Frequently Asked Questions
We Hope That Our Breast Pumping FAQ Helps!
What is The Breastfeeding Shop?
We are a highly-rated breast pump provider that helps moms get free pumps and supplies through their insurance. We work with several different insurance providers, including Tricare, Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and more. With years of experience, we know exactly how to get moms the breast pumping equipment they need to care for their babies. Additionally, we have knowledgeable staff members, who can go over the different breast pump options with you. Once you select a breast pump, all you have to do is get your prescription and fill out a simple order form. Then, we’ll take care of the rest for you. Keep reading our breast pumping FAQ for more info.
Why Should I Choose this Breast Pump Provider Near Me?
The Breastfeeding Shop is a well-known breast pump store with high ratings. Therefore, you can count on us to get your breast pump and accessories shipped right to you. We want new moms to have everything they need for a successful breastfeeding journey. And we strive to make breast pump ordering as easy as possible. We can help you:
- Contact your doctor
- Get a breast pump prescription
- Select a breast pump
- Work with your insurance company
- Get free breast pump accessories and compression garments
- Get a breast pump reimbursement
When can I Start Pumping?
It’s good to get a jump on pumping if your child has medical issues that prevent him or her from direct feeding. Some moms start pumping shortly after their baby is born. Breast pumping can help increase milk supply. Also, some moms decide to store up some milk in the freezer and refrigerator, depending on how soon they plan to use it. But you may want to wait a bit to start bottle feeding. Some experts say that using bottles too early can lead to nipple confusion.
If you’re a working mom, you should start pumping a couple weeks before you come back from maternity leave. If you wait until the last second, you might find that your body isn’t responding to the pump. It may take some time and practice to start expressing milk through the pump. Also, your baby might need some time to get accustomed to the bottle.
What’s the Best Kind of Breast Pump for Moms?
Ever since The Affordable Care Act was passed, most insurance providers have been providing expecting mothers with a free breast pump. Depending on your insurance and the prescription you get from your doctor, you may be limited to a certain type of breast pump. The two main types of pumps are manual and electric breast pumps.
MANUAL BREAST PUMPS
This is a hand-operated breast pump that’s usually smaller, lighter, and a bit more discreet. Additionally, the manual breast pumps usually cost less than electric nursing pumps. On the other hand, these pumps take more effort and time. If you’re a working mom who plans to pump regularly, you may want to opt for an electric breast pump.
ELECTRIC BREAST PUMPS
These pumps are usually a bit louder and more expensive, but they allow for effortless pumping. And certain models allow you to pump both breasts at once, which can be a real time saver. At The Breastfeeding Shop, some of our double breast pumps include the Spectra S2 and S1, Medela Pump In Style, and Ameda Mya JOY.
With electric breast pumps, you also have to consider how the pump is charged. Some models need to be plugged into an outlet or car adapter. Meanwhile, other electric breast pump models are operated by a rechargeable battery or just regular batteries.
How do I Choose the Best Breast Pump for Me?
Some insurance providers allow you to just pick your pump. Nowadays, there are a lot of different breast pump options for moms. If you’re not sure which pump is right for your needs, you can always contact us at The Breastfeeding Shop for more breast pump details. But here are some things that you should consider:
- How often do you plan to pump?
- Are you returning to work and spending hours away from your baby at a time?
- Are you going to be pumping exclusively?
- What’s your budget for your breast pump and supplies?
- What does your insurance cover?
- Do you want to rent a hospital-grade breast pump?
- Do you need to pump as quickly as possible?
- Are you looking for a hands-free option?
- Do you need a pump that’s easy to disassemble, clean, and carry around?
- How do you plan on storing the breast milk?
- What’s your back-up plan if the electricity goes out?
How can I get Elvie Pumps?
The Elvie is a luxury breast pump that you must sign a waiver for and pay additional fees for. Within the United States, this top luxury breast pump may be covered by your insurance partially.
Is a Used Breast Pump Alright?
Without knowing exactly who used the pump and how it was cleaned and stored, using a secondhand breast pump is not a good idea. There could be mold, bacteria, and viruses in the pump that get your baby sick. Additionally, if the previous user got a cracked nipple, blood contamination could have occurred. Meanwhile, some FDA-approved hospital-grade breast pumps are specifically designed for multiple users, allowing you to rent a breast pump.
How can I Order Milk Bags?
You can quickly and easily order breast milk storage bags right from The Breastfeeding Shop. All you must do is fill out our accessory replacement form, and we’ll have your breast pumping supplies shipped directly to you.
Where can I Order a Pregnancy Pillow Near Me?
We have a simple form for you to fill out and send in. This allows you to order pregnancy pillows, compression garments and socks, maternity support belts, nipple shields, and an SNS feeder.
Should I Get a Pumping Bra?
