All Our Best Nursing & Pumping Advice

nursing and pumping advice for working momsAs you know, after the recent survey we decided to mix up the morning post schedule a bit. Now it’s basically a two-week schedule, with Maternity Monday alternating with Nursing/Pumping Tuesday. We already have a little sentence with links that we run on Maternity Mondays to direct pregnant readers to older “dressing professional while pregnant” advice — and since nursing/pumping posts will be only once every two weeks, I decided to direct readers to all our best nursing and pumping advice for working moms. So: I spent yesterday morning consolidating all the links and making two pages, one focused on Nursing Clothes for Working Moms, and one focused on Tips for Pumping at the Office. Please check them out! (Both pages are also linked on our “Start Here – Best of CorporetteMoms” page.)

For discussion today: Is there any aspect of these topics (nursing or pumping, or breastfeeding vs. formula feeding in general) that you’d like addressed in more detail, or updated? (Readers who formula-fed their babies exclusively or combined breastfeeding and formula-feeding: anyone care to write a guest post with tips?) I know readers have shared tips on pumping in your car — should we turn that into a post so it’s easier to find? (I think one reader in particular broke it down, and we don’t have an email address for her — if you’re reading, MAY we turn your advice on pumping in the car into a post?)

If you’re curious for the whole new CorporetteMoms morning post schedule, this is what we’re going to try for a while:

Week 1:

  • Maternity Monday
  • Accessory Tuesday
  • Washable Wednesday
  • Budget Thursday
  • Family Friday

Week 2:

  • Beauty & Makeup Monday
  • Nursing/Pumping/Postpartum Tuesday
  • Washable Wednesday
  • Organizing Thursday
  • Family Friday

There was a lot of interest in adding recipes in general to the content mix, which Kate and I may try adding into each Weekly News Update. As I’ve noted in the past, my own recipes are repetitive, non-photo-friendly, super-lazy dinners (“dump chicken breasts, salsa, chicken broth, and two cans of beans into crockpot. Eight hours later, put into bowls and add cheese and sour cream as desired.”), and recipe/food blogging is an entirely different thing (with different tech to make recipes printable, different social media, etc.) that ultimately I don’t think is my main strength. But we will try to add in some Recipe Open Threads on a regular basis as well for you guys to discuss and share.


  1. CPA Lady says:

    I’d be happy to write a guest post on my wonderful experience combo feeding on purpose.

    The assumption is that “everybody” will try to EBF, and combo feed only as a last resort, with the formula served with a side of tears and extreme guilt. As a result, there is almost no information on how to do it on purpose, and what’s out there is really paternalistic, like you don’t know what’s best for yourself and your family. I just had a great experience with it and would be happy to write about that.

    I think it would also be helpful for someone who exclusively used formula from the beginning to write a post about how that went, how the milk-drying out process went, why she decided to go that route, etc.

    Maybe a post about the differences between the different types of formula? And nifty inventions like those formula on the go sticks that are kind of like “crystal light for babies” as my childless friend called them. I didn’t use those all the time, but they were great to stick in the diaper bag when I was traveling, etc.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I would LOVE this!! I EBF’d my first but would be very interested in combo feeding from the start with my (hypothetical) second.

    • layered bob says:

      I would also like to see this. I mostly EBF but with my next one I think I plan to switch to combo-feeding around five months (after maternity leave). I wanted to do it with my last baby but couldn’t find any info/support and “stuck it out” BFing/pumping all the d*mn time because I was afraid to cut back.

    • rakma says:

      I would love to see this CPA Lady!

    • Marilla says:

      I would love a post on combo feeding on purpose :)

    • I combo feed on purpose, as well, and it was awesome it was so hard to find any resources on doing it, so I think a post on it would be helpful for others.

    • awesome — sounds GREAT! Would you mind emailing me at kat at corporette dot com? (Unless you’ve already left your email on the backend, in which case I’ll try to email you…)

    • Walnut says:

      I also combo fed on purpose. We used formula from the start and latching was a no go, so I also pumped six times a day for three months to supplement with a little breast milk.

    • CPA Lady is my hero says:

      Please! I EBF the 1st, plan to combo feed the second arriving in a few months and I feel clueless.

