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Breast Pumping Basics

Breast Pumping Basics

Using a breast pump to express milk can be very intimidating to new and expectant mothers. Our team of Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (“IBCLC”s) at the Pump Station and Nurtury field a variety of questions every day about breast pumping. The most common questions we hear include:

How do I choose a breast pump, and when should I start? How often and how long should I pump? How much milk can I expect to get, and when is the best time to pump? When is a good time to begin giving my baby a bottle, and how do I safely store my expressed breast milk?  

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Choosing the Right Breastfeeding Supplements

Choosing the Right Breastfeeding Supplements

Motherlove’s Guide to Choosing the Right Breastfeeding Supplements:

We think every month should be Breastfeeding Awareness Month so we've partnered with our friends at Motherlove to host a giveaway with some of our favorite Motherlove supplements! You can enter now through Sept 5th on our Instagram for a chance to win! Enter Now!

Motherlove has also provided us with the perfect Breastfeeding Supplement Guide to help support your milk supply! For each category, they have listed the supplement that would be a good fit and a general description of each of them. This way, new moms can simply choose one of the products listed to try!

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The Day Someone Threw Me a Rope

The Day Someone Threw Me a Rope
The Day Someone Threw Me A Rope | I can still remember where I sat on the floor in the room, the Southern California light pouring in that way it does, diagonally through the plate glass windows and bending through the blinds. There were about twelve of us sitting in a circle, leaning back against folding cushions, our knees popped up in front of us. Each of us held a fairly new babe in arms -- some nursing, some sleeping, some lying on our legs trying hard to keep their eyes open or to produce an effective burp. The mothers surrounding me were different ages and different shapes and sizes, but all of us shared a common quality: a wild look in our eyes, perhaps a button askew on our shirts, hair thrown up in messy buns or that lay rumpled on our shoulders -- the hallmarks of sleep deprivation and the exhaustion of new motherhood that soaked our very bones. Continue reading

Flying With Your Breastfeeding Baby: Secret Tips Most New Moms Miss!

Flying With Your Breastfeeding Baby:  Secret Tips Most New Moms Miss!

Flying With Your Breastfeeding Baby:  Secret Tips Most New Moms Miss!

Every week in our New Mother Support groups, someone asks for tips on air travel with their breastfed baby. So I decided to compile a list of ideas that should make your trip easier  (I hope this will also help my daughter Colleen when she travels home from Germany during the Christmas holidays with my grand baby!).

  • Make reservations early and book a window seat for yourself. It is easier to breastfeed when you can turn your back to the crowd and get the baby latched on, then sit back and relax.
  • If traveling with another person, request an aisle and window seat. If the flight is not full, you may get the whole row and if not, the person assigned the middle seat will happily take the aisle.
  • You might try flying at lower volume times of the day/week. However, in the current travel climate there may be no such thing.
  • Take your Car Seat and your stroller right up to the plane and then gate check the stroller, so it's waiting for you as you disembark. If there is an available seat you can take your car seat on the plane with you. If not they will gate check that too. If you don't have a stroller/car seat gate-check bags, take large, heavy-duty bags and some masking or duct tape. Covering the car seat and the stroller will protect them while in the cargo area.
  • Take your baby sling or baby carrier too. This is great for walking through the airport, keeping your baby secure while flying, and calming a fussy baby on the plane. Get up and stretch your legs and take the baby with you. NOTE: Babies need to be removed from carriers and strollers while going through the security checkpoint, per TSA.
  • Consider using a Backpack diaper bag. It will keep your hands free.
  • In your carry on bag bring an extra shirt for yourself and enough diapers/clothes for the baby to make it through a blowout or two. Be prepared for a delay, and if you can, for even and unexpected overnight stay.
  • Create diaper changing bags: one diaper and several wipes in a Ziploc bag (do a bunch). When you need to change the baby just grab a baggy, make the change and use the Ziploc for the dirty diaper.
  • Also consider getting some disposable changing pads and throw them away after each use. This helps to protect the baby from the airport and plane environment.
  • Check the TSA website and take a copy of the rules with you. You may need it at security if you meet less informed security agents. Currently, you may take breastmilk through security (when traveling with or without the baby) in larger quantities than three ounces.
  • Breastmilk can be kept in a separate bag from other gels and liquids. You must declare that you have the milk and are encouraged to carry on only what is needed until you reach your destination. Any other milk that you want to take, can be packed in large Ziplocs, surrounded by ice cubes or blue ice and placed in the bags you plan to check.
  • Take your nursing covers too. At The Pump Station we recommend the Bebe au Lait nursing covers. Also try a nursing tank top, and wearing layers. The tank makes nursing so easy while keeping your midsection covered. The nursing tank is beloved by most of our clients.
  • Planes are flying germ containers, so take a few antibacterial wipes in a baggy. Use them to wipe down the arms of your seat and the tray table.
  • Don't forget your hand sanitizer, you can get travel sizes. We don't have to tell you, but use frequently.
  • Try to nurse your baby or offer a few sips of breast milk by bottle when you are taking off and landing. Getting the baby to swallow helps reduce pressure in the ears. If the baby is sleeping, don't wake him.
  • Put drops of breast milk in eyes and nose repeatedly before and during the trip. This may help reduce the risk of the baby getting sick. It works like an antibiotic/antiviral! Good Stuff.
  • Ask for help! Getting your luggage through security, into the overheads, etc. can be a hassle. People feel good about themselves when they help others, so let 'em help. 
Items We Love in Flight
diaper Change on plane with disposable pads
Disposle Changing Pads
pumping easier with breastmilk bags
Medela Pump & Save Breastmilk Bags