Yes, especially if you plan on pumping regularly. Actually, you might want to get two pumping bras. So, you still have one pumping bra when the other one is in the wash. Having to hold the bottles yourself can really get in the way of doing any other tasks.
How can I Make Breast Pumping Easier?
While direct breastfeeding is more of a natural process, pumping can take a little while to get used to. But using a breast pump allows you to keep giving your baby breast milk when you need to be away.
TIPS FOR MAKING PUMPING EASIER FOR MOMS:
- Get a breast pump that meets your specific needs
- Go hands-free and get some other things done while you pump
- Use the right flanges, which should fit comfortably
- Get the right breast pump accessories
- Dress for pumping success
- Time your pumping to match your baby’s feeding patterns
- Create a routine for pumping and don’t skip sessions
- Be prepared with everything you need ready for you
- Get comfortable with some pillows and a blanket
- If you’re pumping at work, bring whatever you need to get comfortable
- Stimulate your hormones with a blanket, picture, or video that reminds you of your baby
- Don’t stress out — relax and breathe deeply
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks
- Use Netflix, an audio book, or podcasts to entertain yourself and make pumping a pleasant experience
- Reach out for support from family and friends, giving you some more time to adjust
- Find a pediatrician or lactation consultant that’s supportive
- Don’t give up — the more you practice, the better you’ll get
Where can I Pump at Work?
You’ll need a clean discreet spot where you can feel comfortable. Some companies already have a spot set up for breast pumping. If not, you can ask your employer or your HR department about creating a private area or office you can use.
How Should I Store Breast Milk?
If you don’t store breast milk properly, it can degrade the milk’s health benefits for your baby. When you’re going to store the milk for more than a few hours, it should go in the fridge or freezer. And you want to put it in the back where it won’t be exposed to changing temperatures when the door is open. You shouldn’t let the milk in the refrigerator for more than a day or two before you freeze it (the sooner you freeze it, the better). It’s best to put the milk in storage bags or bottles that are properly secured, preventing leaks and milk spoilage. To avoid the use of expired milk, it helps to write the date on the bag.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, BREAST MILK CAN BE STORED:
- At room temperature for four hours
- In the back of the refrigerator for three to eight days (to get the milk at its peak, use it within four days)
- In the back of the freezer for three to six months
If you don’t have fridge access, use an insulated bag with ice packs. The milk should be safe here for 24 hours.
How Much Breast Milk Should I Store?
You can start with increments of 1 or 2 oz., see how much your baby drinks at once, and work up from there. By storing the milk in smaller increments of 2 or 4 oz., it ensures that you won’t be wasting milk. Additionally, you won’t be defrosting too much milk for your baby. Once you thaw the milk, you can’t put it back into the freezer.
What’s the Right Way to Freeze Breast Milk?
When you leave about an inch of extra room for expansion, breast milk storage bags are your best option. Just make sure that you write the pumping date on the bag. So, you’ll know when the milk needs to be thrown out. Additionally, if you’re delivering the milk to a childcare provider, clearly label the bag with your child’s name.
What’s the Safest Way I can Thaw Breast Milk?
It’s best to thaw the oldest milk first. Remember that if you thaw the breast milk too quickly, it can lose its antibodies. You don’t want to thaw it in boiling water. Also, don’t use the microwave — the milk might thaw unevenly and burn your baby. But there are a few different methods of breast milk thawing that you can use. They include:
- Stick it in the fridge overnight
- Run warm water over the bottle
- Place the bottle in a container of warm water
- Use a bottle warmer
Once it’s warm, swirl the milk gently to mix it. And once the breast milk is thawed properly, it can be kept at room temperature for two hours. After that, you’ll need to throw it away. And you should never refreeze the milk once it has already thawed.
How Long Should a Pumping Session Take?
If you’re not expressing enough milk, you may be trying to rush your pumping sessions a bit. You’ll probably need to spend about 15 to 20 minutes with the pump hooked up and running. Some moms need 30 or 40 minutes for sessions, especially early on in their breast pumping journey. Once the milk slows down and your breast feel drained, you can end the pumping session.
How can I Clean My Breast Pump?
After each use, it’s important to clean your breast pump properly. This way, you can ensure that there isn’t any mold, bacteria, or germs building up in the pump. The CDC says to:
- Wash your hands before pumping and clean the outside of the pump with disinfectant wipes
- After each use, separate all the pump parts and rinse them, using fresh running water — don’t stick the parts directly into the sink
- As soon as possible, clean the individual pump parts with hot soapy water, using a wash basin and brush — or, use the dishwasher
- Let the parts air dry on a clean towel
- Rinse your brush and wash basin, let them air dry, and clean them every few days or so
- Once the items are completely dry, store them in an area that’s clean and protected
- When using a dishwasher, use a sanitize cycle or a hot water and heated drying cycle — also, wash your hands before you remove the pump parts and allow them to air dry
Thanks for checking out our great breast pumping FAQ.