I’ve had this post in drafts for quite some time now! So many of you have been curious about my pumping schedule, how I make it work traveling with Brexton still nursing and just want to know my favorite things to use while nursing – so here it is!! Today is the day, friends!!
I’m going to jump right in with my nursing favorites! The majority of the items that I’ve used for one or all three babies and have been my favorite things over the years are found here! I rounded up my favorites and will be telling a little bit more about them and why they’re necessary to me for a successful nursing journey! If you are not currently nursing, that’s okay – I’m also sharing our favorite bottles and some other post-partum must-haves! Remember: a fed baby is best, no matter how that looks for you!
13. Liquid IV
18. Brewers Yeast
I feel blessed to have nursed all three of my sweet babes. I am one of those women who finds joy from the nursing time. I love the bond it creates and the special things God created our body to do! It’s just SO COOL that the human body can grow a baby and completely feed a baby for the first year. It’s truly a miracle!
Now, on to those pumping questions! My favorite pump is the Spectra. The S1 is my favorite because you can recharge the battery and not be tied up to the cord/electrical outlet while pumping. However, I also have the S2 and it’s the exact same hospital grade pump as the S1, but you just leave your pump plugged in. They are essentially the same, the S1 is more expensive for the rechargeable battery. You can find them at Walmart with all of my other favorite nursing and pumping favorites! If you purchase online, you can either pick up in store or choose 2-day shipping to get them quickly! I prefer shopping Walmart because of the low prices and convenience!
When I’m at home, I am nursing Brexton full time! However, I do pump to store breast milk for when I need to travel for work or need to be away with my husband, etc. He doesn’t get bottles unless I’m away, and he currently nurses 4-5 times a day at 9 months. This will look different for every baby, so don’t compare, just base it off of what your baby needs! B is sleeping from 7-7:30pm to about 7am, so he is getting all of his nursing sessions in the 12 hours from 7am to 7pm. Again, that’s just what works for him – please just make sure you’re meeting the needs of your baby and not adapting to what someone else is doing because it works for them!
So when do I find time to pump while I’m nursing full time? I usually schedule in a pumping session during his first nap of the day at 9-10am, depending on when he goes to sleep! I do it while he sleeps or he pulls at the pump and literally gets jealous of me being hooked up to something! HA! So, when I’m trying to save pumped milk, I do it during that first nap of the day! If I am busy or gone then, I try to get in another session sometime during the day, always after he feeds!
At the beginning, when he was little, I would pump immediately following his first nursing session because he didn’t drain me completely and I was able to save so much milk then! I had so much milk saved up that I got lazy and stopped pumping to store, and went on a few work trips so he drank almost all of the saved milk and I’ve had to pump once a day for the last month to make sure he has enough to drink during my upcoming work trip! It’s a bit stressful, but if I’m home, I don’t mind it! I usually do it while I answer emails or type out blog posts!
DEFINITELY invest in a hands free pump bra like this one. It’s a game changer so you can get things done while pumping!
Traveling with Pumped Milk
I get SO many questions about traveling with pumped milk! It’s really not that hard. I use the Kiinde storage bags and they’re my favorite and seem to hold up best when frozen. I follow all of the guidelines for freezing milk – you can easily find those by googling or going to Kelly Mom website where there is lots of helpful info!
When pumping on a trip without baby, I will either dump the milk (rarely, unless I am having drinks or it’s just not feasible to store) or save the milk to bring back to him. If you are flying, you can check the TSA guidelines but I have never had an issue with getting milk through security. You will just need to tell them you have a breast pump and expressed milk and they will likely have you take it out and “test” it. Testing it just means that they have to make sure there isn’t anything unsafe going through security! It just takes a bit longer, so property to be longer going through the TSA checkpoint. PRO TIP: Freeze the milk and keep it in a freezer bag like this one and they don’t have to check it! Just tell them you have frozen breast milk and they let it go on through the belt! SO much faster. Just keep in mind that you cant refreeze the milk after it’s thawed. It then has to be used!
While I’m away, I follow the times that he would normally nurse and pump then. I make sure that I don’t go any longer than 4 hours without pumping. I also take sunflower lecithin to make sure that I don’t get any clogged ducts. I have had mastitis and some nasty clogged ducts while nursing Brexton this time and let me just tell you: it’s NOT FUN!
I had quite an oversupply at the beginning of nursing. It leveled out around 3-4 months. I would pump anywhere from 8-15 oz after feeding him in the morning. Now that he’s eating solids and taking in less breast milk, I am pumping about 4-5 ounces during my pumping at home. When I am away, I am pumping anywhere from 4-12 ounces during each session, with my first pump of the day being the most I pump. I also recommend to get the Haaka hands free silicone pump to catch the letdown on the opposite side your nursing to save! Also keep it in your diaper bag if you are in a bind, that usually helps!
Other Questions Yall Asked:
How long does it take for your milk to dry up?
In my experience with weaning the girls, it takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to have zero breastmilk. The less you nurse, the less milk you have, so gradually weaning is most natural but I know a lot of people who have cut cold turkey and do just fine. Just make sure you and baby are ready to be done, because once you wean it’s really hard to get milk supply back! My pediatrician recommends nursing for 12+ months. Check with your Dr. or the APA recommendations to make an educated decision for yourself!
How are you able to pump enough milk AND feed the baby?
Establishing a schedule helps! I know when he needs to eat and when I’ll be able to pump the most milk in one sitting. We try to make that happen. Also, the more you nurse/pump the more milk you will have. If you add in a pumping session at the same time every day, you will likely tell your body that you need more milk then and it will help!
How do you store milk from your spectra?
I use the spectra bottles to pump into and then pour it into the kiinde storage bags. You can use an attachment and pump into the bags directly but I just never got them!
What was his schedule for adding solids to his diet?
After checking with his doctor, we decided to start purees at 5 months. We also gave him food to play with in his high chair while we were eating and before wee knew it, he was eating exactly what we are eating! Yesterday he ate a 1/4 cheeseburger, about 8 fries, green beans, 1/2 chicken strip, one waffle, 6 Cheeto puffs, and mac & cheese with a puree of apple and prunes. He’s a human garbage disposal! haha!
What is the rule for having a drink/pumping? Do you pump and dump?
Always talk with your dr about this, but having a dark beer is actually good for your supply! Do what is RIGHT FOR YOU and your baby! Generally, the rule of thumb is if you can drive safely, you can nurse/pump without dumping. Always just use your very best judgement!
How long did you nurse your babies?
Laikyn – 15 months, then got pregnant with Lennie
Lennyn – 18 months (had a miscarriage at 15 months, continued nursing through pregnancy / after miscarriage)
Brexton – I will let him self-wean, but won’t go longer than 18 months. He may not want to nurse after 12 months. He is BUSY!
How old was B when you started pumping?
He was 3 weeks old when I first started pumping! He didn’t have a bottle until he was 8 weeks old.
Best way to establish a supply when they’re born?
NURSE NURSE NURSE! LOTS of water!! Skin to skin! Meet with a lactation specialist to make sure they have proper llatch and no tongue tie issues (all 3 of mine did).
How do increase milk supply?
I wrote this post several years ago, but most of it still holds true! Nurse as much as you can and drink TONS of water! Read: How to Increase Milk Supply Here
I will add more of your questions to this post as they come in to be a resource for yall! Hope this post was helpful!! Let me know if you have any other questions by emailing me or commenting on this post!
This post is sponsored by Walmart! All content and opinions are that of my own!