Nursing Covers


The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products.

by Corky Harvey MS, RN, IBCLC, Founder

See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics

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Is Your Baby Getting Enough to Eat?

Is Your Baby Getting Enough to Eat?

Is Your Baby Getting Enough to Eat?

Signs from Baby:

  • Nurses 8 to 12 times every 24 hours
  • Swallows at the breast
  • Has 6 or more wet diapers every 24 hours by day six
  • Has 3 or more yellow bowel movements every 24 hours by day six
  • Regains birth weight by two weeks
  • Is satisfied after most feedings

Signs from Mom:

  • Notices engorgement, or swelling of the breasts, by day five
  • Does not have extremely sore nipples

Starting: The newly delivered mother has milk in her breasts in just the right amount to meet the needs of her baby. The first days after delivery, your baby will suckle frequently to feed on your early, high-powered milk called "colostrum." This is the perfect food for your newborn infant. Unlimited access to the breast these first days gets breastfeeding off to a positive start. The more often and effectively your baby nurses, the sooner your milk volume will increase. Making milk is a  take/make or demand/supply situation. Bottom line? The more often the  baby nurses and removes milk from your breasts, the more milk you will make.

Frequency: Your baby should breastfeed at least 8 to 12 time in a 24 hours time  frame by the  second day of life.  Infants occasionally have to be awakened for feedings during the first days or weeks. Once your baby has reached birth weight in the appropriate length of time (2 weeks), waking for feeds should not be necessary. Your baby should continue to want to feed a minimum of  8 times in 24 hours. The length of the feedings will vary greatly. Initially, your baby may feed for only a few minutes, or linger as long as thirty minutes per breast.Typically, babies have one 3-4 hour stretch of sleep and one 3-hour stretch of wakeful,  fussy behavior (the marathon feed/witching hours) every 24 hours. Let your baby set the pace; he/she will suck strongly with pauses between suckling bursts, gradually slowing down. Some babies need to use both breasts at feedings, while others are full after feeding on one breast. Alternate which breast you offer first to equalize your milk production.

Engorgement: Between the third and fifth day, the volume of milk produced by a breastfeeding mother increases dramatically. At this time you will begin to perceive the filling of your breasts as the welcomed sign of "engorgement." This is due to an increase in the volume of your breast milk, as well as body fluids within your breast tissue. Your breasts may become hot, firm and uncomfortable with the onset of engorgement and you may feel body aches. This condition usually improves in 24-48 hours, providing the baby is nursing well. Although the amount of engorgement varies from woman to woman, frequent nursing (every 2-3 hours or more) helps reduce the swelling and tenderness. The more your baby nurses, the less engorgement you will experience. You can tell your baby is removing milk from your breast when you hear swallowing during feeding, and your breasts feel softer and less full after feeding. For more help, check out our article on Engorgement.

What Goes In Comes Out: Urine increases incrementally from 1 to 2 wet diapers on day one, to 6 or more wet diapers by day six. Your baby's urine should be clear. Although normal for the first two days, a reddish "brick dust" in the diaper after the third day may indicate that your baby is not getting enough milk. After day three, your baby's stool will change from dark meconium to green/brown, then to mustard yellow. Yellow breast milk stools are loose and contain seedy curds. Your baby will progress from 1 to 4 stools a day for the first five days, moving to 3 or more yellow stools every 24 hours from day six on. This is a minimum, many breastfed babies stool with every feeding. It doesn't mean they have diarrhea.

