just wanted to say that I loved how Lisa mentioned partnering with your employer when you decide to go back to work and have a pumping schedule. Because I couldn't agree more. Like sometimes people view it as like a detriment like, oh, like you're taking time away from your productivity. But if you honestly go in very upfront about it, and you know, explain the importance, honestly of why you want to do this, then I can't see why an employer wouldn't want to support you. Honestly, that's. And so it reminded me of when I returned back to work, I had a very upfront conversation with my boss. And I pretty much said, Listen, I'm a breastfeeding mom. And this is what I need. And we were kind of doing some office, reconfigurations. And at that point, he was like, You know what, I'm just gonna leave you in your own office, because he understood that I needed to have a space. And so I think because I decided to advocate for myself, it just helped me secure that. I guess it's almost like a sense of calmness. And one less thing I had to worry about to be like, Well, where am I going to pump now? And like, how do I keep my stuff cold? And do I have to put it in the company like refrigerator, like all those things went away, because I knew that I had that conversation from the get go. I just think what Katherine said is so powerful, I think it's really, really hard to advocate for yourself. And I don't envy those moms that have challenging environments. But the way Catherine explained it, if you can have an honest conversation, and you do your best, I mean, the absolute worst that can happen is the worst thing, you perceive that they're not going to give you a space, and they're not going to give you the time. And, you know, that's already maybe your fear and your embarrassment. And I can't claim to be this powerful woman that knew my rights, and was determined to make it happen. And it was easy. I had embarrassment. And I was very reluctant. But in the end, doing my best for my child, and at least giving it a shot was meaningful. And so yeah, that's what I would encourage. And then also the pitcher method, the fridge hack, those are huge. I think doing the research is key breast milk is so powerful and so resilient. And the research is only just now catching up. And it's been my ongoing frustration to see how much it's lagged behind. But we're getting there, especially with COVID, there's been a lot of interest. And it's great for all of the moms and really for society overall, to see what what comes of the research and how resilient and powerful we all are in providing for our children. So yeah, it's not to say formulas bad. It's just to say all of this worry around breast milk can sometimes be a bit silly, and I encourage people to look at the research that's out there and then make educated decisions about what they can do to accommodate their needs going forward.

Natalie Gross 34:11
Lisa, you know, we talked about a big pro of pumping, I guess, the flexibility right, someone else can feed your baby. But there are some big challenges when it comes to pumping. And I want to know how you moms have stayed motivated to push through and maybe what were some of the early hurdles that you did push through.

Sarah Althouse 34:30
For me some early hurdles are just like having a life. pump down the clock. How do you go and do things out in the world? Just feels like you're constantly tethered to this. So throughout that year, my pump came with me everywhere. I mean, baby showers, bridal showers. I was pumping in very fancy bathroom at a wedding with guests walking in on me because I had two concerts and I think I just got to a certain point where all this is sort of like part of me and it's just going with me and I just make it work. And like I said, the adapter was really helpful in the car too. So then being determined to make it through that, to that year for me, helped push me through.

Kathryn DeBenedetto 35:14
So I would say that, for me, the biggest thing was having a realistic conversation with myself about expectations. Because I think it's super easy to get wrapped up into the overflow of milk for some people, or just like, you know, the mom was being able to do everything and, you know, manage the house, manage the family, manage, you know, being a wife, and all those great things. And I think honestly, for me, it just came down to my support system, it was like, my husband was incredibly supportive, like, he did not care, quite frankly, whether I pumped for an hour or for 10 years, you know what I mean? He was like, whatever it is that you want to do, I will support you. And we will figure out a way to get there. And I think that's really helpful. Because sometimes it's, we put so much guilt on ourselves or such a high expectation, and we have to realize, at least this is for myself, that pumping is breastfeeding number one. So we shouldn't feel slighted either way, and it is absolutely okay to supplement. If you supplement with formula, or donor milk, or whatever it is, or combo feed. There's absolutely nothing wrong with how you choose to feed your baby. So I for me, that was like a really powerful turning point. With my first journey. I just felt so guilty, I wasn't successful, I wasn't able to do it, and, and all that. And so with my second pregnancy, you know, that baggage came with me. But then I really realized, because of course, you know, you're like, I'm gonna do it, it's gonna be great, and it's gonna be entirely different. But if you don't change any of the actions that you did the first time, you can expect a different outcome, right? And so for me, that was like, hey, after getting mastitis like week three, I was like, we need to do something different. If this is really something that I want to do for six months, or a year or whatever.