    • Anonymous says:

      Currently combo feed on purpose with a 7-week old. I do a mixture of breastfeeding, DH giving her 1 pumped bottle a day, and a bottle of formula about every 2-3 days. I usually pump for 5-7 mins each side if I do a formula bottle. I wanted to make sure she would take formula without a struggle (my goal for breastfeeding is 6 months) and I also wanted people to be able to feed her if I’m away without having to build up a huge reserve of frozen milk. I feel no pressure or guilt over not EBF but that’s probably because our families and my husband are on board with whatever I want to do. I would love some guidance on combo feeding as the only advice out there says “if you supplement you will reduce your milk supply” which isnt always true, everyone is different!

    • I’d be happy to write a short piece about why we exclusively bottle-fed.

    • I would LOVE to see this post as combo feeding is my hope with #2!

  2. shortperson says:

    i’d be interested in reviews on the newest breast pumps coming out from those that have tried them. i asked last month about the naya and no one seemed to have tried it. the willow also looks intriguing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the problem with these newer pumps is that most insurances are not going to cover them. I couldn’t even get a spectra covered through the durable medical supplier my insurance company used. And I had to argue with them and specify it on the prescription to get a medela.

      • shortperson says:

        id pay out of pocket for an amazing breast pump. which is why i want to do a lot of research first!

        • Anonymous says:

          Meh. I’ve now spent over 18 months of my life pumping (total) and a pump would have to set itself up, clean itself, and be absolutely silent in order for me to want to pay for it. I’ve used several kinds and a pump is a pump to some extent.

          • bonus points if it straps itself to my b00bs and somehow works through clothing

    • AuntE says:

      Me, too! I’ve only seen one review of the Medela Sonata, which I considered, but, ultimately, because the review was lukewarm, decided to stick it out with the free PISA through my insurance company. I also considered the Naya, but $900 was too much for me to consider for (probably) the last baby. So if others have reviews, I would love to see them!

    • I think this is a great idea – most of us are familiar with the PISA because that’s what our insurance offered. It’d be nice to see what else is out there. I bought a cheap double-electric on Amazon to have as a backup, and it was AWFUL. The manual Medela is far superior. I’d love to to read about experiences with others.

  3. I’m a mama who has been supplementing with formula since my baby was born, due to low supply & also breastfeeding issues. I feel stuck between two worlds – I’m not exclusively breastfeeding but I’m not solely giving formula. I have a pumping system that seems to finally work, after I tried numerous electric and manual pumps, plus various supplements. I’d be happy to write about my routine now around pumping and supplementing, and give reviews on the pumps that I’ve tried.

  4. rakma says:

    With DD1 we combo fed from birth, my supply never established well in part to due a major hemorrhage after birth, and in part due to DD1 being jaundiced, and not wanting to put in the effort to breastfeed. (and it took me more than a year to stop blaming myself for that. The guilt associated with not EBF is a beast. I wish I had more supportive resources about combo feeding in those early days.)

    With DD2, I’ve been able to EBF, and pump enough to maintain this. While this has been great for our budget, DH is missing out on some of the shared baby feeding duties. While I can pump and DH can give her a bottle when I’m away, she won’t take a bottle if I’m nearby. We had split baby feeding duties so much more evenly with DD1, and he’s missing out on some of that bonding time.

    We’ve got enough parenting duties to go around with 2 kids that this hasn’t really changed the overall distribution of our parenting duties, but I can see how easily with a first kid the bulk of the parenting could fall to Mom because Dad can’t do the middle of the night bottle. Apart from all of the hows and wheres of nursing, if you’re looking to have a more equal parenting set up, there’s a lot to be said about formula/combo feeding.

  5. I credit this site with being a big part of the reason I’m approaching 11 months EBF my son. So many of my questions and concerns have been addressed with common sense and compassion on here. I experienced a big supply issue around 6 months that had me in tears, and the good advice and permission – if you can call it that – to rely on formula if needed got me through it. We ended up being able to address it and bounce back, but having this group (and not just my husband) tell me I’m not a failure was really helpful. Also, I recently posted about how frustrated I am with pumping and I’m so over it and how I need to push myself to pump more than once a day and people all chimed in with, “Why not pump once a day?” And I have been, and it’s been awesome.

    Having an outside perspective, a nonjudgmental one, especially from those experiencing it alongside me (or having experienced it in the past) has really been amazing for me. So grateful to all of you and Kat!