Weight Gain: Most babies lose 5 to 8% of their birth weight during the first days of life. This is normal and is due to the elimination of birth fluids and meconium. By day 4,  as your milk volume increases, your baby will stop losing weight and start to gain about 1 ounce every day, regaining his/her birth weight 8-14 days. This weight gain pattern of 6 to 7 ounces per week should continue over the next 3 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that  all breastfed newborns be seen by their health care provider  2-3 days after discharge from the hospital to make sure the weight gain is appropriate. 

How Does It Feel? Mild nipple tenderness at the beginning of each feed for a few days is normal. Severe pain or scabbed, bleeding nipples if not. This damage indicates your baby is not latched correctly and may not be effectively compressing the areola (the dark area surrounding your nipple) to obtain milk. When properly latched, baby will suckle more milk and should not hurt your nipples. If your nipples are sore and not making improvement by the 5th day of life, you should make an appointment to see a Lactation Consultant. Check out  Our Article on Deep Latch Technique

Our Norm: Human babies are designed to feed frequently -  it's our biologic norm. Breast milk is easily digested and passes through your baby's tiny stomach within 48 to 90 minutes. Watch for indicators of hunger: hand-to-mouth movements, wiggling, stretching, tongue movements, noises and light sleep. Crying is a very late feeding cue, so don't wait for your baby to cry to let you know they are hungry. Feed frequently, as often as your baby desires. This assures adequate feeding and helps build up your supply. If you are concerned, see your baby's doctor or make an appointment to see one of our Lactation Consultants. Our Team of Lactation Professionals are board certified, most are RN's and  they and can help and support you. We're prepared to answer questions about latching technique, nursing positions and anything else regarding breastfeeding and baby care. (see Store locations & hours)

 Breastfeeding Record  Breastfeeding Log example:
Date Time Left Breast Right Breast Wet Diapers Stools Comments
Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care Items
The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products
Our Recommended Items
learn deep latch with Baby Care 101 DVD
Baby Care 101 DVD
Achieve better latch with Luna nursing pillow
Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow
save extra milk with Haakaa manual hand pump
Haakaa Manual Pump
good latch with back pillow
The Pump Station Back Pillow
nursing position help with adjustable stool
My Brest Friend Adjustable Stool
easy travel diaper changes with disposable pads
Diposable Changing Pads

See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics

Copyright© 2017 by The Pump Station & Nurtury®. All rights reserved. No part of this handout may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, without permission in writing from The Pump Station & Nurtury®. This article has not been prepared by a physician, is not intended as medical advice, and is not a substitute for regular medical care. Consult with a physician if medical symptoms or problems occur. Revised 01/06

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Plugged or Clogged Milk Ducts and Mastitis Prevention: The Latest Treatment Tips

Plugged or Clogged Milk Ducts and Mastitis Prevention: The Latest Treatment Tips

A plugged or clogged milk duct usually feels like a hard, tender swelling in the breast which can vary in size from a pea to a peach and may feel painful while breastfeeding. Plugged ducts occur when milk flow is restricted, or there is a delay in removal of milk, resulting in poor drainage of the breast.  An untreated plugged or clogged duct can quickly lead to a painful bacterial infection in the breast called mastitis. The latest updated tips below will hopefully help you clear the plug and avoid the onset of mastitis.

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Definitions of Breastfeeding Acronyms & Abbreviations

Definitions of Breastfeeding Acronyms & Abbreviations

Definitions of Breastfeeding Acronyms & Abbreviations

What do all these abbreviations mean?  Here's a quick, alphabetized cheat sheet on the shorthand you'll find in the world of babies & breastfeeding!

  • BA/BS/BSN - Bachelors of Arts/Science/Nursing
  • CCE - Certified Childbirth Educator
  • CEIM - Certified Educator in Infant Massage
  • CIMI - Certified Infant Massage Instructor
  • CLE - Certified Lactation Educator
  • DC - Doctor of Chiropractic
  • IBCLC - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • ICCE - International Certified Childbirth Educator
  • LAc - Licensed Acupuncturist
  • LCCE - Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
  • LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist
  • MA/MS/MN - Master of Arts /Science /Nursing
  • MD - Medical Doctor
  • MFT - Marriage and Family Therapist
  • MFTI - Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
  • MPA - Master of Public Administration
  • MPH - Master of Public Health
  • MSED - Master of Science in Education
  • MSW - Master of Social Work
  • PsyD - Doctor of Psychology
  • RD - Registered Dietitian
  • RN - Registered Nurse

Certified Lactation Educators (CLE):
We have certified lactation educators available by phone or email 7 days a week. We also have certified Lactation Consultants available for appointments. Our Pump Station library of educational handouts covers a variety of topics ranging from sore-nipples and engorgement, to dealing with thrush and mastitis. Our educators can assist you in finding the educational materials you need in our stores and on our website.