Natalie Gross 37:07
Yeah, Abby or Lisa, any thoughts?

Lisa Myers 37:10
I would just say that it's hard, and each kid is different. And each experience is different. So the challenges you face the first time or the ease, you experience, the first time will not be there the second time, or the third time or the fourth time, it'll be something entirely new and giving yourself and your babies space to be successful, however, that it shows up is so key. Yeah, I supplemented I had stupid. I shouldn't say stupid. My daughter would say Don't say stupid. I had silly, useless guilt around giving her so much formula. And I was bawling in the pediatricians office. And the pediatrician who's like an Iraqi war veteran. She's this very cool woman and she's like, What are you so upset about? And I was there for my son and I was writing down how he's fed exclusively breastfed you know, it's so great. And she said, What are you so upset about? I said, Well, I gave tea and so much formula. And she she's just looking at me and she said, she's over there putting a puzzle together. I'm her doctor. She's doing okay. She's, she's a fully formed person. She has conversations, she relates to you. She is a happy, healthy kid. And she said, By the way, my mom was informed in her generation, six weeks, six weeks, you get nothing more than six weeks at the breast. And then the rest is, is up to formula and science. And she said and look at me. I have my practice. And I have a family. She's, I've accomplished all these things. Despite being formula fed. She said it's amazing. So yeah, I think that there's a ton of guilt wrapped up in all of this, whether it's society or ourselves exclusively pumping there's so much nonsense that's assigned to that, oh, if your baby's not the breast, you don't have the same relationship and the same intimacy, which is so so gross and so sad and so not the truth. And the nutrition part, whether you're supplementing with formula or you're not. We're all doing the best we can and as as Dr. Molly pointed out, Tegan is going to be just fine. I think we're I think we're gonna make it.

Natalie Gross 39:38
Well, mamas as we wrap up here, I want to know any resources or maybe some products that have been particularly helpful to you on this journey or work for you know, you Sarah and Kathryn who are no longer on this journey. But I would love for you to share with our audience some resources that have been helpful for you.

Sarah Althouse 39:56
I found exclusive pumping or maybe exclusively pumping one of those, .com. And it was so helpful, so much good information. That's how I learned about power pumping. And like, I learned, as Lisa said that the cookies and the Gatorade are not going to help you really get your supply up. And it's really about pumping. And yeah, I found so much information. As I said, it was such a godsend during that time for me.

Natalie Gross 40:20
Yeah, and I believe they also have a Facebook group that I'm a part of, and that's been very helpful too.

Kathryn DeBenedetto 40:25
So I follow a couple different accounts on Instagram, one of them was like, be my best friend. One with the pump is awesome. She's really, really funny too. So sometimes you kind of want like a change, you want everything to be pumping in your Instagram feed. So she was really, really kept my middle the night pumps like entertaining. Oh, yes. And algorithm, the algorithm we'll get to with all of that. So Joe, I have to say, though, and I wish I could recall the woman's Instagram, but I her first name is Kelly. She's an IBCLC. But for the love of God learn hand expression. I wish someone would have pulled me aside and said learn how to do this. Because with a pump without a pump, whatever. Or, like, if you forget something at work, or you know, like I have a status and it was like so uncomfortable. But honest to God, hand expression can be like your best friend. And I wish someone would have said, Hey mom, like, look this up or practice how to do this. Because that that was like transformational. I thought honestly. And then when for like the pumping side, I will say you have to, I mean obviously do what works for you. But for me, it was like investing in the products like because I exclusively pump like having a pumping bra was game changing. Because I was like sitting there holding the flanges for like 40 minutes. I'm like, What am I doing? This is crazy.

