Pump Up Your Knowledge: How can you find the perfect Breast Pump for you!

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After much debate and research, you have made your mind up. For your baby Breast is Best. But how can you stick to this commitment? Whether you are headed back to work, want to give daddy special feeding bonding time, or are just looking to give your nipples a break, breast pumps are your answer.

Now, which on to choose? There are SO MANY OPTIONS!

Manual? or Electric? Is a great place to begin. The Mayo Clinic has created a great list of questions based on your lifestyle that can help guide your decision, Here is our list:

·      Will you be pumping on a tight schedule?

o   Do you need a double pump?

·      Does the pump come assembled?

·      Is the pump light, quiet and convenient to transport?

o   Does it come with an insulated carrying case?

·      How easy is the pump to clean?

·      Is it BPA Free?

·      Can you adjust shield size, speed, rhythm, and suction levels?

·      Is it able to be used without a plug-in power source?

o   Does it come with a battery backup or a car charger?

·      Where can you find reliable product reviews?

·      Finally…What is your budget?

This will help determine where you may want to get your pump.

Buying isn’t the only option. You can also borrow one from a trusted acquaintance or rent one. There are many resources on the benefits and how where to rent or borrow .

If you are looking to purchase your pump many models can be seen on display at Brand name baby stores and big box stores. For a thriftier option you can often purchase used systems from medical supply stores, community newspapers, even social media swap and sells are great go tos.

But, did you know most health insurance plans cover the cost of buying or renting a breast pump. There are even places like Acelleron who’s staff are skilled in helping you pick the pump best for you.

Remember, Maine doulas are here to support you in all your lactation needs, from set up to clean up, reviews and even How Tos. We are available to make sure you are picking the perfect pump.

Nipple Variations and Breastfeeding


When you're breastfeeding, there's a few things that can cause some hiccups along the way. 

Did you know that the size and shape of your nipples may play a role in the way your baby is able to breastfeed effectively? Even if nipple shape is different for every mother, there's a few tips and tricks that can make breastfeeding easier for you and and your baby. 

An improper latch can result in nipple pain and a fussy, frustrated baby.

The first step is identifying what your nipple shape is, and the cues your baby is giving at feeding time. 

Flat Nipples

If your nipples lay flat or flush to your breast when not stimulated, you might be in this category. Flat nipples can be a challenge while breastfeeding, as they keep your baby from being able to latch properly. If this sounds like you, try stimulating the nipple area before latching your baby to give them a helping hand. Your breast pump may also help draw out the nipple more before breastfeeding. Many mothers with flatter nipples find that the football or cross-cradle hold gives them more control and allows the baby to latch properly. Experiment with different feeding positions that allows the baby to latch as far as possible.  

Inverted Nipples

Having inverted nipples can be even more of a challenge than flat nipples because they are typically unable to be stimulated to protrude. When breasts become engorged, inverted nipples may even more difficult to stimulate. Your lactation consultant may recommend pumping several days to a week before breastfeeding to encourage nipples to protrude enough for your baby to latch properly. While nursing you might find it to be more helpful to pull back on the breast tissue to expose more nipple to the baby. Your postpartum doula can help you create a breastfeeding plan that makes feeding time more comfortable with nipple inversion.

Large Nipples

Properly latching for the first few times can be challenging if the mother has large nipples. The problem here is the baby is unable to get the entire nipple in their mouth properly, disrupting milk flow and causing them to slip off the breast. This can be remedied with different positions and some assistance as they latch. Also it may be helpful to avoid any additional stimulation of the nipple right before latching as you would for inverted or flat nipples. When your baby goes to feed, help manipulate the breast tissue to align them properly with the nipple and try holding them at different angles that can keep you both comfortable. In this case, practice makes perfect and your baby will develop their own techniques. 

Even with a few challenges, breastfeeding can be an incredible and rewarding experience. 

Having some additional support can give you the confidence you need to reach your breastfeeding goals and overcome obstacles along the way.


The First 40 Days Postpartum Survival Guide

Extended maternity is an absolute luxury.

In some cultures, mothers traditionally stay close to home for an extended period after their baby's birth. In Sweden, new parents are eligible for 480 days of leave that includes 18 consecutive weeks of postpartum leave at 80 percent of their salary! The rest of their days are theirs to use as they see fit. 

The United States offers new mothers 12 weeks maternity leave and it is entirely unpaid. Only certain employers offer paid maternity leave and it usually comes with stipulations. 

Statistically, mothers that don't receive compensated maternity leave are more susceptible to postpartum depression and anxiety. Without the luxury of extended maternity leave, paid or unpaid, mothers definitely need an extra set of hands. 