Store Locations & Hours

Phone: (310) 998-1981


Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care Items
The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products

See other blog posts:
Breastfeeding Tips For The Working Mom
Plugged or Clogged Milk Ducts and Mastitis Prevention: The Latest Treatment Tips
6 Reasons Why You Should Join a Parent & Me Group

Products we love:

learn deep latch with Baby Care 101 DVD

Baby Care 101 DVD

 We recommend the Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby Nursing Pillow

Luna Lullaby 

Nursing Pillow

Achieve better latch and comfort with Back Pillow by Pump Station
Pump Station Exclusive: 

Nursing Back Pillow

Kindred Bravely Hands Free

Pumping & Nursing Bra

Medela Symphony PLUS Hospital Grade Breast Pump

Medela Symphony PLUS

Hospital Grade Breast Pump


See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics

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Breast Pumping Guidelines

Breast Pumping Guidelines
There are many reasons women pump their breasts to provide milk for their babies. Some are separated from their hospitalized newborns and must pump to provide the many benefits of mothers' milk. Others must return to the workplace but want their babies to continue receiving breast milk. Whatever the reason, mothers have many questions about the pumping process. Continue reading

Breastmilk Collection and Storage

Breastmilk Collection and Storage

How to Collect Breastmilk for Newborns

  • Wash hands well with soap and water.
  • Wash all the collecting bottles and breastpump parts that touch your breasts or the milk. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher. Rinse carefully. Air dry on a clean towel. When soap and water are not available use Medela Quick Clean products. If your baby is premature or ill, the hospital may ask you to sterilize your pump parts.
    • Read the instruction book that comes with your pump and follow the suggestions. Sterilize your pump parts once a day as described.
    • Practice pumping when you are rested, relaxed and your breasts feel full. Once a day try to nurse your baby only on one side and pump the other breast. Or pump for a few minutes if your baby skips a feeding or nurses for only a short while. Read the Storage Guidelines chart to learn how to store breast milk. Be sure to use the right size breastshield so that your nipple fits comfortably. Medela makes different sizes of PersonalFitT breastshields to fit all nipple sizes, from small to extra large.

    Working Moms

    • Working moms can help their baby learn to take a bottle once breastfeeding is going well. It is best to wait for 3 to 4 weeks to introduce bottles. If you are having problems breastfeeding, ask for help.
    • Begin to pump to store milk 1 to 2 weeks before returning to work. Many employed moms use the fresh milk they pump at work for feedings the next day. They refrigerate Friday's milk for use on Monday. Save your frozen milk for emergencies.
    • Pump 3x during an 8 hour work shift, or every 3 hours you are away from your baby. 10 minutes of pumping during breaks and 15 minutes of pumping during lunch with a good pump will help protect your milk supply. If you can't pump 3x, pump as much as you can during each day. Breastfeeding in the evening and over the weekend helps your milk supply and protects your special bond with your baby.

    Storing Breastmilk

    • It is normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on your diet. Stored milk separates into layers. Cream will rise to the top. Gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the milk layers.
    • You can continue to add small amounts of cooled breastmilk to the same refrigerated container throughout the day. Avoid adding warm milk to already cooled milk.
    • Store your milk in glass or hard plastic containers, or in milk storage bags made especially for breast milk. The Medela Collection-Storage-Freezer (CSF) Bag is designed with two-layer construction to protect your stored milk. The bags come with twist ties for easy sealing. Place smaller bags inside a larger food storage bag to prevent accidental punctures.
    • Freeze milk in 2 to 5 oz portions. Small amounts will thaw more quickly. You will waste less milk this way and will avoid over-feeding. Liquids expand when frozen. Be sure to leave some extra room at the top of the container so the bottle or bag won't burst.
    • Seal containers tightly. Write the date on a piece of masking tape on the bag or bottle. Use the oldest milk first.
    • If you do not plan to use the milk within a few days, freeze it right away in the coldest section of your freezer. Do not place the bottle or bag up against the wall of the freezer.