  6. I’m combo feeding my 4.5 month old. I had a breast reduction in high school and while I’ve never regretted it, my milk supply isn’t and never will be great. At this point I’m almost exclusively pumping (my milk comes out so slowly and the baby gets impatient) and my daughter gets 14-17 oz breast milk plus morning nursing, and the rest formula. I’ve found almost no resources on combo feeding despite the fact that so so many of my friends and colleagues combo feed. Would really love a feature on this! I was so sad about it at the beginning and cried with every bottle of formula, but it’s been such a good decision for our family. I love that my daughter gets the benefits of breast milk but the pressure is off me to produce every calorie she ingests.

  7. Diane c. says:

    Would love to read tips, tricks and hacks for prepping bottles for daycare. With my first, I remember the endless slog every morning of making up bottles until our daycare provider told us to just bring the water, and can of powder and she would mix it. Hallelujah! My second baby is 3 months old now. I went back to work when he was a week old and luckily my mother has been helping to watch him, so she takes care of the bottles. But I’m always forgetting to defrost milk!
    Also tips for washing and organizing bottles and pump parts. I feel as if half my kitchen counter is being taken over with bottles and pump parts.
    Suggestions for stylish pumping bags? How to travel with formula?

  8. Just getting to this now – but does anyone have advice on how to broach the combo-feeding subject with a pediatrician who is militantly pro-EBF? I was all excited about a specific practice in my town (recommended by my OB, spoke to a mom who was a nurse there and whose kid went there from birth) but their website is intimidating to say the least when it comes to EBF. It actually said something like “breastfeeding means fewer pediatrician visits in baby’s first year!”

    Like if I have to resort to formula I’m going to make my kid sick? Or if my kid gets sick it’s my fault for not being able to EBF?? I know they mean that EBF = better immune system for baby, but it came off very judgmental. I plan to EBF but who knows what the future brings.

    Someone asked recently and got good feedback on dealing with the hospital/OB if you want to formula feed from the start but I haven’t seen much on dealing with pediatricians.

    • Carrie M says:

      A couple thoughts:

      (1) I’d go meet with the pediatrician before you commit to the practice, and raise this as a concern. I’d just say, I’d like to EBF but realize it may not be possible so I’m keeping an open mind about combo-feeding. What’s your view on that? It’s possible the website comes off as militant, but that they’re far more open in practice. A side anecdote: I had heard our pediatrician would allow modifications to the vaccine schedule. At the “open house” for new patients, someone asked about delaying shots by several months, and the doctor said flat out they wouldn’t do such big delays, and suggested the woman look for another doctor if that’s what she wants (and he counseled against that in the first place).

      (2) My LC always said it’s the presence of breastmilk (not absence of formula) that matters. I’m not an expert at all, but I haven’t heard of a study that says a baby needs to get 10 oz (or any specific amount) of breastmilk a day to see benefits. So I’d be hesitant to use a pediatrician that looks down on combo-feeding.

      (3) You want to be fully comfortable with your ped so that you can be open and honest, and don’t feel any judgment if you have to take a kid in there (especially infants, who could be there every few days if they’re not gaining weight, or have RSV, etc.). So if you don’t like how they handle your conversation, I’d strongly suggest looking for a different doctor. Good luck!

    • lucy stone says:

      I would have that conversation with the pediatrician in advance. My kid has never had a drop of formula and we already hit our deductible this year thanks to RSV, pneumonia, and asthma! Awesome!

    • Winter says:

      For what it’s worth, my pediatrician is pro EBF and I think pushes to help moms get over the initial hump. I hired her old nanny as our nanny and the nanny told me the doctor only breast fed her kids for 8 weeks. Oh the irony!!

  9. lucy stone says:

    Also a day late to this conversation – I had to exclusively pump for months as my baby wouldn’t latch. Get a pump that doesn’t have to be plugged in. I have the Spectra S1, but I know there are others. I bought it based on advice I got here and am so glad I did!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes please to combo feeding tips! I EBFed my son, now two years later pregnant again and considering combo feeding to reduce the stress on me and to make sure dad can bond with the baby faster/better than he did with our son. I got up every night with our son for 11 months and not sure I can handle that again.

  11. Sarah says:

    I AM LOVING how many posters here EBF’d #1 and are planning on combo-feeding w/ #2. My second mat leave will be much, much shorter than my first and I’m likely going to take this route as well (also because, hey, sleep is awesome and being a sleepless martyr is the pits). Such a great counter-narrative, I love it.

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