Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 17: Pumping

Popcorn is 17 days old. Yesterday, I was so worn out from doing to much on days 14 and 15 that I couldn't function. My greatest accomplishment was watching the RHOA season finale, part 3.  And eating nearly a whole bag of dark chocolate Loacker Quadratini.  They really are delicious.  Anyway, it was a reminder that I just had a baby a couple of weeks ago and I still need to take it easy.  It's very easy, as a mommy, to try to get back in the swing of things too early.  You have to rest.  Pretty much every non-Western culture expects new mamas to get lots of rest and recuperate for 40+ days after giving birth.

I don't know why you don't get rest, Mommy, but I sure do!

I have been having a lot of leaking lately so I decided to try to save some of that milk. I'd rather save it than marinate in it.  The first time, I hand expressed after nursing and got about 20 cc from each side. Today, I got about 30 cc on one side while she nursed on the other.  It's not a lot, but I put it in some Lansinoh bags and froze it.
That's her "I'm ready to nurse" face.
Even though Lettuce and I have pretty much decided that I'll be staying home with the kids, I think it's important to have some milk stored for emergencies.  My milk will keep at least 6 months in the deep freezer.  I'd really like to pump some, but I lost the flange from my pump. WIC may be able to help me with one, if I go back to work.

Avent Isis Manual
So let's talk pumping.  With the first two kids, I didn't pump. I didn't have pump money.  They can be expensive, as I'm sure you know.  I vaguely remember trying a Medela with no success. I hand expressed a little for the Astronaut, but my mother ended up bringing him to me to nurse. I know that sounds crazy but I worked super close to our house.

With Squirrel, I knew I was only going to be home for 6 weeks. I began pumping after about 2 weeks and we introduced a bottle at that time.  I am a heavy chested mama (about an F-yes F as in frog-cup) so the flanges of the pumps were an issue with me.  The flange is the part where you put your breast.   I decided to go with Avent for several reasons.  
  •  I'd heard they were easier for bigger mamas.
  • It came with a nice carrying bag.
  • Avent nipples are wider, more like my nipples, so I figured it would be an easier transition.
  • The price was right. It was less than $50, not too big of an investment if I couldn't use it.  
The pump was super easy to use and I pumped the whole time I was home.  I was able to exclusively breastfeed for 7 months, then another 2 months while we transitioned to formula.

But it was hard.

Pumping is so hard and I truly respect the pumping mamas. I nursed first thing in the morning before work, I  pumped on my lunch break at work (my job had a lactation room), which was very lonely business. I nursed as soon as I got home.  I pumped every night.  I was worn out and my supply diminished. There's nothing like baby to breast. In hindsight, maybe I could have used some fennel or Mother's Milk Tea to help me keep my supply up. I was also depending on a manual pump for some pretty high volume pumping. I probably should have upgraded to electric for her.

Avent Isis IQ Uno
With Side Salad, I was a full time student. I went back to school when he was 12 days old.  Initially, I took him with me, but he was the cutest distraction. Plus, I had a professor who was uncomfortable with my breastfeeding.  Yes, she was a woman.  Besides, I was only paying tuition for me, not the kid.  I was only gone a few hours at a time so he took a bottle if necessary, but mostly he slept during my class time. I Supgraded to an Avent Isis IQ-about $150 4 years ago-which is the electric version of my pump. It allowed me to customize the pumping action so it wasn't yanking my nipples off.  I could make the suction as gentle as I needed it to be.  I did not use the petal massager because my breast fit better without it. I told you, I'm a bigger girl.  We ended up with a freezer full of milk.  I was able to go on a cruise without him. He was about 18 months old at the time. He had plenty of milk and I pumped while I was gone to keep my supply up.  I loved my  pump.  As you know, Side Salad self weaned around 21 months.  I put the pump parts somewhere random and now I can't find the flange, though I have all the other parts.

Now I want to pump as a precautionary measure.  Worst case scenario, we use the milk to make her cereal when she starts solids.  Of course, we're team Avent again.

Soon as I can find a flange.

No comments:

Post a Comment