    Breastmilk Storage Guidelines (For Healthy Term Babies)

      Freshly expressed breastmilk Thawed breastmilk (previously frozen)
    Room Temperature 4 hours at 66-72°F 19-22°C) Do Not Store
    Cooler with 3 Frozen Ice Packs 24 hours at 59°F (15°C) Do Not Store
    Refrigerator 5-7 days at 32-39°F (0°C) 24 hours
    Self Contained Refrig/Freezer Unit 3-4 months Never refreeze thawed milk
    Deep Freezer 6-12 months at 0°F (-19°C) Never refreeze thawed milk


    • Thaw milk overnight in the refrigerator, or hold the bottle under warm running water to quickly thaw. You can also place the sealed container in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes to bring it to body temperature.
    • Thawed milk is safe in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Do not refreeze.
    CAUTION: Never microwave breastmilk. Microwaving can cause severe burns to baby's mouth from hot spots that develop in the milk during microwaving. Microwaving can also change the composition of breastmilk.

    Feeding Tips

    • Choose a slow-flow bottle nipple and limit feeding size to 3 to 5 oz of milk for babies younger than 6 months.
    • Remove the bottle nipple out of the baby's mouth periodically to let the baby catch his or her breath.
    • Pause to burp the baby when needed.
    • If baby seems fussy in between feedings it may be because of thirst. Offer 1 to 2 oz of milk. Babies 4 months or older can have a sip of water from a cup.
    • Avoid over-feeding. Offer a pacifier or teething toy to give your baby more sucking enjoyment after finishing a bottle.
    • Sometimes, babies do not fully finish bottles of breastmilk. Mothers wonder if they can re-refrigerate and re-use this milk. We have no information about whether or not this is safe to do. Please check with your doctor.

    Your Milk Supply and Your Baby's Needs

    • We used to think that mothers needed to make more and more milk as their babies grew. Scientists now know that a healthy milk supply remains fairly constant over the 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding.
    • During the early weeks, babies eat very frequently and grow very quickly. By Day 10, babies should recover any lost birth weight. For the next few months, little girls should gain about an ounce a day, and little boys slightly more than an ounce.
    • Around 3 to 4 months, a breastfed baby's rate of growth begins to slow down. Continuing to gain weight rapidly after this time may contribute to obesity later on. This means that the milk supply established in the early days will continue to satisfy the baby until it is time to introduce solids at 6 months.
    • By the end of the first week of life, women who are breastfeeding one baby normally make between 19 to 30 oz of milk each day. Infants between 1 and 6 months of age normally drink an average of 19 to 30 oz a day. (Daley, Owens, Hartmann, 1993.) An average size "meal" for a baby is between 3 to 5 oz of breastmilk. Formula is harder to digest and less well absorbed. Formula fed babies may need larger feeds. Consult your doctor for advice.
    Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care ItemsTo see a more comprehensive list of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, visit Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products
     Collect milk with your own Medela Breast Pump

    See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics


    Butte N, Garza C, Smith E, Nichols B: Human milk intake and growth in exclusively breast-fed infants, J Pediatrics 1984; 104:187-194.
    Daly S, Owens R, Hartmann P: The Short-Term Synthesis and Infant-Regulated Removal of Milk in Lactating Women, Experimental Physiol 1993; 78:209-220.
    Dewey K, Heinig M, Nommsen L, Peerson J, Lonnerdal B: Growth of breast-fed and formula-fed infants from 0-18 months. The DARLING study, Pediatrics 1992; 89(6):1035-1040.
    Dewey K: Is breastfeeding protective against child obesity? J Human Lactation 2003; 19(1):9-18.
    Hamosh M, Ellis L, Pollock D, et al: Breastfeeding and the Working Mother: Effect of Time and Temperature of Short-term Storage on Proteolysis, Lipolysis, and Bacterial Growth in Milk, Pediatrics 1996; 97(4):492-498.
    Lawrence R and Lawrence R: Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, 1999.
    Quan R, Yang C, Rubinstein S, et al: Effects of Microwave Radiation on Anti-infective Factors in Human Milk, Pediatrics 1992; 88:667-679.
    Sosa R, Barness L: Bacterial growth in refrigerated human milk, Am J Dis Child 1987; 141:111-115.
    Stock J, Morhbacher N: The Breastfeeding Answer Book, La Leche League International, 2003.
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