Breastfeeding mother of three talks about her expectations of a breastfeeding simulator before she sees a Lactation Simulation Model (LSM) for the first time. In this video, she discusses the benefits of using a LSM as a new parent. While wearing an LSM, she attaches a breast pump and tries different flange sizes. She says, “This is pretty awesome, though, that you can practice pumping not on your own [body].”
It is important for healthcare professionals, educators, and breastfeeding parents to know how to properly use a breast pump. A recent Human Resources Report by Acelleron, found that 90 percent of breastfeeding moms are either pumping at work, or are planning to pump at work. This high number stems from the lack of parental leave in the U.S., leaving new breastfeeding parents no choice but to return to work quickly after giving birth. In 2018, only 17% of Americans have paid family leave from their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When new mothers return to the workplace and pump, many employers do not offer adequate spaces or time for pumping to occur. The Harvard Business Review’s article When Companies Support Pumping Breastmilk at Work, Everyone Benefits summarizes two studies in which they over 100 breastfeeding mothers who were pumping at work were interviewed. Respondents described challenges such as finding time to pump between meeting and feeling worse emotionally when breastfeeding felt like an interference at work. For mothers that felt like their workplace supported pumping, their emotional well-being was higher and their emotional well-being increased, as did their output relative to work goals and breastmilk production goals.”
A 2013 survey conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that out of 550 women, 60% did not have the time or a place to express milk on the job. Additionally, pumping, storing, and transporting breastmilk is a big expense for working parents, reaching $500 for 6 months exclusive breastfeeding. In an interview with The Washington Post, University of Turin economist Chiara Daniela Pronzato states, “Breastfeeding is truly free only when everything goes 100 percent smooth.” Common breastfeeding issues, hurdles while pumping at work, and the cost of pumping supplies make it harder for breastfeeding parents to reach their goals.
Because of the negative effects of limited family leave in the U.S, LiquidGoldConcept promotes high-quality breastfeeding education using breast models and simulators for healthcare providers and their breastfeeding patients. The Breast Health Training Tool (BHTT) Curriculum and LSM Case Series, available at LiquidGoldConcept.com covers pumping techniques and managing pain during pumping.
Access to paid and unpaid family leave in 2018. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/access-to-paid-and-unpaid-family-leave-in-2018.htm. Published February 27, 2019.
Access to Workplace Accommodations to Support Breastfeeding after Passage of the Affordable Care Act. Women’s Health Issues. October 2015. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2015.08.002.
Gabriel AS, Volpone SD, MacGowan RL, Butts MM, Moran CM. When Companies Support Pumping Breastmilk at Work, Everyone Benefits. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/11/when-companies-support-pumping-breastmilk-at-work-everyone-benefits. Accessed November 7, 2019.
Momigliano A. Breast-feeding isn’t free. This is how much it really costs. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/05/28/breast-feeding-isnt-free-this-is-how-much-it-really-costs/. Accessed May 21, 2019.
Ninety percent of breastfeeding moms returning to work are pumping. Acelleron: A health and welness company. https://acelleron.com/blog/ninety-percent-of-breastfeeding-moms-returning-to-work-are-pumping/. Published November 18, 2019.