Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Clean Medela Pump Parts

When you are breastfeeding and pumping with the Medela Symphony, Pump-In-Style, or Freestyle breastpumps, you want to make sure that you carefully clean all of your pump parts after every pumping session.

(If you don't have access to water and a sink after each session, you can use the Medela Quick Clean Wipes to clean as much as you can during the day, and then do the full water cleaning when you get home.)

After each time you pump:
1. Detach the breastshield connectors and your bottles or storage bags from your tubing.  Keep the tubing attached to your pump, and allow your pump to run for a few minutes to help get rid of any humidity or condensation in your tubes.  It's great to do this while you're storing your breastmilk (fridge, freezer, etc)

2. Once your milk is stored, take apart all of your pump parts.  Make sure that you disassemble the valve, the membrane, the PersonalFit connector, and the PersonalFit breastshields so that you can clean in all the nooks and cranies.

3. Use warm, soapy water to wash all of the parts.  And be sure to rinse thoroughly.  (You can also clean the separated parts in your dishwasher - just make sure that they are securely on the top rack away from the heating element.)  Medela also makes a special breastmilk-dissolving quick clean soap - just put a few pumps of it into your warm water and let your pump parts soak for 5 minutes before rinsing.  The breastmilk residue just dissolves away- no scrubbing needed!

In addition to washing your Medela pump parts, you can also sterilize them using the Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags.  Be sure to follow the specific directions on the bag so that you don't melt or disfigure any of your plastic parts or your tubing.

Hope that helps you to clean all of your Medela replacement parts!  If you need any extra parts, come on by our baby store in Encino or shop online.  We also rent out the Medela hospital-grade Symphony pumps.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Parents as First-Responders

Just imagine the unthinkable. Your infant or toddler is found unresponsive, in an apparent lifeless state. Whether a drowning, choking, or other life-threatening event, the time to act is NOW. Survival for your infant or child during such an event requires immediate action on the part of those present, typically you as the parent.

We often push these frightening thoughts to the back of our minds as they seem almost too much to bear. Yet, statistics are clear and tell us that parents who have training and act quickly are more likely to affect a good outcome during a health crisis.

The notion of the "first-responder" was greatly popularized after the events of 9-11-01 where the bravery and unquestioned commitment to life saving was there for all to see. Although extremely capable, paramedics cannot act until they are present to do so. In the meantime, many victims are suffering the effects of lack of oxygen, which can have devastating consequences.

This is where "parents as first-responders" comes into play. Most CPR courses emphasize the importance of immediate action on the part of those present at the moment of crisis. It turns out to be true. What actions taken in the very moments before the arrival of the paramedics are often the most effective to restore (or at least sustain) life in both the child and adult populations.

As a result, parents need to take a hard look at the very place where these events tend to occur. . . . your home. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)and the American Heart Association (AHA) have studies showing what kind of emergencies can take a small life. 

Consequently, we ask parents to focus on the following areas:
* Protect all water sources to prevent drowning
* Be aware to prevent choking as well as know what to do should it occur
* Have all of your smoke detectors fully functional
* Keep all toxic substances away from infants & children
* Protect all stairwells with gates, both top & bottom

These areas reflect where most critical events occur in the home. It should provide parents with a clear picture of where a pro-active response can take place. But what happens if your best efforts at prevention fail?


The general rules for immediate action in a life threatening event include:

* If ALONE with a pediatric victim (8 years or under), start CPR BEFORE calling 9-1-1. Do this for up to 2 minutes before calling for help.

* If another rescuer is present, doing CPR AND dialing 9-1-1 should happen at the same time.

* USE A LANDLINE for 9-1-1 calls whenever possible as the pick-up time is faster and they will know your whereabouts (on their computer screen).

* Employ the SPEAKER PHONE to allow hands-free and improved communication during a critical event.

* Have other important phone numbers posted near your phone (parent cell phone #'s, M.D. office, poison control center, etc.)

* TAKE A CPR COURSE and be ready! Many emergencies require simple action so reviewing these can be of immense help when you are already scared and feeling helpless.

* HAVE A PLAN: look at your home with a critical eye with respect to risky areas. Think about how you might react if alone vs. having others to help. Be absolutely sure that anyone who has solo care for your infant or child be trained as well. We cannot assume that we will always be present when an emergency occurs.

In summation, parents and immediate family members are really the ones who are the first-responders, and can make the biggest difference during a health emergency.