Lisa Myers 41:53
I totally did that, too. I got really good at what hated emails, and then I come out of my stupid and like, all these products, like I could have been so successful.

Kathryn DeBenedetto 42:08
It's so true, though you don't think about you're like No, you know, you're like, I can do it. I can make it work. And like you said, like, as moms, we just kind of suck it up and like figure things out. But you don't have to struggle. And when I learned that I didn't have to struggle. It was so much easier. It was just like, checking something off the list. It wasn't a struggle. It wasn't something I had to be like, Oh great. Like, I gotta do this again. Like I just did it and I got it done. And so I also use the massagers I think they're called lovey, I don't know if I'm saying that wrong. Those are amazing. Because I did not like the feeling of the pump. So that really was like I it really you didn't feel like you were having like a pump on you. And for me that helped with like, let down and everything else. And if nothing else, if you can invest in a mobile pumping option, not like a wearable pump per se, where like the motors are connected to the cups, but like I use Pumpables, and I literally pumped everywhere. I think I pumped in the car like there wasn't a place that I didn't think about like not pumping because I had this like small discreet thing and I would just clip it on and go and do what I had to do and so for me those were the items that really really made my journey its success.

Natalie Gross 43:19
Awesome, Abby, I think you use the Pumpables as well right?

Abby Ray 43:23
Yes, that is one of my favorites and all of the mobile options of that which I found from my best friend which a lot of other leaders mentioned and it's funny once I started following her then the algorithm give me all a million other accounts and I love one with the pumps she is hilarious and milk nest and they just they just kept coming after I started following them when I'm feeding the baby that's what i i always get stuck looking on and learning all the great tips and they always have great discount codes which is really fun. Some other products that I was thinking the lob a massagers are great. And Idaho Jones they have great products from their wet dry bags and and then they have some good style too, which you know, you gotta have some good style and you're carrying the stuff around all the time. Yep.

Natalie Gross 44:13
And I'll put a plug in there for the Ceres Chill as well Lisa, I know that has been a game changer for me. Any last thoughts from you as we wrap up here?

Lisa Myers 44:21
I think it was Abby that just said like feeding her baby feeding the baby and not the fridge and not your insecurities and not expectations like feeding your baby whatever that looks like. However that shows up if you're able to be present and do your best and even a single ounce is is has a such a huge impact. I know the science because I've studied it and it matters to me. Yeah, I think just valuing what what we're able to do in the moment and yeah, this nonsense about creating a stash or tracking ounces or valuing yourself on that basis is just a recipe for disaster and failure and judgment. And it doesn't do any of us any good. So I think these are really powerful women you put together Natalie like this is this is a cool group and they've mentioned an amazing community. With the pump, she cracks me up all the time and be my best friend. There is no more straight talk you will ever get about products or about how it is as a pumping mom. So yeah, surrounding yourself with positive energy and being present to what you're doing for your child. We'll we'll get you where you need to be. However that looks.

Natalie Gross 45:42
Well. Thank you so much, Lisa. I so appreciate you being here. And you as well. Katherine, Sarah, and Abby, thank you so much for joining us for this conversation. listeners. You can find out more about Lisa and the series Chaillot series chele.com. That's spelled C e r e s chill.com. Be sure to check out new mommy media.com as well. That's where we have all of our podcast episodes plus videos and more.

Natalie Gross 46:16
That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies. Don't forget to check out our sister shows Preggie Pals for expecting parents, Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers, the Boob Group for moms who get breast milk to their babies, and Twin Talks for parents of multiples. Thanks for listening to Newbies, your go to source for new moms and new babies.

Unknown Speaker 46:41
This has been a New Mommy Media production information and material contained in this episode I presented for educational purposes early statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of new mommy media and should not be considered facts. Will such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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