This is where your postpartum doula saves the day. 

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the doula profession and many families don't even know what we can offer families that are expecting a new baby. 

Postpartum doulas are by your side to nurture you and your entire family as you make the transition home with your newborn and begin the healing process. Different from a midwife's role, we are in the home paying close attention to make sure the mother is right on track with her postpartum recovery and keep everything running smoothly around the house and with the rest of your family. 

The first six weeks are the most challenging and your doula team is there to cut back on the stress of acclimating to your new baby responsibilities. 

We're on your schedule and customize our care plans to suit your specific needs. We work with the way you parent to encourage parents to learn baby basics and gain confidence in those precious first weeks. Since we offer overnight care, sleepless nights for new moms are things of the past. Sleep is incredibly important for postpartum mothers as they regain their strength, begin a breastfeeding routine and heal from birth. We'll take over newborn care in the evening to encourage mothers to get a peaceful and restful night's sleep they can count on. 

Getting your little one on feeding and sleeping schedules can be difficult with the "back to work deadline" looming overhead. Your postpartum doula comes with a little extra peace of mind that you'll be on a healthy schedule for pumping, feedings and naptime no matter how soon you expect to return to work. 

Your maternity leave may be short but it doesn't have to be stressful. 

A good support system is crucial for any mother bringing home a new baby and your postpartum doula is there to give you the help you need every step of the way.

After all, teamwork makes the dream work. 


Newborn Instincts

Your newborn is amazing.

And for more reasons than you might think.

Aside from being exceptionally cute, they have incredible instincts that are broken down to 9 specific stages in their first few hours postpartum.

When you meet your new baby you might be wondering how they know to start feeding, how they can hold onto you and have all these instincts that help them transition to their first day in the great big world. 

The Birth Cry

This is music to every new mother's ears. That initial cry indicates a healthy gasp of air for the first time, as the lungs expand. This is the first peep you'll hear out of your new baby and it's incredible to hear. There's nothing to be concerned about, all babies need to let out a gasp and a cry to get the fluid out of their lungs and start breathing air outside the womb.


Birth is exhausting! Once they've cried a healthy supply of oxygen into their new lungs, it's time to take a load off. During this stage, the body relaxes and the baby gets bundled into a warm towel, blanket or gets warm skin to skin contact with mom. They're usually not "awake or alert" during this stage and just relaxing from the stress of birth.


Good morning sunshine! After getting some time to relax, a newborn wakes up. A little under five minutes into the world, a baby wakes up and starts moving around. After all there's plenty to see in this new space and tons of room to start wiggling around. During the awakening stage, a newborn will start opening their eyes, moving hands, arms shoulders and feet while opening their mouth. Sometimes babies will even crack a smile.


Around ten minutes after birth, a newborn is awake and starting their rooting reflexes. You'll see more mouth movements and they'll start rooting around for their first meal. They've been through quite the journey and it's just about dinner time. 


At any point in the first hour or so postpartum, a new baby might take the opportunity to rest. New babies have quite a bit of developing to do and require a ton of rest. Through the first hour or so after birth, your baby will periodically rest or doze off in between activity. 


While they can't crawl across the floor, your baby can actually do a fair amount of crawling. It's incredible how they can move so much of their body weight so soon after birth and within the first half hour, they're crawling toward a mother's breast to start feeding. Crawling isn't exactly what you'd think and it's more like reaching and searching for food. 


Everything is so new and where's a baby to find some directions? During familiarization, a newborn is acquainting themselves with the mother's skin, breast and nipple. This will help them feed better and be the first bonding experience the mother and baby will share. This is an opportunity for skin to skin contact, keeping the baby warm and familiarizing with the scent, feel and sound of their mother outside the womb. 


Time for dinner. During the 8th phase, the newborn begins suckling and feeding. The newborn gets itself to this point when they're ready and it usually takes between 40 minutes to an hour to get them to latch for the first time. They won't consume too much volume, but don't worry there will be plenty of time to fill their bellies later on. Your labor doula can help you facilitate this process and find a position that's comfortable for you and your new baby. 


What a day! After they've suckled, the newborn (and the mother) usually falls asleep. They've been through a lot and it's left them exhausted. A new baby typically sleeps 1 to 2 hours after birth and will snooze on and off all day and night throughout the first few weeks. 

What a process!

It's incredible how many instincts help a new baby transition into the world in their first hour after birth. Knowing these stages help parents prepare and relax as they watch their new baby take their first breaths, learn to eat and how to snooze.