Article written by: Richard Pass, RN, BS, of Save a Little Life, who teaches our Infant & Toddler CPR and Family Safety Class, which are held about once a month here at A Mother's Haven Boutique & Educational Center in San Fernando Valley.

Richard Pass, RN, BS is the founder of “Save A Little Life” Inc, a local provider of both CPR and First-Aid for infants &children. He has been a Registered Nurse & Health Educator for over 30 years. He is on staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and is currently a part-time clinical instructor of nursing at California State University, Northridge. The goal for Save a Little Life is to provide a simpler, more “user friendly” CPR course for parents, grandparents, and caregivers.

More Milk Plus & More Milk Special Blend

Many breastfeeding moms worry about whether or not they are making enough milk for their new baby.  One thing that you can do to help with improving your milk supply is to take the More Milk supplements from Motherlove.  But which of the different supplements to take?

First Decision - Capsules vs. Liquid Drops
- Moms tend to agree that the liquid drops taste horrible!  So most people do buy the capsules, for ease and convenience.
- But the liquid drops are slightly more effective because the herbs are able to get into your system faster and more directly, so if you can handle the taste, you might want to buy the liquid.

Second Decision - More Milk Plus vs. Special Blend
- Both the More Milk Plus and the More Milk Special Blend contain fenugreek seed, blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel seed - all of which are galactagogue (or milk-increasing) herbs.  The More Milk Plus works for most women whose milk supply has decreased due to growth spurts, separation, illness, or stress.
- The More Milk Special Blend also contains goat's rue, which is one of the most potent herbs known to increase breast milk and stimulate the development of mammary tissue. This formula helps women who did not increase in breast size during pregnancy, have had previous breast surgeries, or are adopting.

Also some moms will add additional Fenugreek capsules on top of their More Milk Plus or More Milk Special Blend regiment.  If you're not sure about what or how much to take, we suggest coming to our weekly Breastfeeding Support Group on Tuesday mornings at 10am so that a lactation consultant can give you a personalized herb recommendation.  RSVP here for our next Breastfeeding Support Group!

All of these supplements are available in our boutique, which is also where our support group is held.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How do I clean my Medela pump tubing?

We get a lot of moms coming in asking about cleaning their Medela breastpump tubing, whether for the Symphony hospital-grade rental pump, the Medela Freestyle pump or for the personal-grade Pump In Style Advanced breastpump.

One thing to note, milk shouldn't normally be going into your Medela tubing when you pump.  If you see milk coming back into the tubing, make sure of two things:

1. Your pumping bottles are upright while you're pumping and
2. Your valves and membranes are attached fully, and that they don't have any holes or cuts.  Only air is supposed to go through the tubes.

Every time after you pump, disconnect (and clean) all of your pump parts, but leave the tubing connected. Let your pump keep running for another 5-10 minutes with just the tubing connected - this will usually get rid of any little bit of milk or condensation.

If you do see some milk in your tubing after letting the pump run, you can clean your tubes by:

1. Holding the tubing upright in your sink, and letting cold water flow through the tubes.  (Don't use hot water, or it might melt the tubing.)
2. Then drying the pump tubing by attaching it to your pump without the breastshields or connectors - just the pump and tubing - and then running the pump for a few more minutes or until you don't see any more condensation.  You can also get condensation out with the 'cowgirl techniques'.  You can swing the tube around your head quickly like a lasso, or you can whip the tube to get any moisture out.

You can sterilize your breastpump tubing by using the Medela Quick Clean microwave bags. Just make sure that you use the special directions for tubing, and clean the tubing by itself, not with other pump parts. Steam-cleaning your pump tubes may cause clouding or discoloration, which is okay and doesn't affect your pumping or your breastmilk.

Hope this helps you to clean the tubing for your Medela breastpump - if you don't notice or forget to clean it, and you do get mold inside, you can buy replacement tubing either by coming into our baby store in Encino, CA or by ordering online - we carry both the replacement Symphony tubing with connectors on both ends and the replacement Pump-In-Style tubing with connectors only on one end.  We also carry the special replacement tubing for the Medela Freestyle pump.

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Prenatal Exercise Recommendations

The recommendations include moderate to vigorous exercise through your pregnancy, including cardio and some weight training.  Prenatal yoga and pilates are wonderful ways to start (or continue) working out while you are pregnant.

Our current Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga schedule is:
Mondays 7pm
Thursdays 6pm

Call us at (818) 380-3111 to reserve your spot in class!

Visit us at:
16101 Ventura Blvd. Suite 230
Encino, CA. 91436
p. (818) 380-3111 w.