Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pump Pump (again)

Tomorrow is my first “official” official day back to work. Every day of the week.  Which, whatever, it’s fine – I actually like working and OMGAH we need to figure out a routine around this place.  I am going to miss the hell out of my kids (and my husband, for that matter) – but it’s part of life and I get to drink my coffee & eat my lunch in peace five days a week so it’s not all bad.

The past few weeks where I have only been working 2-3 days I haven’t been pumping what the baby has been eating.  But I had a decent freezer stash.  Or not. Because it is pretty much non-existent anymore – which happens when you take one bag out a day and don’t put anymore in.  We have had to supplement some with formula when I am gone but are obviously hoping to make that an occasional thing, not a rule.

Again, we still need to work on our routine during the day.  But I feed her before I leave for work and I try to feed her when I get home – but sometimes she can’t wait until 6 so I just pump and then feed her before bedtime.  So far it has worked out the best to pump twice at work, three times if I can squeeze it in, 15 minutes per session. I have my reminders set in my calendar so I don’t get scheduled for any meetings, etc. I realize that isn’t always when she eats, but it’s the best I can do at the moment. Before bed is always the easiest option – or it would be if I wasn't so freaking tired! But I am also throwing around the idea of pumping on my way to (or even from) work since I have a long commute.

It has also been a bit of a challenge to figure out exactly how much she needs during the day.  I have tried to do weighted feeds with her to see what she gets while she eats as a baseline.  Sometimes it appears she gets 2-3 ounces, sometimes it appears she gets 1/2 an ounce.  She nurses for a LONG time (25-40 min a side, thankfully she only eats on one side at a time!) and just likes to take her time.  Apparently she also enjoys pounding down her bottles since it is super easy for her. I am constantly hearing “well, she pounded down that X ounces and probably was still hungry” – I am loosely throwing around the idea of switching her to an even slower flow nipple.   Regardless of how long it takes, or doesn’t take, her to eat – she still takes more than I pump in a day so I know that I (begrudgingly) need to work to squeeze in an extra pumping session somewhere.

I am looking for any other tips on helping increase production!  I recently started massaging while pumping, and that has helped a little bit with production as well as leaning forward a little bit so I can use gravity to my advantage.  I also recently got pumpin’ pals flanges which are SO SO SO much more comfortable!  I haven’t used them enough to notice a huge difference in production, but I am hopeful.  I do have a hands free bra thing so that helps too.

I am also looking for any other tips related to efficiency when pumping!  I always feel like it is such a process to set up (even though I do leave my pump set up all day) and clean up.  I have some medela steam sanitizer bags which are really nice.   I think it is always just going to be a bit of a process, by nature, but any tips anyone has I’ll take! 

And lastly, and this is going to sound totally ridiculous – how do you dress for pumping? I am a dress person, which is obviously not the easiest thing to maneuver when you have to hook your boobs up to a machine several times a day and don’t necessarily want to get undressed each time!  Clearly shirts/pants/skirts are the easiest bet and I almost always wear a nursing tank.  Any awesome wardrobe tricks that make pumping (and direct breastfeeding, for that matter) less of a clothing challenge? 

There have been so many challenges to this breastfeeding journey in the barely three months of Aleesia’s life between her MSPI, lip/tongue ties, her being sick, my low output, a million blocked ducts (and now a milk blister. fun.) but I can’t quit it – and really, I haven’t even thought about quitting to this point.  It helps that there is so much support available though, so thank you for supporting me and entertaining my questions and neurosis.


Deborah said...

Sigh. I hate the supply issue! A couple of things that are helping me:
1. I have given instructions to the people who watch C about how much milk to give her a day. At first her daycare provider was insisting she needed 11oz/day, and my mom was too. But I told them to keep it to 8, and both of them did that and said C seems fine. Last Friday at daycare, she only took 6 oz! I think sometimes people just overfeed, and the baby spits it all back up and they don't realize they gave too much.
2. I pump on the weekends to build my stash. honestly, I usually only manage to pump once, and the other day I'm running around or too tired or whatever. But it does help.

We've gone 2.5 weeks with no formula so far. I'm hoping we can keep this up! Good luck going back to work.

B. said...

A few things that have helped me with supply:

1. Drinking a warm drink while I pump.
2. Drinking Mother's Milk tea three times a day (not that tasty, but helps).
3. Having something really good to read while I pump (favorite blog or good book).
4. Making pumping as easy as possible by leaving my pump parts in the fridge between pumps, so I am only washing/sanitizing one time per day.