For a few months I have been acquiring used pumps so that I can disinfect and evaluate their performance. I am (obsessively) testing the suction for each pump I service and am recording my findings as my own little research project (stay tuned for a post on this in the near future). For now, I want to focus on pump care and cleanliness. Everyone knows personal use pumps should not be shared between mothers, but why? Because they can transmit diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV? Perhaps. But what most people don't realize is that the pump motors can harbor bacteria, dirt, grime, insects, mold, and mildew! This photo shows a pump that I was not comfortable handling due to the apparent presence of mold and mildew spores, and it had to be discarded.
Don't let this happen to your pump! If you have a used pump from a previous child or one that you've been using for a while, contact me and I will check it for you! In the case of mold and mildew as with this...
This video from Stanford Medicine is a great one to watch for any new mother, and especially mothers who are concerned about milk supply, have premature and/or supplemented infants or infants who must spend time in the NICU, and latch difficulties. When an infant is unable to breastfeed effectively, and his mother needs to stimulate the breasts and express milk with a breast pump, building and maintaining an adequate supply can be a challenge. This video demonstrates some ways that pumping mothers can increase production without medication.
This video shows several different feeding methods that are great alternatives to the bottle. These methods can be very helpful in supplementing the breastfed baby without interrupting the learning curve of breastfeeding.
Mothers often wonder how much milk their baby drinks, and this becomes a big question for mothers once they are ready to return to work, or even begin leaving baby at home with a caregiver occassionally. The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz (750 mL) per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day (570-900 mL per day). So, it is safe to assume that your baby will need 1 to 1 1/2 oz of milk per hour that you will be away. A caregiver should be made aware of this, and know that the infant should not be receiving more than this. If an infant were to recieve 2 oz per hour, that would be a pace that most mothers could not keep up with while pumping, and the infant would not be hungry for the rest of the day and thus would not be interested in nursing, causing a decrease in mother's milk supply.