Mama Knows Breast




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Answering Your Breastfeeding Questions

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I’ve been doing some guest writing on The Nest Baby, a cool site for new moms. Readers have been submitting questions about breastfeeding and I’ve been answering them. You can check out all of the answers on this link. You can also jump right to the specific questions from these links:
Breastfeeding Positions
Breast Lumps and Nursing
Dealing with Thrush
Inverted Nippes
Milk Blisters
Newborn Eating Enough?
Getting Help At Home
Prepping to Nurse?
Prepping to Pump?
Pumping and Work
Pumping Problems
Storing Breastmilk
Travel while Nursing
Weaning and Milk Supply
Pumping Extra Milk
If you have a specific question, feel free to email me any time at mamaknowsbreast@yahoo.com.

Flying and Pumping–What’s a Mom to Do

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Update: a new rule effective August 4, 2007 does away with the limits on the amount of breast milk a mom can carry on board a plane.
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I love the Style section in the Sunday New York Times. Seriously, it’s the highlight of the paper for me. My husband brings it to me if I’m still in bed, breast feeding the Titty Bear (From here on out, the Titty Bear will simply be called “The Bear.” We decided he might be embarrassed to learn some day that we called him the Titty Bear. What would his friends say?)
I digress. Anyway, I was thrilled yesterday to see a piece in the Style section about a mom who goes on a business trip, breast pump in hand. She describes all the crazy places she had to pump (in the plane, on a bus, in a closet), and ultimately what happened when she had to pass through airport security with a cooler full of breast milk.
The new restrictions for carry-on luggage have made traveling even tougher for breast feeding moms who have left their babes at home and need to pump.
It’s all a little confusing, so I called the TSA to try to figure this out. Here’s the deal: If you have a baby with you, you can bring formula and pumped breast milk on board. You just have to show it to an agent at the security check point. If you don’t have a baby with you, you are more restricted. You can bring on board the plane one, quart-size ziploc bag, with three ounce containers of breast milk inside. (Each passenger is allowed one ziploc bag for any toiletries). If you have more milk than that, you will have to put it in a cooler, pack it up with ice, and send it on it’s way with your luggage.
For a little more information, here’s a link to the TSA’s rules about carry on luggage. Here is specific information about breast milk and formula.
So if you’re planning a trip any time soon, and need to leave the babe behind and instead, tote the pump, good luck to you. I know these flight restrictions are there to keep us safe, but boy oh boy, do you need a serious level of dedication if you intend to bring that liquid gold home with you. Happy trails to you.

Comments on the NYT Story About Breastfeeding at Work

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Here are the comments that people have written to the New York Times about the challenges of breastfeeding at work.

Breastfeeding Challenges for Working Moms

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To state the obvious…The New York Times is reporting that breastfeeding is easier for “professional” working moms, than it is for “working class” moms. In this front page story, the Times highlights the differences at Starbucks. At the corporate offices in Seattle, moms have a special lactation room and company-supplied pumps. Women who work in the Starbucks coffee shops, on the other hand, have to pump in the same bathroom that customers use.
Is this really news? Or is the Times finally telling a story that needs to be told? Health care professionals tell us that breast milk is the “gold standard” for infant nutrition, but our working culture makes breastfeeding a big challenge.
Moms who work in restaurants, department stores and factories have to jump through hoops to find a place and time to pump. Even under the best of circumstances, moms who have a private office, designated lactation room or conference room, find that they have to explain to their bosses, colleagues and clients that they are unavailable at certains times of the day because they need to pump. Let’s face it, breastfeeding is simply much easier for moms who are able to stay home with their babies. They don’t have to worry about pumping often enough during the day to maintain their milk supply.
According to the New York Times article, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is about to launch a campaign called “The Business Case for Breastfeeding.” This will emphasize findings that breastfeeding reduces absenteeism and pediatrician bills. But is an ad campaign really going to change anything for women in this country? Maybe, maybe not. At a minimum, it can’t hurt. Even if one company finds a way to make it easier for breastfeeding moms, then it’s a start. For the forseeable future, be prepared to fight your own battles.
So what’s your experience? How supportive is your office?